Conflict Management Blog by Cinnie Noble
There’s a quote I really like by Richard Bach. It reads:
“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.”
I think this statement applies to any limitations we place on ourselves. That is, when we are convinced we are unable to be or do something – so it is. Self-limiting beliefs might sound like: “I’m not skilled enough to do that…”; “I am weak when it comes to…”; “I have no confidence about…”; and so on.
Reasons we identify certain things as limiting might be a matter of low self-esteem, history of being criticized, or even lack of motivation, laziness and other reasons. Essentially, we come to believe our self-professed limitations in whatever ways they began and they essentially preclude any efforts to disabuse ourselves of them.
When it comes to conflict, I often hear coaching clients and parties in mediations “argue their limitations”. This might sound something like: “I hate conflict. I’d rather avoid it”; “It’s easier to just give in”; “I have no idea how to settle things”; “It’s my fault, but I won’t apologize because…”; “If I knew how to resolve this I wouldn’t be here”; and so on.
Self-limiting beliefs in conflict restrict our thinking, our creativity, our ability to gain distance and to see beyond situations. They restrict hopefulness and optimism and the effort to try. Further, self-limiting beliefs get in the way of resolving and reconciling matters.
If you have self-limiting beliefs about yourself in a conflict situation, please consider these questions: