A common concept in self-development is the one of limiting beliefs or self-limiting beliefs.
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
What Do We Believe ?
A limiting belief is a belief you hold in your mind that constrains you or limits you in any way. For example, a lot of people believe they are bad at math or that they just suck at splitting the dinner bill.
Has it ever occurred to you that believing you cannot do some sort of calculation or that other people are better at doing it than you, will actually prevent you from even trying to do it ?
Any time you encounter a situation related with numbers, you will probably use a calculator, ask someone for help or just give up and stay silent while smiling awkwardly.
Why Does It Matter ?You may already be aware that such a person will probably not try to improve their mathematical skills. Mostly because they believe that "they are not good with numbers”, so what’s the point ?
This is an example of why believing you cannot do something, literally blocks you from trying and succeeding. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy that not only limits your possibilities but also is reinforced every time you fail or experience a bump in the road: “See ? I told you I am terrible at this !”.
The longer we hold a limiting belief and the more often we invoke it in our thoughts, the stronger it becomes. Some of them will be so deep in our psyche that we don’t even notice them anymore. They are fully integrated with our core belief system.
Time to reflect
A lot of limiting beliefs about ourselves that we can somehow easily identify, look something like this: “I cannot X”, “I am not Y”, “I always do Z”... They are often beliefs about ourselves and they say something about who we are and what we can do.
It's good that there are many coaching tools which are very useful to become aware of these beliefs and to challenge them. One of them is the "The Persona Exercise".
You basically ask people to give you feedback on their first impression of you. (Be careful, you might get hurt...)
Because it demands some honesty and courage, there is a lot of value and insight in it. While collecting the feedback you will start to see patterns in the way you are showing up to others. And you will start reflecting on who you are and what you believe about yourself that others often don't see at all. (When I tried it, I was really shocked by the results and it seems that I come across as a douche more often than I intend to...)
This exercise is not just about changing your behaviour and getting a better first impression. The main insight is to be able to see that the way we see ourselves has almost nothing to do with how others perceive us. Our beliefs about something as simple as our own image or our appearance are easily shattered with this simple exercise.
The Next Step
Becoming aware of your limiting beliefs is very demanding but also very rewarding. Try to remember this when you find yourself crying in a room full of men staring at you. (yes I cry easily...)
You might want to take it to the next level : what about the other beliefs, the non limiting ones ?
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” ― Philip K. Dick
In his book "Unlimited Power”, Tony Robbins makes a cool analogy between beliefs and cars. He explains how any belief we hold can be changed if we want to. You can sell your car when you think it does not work well anymore or if you just want another, better, more efficient or more appealing car. You can get another vehicle any time you want to. (providing you have the necessary funds but you get the idea…)
So what if we could change our beliefs as easily as we can get into another car ? What would that mean for us?
Well first, it means that we can choose to believe whatever we want to. It also means that if we choose what we believe in, we can decide to either pick positive beliefs or negative ones. It’s not just about positive thinking, it is about what serves us best. This also means that anything we believe in is just that: a belief.
This is more complex than it looks at first. It’s really hard to admit that most of what we think is just a belief. It does not say anything about you being right or wrong. And it does not mean it is true or false. It just is.
So what kind of belief do we take as a fact ? How true do we think it is ? And more importantly, does that belief really serve us ?
I was recently at a conference where we worked on our “money scripts”, the beliefs we all have around money such as: “Money is a measure of success”, “Spending too much will get you in trouble”, “Budgets don’t work”.
We then challenged each other to rate how true these statements were to us and how much they served us in life. It was really tough to accept that these beliefs were only that: beliefs. And even tougher to let them go or try to adopt new ones.
I like this definition of belief: “An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof."
To sum it up I would suggest that you can decide anytime what you want to believe in.
This is all very good but how can I apply this in my life ?
Here is one way to do it:
Think of how motivated and optimistic you'll feel when you start practicing such a daily routine and let me know if you have any questions or comments.
I will write more articles about coaching exercises in the future.
Here is the original article I posted on Steemit.
I have recently posted an article on Steemit about Beliefs in which I talked about this exercise.
I thought it would be a good idea to put the details of the exercise here as I found it very useful.
Enjoy and let me know if you love or hate the feedback you get. (or maybe both...)
The Persona Exercise / Discovering your image
Short description: you will ask people for feedback on how they see you.
Material needed: people that have met you, phone or email, pen and paper
Interest: allows you to see what kind of image you project and recognise patterns that affect the way you interact with people.This is about seeing the way other people view you.
Time needed: it depends on how fast people answer you and how much feedback you gather, then you will need maybe an hour to write everything down and look at the patterns.
Tips: This is a two-step process for the questionnaire part, make sure people do the first step before asking them the second question and be clear that you want honest feedback, good or bad. I find it useful to frame it so that they feel safe answering you honestly. You can say you are doing a coaching exercise or that you are working on yourself and that any information is useful.
To do this you want to take notes and collect data. You can do it face to face or per email, although you might get more data through email.
Conclusion: The real value of this exercise is challenging the beliefs we have of the image we project and realise that how we see ourselves has little to do with what others notice about us. Once we gain awareness about our image to others, we can start working on improving it.
Yes, no fancy quote today like “Your net worth is your network” or “When your self-worth goes up, your net worth goes up with it.”
Nope, your net worth is your net worth, that’s it. No need to sugarcoat it.
Your net worth gives you a good idea of your overall wealth and the health of your financial situation. For example if you have plenty of debt, and own very little, your net worth would be negative, which means your financial situation is not good. I don’t care how much money you are making and how big your salary or your car is. If your net worth is low or negative, it means you are not wealthy. Even though you might think you are…
So how do we calculate our net worth?
The basic definition is quite simple: Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities
For individuals, there are some things you need to know before starting to calculate your net worth.
You need to value only REAL assets
Most people think of their car, their TV or even their new BBQ as an asset. It is however very wrong. It is very rewarding to consider yourself as a business when looking at your finances. This is why using the financial accounting definition of an asset is much more helpful: “An asset is an economic resource. Anything tangible or intangible that can be owned or controlled to produce value and that is held to have positive economic value is considered an asset.”
To put it simply:
An asset is something that increases its value over time and that generates cash flow.
For our purpose we will consider that anything you own that will likely increase its value over time OR that generates cash flows is an asset.
Examples are: cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, shop ownership, life insurance, retirement plans, artwork, jewelry…
Do NOT include your primary residence in your calculation
Why? Well any way you look at it, your home is a liability. Even if you own your home, you need to pay your mortgage back or cover all the costs of repairs, insurance, maintenance, taxes and so on.
So instead of putting money in your pocket, your home costs you money every day you live in it.
We could maybe argue that if we sell the property with a profit, we would then make some money right?
The problem with this argument is that because you are living in your home, you cannot leave it and sell it when you want. Not only is it very illiquid, it also means that you first need to find another place to live in. And guess what? Yup, this costs money as well. So I strongly recommend you to include only the other properties you own in your calculations, because they are the ones that can bring you money without having to sleep outside.
Robert Kiyosaki the author from “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” sums it up well in this 2 minutes video
You need to make adjustments
#Any taxable account will be taxed according to the capital gains tax in your country and this should be accounted for. If you live in Denmark, you will have to deduct around 40%, 35% in France, 28% in UK and USA and if you are lucky and live in Belgium or New Zealand that would be 0%.
#Retirement accounts and any individual retirement account or fund will also need to be adjusted according to your tax bracket. Why? Because most of these accounts allow you to deduct your contributions from your tax declaration but they are not exempted from taxation when you take it out in retirement. Some of them work the other way around, so make sure to check what kind of an adjustment you should make. (Usually between 15% and 28%)
#Any jewelry or art you own should be discounted with the “pessimistic look” ratio, which is at least around 50%. (The “pessimistic look” ratio is a secret ninja technique used by most smart buyers)
Now let’s talk about liabilities
Anything that takes money out of your pocket on a regular basis is a liability.
Examples are such as: your mortgage, your credit card balances, your student loans and basically any kind of debt you have. Don’t forget to include medical bills, personal loans, taxes due and any outstanding bills.
As Robert Kiyosaki explained earlier, even things you own could be a liability: a house, a boat you have to maintain, a car that needs repairs and insurance, and so on.
Here is an example of what a net worth calculation look like:
So now, what does my net worth means?
If you are a decent human being, you should have calculated your net worth and you now have a nice looking positive or negative number in front of you. This gives you a good idea of how well you are doing right now with your finances.
This does not mean you are better than your neighbour or more stupid than your friend and it does not mean it will stay the same forever.
Please don’t use it as a way to compare yourself with others or to pity yourself. This is just a scoreboard, an indicator of how well your finances are doing.
What’s important is how you will use this information:
What is your next step?
Are you surprised by this number or did you think it would be lower or higher than it is?
How much net worth would you like to have in one year, ten years?
The biggest surprise for many people is to realize that although their income has been increasing over time, their net worth is still very low.
This is because of something called “Life Inflation”: the more money people earn, the more money they tend to spend. And even if it their lifestyle is improving and they are making more money, their assets don’t outgrow their liabilities.
The problem with Life Inflation is that if something stops their primary source of income, most people would not be able to afford the same kind of lifestyle and would usually suffer from it.
Being aware of this concept allows us to save and invest more toward our assets and build our net worth steadily over time. Having a positive net worth gives you more financial freedom and allows you to become more and more independent from your main source of income. If you are working on building your net worth, you will have more flexible choices in your career and in your life, and you will be more prepared to whatever comes next.
If you want to improve your financial goals, here is what you can do right now:
Let me know if you have any comments or questions about your net worth.
Performance coach, world traveler, tribe builder, NLP enthusiast and mnemonist. I am passionate about self-development and life changing coaching tools.
Defusing The Past