The cat was one good morsel for the coyote, easy to kill without even exerting a sweat. However when cat and coyote were walking together and coyote accidentally stepped on cat, cat bounced up to coyote’s eye level and swatted him. The cat was alpha and wouldn’t let coyote forget it.
What was happening was a simple example of our PCC’s, our premature cognitive commitments. A belief slips in when we’re young or unaware or just not paying attention, and it becomes our reality, whether it’s logical or the least bit realistic. For the coyote it was the memory of being bossed around by the cat when it was a young pup and so cat would always remain alpha.
The late great Dr. Wayne Dyer said “Your limits are defined by the agreement you have made about what is possible. Change that agreement and you can dissolve all limits.”
When we fall back on limiting beliefs masked as realities, it wreaks havoc with our careers, lives and ability to create what we want no matter how hard we work. PCC’s explain why some people always seem to get ahead, almost like they’re born under lucky stars. And others work twice as hard and never seem to make it or get what they want. PCC’s are the commitment we’ve made regarding how happy, healthy and wealthy we’ll be in life, simply because a belief slipped in a neurological “side door” when we weren’t looking, and we now accept this belief as reality.
Here are two examples:
A woman saw me speak once and asked if she could hire me to give her some pointers before she addressed a large crowd of her colleagues because, she admitted, she didn’t feel as smart as her colleagues, who were all men. She showed up for our coaching session and suddenly, over bagels and tea, she remembered being about five years old and her dad and brother were telling her girls weren’t as smart as boys, as she tried to be brave and not cry. We never discussed speaking skills because she had uncovered one of her PCC’s, and that was all she needed.
Joe Girard, billed as the world’s greatest salesman (he sold more than 13,000 cars during his career) was the opposite. With an absolute belief in his ability to sell and no belief holding him back (and it would be easy to accumulate many limiting beliefs when one’s career is selling cars), he was a sensational salesman, once selling 174 cars in one month.
So how do we stay alert to beliefs that sabotage our confidence and sidetrack our successes?
1. Question beliefs and don’t take either your or someone else’s interpretation of reality as necessarily true. Example: You don’t apply for a job opportunity, or speak up in a meeting, or ask for the promotion/raise, all because on some level you feel you aren’t as capable or someone tells you not to bother, it won’t do any good. Examine your beliefs. The brain distorts reality all the time and our job is to be aware of it and argue in favor of what we want: Why can’t I get that promotion? Why shouldn’t I be the one for the project? Go back to when you felt successful and savor that feeling.
2. Play your video each and every day. In reprogramming how we think and what we attract, we need to set ourselves up for success. Our brains are programmed to continually produce simulations of negative mini-movie clips, reinforcing negativity. So if we screwed up on a major report, the brain isn’t going to let us forget it unless we counter with our own positive images. As I’ve mentioned before, Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps became--according to his coach Bob Bowman-- the mentally toughest swimmer in the pool because he conditioned himself to succeed by seeing the end result the way he wanted…swimming to win each and every time he got into the pool.
3. Imagine how great you’ll feel when you stop pretending to be limited. Einstein said imagination is more important that knowledge, and when we link up an emotion to a belief, we make it much stronger. In our videos it’s important to feel the success instead of merely think about it. The rules that are in place in your life are rules you’ve created. Want to feel more confident? Ask yourself what belief is getting in the way. Remember, it’s just a belief, something you’ve thought about over and over until it had credibility, became reality. Who created that belief? When we can ferret out the voice/mentality behind the belief, then we can begin to change it.
4. The past doesn’t equal the present or the future. Every day when we acquire different information it will enable us to create different results. The person you were when you got out of bed this morning is not necessarily the same person you’ll be when you go to bed tonight (what an exciting thought). One thought, one idea, can change how you think and therefore change your behavior.
5. Pick one thing to focus on and watch the results. Every thought matters. The brain’s ability to learn and change itself is called neuroplasticity, and as we focus our thoughts, enabling neurons to fire together by strengthening their existing synapses and forming new ones that “wire” together, our thoughts get stronger. Pick a belief and focus on that for a week, with feeling. Notice if you hear an internal argument on what you can and can’t do; that’s not reality it’s simply an old thought that isn’t happy about getting rooted out. Be tenacious; you have control over your thoughts.
When you are aware of the sneaky PCC’s that limit your abilities, and take steps to change them, then you’re free to have more of what you want in your life. The great news, this is not rocket science, simply an awareness of changing a habitual way of thinking to make room for progress!
“Whatever you're thinking about is literally like planning a future event. When you're worrying, you are planning. When you're appreciating you are planning...What are you planning?” -- Abraham (Esther and Jerry Hicks)