We limit our potential when we do this

A photographer brings their own values, perspectives, judgement, style and vision to a photo-shoot. This is an important part of the art – a Richard Avedon portrait doesn’t look like anything done by Yousef Karsh, which doesn’t look like work by Zack Arias. The video above offers a unique expression of that.

But, the line at the end was misleading – the person sitting for the portraits was playing a role for each photographer. Even though the video claims that “the photo shows more about the person behind the camera”, the man co-created the portraits with the photographers. Watching the photographers with him, they were each gentle, open and building a rapport. [Stay with me, I’m not trying to rant on the video, but use it as an illustration]. So, when the photographs of the man as a Millionaire look different than the photos of the man as a fisherman, this image, this perspective of “who he really is” has been created as a collaboration. This isn’t just the photographer’s view of who the man is, but also a reflection of the self-image that he presented.

The people I work with might be engineers, parents, entrepreneurs, creatives, leaders. When we sit down to work together, they bring a view of “who they really are”. Their self-image is a story they tell themselves about their potential, about their capabilities, and what they can hope to achieve. To tie this back to the video – the man created a new self-image for each setting, and allowed that to be revealed. As a coach, I create an environment where we are going to engage with your self-image and get curious about it.

We allow our self-image to limit what we believe is possible.

Our self-image is created over time based on experiences in life. Perhaps you were successful in English class, but not in math. Your self-image now says “I’m not good in math”. Or, perhaps you wanted to do something creative in your youth, but were told “you aren’t very good”. So, your self-image now says that you’re not creative. Perhaps you were treated badly by someone in the past (bullied or otherwise), and your self-image says that you need to stay anxious to protect yourself. Your self-image now says that you are an anxious person and that helps keep you safe.

Even our successes can limit us.  Perhaps you found that you could be successful in life when you “white-knuckle” your way through challenges, fighting and working excessively hard to complete efforts. So now, your self-image says that in order for you to be successful, you have to fight for everything (which will create massive problems in your relationships). A common challenge for leaders is that they have had success when they were in full control of a specific project – and now their self-image tells them that they will only be successful if they control everything.

Your coach doesn’t believe your self-image

As a co-active coach, one of the cornerstones of my practice is that every person is Naturally Creative, Resourceful and Whole. I don’t believe that every failure you have had in your past is indicative of what your future potential is. I don’t believe that the way you were successful defines how you have to work to be successful in the future. I don’t believe these things, because they aren’t true. They may have been true in a specific situation – but do these beliefs serve you now? As your coach, I can help you uncover these views and help you see them for what they are – Saboteurs.

Past performances are not indicative of future results.

When trying to do anything big in our life, we have to make a choice. Do you want to believe that you are limited because of what has happened in the past, or do you want to believe that you can rise to the challenge in front of you?

You get to make that choice today – am I going to allow my past limit what I believe is possible for my future, or am I going to let go of the past as the exclusive view of my future?

If this resonates with you – if you want to overcome a limiting self-image, e-mail me (James[dot]Mondry[at]gmail[dot]com) so we can schedule a call to explore your how your self-image is influencing your life.

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