When a new client signs up to work with me, I always start them in a 3-month intro program that focuses on "inner work."
In other words, I encourage them to look deep inside themselves so they can begin to "re-learn" who they are.
I believe this is an integral first step to reaching authentic success because self-awareness is the key to personal growth.
One of the exercises I give my clients is called the Connecting-the-Dots tool. This tool asks them to look back at their lives and recall the events they most enjoyed and were proud of.
This is more than a list of accomplishments that look good on a resume. Those things just scratch the surface. It's more about acknowledging meaningful, memorable events, accomplishments or stories from their pasts.
What I've noticed (and experienced myself) is that when our lives aren't going as well as we'd like, we forget about all we've accomplished. Instead, we fixate everything that's wrong in the present. We try to figure out the reasons we're stuck, or why we are plagued by anxiety and fear.
In my experience as a coach, I've realized the answer is often hidden in our childhoods.
Confession time, here.
Warning! It's not pretty; Sometimes, I catch myself comparing people who are building their own businesses (people like me) with people who work in corporate; I tend to hold corporate workers in higher esteem.
I also put people who work for bigger corporations above those who work for smaller ones.
Of course, I realize this mindset is absolutely ridiculous, but, if I'm honest, I have to admit I slip into that limiting mindset, sometimes.
I've come to realize that anytime I fall into that trap, I devalue my self-worth.
That is so unacceptable! Absolutely, no!
After I did my own inner work, I realized my limiting mindset is rooted in my childhood from stories my grandmother once told me.
My grandfather was an entrepreneur, and his business had good times and bad times. My grandmother didn't want her daughter (my mother) to suffer from the volatility of being a wife of a business owner. She wanted my mother to marry a man with a stable, corporate job that would provide consistent paychecks. (And she did.)
My grandmother told me this story over and over again when I was a child. She only conveyed the negative side of being an entrepreneur. In her mind, stability could only be found in working for a big corporation.
That story was ingrained in my mind and become a part of my own belief system. After I did my inner work, I realized where those beliefs came from. When I discovered their origin, it become easier to reframe them and move forward.
What stories from your past hold you back from moving forward? Dig deep and see how your childhood experiences and beliefs may be limiting you, today.
Nozomi Morgan, MBA, is a certified Executive Coach and the Founder and President of Michiki Morgan Worldwide LLC. Addition to coaching, she speaks and trains on leadership, career, professional development and cross-cultural business communication.