‘I’m an expert at these things, move aside I will fix it’ my 3 year old said confidently as she jumped out of her toy convertible and went to help her 2 year old sister with her stalled car.

Where did that self-belief and confidence come from and who was she copying?  If you are a parent of young children you would recognise the children’s character Daddy Pig say to his daughter Peppa Pig: ‘I’m an expert at these things’.  And you would also know that this is Daddy Pig’s refrain when he is confronted with any task, whether it’s retrieving Mummy Pig’s word document, running a marathon for charity or finding directions on a day out.

Similarly, research cited in Forbes (2014) shows that male leaders’ perceptions of their own effectiveness out rank that of women’s perceptions.

During recent Performance Coach Training at the Queens’s Club, executive coaches coached one another on self-limiting beliefs.  This led to reflection on how we dispel a coachee’s self-limiting belief and Imbue our coachees with confidence?

Here are 8 outcomes a coach could elicit from a coachee with a self-limiting belief:

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

– Confucius

  1. Believe in yourself! Your abilities, your experience, your resilience, your capacity to be an astonishing person who can achieve anything you work hard and smart at. Incidentally Daddy Pig’s knowledge and skills are almost never up to the task at hand. However, it is his attitude, and self-fulfilling prophecy, that enables him to do well at the challenges ahead.
  2. Name it. Ideally the coachee will identify the limiting self-belief and be receptive to coaching on this. If not, the coach should name it. There is a pragmatic outcome for this too. Something that is named, bought out in the light of day and prodded a bit, loses its power over you doesn’t it?
  3. Believe that you can change your thinking. Free yourself from stereotypes: ‘I’m a woman I know nothing about cars’ or ‘I’m a technical man and will not be able to develop soft skills’.
  4. Dispel your belief but do not disparage yourself
  5. Chip away at your limiting belief – Challenge yourself and remember the sky is not the limit. We have been to the moon. There are still higher realms waiting out there for you.
  6. Ask yourself what purpose your self-limiting belief is serving. If you are brutally honest you     will see that it is of no real value, only another obstacle you are expending energy and time on.
  7. Create a blind spot of the things that limit you. If others want to focus on the challenges in your way, let them. When you look back on your life and you will see a pattern emerging of you   amazing yourself (and others) most when you forged ahead despite your greatest difficulties presenting themselves be it loss of a career, redundancy, depression, divorce.
  8. Reflect on the language that you use when dealing with a limited belief. Then strip away the passion, fear, feelings of inadequacy. All that is left are bald facts.

I would be interested in hearing about the strategies you use to dispel your limiting self-belief. And who your role models are.

To dearest Dad, Happy Father’s Day!

To Dad and Mum thank you for imbuing me with the resilience that I can do anything I set my mind to no matter what came before and what comes after…