When we ask you who’s leading your life, what we mean is – it’s worth being aware of who and what influences you in your life and work.


There’s nothing wrong with allowing someone to sway our opinions and behaviour as long as we are happy with the impact and outcome.


Sometimes, however, there are people we spend a lot of time and effort trying to please, impress, or even infuriate, which means our decisions are based on trying to provoke a reaction in someone else.


And that means we’re giving that person power over what we do and sometimes how we feel. Actually, what we’re doing is handing over the reins and allowing them to lead our life for us.

Well, it’s a truism that we can’t always change other peoples’ behaviour or our immediate circumstances, but we can choose how we respond.


Taking a step back to look at the big picture and make this choice isn’t always easy but the more you are consciously aware of what you stand for – your own brand, the more you become able to avoid knee-jerk reactions and make a decision to respond in a way that reflects who you really are.


In this way you stay holding the reins and really leading your own life.


Try making a list of all the people or events that influence the way you behave – bear in mind they may be from the past or they may be very much in the present.


How much influence do you want them to continue to have over how you lead your life from now on?


Limiting Beliefs


Limiting beliefs serve as filters of our reality. We see life differently to other people because we have different beliefs. So different peoples’ experiences of the same situation can vary wildly. Just think about examples of conversations you’ve had with family or friends where your memories of a past event don’t seem to tally.


Beliefs and assumptions can be really useful in our lives. On a very basic level – Say you get burnt by a hot iron; next time when the iron is hot, you’ll be careful because you assume you might get burnt. So this belief is useful because it’s a shortcut that protects you.


The trouble is this way of learning can skew our perceptions of the way life works and create beliefs that are limiting for us. If we have had a difficult relationship where we felt unsupported and we feel hurt, what can happen is that we form a belief about ourselves or other people based on that experience that clones out to colour our view of possible new relationships. We tend to look for and gather evidence to support our beliefs, and this way, our expectations can become reinforced and, through our resulting behaviours, start to become reality.


But other people will have a different reality. They will see things differently and so can you.


It’s sometimes quite difficult to pin down limiting beliefs because, to us, they are just facts about the world. Notice when you say things like:


I have to solve problems on my own

You can’t show weakness in the workplace

Life is a struggle

I am a strong/shy/unlucky… person

Earning money is difficult/a matter of hard work

I cannot do this because I’m not sporty/brave/extrovert/clever


It’s always worth checking things you tend to say about yourself or life. Do they serve you or not?


A lot of our beliefs we take from a young age and have never questioned even though it is our childish understanding that has formed them.


Try to remember what people around you used to say to you when you were young in the areas that you are struggling with. Say, for example, you have difficulties with being assertive it may be to do with a belief handed down about being considerate or polite  to others. Obviously not a bad thing to encourage in kids but does it serve you now or might it be getting in the way? What if it’s sometimes a good thing to put yourself first? Can you find evidence to support that?


So it’s good to remember this: A thought is not a fact. It’s just a thought. And you can change what you think quite easily.


All you need to do is choose to no longer accept the limiting belief and affirm the opposite thought. Then search for the evidence to support the new way of looking at life. If you look for it, you’ll find it.



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