One of the most popular children’s books is The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. If you’re a parent or grandparent, you’re probably saying, “Oh, yes, my kids/grandkids love that!” I love it to. For those not familiar with the story, when the red train full of toys breaks down, the Little Blue Engine is asked to take over and pull the train up the mountain to the boys and girls. The Little Blue Engine is skeptical and says, “I’m not very big. And I’ve never been over the mountain. But I’ll try.”
This story has some great insights. The Little Blue Engine had some beliefs – You have to be big enough and have experience to get over the mountain. How many of us have those beliefs or stories that hold us back? These are often called Limiting Beliefs. Sometimes they are a fallacy or an excuse, sometimes a way to avoid doing something, usually an uncomfortable something. There are things that we believe are true, we accept them as facts and live our life accordingly, sometimes, even unconsciously.
Let’s see what this might look like for you as a leader in business or, even, in your family.
Here are some beliefs people might have:
No pain, no gain.
Money doesn’t grow on trees.
You have to work hard to succeed.
It takes money to make money.
The pie is only so big.
There is too much competition.
I was raised that way.
Only certain people are born to be successful.
That’s how we’ve always done it so it must be right.
I’m too busy to … (ie. make sales calls)
I’m too old, young to….
I’m not experienced enough to do ….
I’m not good at ….
Do any of these beliefs sound familiar to you? Are they holding you or someone you know back from accomplishing what you want?
Now that you have some awareness of Limiting Beliefs or “Stories”, let’s learn a lesson from the Little Engine That Could. While he had a belief that he may not be big enough or experienced enough to make it over the mountain with the train full of toys, he decided to “try”. He didn’t let his limiting beliefs hold him back! He said, “I think I can. I think I can!” And when he made it to the top of the mountain and all the boys and girls were cheering, he smiled and seemed to say, “I thought I could. I thought I could!”
What’s your story? What’s holding you back? Are you ready to “try” anyway? If you need some coaching to get you over the mountain, contact me at Lois@UnshackledLeadership.com or visit our website www.UnshackledLeadrship.com for some great resources.