Some time ago I read a story about this construction activity happening in Thailand. Seems an unlikely thing for me to read, so I’m going to posit that I probably read the story in a book. Regardless, after I read it, it stuck in my mind as the perfect metaphor for us as humans and how we keep ourselves small to play it safe.
When I say, “keep ourselves small,” I mean it in the sense of every time we don’t speak up when we really want to say something, every time we tell ourselves that we won’t be successful at _____, or every time we get dressed and put on something we think is awesome, but then worry we will stand out or someone will criticize us. Basically, every time we let future fear take over. I deliberately say “future fear” here because we really have no idea whether the outcome we are thinking is going to come true, will come true, but we worry enough about it potentially happening that we choose not to act. We choose to make ourselves small.
So, what does this have to do with construction activity in Thailand? Back in 1955 they were doing some work at old run-down temples in Thailand. One temple had a huge, lack-lustre statue of the Buddha sitting outside under an old tin roof. No one had paid much attention to it, but it needed to be moved so they loaded the thing up and start moving it. Then it dropped. Of course, the construction workers run over and assess the damage only to find it had cracked when it fell. However, when they looked closer at the crack, they noticed something shiny underneath. Curious. One of the workers gets a chisel and starts chipping away at the statue. Well don’t they find a solid gold statue of the Buddha underneath! Can you imagine the sight of an over 12-foot-tall solid gold statue? Turns out it’s the world’s biggest golden Buddha statue.
Apparently at one point in time the monks at this monastery were protecting the statue from thieves so they covered it in stucco to hide it. There is sat for a thousand years, completely unnoticed. And here enters my metaphor. We all cover ourselves in proverbial stucco to protect ourselves from future fear. Every single one of us has a limiting belief or two (or ten…) that we use to protect ourselves from a fear of something. An easy example to illustrate this is to imagine you grew up hearing that dogs were scary and vicious and that you should stay far away from them. How do you react when you see a dog? Even if you never had a bad experience with a dog in your life, you probably don’t like dogs – even as an adult. This is a limiting belief that you carry from early childhood programming. It wasn’t your belief at all, but one given to you by your parents. Now you can probably go on living life without worrying too much about this, but what if your limiting belief was that you should not draw attention to yourself. What happens when you are asked to do your first speech in school? You are probably so scared that you fumble through it and hope to never have to endure another public speaking assignment in your life. And depending on your experience with these assignments – whether they go good or bad – will shape your thoughts about public speaking for the rest of your life. What happens when your dream job comes along and then you find out it requires you to do some public speaking? Will you take the job? It’s your dream job!!! Are you really going to let it pass you by because you are worried about public speaking? Sadly, if it is that big of a fear for you, you are probably contemplating this. This is a limiting belief that does affect your life. That early programming that said you should not draw attention to yourself has continued to influence you in your adult life and you may be considering letting it squash your dreams.
We have all kinds of limiting beliefs: I am not good enough; don’t stand out; dogs are rotten; money is evil; I don’t deserve to be happy; I am not a nice person; children should be seen and not heard. I literally could go on and on, but the point I want to make is that many of these things are completely untrue. Are ALL dogs rotten? Nope. If you don’t think you’re a nice person, are you ALWAYS mean? Nope. These limiting beliefs are the stucco we put on ourselves or were put on us by mostly well-meaning others, and they live in the subconscious mind. The fantastic news is that they can be chipped away. Hypnosis is a tool that can help you do this, and it’s so effective because it works in the domain of the subconscious where these limiting beliefs live. If you are willing to do a little mental digging to identify your beliefs, you can then use hypnosis to help you create some new programming. Scrap the old program! It’s time for an upgrade! You have so much value and worth – stucco and all – but how much could you shine if you eliminated the stucco that’s covering you? Let your gold show through and your magnificent self shine!