Often our beliefs are so ingrained that they are totally invisible to us.

As a coach, my job is to help people to understand and break free from limiting beliefs.

For me, that is the essence of coaching – empowering others through the illumination of the invisible constraints that hold them back.

New awareness brings new choices.

Sometimes limiting beliefs can be like a mirage. They can cause us to relentlessly chase something that is not real. Often that chase ends in burnout.

The most dangerous limiting belief I frequently encounter as a coach is the belief that if I can DO enough and ACHIEVE enough, then I will finally feel like I AM enough.

This mirage is reinforced by the wide-spread ‘hustle culture’ characterised by the belief that we must work hard and keep on grinding away, whatever the cost. It is also fuelled by the belief that success requires sacrifice.

I choose not to subscribe to either of these popular beliefs.

Once an older male therapist I was seeing suggested that life was about sacrifice and I spontaneously leapt to my feet and found myself exclaiming “F#ck sacrifice! What part of me do you want me to slaughter?” The clarity and power of my reaction to his suggestion took both of us by surprise.

So what is the alternative to this pervasive ‘hustling’, ‘sacrificing’ paradigm?

The alternative is to assertively claim what we need to thrive and live a (working) life that uplifts us and those we care most about.

Self-Fidelity Practice To Play With This Week

A practical way to assertively claim what we need is to become more intentional about the choices we are making by writing them down. This simple practice cultivates both agency and clarity.

Here are some of the most empowering choices I am making this week:

I choose to begin my working days looking within for guidance (instead of looking externally for validation).

I choose to co-create with the curious (instead of trying to convince the closed-minded).

I choose to work with people whose values harmonise with mine.

I choose to acknowledge my innate worthiness.

I choose to nourish my mind, body and soul.

I choose to appreciate on the upside of lockdown.

I choose to believe in myself and the value of the work I do.

I choose to hold things lightly.

I choose to reject the idea that success requires sacrifice.

What are your choices? Take a few minutes to write them down. Focus on the choices that most directly enable you to create a working life that is both sustainable and uplifting.

If you find this exercise helpful, you might like to embrace it as a ongoing element of your self-fidelity practice.


May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.

Nelson Mandela