Using your story to identify limiting beliefs

I am in the middle of delivering a four day NLP Diploma with a lovely group of people and this morning I will be teaching them a technique to help them change limiting beliefs. I will be sharing this technique with you next week. First some background is needed. This week’s blog although written as part of my series about weight loss can also be applied to other personal development issues as the principles are the same.

This exercise may be quite cathartic and again you might want to ensure you have someone supporting you through the process. Those of you working in self help groups this can be done as an exercise together.

Variation One: Using a collage or drawing create a story board that explains your life story. The images may be symbolic, perhaps cut out of magazines or you might choose to use real photographs from your life.

Variation Two: Write your story as if you are writing about somebody else. Here is an example from my story.

“Melody was told that she was a heavy baby. She weighed 9 lbs at birth and her mother told her this was enormous!”

Having prepared your story in one of the formats above you are now going to analyse it and again you might find it easier if you have someone supporting you as you do this. Your task is to identify what beliefs you have formed about yourself as a result of your story.

For example in my story there are a number of pivotal moments that helped me form the belief that “I am the fat one”. I also had other beliefs that were less obvious that also came from my experience growing up such as being the “ugly one” and that nobody loved me. I believed my sister was my dad’s favourite and my brother was my mum’s and there was no one left for me.

However within my story were also a number of empowering beliefs such as I am intelligent, self reliant and capable. There are other beliefs that are a bit mixed for example I believed myself to be responsible. This belief on the positive side helped me build self reliance, a sensible attitude to money and the self confidence to get out and do things in the world. The down side for me was that I didn’t know how to have fun, I felt resentful and I was brilliant at disempowering people so that they ended up not helping me because I made them feel useless!

Your task this week is to identify the various types of belief that you hold about yourself based on your “story”. Here are some categories to look out for:

Limiting beliefs – beliefs that are holding you back and that you do not see an obvious benefit from.

Empowering beliefs – beliefs you hold about yourself that allow you to experience good things in life.

Mixed beliefs – Beliefs that seem to be limiting on the one hand but empowering on the other.

By becoming a detective of your own beliefs you may already start to have some “ah ha” moments. Over the coming weeks we are going to look at a few more ways to identify unhelpful beliefs and  tackle learning how to start changing them.

Do let me know how you get on and if you need any help working out what is going on for you.

If you are based in the UK you might want to consider joining me on one of my free introduction to NLP workshops called the NLP 101. These are being held in two locations, one in Bedfordshire and one in Sussex. If you come along to one of these workshops I can give you more personal support.

For those of you not able to do that do let me know how you are getting on via this blog. You can leave comments on the blog or email me direct You can also email me for details of the workshops.

See you next week for the next step..

About Melody @ GWizlearning

Melody spent fourteen years gathering experience of the business world working in banking, telecommunications and the public sector before co-founding The GWiz Learning Partnership in 1993. Melody has a Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology, a degree in Psychology and a diploma in Psychotherapy. She is an NLP Master Trainer which allows her to run NLP Practitioner, NLP Master Practitioner and NLP Trainer Training courses certified by the Positive School of Intrinsic Neuro-Linguistc Psychology. She is also a qualified Myers Briggs practitioner and EI practitioner and added to all this is five years Transactional Analysis training, meaning she is able to help organisations access the hidden potential in their staff. She is also in demand for her work in transforming average or even troubled teams into high performers. Melody is a visiting lecturer at University of East London, teaching "Wellbeing and Positive Psychology" to undergraduates. Additionally, she is a member of the CIPD and is ILM accredited. Melody's interests are many and varied. She has a keen interest in personal development, canine and wolf psychology, conservation, movies and running. She also enjoys western horse riding, walking the GWiz dogs, nature watching and stage combat (particularly sword fighting).
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3 Responses to Using your story to identify limiting beliefs

  1. Pingback: Robert JR Graham » Transforming Limiting Beliefs

  2. Pingback: Robert JR Graham » How to Identify Your Self Limiting Beliefs

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