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Reading Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline (P155) introduced me to this powerful idea. I was so relieved to realise I wasn't the only one with such debilitating beliefs:

Many people, even highly successful people, harbour deep beliefs contrary to their personal mastery. Very often these beliefs are below the level of conscious awareness. Most of us hold one of two contradictory beliefs that limit our ability to create what we want. The more common is belief in our powerlessness - our inability to bring into being all the things we really care about. The other belief centres on unworthiness - that we do not deserve to have what we truly desire.

He suggests that 'commitment to the truth' is a powerful way of releasing the grip of such beliefs. He continues:

Commitment to the truth means a relentless willingness to root out the ways we limit or deceive ourselves from seeing what is, and to continually challenge our theories of why things are the way they are. It means continually broadening our awareness, just as the great athlete with extraordinary peripheral vision keeps trying to "see more of the playing field."

Years on, I am completely with his advice: be aware, notice what you're thinking, and choose who you want to be.

Thus, the first critical task in dealing with structural conflicts is to recognise them, and the resulting behaviour, when they are operating. It can be very difficult to recognise these coping strategies while we are playing them out, especially because of tensions and pressures that often accompany them.

It helps to develop internal warning signals, such as when we find ourselves blaming someone or somebody for our problems: "The reason I'm giving up is nobody appreciates me," or "The reason I'm so worried is that they’ll fire me if I don't get the job done."

Structures of which we are unaware hold us prisoner. Once we can see them and name them, they no longer have the same hold on us. This is as much true for individuals as it is for organisations. Once these structures are recognised, in the words of David Kantor, a pioneer in the field, "It becomes possible to begin to alter structures to free people from previously mysterious forces that dictated their behaviour."
Peter Senge Close
It is far more important that one's life should be perceived than that it should be transformed; for no sooner has it been perceived, that it transforms itself of its own accord.
Maurice Maeterlinck Close