From an early age, limiting beliefs from my childhood shaped how I perceived myself.
I was told that I was destined to be overweight. I believed it. I thought that being overweight was an inherent fault of mine. I used every “failure” in regaining weight as proof to fuel this belief.
“Of course I gained 10 lbs… that’s exactly what failures do, and that’s what you are. A failure,” I told myself.
I was told that I need to go to school, get good grades and hopefully get an okay job one day. I was told successful people were either born into money or just lucky, and neither of those applied to me, so I’d be better off aiming to be mediocre at best. And forget about chasing a career that fulfilled me… I must chase stability.
This wasn’t just in terms of a career – but in relationships, friendships, you name it. When I shared aspirations to do something big with my career or have deeper relationships, I was shut down by my mother saying “that doesn’t happen in real life.”
I was subconsciously aware I held these beliefs, but only realized as I got older how engrained they were in how I perceived myself.
When I was in my early 20s, I did my first bikini competition. I got excited about it but there was always that voice inside my head telling me “you could never win this. It’s not something someone like you can accomplish.” I tried to shut it out but that voice definitely influenced everything I did to prep for my show.
In each workout, I subconsciously thought I would never be able to be “better” than anyone else so my effort reflected that. I gave less thought to my form and my intensity, even though I was going through the motions.
Posing for my show (which is pretty awkward to learn for the first time even for the most confident person!) was very challenging for me… to me, it meant putting yourself out there and showing the world “I’m the best! Look!” and I could not convey that with my body language because I didn’t feel it and believe it in my head.
It’s no surprise I didn’t do too well in my competitions. And that also fueled my limiting beliefs about succeeding in the fitness industry in general.
Now if I fast forward to the present day, I have formed completely new beliefs about myself. I believed I could make my mark in the fitness industry, so I created a career that brings me joy far beyond what I thought possible.
I believed I could step in front of the camera for a fitness photoshoot and rock it… and I did just that, many times over.
There was no big “aha” moment during the process. New beliefs are really just repeated thoughts that end up shaping how you show up in life. And in turn, you create your new reality.
I’m not saying I never have limiting beliefs – we all inevitably have them at times – but I am much more aware of the profound effect they have in influencing the outcome of my life.
Coming to this realization, I have been able to recognize limiting beliefs in the clients I work with and help them overcome them.
I work with someone who says they could never do a photoshoot, for instance, because they’re just not “sexy enough” or whatever it is. But the truth is they have this desire deep down. They simply have told themselves stories that “prove” they can’t. This is our brain’s way of keeping us in our comfort zone where things are nice and predictable.
Once that person believes they can, they show up differently. And with that a new version of themselves is born.
If this is something you recognize in yourself, know you can take daily steps to create new empowering beliefs.
Do something, even something small, on a daily basis that is outside your comfort zone. Send that email without “lol” or “sorry” and draw your boundaries to strengthen your belief that you are not a pushover. Book that photoshoot you’ve been thinking about to show you CAN show up as that sexy version of yourself.
I believe in you. And I need YOU to believe in you!
Your coach and friend,