Understanding the 3Ls framework© – part two – Limiting Beliefs.

As well as a student understanding their natural learning preferences it’s equally important to recognise if they have any limiting beliefs holding them back from being successful.

Limiting beliefs are things your subconscious brain believes, that can prevent you doing something you really can do!  Which is why they are the second L in the 3Ls framework©.

They can manifest in many ways and can be tricky to identify because they are part of who we are. They feel very real and can be accepted as just normal.

Often a student will tell us their limiting beliefs without realising the impact it will be having on their learning.  However once you know what to listen out for, they are almost impossible to miss.

For example, do you have a teenager saying things like?

“I can’t do that”
“I am a failure”
“I am not as good as everyone else”
“I’m not good at Maths”
“I’m not good at exams”

And probably more importantly do they believe them?

All these statements start with an “I” which means the student completely identifies with the statement. Their brains believe it’s who they are. “I” statements can define them as a student and not in a positive way.

The sooner we identify these statements that are holding them back, the sooner we can change them or remove them from their thoughts.

No one has to grow up with these limiting beliefs, and it’s important for students to recognise them and work with us to change them.

Once these limiting beliefs are identified we can then start looking for ways to reframe them into new positive beliefs.

I can do that!
I am succeeding!
I am brilliant just the way I am!
I am good enough.

These are all statements that a student identifies with but in a positive way, which makes success positive.

Let me tell you about Jess’s limiting believes.

Jess was doing consistently well in all her subjects except for GCSE English Language. She’d had an English tutor, but her English grade was hovering around a 3/4. Very much in the danger zone.

On speaking to her parents, they told me that she’d always struggled with English even in primary school. However, her essay writing skills for her other subjects were absolutely fine.

Straight away I’m thinking that this young lady has a limiting belief around her ability to do well in English.

During our first session many questions were asked and there was a theme.

“I’m not good at English”
“English just isn’t my subject”
“I’ll probably have to resit English and still fail it”

I wasn’t surprised she wasn’t feeling very positive about English, she wasn’t giving herself a chance to succeed.

To be successful in English Language she needed to change her beliefs from limited, to limitless.

Over a relatively short time we were able to change her thinking to:-

“I’m not good at English – yet!!
“English isn’t my favourite subject, but parts of it are okay”
“I will pass English this summer”

Jess’s last mock result was a grade 5 and she’s on target to pass her English language with flying colours.

Reframing limiting beliefs is a vital part of our 3Ls framework©.

When a teenager knows how they learn and begins to believe they can be successful we are ready to explore the next L in our 3Ls framework©.

The Learning Journey.


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