1. Childhood's Limiting Beliefs: Your learned (b)lame excuses, mistaken thinking and false fears created by the pain, disappointment and repeated patterns you learned from family and friends when you were young and sponge-like.
2. Culture's Limiting Beliefs: Your learned (b)lame excuses, mistaken thinking and false fears created from society's messages of false limitations, stereotyping and biased trends. A terrific example of a culture's limiting belief is the famed Roger Bannister story. Until 1954, most people believed that a human could not run a mile in less than four minutes until Roger Bannister did just that. Ever since, running four-minute miles has become run-of-the-mill. "Doctors and scientists said that breaking the four-minute mile was impossible, that one could die in the attempt," Bannister said right after his accomplishment. "When I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead." Which is why it's important to wake up to our culture's limiting beliefs or it can create a limiting "that's impossible" self-fulfilling prophecy.
3. Calamity's Limiting Beliefs: Your learned (b)lame excuses, mistaken thinking and false fears created from very specific crisis, including: a bad breakup, a divorce, a sexual assault, a job failure, a bankruptcy, a mugging, an illness, the death of a loved one, etc.
Yes, there's an abundance of ways you can limit your life due to your subconscious' limiting thinking and thereby wind up with a pattern of dating and/or marrying Prince Harmings.
When I coach women who are trying break free of their addictive pattern for Prince Harmings, it's always fascinating to me when I tell them they must start to prioritize finding a man who values growing. A man who revels in open, honest communication, 20/20 listening and a Gumby-like flexibility for compromise. The women laugh heartily at my description of this evolved kind of man. They insist he does not exist! Yes, that's how blocked these women are by some aspect of those 3 Cs.
"You're a female chauvinist!" I've called these women. "By telling me that you believe that men can't be emotionally evolved enough to want to grow, communicate from the heart, empathize and validate you, then you're basically saying that all men are 'emotional bimbos.'"
Usually the words female chauvinist and emotional bimbo help to shock the women into an awareness of how gender-prejudiced they're being.
My next coaching step? I tell them they have to stop being "negative evidence collectors." Looking for proof that men are emotional bimbos. Indeed, they can create this self-fulfilling prophecy of behavior simply by treating a good man to their bad attitude toward him. Next up, I assign the women to be "positive evidence collectors." They must look for proof of the plethora of supercool Prince Charming–esque guys who are out there either married to or dating their lucky girlfriends, written up in the news, working alongside them at their offices or even in the very bed with them!
Are you suspect for being a female chauvinist? If so, ask yourself if a glass wall is blocking you from seeing all the emotionally-evolved qualities of the man you're already with or blocking you from finding a man with lots of emotionally evolved qualities!
Adapted by Karen Salmansohn from her book Prince Harming Syndrome, QNY, an imprint of Hammond World Atlas Corporation. Salmansohn is a best-selling author known for creating self-help for people who wouldn't be caught dead reading self-help.
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