Welcome to The Winning Mind Set Tip of the Week!

Is it this or that?

Your beliefs effect what you do or don't do by dictating
what you will and will not even attempt.

Have you ever had something very important that you wanted to do, yet somehow in the back of your mind felt not quite right about it going in. It was almost as if something was holding you back, influencing you incongruently as you entered into the endeavor, with a push/pull effect. In reference to athletic competition, I have had many coaches profess to me that their athlete is one of the best. That they have amazing performance during their practices and trials, but they can't seem to motivate them to perform as well in competition. Many times this is due to the mixed messages that this athlete is sending to themselves, through their internal dialog (self talk) based on external influences.
The effect of our beliefs is of critical importance because they either Empower or Limit us, so they are known simply as Empowering Beliefs and Limiting Beliefs.

Examples of Empowering Beliefs are:
1. If I did it before, I can do it again.
2. I know it's possible.
3. There has to be a way.
4. If I have succeeded in other things, I'm sure I can do it now, too.
5. I have all the tools I need; it will just take time, perseverance and patience.
Empowering beliefs:
1. Allow us to tap into our vast potential.
2. Help us to ask better questions to access resources that can help us reach our goal
(Who can help? What do we need to do first? Who has already done this, or something like this,
that we can contact? What are we overlooking?).
3. Encourage us to look for a solution instead of quitting when we face challenges.

Take a moment and list 3-4 beliefs that you have helped you to become a better "YOU".

Do not let what you cannot do
interfere with what you can do.


How our beliefs conflict

Now, think about these "beliefs":
Look before you leap, vs. He who hesitates is lost.
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, vs. Two heads are better than one.
Ask and you shall receive, vs. Good things come to those who wait.

These cultural beliefs, what some might call aphorisms, often send conflicting messages as the above examples illustrate. It is quite common for us to have beliefs that conflict, especially in the important areas of relationships, money, time, energy and personal performance. Let me give you some examples to help understand this better.For instance, let's look at how this applies to relationships.You may know someone who longs to get into a relationship. They want to have someone to trust, to open up to and share themselves with. They desire to feel the closeness and intimacy that can be found in a relationship, yet they don't take any action towards making that desire a reality. Why not? Because they are fearful of being hurt due to the fact that they choose to focus on the bad experiences they have had in the past (personal references), and their new limiting belief may be something like "All men / women lie, or cheat, or will hurt you". In psychology this is called "approach avoidance", where an individual experiences a pull towards something, yet at the same time feels a repulsion that pushes them away from that same thing. This is because the situation evokes multiple and conflicting emotions based on multiple and conflicting beliefs. Have you ever felt this in your experiences, either athletically or in other areas of your life?

Here's another example applied to parenting. Some mothers and fathers believe that to be a good parent they have to provide for their children financially, so they work extremely hard and long hours to do that. They may hold onto beliefs such as "If I am a good parent, then I have to make enough money to send them to a good school," or may phrase it as "Good parents provide for their kids financially" (a categorical belief). Yet part of them feels guilty about being away from their kids, too (they may have an equally strong belief that "Kids are only young once, so the most important thing is to spend time with them."), and they end up with an internal battle over which approach is "right". Many two-income families struggle with this very issue.
How about in performance? Why do I compete or perform? Do I play because I love what I'm doing? Because ever since I can remember I enjoyed myself and had fun doing this? Because, I know if I just go out there and just be myself, that's what has made me successful in the past? Or, because everyone is depending on me to be who they think I am? What if I don't perform? What if my outcome is not the BEST? Will I let down my friends, parents, coach, sponsors, everyone? What will they think about me? Say about me?

Belief/Value Conflicts= Approach Avoidance!

OK, got this concept? Great! Now, I want you to notice whether there are any conflicts between your empowering beliefs and/or your limiting beliefs. If so, take a moment and jot them down. Include any issues that this brings up for you (areas of tension, arguments, guilt, anger, emotional drain, stress, etc)

How will this help you? You can apply this to your life daily by asking yourself these questions: When I do something that I perceive as important to me, what about this action makes me want to succeed? What makes me feel uncomfortable? In other words, what questions do I have about the consequences of not succeeding? Is the pleasure of the success more inviting to me than the distress and pain of the failure? Does this endeavor align with my values, what I believe is important to me? Answer yourself honestly and treat yourself with integrity and you will overcome your fears and doubts with YOUR Winning Mind Set!

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.

The Winning Mind Set Tip of the Week is written and produced by Kevin Seaman, with contributing author James Brault. Look for the release of the new book, The Winning Mind Set-How To Unleash The Power Of Your Mind By Kevin Seaman and James Brault this fall.

Check out our web site at:

Send us your comments: kevin@thewinningmindset.com
© 2005 all rights reserved. Material may be reproduced upon request with written permission. Just ask.

Back To The Vault