The beginning of a new year is one of the best times to review your past successes, your hopes and aspirations for the future. Pushing yourself beyond your normal comfort zone can achieve great results, as I discovered at the end of last year.
While coaching clients’ employees about setting goals for their futures, I discovered that they are often held back by their own limiting goals. You can set goals in a number of areas, including practical, financial, emotional, career or for a desire to achieve something new, but if you allow your limiting beliefs to hold you back, you will achieve nothing. Limiting beliefs can be described as our self-belief, or the way we view ourselves that can affect us negatively by limiting us or holding us back.
One of the top limiting beliefs that I have found employees need to overcome is fear. Fear of what others will think of them, fear of the unknown, fear of being rejected or failing or the dread of being criticised or ridiculed. Fear can sometimes go hand in hand with procrastination. Together they can make all your plans for the new year fall by the wayside and fail to come to fruition.
The way to overcome limiting beliefs, fear and procrastination is to reframe your thoughts about yourself, something that I managed to do successfully myself recently, which led to my appearance on national TV on Christmas Day.
I’ve always loved singing and I found myself humming or singing everywhere I went after joining a local Gospel choir in 2016. Then last Christmas I watched a choir called “House Gospel Choir” (HGC) performing on a BBC Christmas Gospel Show and was overwhelmed by their passion and energy. They seemed to love singing as much as I do. I immediately wanted to join them and did some research but discovered they practiced on the other side of London and you had to audition. My limiting beliefs kicked in, along with fear’s best friend, procrastination. They drained all enthusiasm from me, holding me back from even trying to contact them. “How could I be good enough to join this top class performing choir?”, I asked myself.
However, after leaving my previous choir last summer, I wondered how I would fulfil my passion for singing and decided to set about reframing my limiting beliefs. I made a positive decision to have another look at the possibility of joining HGC and, to my complete disbelief, discovered they were advertising to start a new branch in South London, close to where I live. Instead of having to go through the ordeal of an audition, this time they were inviting people along to taster sessions. With just days to go, I emailed HGC and was surprised to be invited along to the taster session, which led to me joining the choir.
I’d reframed my own limiting beliefs and made a conscious decision and set my intention to go to this brand-new choir, full of new people with amazing vocal capabilities. After completing the first term with HGC, I was asked if I would be interested in singing with them for the BBC on set dates in November. The dates fitted in with my schedule, so I told them I was keen to participate, not expecting to be chosen, as I was one of the newest members.
Amazingly, I and another new member were selected to join the BBC project. It turned out that the BBC had commissioned another Christmas Gospel Show and not only was I invited to be part of the existing HGC, but we were to be backing vocals for Sir Tom Jones, Beverley Knight, Jessie Ware and newcomer Kwabs. A total of six songs to be filmed with a studio audience in Cardiff!
The rest is all history. The programme was broadcast on BBC on Christmas night. The whole experience was beyond my wildest dreams. Who would have believed that I would be performing with the choir I so admired on TV last Christmas 2016? I had come full circle, from watching them perform and letting my limiting beliefs and procrastination set in to hold me back, through to being chosen, rehearsing and performing as one of them.
It was beyond all my expectations. I have not only found a new choir that expresses themselves and are as passionate about House music as I do, but I had the fantastic experience of backing the likes of Sir Tom Jones and Beverley Knight. Also, I now belong to an amazing choir that has a community ‘family’ feeling and I’ve made new friends too.
Now it is your turn. This year, why don’t you make a list of your hopes and aspirations for 2018 in all areas of your life? When you eradicate what’s holding you back, you too may be amazed by where your journey takes you and what exciting opportunities open up for you. Ask yourself ‘why’ you can’t fulfil a dream, passion or why not try something new just for the experience.
If you don’t try, you’ll never know what opens up for you!