In the previous two articles in this series we discussed core values, limiting beliefs and self-image. In this article we’ll be looking at how to challenge any labels or limiting beliefs that are stopping you from taking action to improve the quality of your life.
When I find myself becoming stuck in self-doubt or trapped in a line of unhelpful thinking, I use a method known as Socratic Questioning to determine whether what I’m thinking is realistic, likely and helpful. It sounds complicated but is really just a set of questions that you can use to challenge what you’re thinking. And these questions are:
- Is there evidence for this thought? (Is this thought fact or feeling?)
- Is it the whole truth or are you being selective?
- Is it a black and white situation or is it more complicated than you’re willing to accept?
- Is this an exaggeration, are you catastrophising?
- Is it a likely scenario?
- Is there another interpretation?
- Are you thinking this out of habit ?
- Is this your own thought or have you been influenced in some way?
Using these questions you can determine whether you are working from emotion rather than reality and prepare a course of appropriate action. Very often the beliefs that are holding us back are rooted in fear of either what we don’t know or what we think is going to happen. If you can pinpoint those fears, you can expose them as being just that: fear. The antidote for fear is having a plan. So ask yourself the questions and formulate your plan!
In the next article we will look at how to embrace failure and reject comparison.