Limiting Beliefs

Posted by on Mar 23, 2014 in Children, NLP Training, Parents | 2 comments

This month’s workshops are entitled ‘Overcoming your limiting beliefs’ so I thought I’d write something about what this is for those of you who are wondering if it might be appropriate for your child.

Firstly let me explain what a belief is. It is not a fact. A fact is an undisputed truth that everyone would agree on and can be proved. A fact would be something like this, ‘David Cameron is our Prime Minister’ or ‘Today is Wednesday’. Many children take their beliefs to be facts caste in stone that are undisputed and universally agreed. They are not. A belief is simply something we hold to be true right now, in this moment. Things change though. We may once have believed in the tooth fairy or Father Christmas but we have since learned that they don’t exist and that it can be in our interests to believe it otherwise we may not get any presents! This is therefore a resourceful belief as it pays us to believe it.

Father Christmas

Not all beliefs have such a lovely pay off though. Many beliefs actually stop us from doing something we either want to do or need to do. They are limiting us from achieving our potential. They are often expressed as ‘I can’t’ and accompanied by body language that is hunched up with shoulders rounded, head down, eyes down and the desire to withdraw. When you see this in your child, it is very tempting to comfort, take over and do it for them and rationalise. We might reflect that we too found those things hard so it’s easy for us to understand. However, by doing this, we are colluding with them. We are confirming that this is a viable belief for them to have and that it could possibly even be a fact because as a grown-up, our views are taken to have more worth than the child’s.

In my workshops children examine these limiting beliefs and consider where they came from. Do they still want them or is there some benefit? They are encouraged to decide what positive benefit they are getting from having this limiting belief. Limiting beliefs often result in a bit of extra attention, hugs from mum, encouragement and some special treatment. We discuss what other ways they can still get the benefits without the limiting belief. These type of discussions encourage children to realise just how much of a non-fact their belief is and how they have the power to change it if they so wish.

We look at what’s stopping them from changing their belief and what form this takes. Many children see this as a brick wall , a high one that they can’t see over. We then use what are called sub-modalities in NLP to allow them to change this wall into something softer like a pizza that they can nibble a hole in so they can look through and see what could happen if they step through and take on a more resourceful belief. Some will represent their limiting belief as an annoying voice in their head saying ‘ I can’t’ or ‘Don’t be stupid’. This they enjoy changing into a silly voice that they can more easily ignore or even laugh at. Some will respond more kinaesthetically with a sick feeling or head-ache and they soon learn to tell it to go away when they realise it’s intent.


Once they’ve overcome their limiting belief using some great NLP techniques that I show them, I teach them how to anchor their resourceful and empowering belief and we all finish with giving ourselves a ‘feedback sandwich’.

If you’d like to find out more about these workshops, get dates for your child’s age or better still, book, then please complete this form or contact me via the Facebook Group NLP Kids.

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Have you had a good day?

Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in Children, Parents | 0 comments

Do you worry about your child while they are at school? Do you hope they had someone to play with , a friend, not on their own at playtime or with a teacher? Do you hope they feel better and aren’t feeling poorly or sad? Of course there are days like this. As mothers we do worry about them. Fathers do too but they seem better able than us to rationalise that if there is a problem the school will phone them. So when you first see them after school and say “Have you had a good day?” what is your belief? Are you communicating this worry to them such that they feel they need to tell you what didn’t go well because that’s what they can tell that you are expecting?

Mother together with the son. Tenderness, love and care.

I’ve had a number of clients who tell me how worried they are about their child, it could be a health issue, not settling into their new school, sad about a difficult situation at home. When I ask them how they greet their child I can see straight away by their facial expression, body language and tone of voice that a loving child would subconsciously give them what they feel they’re being asked for, namely the bad news about their day. This has the effect of making the day worse than it was because they are reinforcing and remembering the things that didn’t go well and getting a reward by way of attention, for this.

Do something different. Last week a client of mine changed her approach and she made herself belief that her son had had a good day even though he’d taken a mock exam that day and this belief affected how she asked the question ‘Have you had a good day?’ and he told her the exam had actually gone quite well. She repeated this belief-facial expression-tone every day and amazingly his tinnitus miraculously improved, he seemed much happier, he wasn’t complaining of feeling unwell and she in turn was able to turn this fake belief into a real belief by the end of the week.

This is not unusual. I’ve had many clients who simply by making themselves belief their child has had a good day and asked the question with that in mind, have been surprised at the results. When we focus on what has not gone well, this is what we find. When we focus on not feeling well, that’s what we get. It’s no surprise that you get higher absenteeism through sickness amongst employees who are not happy in their job or who are bored at work because they have more time to dwell on it. It’s the same with our children.

So what do you do if they respond ‘well not great actually’? Ask them to tell you want did go well. If they say ‘nothing’ then respond ‘what absolutely nothing at all?’ to which this will be a challenge to find something so you have a good start then to get them to expand on what also went quite well. After a while they will realise that they will get more attention from you for what went well than those things that didn’t go well so that’s where they will put their focus. What you pay attention to will be what they pay attention to because your attention is what they want.

Try it this week. Think about what you want them to respond to your ‘Have you had a good day?’ and belief that you will get a positive response. They haven’t always had bad days so if you find it difficult, focus on when they have had a good day and keep that thought in your mind. With the positive physiology (rather than the worried face!) greet them and let your positivity be reflected in your language and tone of voice. Reward them with smiles and hugs for positive responses and pay little heed to the negative ones.

You may find my Ebook on Positive Parenting with NLP a help or Confidence for Kids. You can find all my books on Amazon including print books of course. If you are starting to find this topic interesting you may want to train as an NLP Kids Practitioner yourself. I run regular Distance Learning courses on Skype and Residential training for parents and children in Burnham, Bucks, UK. Get in touch  Chat with me - Judy Bartkowiak: Offline
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Learn to be confident

Posted by on Oct 11, 2013 in Children, NLP Techniques | 0 comments

In my book Queens of Africa Learn Confidence Wuraola, Nneka and Azeezah learn how to be confident using the NLP Circle of Excellence. They are young African girls living in Lagos and attend the Dreamland International School where Mrs Hope is the Head Teacher. We all have times when we don’t feel confident and these schoolgirls are no exception.

In the story they have to think about when they do feel confident and they are taught how to anchor it which is an NLP technique explained in detail in the book. This is something your children can learn to do as well.



You can buy this book on Amazon of course and it is available both as a print book and an EBook.

This is the first book in the second series. The other titles will be Learn how to control Anger, Learn how to learn, Learn how to be healthy, Learn how to make friends and Learn to cope with change.

Although the main characters are girls, I feel boys will also learn something from the books. The first series also feature the same main characters but each one tells the story of a different Queen of Africa; Queen Amina, Queen Esther, Queen Moremi, Queen Makeda, Queen Idia and Madam Tinubu. Each of them has a lesson for black girls of today in terms of being proud of their black heritage and their country’s history.


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He ho hey ho – it’s off to school they go!

Posted by on Sep 2, 2013 in Children, Parents, School, Teachers | 0 comments

This week many of you will be taking your child to school for the very first time. As you take that iconic photo of them in their first school uniform and wipe a tear away, how are you going to cope with the myriad of complex feelings you’ll experience in these first days?

Coping with ambivalent or mixed up feelings can be confusing and upsetting. On the one hand we’re feeling really proud of them for coping so well and being so ‘grown up’ and on the other hand we are grieving for those pre-school years when we were so important to them. We want them to grow up and go through these rites of passage such as their first day at school but their gain can feel like our loss. It’s a sign that we too are getting older. We may want to have another child to fill the void and give us a sense of purpose. We may start thinking about going back to work, starting a business, getting fit, losing weight, catching up with friends.

This can be a time of confusing identities. Who are we when we are not being a mum?

Mother and Daughter Baking Together

There are those who would argue that we are always a mum, even when our children are grown up with children of their own and I can certainly identify with that feeling. Yet, whilst you may wear that hat, you can still operate on the basis of being just you while they are at school. You could carve out a few hours to fulfil some goals you now have time for and you can develop yourself as your child is doing at school by learning new things, making new friends and catching up with old ones.

Show your child that whilst you have been thinking about them during the day, you have nevertheless had a great day yourself and have stories to tell them about your day too. If you have other smaller children you can still do this by using crèche facilities or asking a friend to have your child for a few hours in return for them doing the same for you.

Here’s a great NLP technique for dealing with these mixed up feelings.

Hold your hands out palms up. Imagine that in one hand you are holding those feelings of sadness as you miss your child and grieve the loss of these lovely days together that you’ve had over the last few years.

In the other hand hold the possibilities that you now have to have some time for yourself and pursue some of your own dreams and goals.

As you look at each hand, associate into the feelings. This means that you really think deeply about the feeling in each hand, all aspects of the feeling and give it colour, sound, emotion and so on. Picture yourself doing those things.

Now taking each hand in turn, ask it what it wants for you. In NLP we acknowledge that our feelings, even negative ones, have a positive benefit for us. The feeling is a learning for us and an opportunity. So ask the hand with the sad feelings what it wants for you, what benefit has it got for you to feel like this. What’s good about having this feeling? Be curious because there will be some benefit.

Ask the hand with possibilities of freedom for you what it wants for you.

Now you need to ask each hand to give something to the other hand. The learnings, skills and feelings from one hand have a gift for the other hand such that no longer are they feelings that are in conflict but they are different parts of you that each have something to give you making you the special person that you are.

If you’d like to learn more about NLP techniques you can join the NLP Practitioner course starting this week or read my NLP Workbook or Be a happier parent with NLP available at or Amazon.

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Raising aspirations of girls

Posted by on Jun 6, 2013 in Children | 0 comments

When it comes to raising aspirations of girls you could do no better than buying your daughter books in the Queens of Africa series.

They are each based on a famous ancient Queen of Africa; Queen Makeda, Queen Idia, Madame Tinubu, Queen Esther, Queen Amina, Queen Moremi. Three schoolgirls, Wuraola, Azeezah and Nneka feature in all the stories as they learn how each Queen has lessons for them in their life today. It could be about courage, integrity, loyalty, initiative, creativity, all qualities we want our girls to have.

QOA set of books


These lovely stories will appeal to girls aged 8-11yrs. Younger girls will enjoy having the stories read to them and may be interested to collect the dolls when they are available later in 2013. At the moment you can buy the set at a special price via MX Publishing’s website by clicking here. The books are also available to read on your E reader wherever you usually buy your Ebooks.

The second series starts with Queens of Africa Learn Confidence which sees the girls learn how to do a Circle of Excellence, a key NLP (neuro linguistic programming) technique which is explained very simply. Readers can discover how even when initially they think they have no confidence, when they think about it and look in the right place, they have skills they have overlooked and undervalued. By anchoring these skills using this invaluable NLP technique they have a resource to use whenever they need it.


You can buy this book from MX Publishing or buy it as an Ebook .

Other books to follow in this series will be Queens of Africa learn to learn, Queens of Africa learn how to make friends, Queens of Africa learn how to control anger, Queens of Africa learn how to be healthy, Queens of Africa learn how to cope with change.

The Queens of Africa project raises money to support the education of black girls in Africa. It is anticipated that dolls will be available in time for Christmas. In the meantime, enjoy the books.

If these books raise issues for you or your daughter and you feel you need some help then contact me and we can arrange a counselling session via Skype. Judy Bartkowiak writes as JudyBee and is a qualified NLP Kids Practitioner and Trainer. You can see her other books here.

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Confidence for Kids

Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Children, Parents, School | 0 comments

Confidence, or rather, lack of it, is probably the single most common problem that children are brought to me with nowadays. That’s why I wrote my latest Ebook ‘ Confidence for Kids’.

Isn’t it strange how much emphasis we place today on ensuring that our children do well at school, go on to University and get a good job? Only yesterday I was reading that there has been a huge increase in private tutoring to support children at GCSE and A’ Level stage over and above what they do in school. Yet, when we first meet someone we decide in seconds whether we want to be friends, indeed whether we even want to talk to them in the first place. The way our children present themselves will affect them in life. It will determine how quickly they will get their first job, who they make friends with, and how adults respond to them. How people respond and interact with them affects how they in turn see themselves and it determines their self-worth because like it or not, we are influenced by how others see us. We don’t live in a bubble, we live with other people who will take an instant like or dislike to us. Their attitude to us may change over time but in some situations we simply don’t get the time to put ourselves across again. There are jobs out there but employers are complaining that interviewees are not turning up on time for their interview, they aren’t dressed appropriately and can’t hold a conversation. In a nutshell, they don’t know how to present themselves in order to get the result they want.


What can we do about this as parents? Whether you are confident or not will affect how confident your children will be. This book will help you to build your own confidence and it will give you plenty of tips to boost your child’s confidence in different situations. They are appropriate for any age child or teenager.

The book is based on many years’ work coaching children and teenagers in my practice NLP Kids, running focus groups as a children’s Market Researcher and teaching.  It will show you how to model confidence to your kids. After all, how will they learn how to be confident unless you show them what it looks, sounds like and how to act in a confident manner.

You will learn lots of ways to notice when your children are confident and how to comment on it so they learn from your feedback. You will learn how to use a confident way of speaking and confident words. How you look will affect how others perceive you before you open your mouth to speak so how can you create the impression you want and how can you encourage your children to do the same?

I have written a number of parenting and self-help books for families which you might like to read if you find this one helpful. I would particularly recommend ‘Be a happier parent with NLP’ and the Engaging NLP series of workbooks including NLP for Children, NLP for Tweens, NLP for Teens, NLP for Parents, NLP for Teachers.


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