Last Friday, my wife and I ventured into downtown. You could tell it was game night. People were clad in their orange and blue on the LRT, in the streets and in the restaurants. As it happened we would be joining the crowds as the Oilers took on the Nashville Predators. When describing the experience of attending the game to friends and family I find myself saying “It was exciting for an Oilers game”. Which really means “In the past, most of the excitement at an Oilers game came from the concession stands, so I’m not ready to believe they have a legitimate chance at winning a game”.
It’s a strange belief to maintain. The Oilers have a new Stanley Cup winning General Manager (Peter Chiarelli), a tested, stable coaching staff (Todd McLellan), the brightest player to enter the game since Sidney Crosby(Connor McDavid), numerous other amazing young players (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Adam Larrson, Darnell Nurse, Leon Draisaitl), quality free agent signings (Milan Lucic), a reliable goaltender (Cam Talbot) and a fabulous new arena. The Oilers have a chance to make the playoffs this year rather than being mathematically eliminated by December. However, in the face of such evidence, I continue to believe they have a greater chance of losing then they do of winning.
Gray calls this a limiting belief. It’s a belief that limits my ability to see other possibilities. I can’t believe the Oilers could be a winning team because I still believe they are a losing team.
Being a liminal thinker requires us to identify our limiting beliefs and look beyond them to the possibilities they obscure from our view.
What beliefs do you have about yourself that limit your potential? What beliefs do you have about others that could be limiting their potential?
Liminal Thinking Principle 4: Beliefs create blind spots. Beliefs are tools for thinking and provide rules for action, but they can also create artificial constraints that blind you to valid possibilities” (p.39, Liminal Thinking)