If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends.
If broken by an inside force, life begins.
Great things always begin from the inside.
~ Jim Kwik
And so it is with people. Jim Kwik, author of Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life, knows this firsthand.
Kwik suffered a severe brain injury in kindergarten, stunting his ability to remember things or concentrate. Learning to read was excruciating. Kids bullied him. A teacher, frustrated with having to repeat everything for him multiple times, called him the boy with the broken brain.
The moniker seared Kwik’s young mind, defining his self-image amidst his daily struggles. It also became his excuse whenever he fell short. The words encapsulated his limiting beliefs.
“Limiting beliefs are often revealed in our self-talk, that inner conversation that focuses on what you’re convinced you can’t do rather than what you already excel at and what you’re going to continue to achieve today and into the future,” Kwik said. “How often do you stop yourself from attempting to do something or from pursuing a dream because that voice convinces you that it is beyond your reach?”
He likens limiting beliefs to a thermometer. It only tells the temperature. Similarly, limiting beliefs only convey your restrictions, you the things you can’t do.
A thermostat, on the other hand, can change the temperature. Likewise, a limitless mindset can enable you to recognize and reject erroneous beliefs, and “create an environment that aligns with your most ambitious goals,” Kwik explained.
Kwik had to work extremely hard just to get by. Eventually he realized he’d spent years being told what to learn (school subjects), but not how to learn.
In college the “how” became his quest. It helped him realize that his perceived limits “were merely obstacles I needed to overcome or limitations I needed to unlearn,” he said. “And when I did, what I could learn to be or do each day became limitless.”
Through months of research, Kwik devised learning strategies that enabled him to succeed beyond what he had ever imagined. Kwik began sharing his methods with others, and today is recognized worldwide for teaching others how to learn, from celebrities to professional athletes to business magnates and political leaders.
Many students come up against such limitless beliefs as “I can’t…”; “I’m no good at…”; “I’ll never be able to…” etc.
As a parent you can equip your child break through the shell of things that she thinks are holding her back.
“Being limitless is not about being perfect. It’s about progressing beyond what you currently believe is possible,” Kwik said.
Help your child name her limiting beliefs, which often begin with “I can’t,” “I’m not,” “I don’t.”
Talk about how these statements are merely opinions about your child, not facts. Kwik has a catchy name for such statements. He calls them “limited ideas entertained,” or LIEs.
Read through Kwik’s following list of LIEs to see whether your child holds any to be true.
1. LIE: Intelligence is fixed.
TRUTH: Intelligence is not fixed; you can improve it.
2. LIE: You only use 10 percent of your brain.
TRUTH: Research shows we use all of our brain every day, not just a small percentage of it.
3. LIE: Mistakes are failures.
TRUTH: Making mistakes doesn’t mean you’re a failure, and you don’t have to be perfect.
4. LIE: Knowledge is power.
TRUTH: Knowledge isn’t power; acting on your knowledge is.
5. LIE: Learning new things is difficult.
TRUTH: Learning doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be fun and energizing.
6. LIE: Other people’s negative opinions of you matter.
TRUTH: You don’t have to give weight to others’ criticisms. It’s not their job to like or respect you, it’s your job.
7. LIE: You’re either born smart or you’re not.
TRUTH: Genius isn’t innate; it comes through deep practice.
Check your own thoughts as well. Parents sometimes inadvertently convey these LIES to their youngsters in everyday conversations.
Talking about LIES vs. the actual truth can be the first step in your child realizing she can overcome any obstacles.
Truth is empowering and can squash the LIES that pervaded our past. As Kwik noted, “Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we must be accountable for who we become.”
Photo by Myriams-Fotos, Pixaby