Friday, March 12, 2010

Limiting Beliefs

I'm 99% certain that my own limiting beliefs are what is holding me back in both my personal life and my professional life. Despite everything I've done over the last year to change things up - improv classes, salsa classes, crossfit, learning game and improving my social skills - the enemy is still me. I see him every day in the mirror.

In the last year, I've gone from paying zero attention to fashion and grooming to being legitimately well-dressed and having a good haircut. I'm down 20 pounds from a year ago. I have a whole new circle of friends. In the last year, I've approached a lot of women - certainly more than I ever had in my life before this. I'm still not very successful out there, but I've at least figured out that when I approach a woman, I very often get a positive response. My living situation, while not ideal, is much improved. I have a short commute to work. Despite all of these tangible improvements, I still walk through life unsure of myself. Much like when I was a kid, I rarely feel like I belong anywhere. When I enter a set, it never feels right - I feel like I don't belong. When I'm trying to run a meeting at work, I often feel like an impostor, and it shows. 

Where does this come from?  How do I get rid of it?

The few times in my life where I've truly felt comfortable in where I am and what I'm doing have always been heavily situational. School was always one of those venues. Certain jobs where I really, really knew my shit were some others. Basically, any area where, for whatever reason, I can feel confident in my knowledge and expertise is an area where I'm going to do pretty well. The social arena is never that way. Part of me simply doesn't trust people. The only people I'm truly at ease with are my parents and my sister and some few extended family members. Even with my very best friends, there's always been a part of me that stayed on guard.

I will say this, while all of the above is true, I think I am considerably more confident than I was a year and a half ago. I'm also happier than I was back then. There is no question about either of these. The work I've done on myself has paid off to some extent. I would not want to go back to where I was two years ago, and the person I was three years ago - well, I'm not sure who that guy was. So not all is lost. Progress has been made. But I still have a lot of work to do.


Default User said...

I imagine that you of today would look like a cool guy you of three years ago.

What you feel is not what others may notice. Others have told me that I appear extravert and confidant at times when that is exactly what I did not feel. I have talked to people who said they felt very nervous giving a presentation and were worried that is showed, it did not.

Have you looked into NLP. That made its name in the PUAsphere as a seduction tool. I think it less useful there than as a self-improvement tool. It seeks to have you reimagine yourself, as you would like to be. It has you analyze how you feel (the exact physical sensations) compared to how you would like to feel.

A typical exercise would have you imagine yourself before entering a set (complete with all the nervous anxiety) compare that to how you feel after exiting successfully and then swap them (imagine approaching but with the post success feelings).
[Of course, this is a simplified version]

Commodore said...

I've been trying to live this since I read it, especially points 1&4, which strike me as the root of the others. All day, everyday. I thinks it's helped me significantly over the last week or so:

Rake said...

Default - I suspect you are right. The me of three years ago couldn't go into a club by myself. I would have felt too exposed and out of my element.

I should look more into NLP. I have a couple of friends that use it pretty effectively, but more on themselves than on other people.

Rake said...

Commodore - thanks for the link. I've seen Krauser posting here and there but I've never checked out his site. I'll definitely take a look.

Krauser said...

It sounds like you've been travelling a very similar path to myself. I'm also working on trying to smash through my success barriers.