Greatness begins with awareness.

Letting go of limiting beliefs

I believe letting go of our limiting beliefs and judgments is one of the hardest things we may attempt to do in a lifetime and yet, one of the most rewarding.

I grew up in a home where my parents had strong beliefs and judgments on many subjects and they shared them openly.  As a child, I enjoyed challenging many of them and adopted many as well.  Then in my freshman year in college while waiting for a bus, my good friend Anne said, “I think you have an opinion on almost every subject!”  I was taken aback; I assumed everyone had strong opinions.  I realized in that moment I took comfort in my opinions; particularly those that I knew were really my father’s.  Anne threw out a list of topics and I easily responded with my opinions on each one.  That was a big moment.  For the first time, I wondered if I wanted to grow up to be someone who held such intense views, particularly on subjects I really was not well informed.  I digested the observation at the time, not sure what it meant for me.

In my late 30s, I began to study the field of professional coaching.  The goal of a good coach is to help clients observe themselves, so they can make more informed choices about their actions and goals.  A coach must be “unattached” from her clients.  This term “unattached” was another opportunity for me to recognize and release my own judgments, opinions and limiting beliefs.  My goal as the coach was to be an objective observer, letting go of what I thought might be best for the client’s needs.

I was no longer the naïve young girl from the bus stop after years of working in the business world and living on my own in a big city.  The goal of putting myself in service of a client’s needs and agenda without “attachment” was another huge leap in my own life’s maturation.  As part of my early days in coach training, we taped our client sessions and reviewed them with a coaching supervisor.  Listening to those sessions with a teacher was incredibly powerful and sometimes a challenging experience.  In fact, one day I wept as the supervisor pointed out how I was not of service to the client and I was really in the “way” of supporting the client’s goals.  That was a hard day!

Now in my 50s, I like to think I have become a seasoned, wise woman who listens with an open mind on most days.  When the old patterns of judgmental thoughts show up, I can easily be transported back to the bus stop with my good friend and have to ask myself, “is this who I want to be?”

I feel fortunate that I became a coach and that I am in the business of asking many what they believe.  I believe an examined life is a powerful life.


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