Recently I attended a workshop led by Lissa Rankin, M.D. (www.owningpink.com) where the topic was “Get Out of Your Own Way”. Dr. Rankin went around the circle and asked each of us – what is our “Limiting Belief” – in other words, what is that self-talk that gets in the way of us accomplishing what we want to accomplish.
I had to think really hard about this one – because if you asked me this question twelve months ago, I would have had a slew of things to say. I would have said I have this inner critic who asks questions like, Why do you think you’re qualified to do this? You’re a lawyer, you should be practicing law. You’ve been out of the professional workforce for too long to be taken seriously doing anything. You’re not a licensed psychologist so why will anyone take you seriously as a coach…
Fortunately I’ve worked through all of those. I know I’m good at what I do. And I’m able to honor and respect all of those life experiences that have given me so many of the tools that make me good at what I do. How silly when I think back now about the lawyer thing. As an attorney, I advised and counseled numerous clients, both individuals and organizations, and helped them to achieve their desired results. So what the hell was that inner critic talking about?!? I have come a long way when it comes to my self-talk.
So, what is it now? What is the belief I have at this moment in time that is holding me back? When I forced myself to really be honest about what it is that stands between me and me accomplishing my biggest goal – I realized it’s the tug of war of time. For me to really succeed in what I’m doing – i.e., attract more of the types of clients I’m really going after, write content for my blog, create workshops and seminars that are truly where my heart is, I’ll have to spend less time with the little man, and more time on me. So I suppose my limiting belief was that the little man would suffer from less time with me.
What does this mean for me? Do I believe that I am incapable of being a good mom and having a successful career at the same time? Dr. Rankin suggested that may be my limiting belief. I quickly dismissed the suggestion, as I couldn’t possibly think that. I mean, that goes against everything I believe on an intellectual and an emotional level about being a woman. Of course I can be a good mom and have a successful career at the same time. My mom is living proof! The key, I’ve discovered, was going to be defining what “good mom” and “successful career” mean for me.
When I really took a close look at my newly uncovered limiting belief, it melted under the spotlight. Do I really think little man would suffer from less mommy time? No, I don’t. I mean, I can design my schedule to be home at a reasonably early time each day so I get quality time with him in the afternoons. And I have a wonderful babysitter who is kind and calm and playful and who Jay really enjoys. Does it really have to be me picking him up from school or camp each and every day in order to be sure I know he’s thriving there? Not really, when I think about it. Most days, the teachers aren’t interested in having individual discussions with the parents anyway.
I began to realize that I was using “time with Jay” as an excuse to put my personal goals on hold. But why? If my personal goals are on hold, then I don’t move forward in achieving them. Once I put meaningful time, energy, and sharp focus on my goals, well, then I’m really going for it. And once I’m really going for it, I just might succeed! And that’s a little SCARY!
But when success means being a “good mom” and having a “successful career” – as defined by ME – well, what could be more exhilarating than that?!?