We all have many self-limiting beliefs that stops us in our tracks self-sabotaging ourselves. How many times you wanted to do something or get something but couldn’t bring yourself to ask for it or couldn’t even utter the words to request what you need?
I learned something in life; you don’t ask, you don’t get. I remember when I first started my business, I just wanted to learn where to start and how, I was overwhelmed, and scared. I approached a consultant that had a thriving business, introduced myself and the whole spiel of my branding statement, she looked at me and said I know who you are (I have been active on Social Media), then I asked her if I could shadow her for a couple of weeks.
She looked at me and said: Actually next week I am starting a new account and I need help, what about if you work with me and I will pay you? My jaw just dropped, and this was my first gig ever. Since then, that consultant is one of my best friends.
Since it worked I kept repeating this; I would just ask for what I wanted and surprisingly enough most of the time I get a “YES”, and that is how I landed most of my accounts. We expect that others know what we do, that somehow they have a crystal bowl through which they can see our services and products; well they do not till we engage them, only then they can connect you and your services with their needs, refer you, or keep you in their minds till they need next week, next month or even next year.
Through my consulting and coaching, I found out that most people do not ask for what they want, as human beings we are scared to ask for things especially for things that we really need and want, we are afraid to ask for love, respect, money, or work.
Why? Because we are afraid that we will be turned down, the “fear of rejection” or “fear of ridicule”, “fear of failure”, or even “fear of success”.
That simple word of two letters “NO” can actually derail us for a while when we hear it, we take that “NO” very personally, “NO” most of the time has nothing to do with who you are as a person, or might have nothing to do with your talent or skills, it could be just that the circumstances at this moment are not suitable.
Fear of rejection is part of the negative thoughts that all of us have in our little heads, it is part of the self-limiting beliefs that can sometimes imprison ourselves in.
As human beings, our brain is geared on looking at the negative side of things, look at what we do not have rather than what we have which is actually a lot.
In my first training sessions, I would look at the evaluation forms at the end of every session, I would obsess with the ones that had 4 or 3 even if it was one single response rather than looking at the majority of 5 stars (Highest score) I received. I would freak out and will drive myself crazy sometimes for days, till I learned to switch it around. I had to realize that no matter what, not everyone will like or love me, and that was OK.
The reason we fear rejection and let that self-limiting belief control us, is that we all just want to be liked, we want to fit in, even at the expense of our own happiness, even if we have to endure something unpleasant or that we do not like.
Beliefs organize the world for you, they form your perceptions and your perceptions is the base of you taking decisions, right or wrong, good or bad. Beliefs are your go-to enabling you to understand and interpret the world around you.
What you believe becomes your reality (though it is not really reality, but it is to you), so we tend to then perceive and experience them as being true. We rarely question our beliefs, which is why they tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies.
As long as you don’t challenge your beliefs that shape your perceptions that shape decision making that shape your actions subconsciously, nothing will change and you seal your own fate with your own hands.
Sometimes we wait to gather up our courage to ask for what we want; by then it is too late and the opportunity have already vanished. In this life there are two kinds of people:
- Those that wait for the opportunity to knock their doors – those might wait their whole life and get nothing; and
- Those that go and knock on the opportunity’s doors and make it happen
The biggest obstacle between “US” and reaching our full potential is “US” so we need to get out of our own way
To go for what you want, always think about what is the worst that can happen? If you get a “NO” – you will be at the same position you are in right now, and it is not that bad.
The only difference when you ask for what you want is that you have a 50-50 chance to get it, you do not ask, you do not get. Do not be like that person that keeps praying and waits to win the lotto ticket but never bother to buy one
What we project is what we get, our brain and mind respond subconsciously to what we feel or think, the way we feel sends signals to our nerve cells or neurons which communicate with the areas of the brain responsible for secreting substances that are responsible for us feeling great or… not.
If you start thinking negatively then the stress hormones get released and you go on stress mode and you might panic, you reactions might not be well reasoned and somehow you end up not getting what you wanted; so you translate it as failure or rejection when you actually have set yourself up for failure.
Most of our self-limiting beliefs and fears start early in our childhood mainly through our parents and the way we grew up or it can be culturally related. We do whatever we can to protect ourselves and feel safe and secure, to obtain our parents love and approval, and since these beliefs worked before, we replicate them later on in life to please other people when we grow up like friends, coworkers, boss, or spouses
Do these beliefs really work? Do they make us happy?
We have the power to change our beliefs, it starts with the way we talk to ourselves, what we allow ourselves to believe, and we hold both the lock and the key. We can create a new way of thoughts by choosing to do so and then taking action.
We can start by visiting what stories we repeat in our heads that stand between us and between what we want, how are they preventing us from fulfilling our potential, did these thoughts start in our childhood?
There is no magic pill you can take to change overnight, you just need to start doing things that you are not comfortable with. If you keep doing things the way you have always done them, you will always get the same results.
You need to work it for it to work, not giving up at the first obstacle or rejection.
Now think for a moment about this: would let anyone speak to you the way your inner negative voice talks to you? Would you like?
If you saw a friend going through the same situation where they are standing on their own way – what would you do?
Now think about small things that you can do to start changing those self-limiting beliefs at your own pace one step at a time – Again a reminder, In order for anything tow work you need to work
It is normal to feel awkward, bad or even discouraged when you get a “NO”. Everything that is worth t in life takes perseverance and resilience, starting by fighting our inner critic and self-limiting belief.
I found out through the years, that I have succeeded in business because of:
- My tenacity, I do not give up, even if I get a “NO” the first time, I do not lose hope I keep trying till I get a “Yes”; that doesn’t mean that I am pushy it just I keep it under the radar till the right timing presents itself
- I am not afraid to ask for what I want, I always think what is the worst that can happen at least I have a 50% chance to get what I want especially if I am passionate about it
- I believe in myself and what I am asking for, even if I do not have all the tools at the time, I know I will find a way to make it happen.
- I do not make excuses for myself and I do not allow my brain to talk negative to me even if it tries. I hold the remote control in my hand and I change the channel, it is a conscious choice that I make
- I continually work on “Building personal strength”, “Building a better life”, and making no excuses
You don’t ask, you don’t get, Make Sure that Your Worst Enemy Isn’t You
I will be writing more posts about the different self-limiting beliefs that actually lead to our self-sabotage as a leader, as a team member, and as a simplehuman being.
If you have some thoughts to add, please include them in the comment box. Till next time
Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh
Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership Consultant- Certified Social Media Strategist
Sahar Consulting, LLC
I help corporations and organizations create/ increase their employee engagement through Diversity, Inclusion, effective communication & Cross- Cultural leadership practices that result in everyone feeling appreciated, valued and respected for who they are; elevating morale and harmony hence increasing their productivity which translates to more revenues.
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