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Transform Your Career: 4 Questions to Challenge Limiting Beliefs

woman sat waiting for bus

Where Are You in Your Career Right Now?

Are you in a place where you feel satisfied, where your strengths and talents are being fully utilised? Do you feel that fire in your belly, knowing you have untapped potential? Do you feel successful in your version of what success looks like?

I've always felt I had more potential to reach, a feeling that has driven many of my career decisions—and some mistakes, too. I often wondered why sometimes it felt easier to achieve success than other times. Some days, I sailed effortlessly (well, after some hard work) into a promotion or scored a great commission day in my past life as a recruiter.

Here’s what I’ve learned: it all comes back to the two BIG B’s—Beliefs and Behaviours.

A Personal Example

Growing up, my Sunday afternoons were spent watching Bond movies or shows like Dynasty and Dallas. Women were either secretaries, wives, or predatory money hunters, often using their sexuality to get what they wanted. Not exactly the best role models, right? So, I didn't grow up imagining endless opportunities. I thought a nice office job or running a beautiful hotel in Cornwall (if only I had the money) would do.

When it came time to write my CV, I sat down with my father. I can still feel the panic of trying to put together a CV with only one voluntary job and a bit of bar work. My father said something that stuck with me into my mid-30s, buried deep in my subconscious.

The Impact of Limiting Beliefs

So there I was, blindly carrying on with my career, feeling like I could never quite get to where I was going without feeling like an imposter. I’d shake before meeting a senior male executive in the boardroom, wondering why. I was a seasoned recruiter, an expert in my field, but inside, I never felt like I belonged there.

I did what many of us do—I pushed through, ignoring that nagging voice. It was only when I did my first coaching qualification in 2015 that I learned what was really going on. It was a limiting belief I had carried since the day I wrote my CV with my father. He said, "Nicola, you need a good, stable office job like being a secretary because women very rarely make it to the boardroom." BOOM! That imprinted belief showed up physically whenever I was about to enter a boardroom. I literally believed I didn’t belong there!

Breaking Free from Limiting Beliefs

My father's statement was fairly accurate back in the late '80s and early '90s, but times have changed. Once I identified the belief, I could see it for what it was—my father's outdated opinion, not mine. Big sigh of relief—I could let it go.

What holds you back? Are there beliefs you're holding onto that are getting in your way?

Uncovering Limiting Beliefs

It takes self-awareness to uncover your limiting beliefs. Journalling, working with a therapist, or coaching can help. Ask yourself, “And if that were true, what does that mean about me?” It sounds simple, but it’s incredibly effective in figuring out what's truly holding you back.

Byron Katie’s ‘The Work’ is phenomenal for overcoming limiting beliefs. Four simple questions can help you break free and move forward. I’m a big fan and use these questions often in my coaching work.

Here are some resources to help you:

Everyone Has Self-Limiting Beliefs

These are the thoughts and perceptions you have about yourself, others, and the world that prevent you from doing something you're actually quite capable of. The good news, as my story shows, is that once you identify these beliefs, you can usually get rid of them quite easily.

Spotting Red Flags

Look for pervasive thoughts and assumptions that show up repeatedly. Red flags include statements like: “This is just how I am,” “I’ve always been this way,” “That’s just how the world is,” “This always happens to me,” “I’ve missed my chance,” “I’m not good enough,” etc. When you hear yourself saying one of these, you're likely close to a self-limiting belief. Don’t forget physical signs like my shaking hands.

Imagine a Life Without Self-Limiting Beliefs

Identifying and changing self-limiting beliefs takes work and time. But imagine a life where you’re not holding yourself back! A life where you go for what you want without baseless fears. This is what I want for you.

Ready to Break Free?

If you want to work on what’s holding you back and create a deeper understanding of yourself, click the link below to book a call. We’ll talk about what coaching is, how it can help, and whether it’s the right next step for you.

I look forward to our conversation.


P.S. In my next blog, I’ll be looking at behaviours that hold you back.

Here are further reading and journalling resources;


Overcoming Limiting Beliefs Workbook (Journal) (Amazon)

The Unlimited Self: Destroy Limiting Beliefs, Uncover Inner Greatness, and Live the Good Life (Amazon)

Overcoming Limiting Beliefs: How to Rewire Your Brain, Stop Overthinking, Develop Mental Toughness and Change Your Personality for Good (Amazon)

The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma (Amazon)

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