Beliefs help guide us throughout our lives. They provide a framework with which to work. However, limiting beliefs work deep down in the psyche and are an invisible force that prevent us from putting our best self forward. With limiting beliefs we feel held back, inhibited, and we don’t come close to fulfilling our potential. In this blog I write about what some of your limiting beliefs might be, and give suggestions on how you can eradicate them for good…over time!
What Are Limiting Beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are things we believe are true in the sense we believe them to be true which means we end up having a negative effect on our progress. When we believe we are incapable of doing something we find that we are actually incapable of doing it. In other words our thoughts become reality. Limiting beliefs are assumptions held to be true regarding circumstances, abilities, situations, and potential. They hold you back from making proactive choices. They prevent you from recognising or taking advantage of opportunities. They keep you focussed on negativity. They can be hard to identify and it can be a struggle to see your own limitations. Limiting beliefs affect our lives in adverse ways and are often hidden under the surface and remain their if left unaddressed.
Limiting beliefs can make themselves felt in many different ways. Maybe there’s a lack of passion or a general sense of apathy towards your life. Maybe you’re not planning for anything? We need to remember that the limiting belief is always hidden. It’s a parasite under the skin driving our choices and controlling our decisions. A limiting belief can manifest in unexpected ways. Maybe you’re studying law because it’s a family tradition, but your real interest is in theatre. You will be unhappy with your life because you did not fulfil your own wishes. Your limiting beliefs are manipulating your subconscious mind which in turn is tricking your conscious mind into believing that particular Belief System.
What Are Your Limiting Beliefs?
Blame: Do you blame external circumstances and/or blame people for things going wrong in your life; or that they mean you can’t do it? Do you suffer form “excusitis” ie, make an excuse as to why you’ve not done something.
Intelligence: Do you believe that you’re not smart enough to do well in college/school/a job?
Money: Do you think money is difficult to earn? Do you believe that you’ll never earn enough? Do you believe you don’t deserve money?
Love: Do you believe that your partners are always unfaithful? Do you believe you’re unlovable? Do you believe you’re always being lied to by a loved one?
Trust: Do you believe everyone is manipulative and untrustworthy?
Negative Thinking: Do you keep having negative thoughts? Do you believe in your negative thoughts? Do the negative thoughts of others affect you?
Likability: Do you believe you’re a likeable person? Do you believe people don’t respect you? Do you believe you’re always treated badly?
These are just a few of many possible limiting beliefs. The good news is that all of these can be dealt with!
Eradicating Limiting Beliefs
First things first you need to understand that there is no quick fix. You’re not going to eradicate your limiting beliefs overnight. You’ve probably lived your whole life with them so it is going to take a while for your brain to realise that they are no longer the way you want things to be. Making the decision to get rid of your limiting beliefs is the first and most important step; it’s also the easiest step to take. Maintaining the desire takes time and effort - but it is totally worth it! After all don’t you want a fulfilled, happy, successful life?
The very next step is to rekindle your passion for life. Ask yourself what you’re passionate about, and what you’re not passionate about. If you have no interest or enthusiasm for your job, business, life, relationship etc. then you’re going to start lacking passion which in turn is going to start the inner doubt cycle which is going to spin out of control as it gets fuelled by approval or disapproval from others. Could your lack of passion for life be because you’re on autopilot and just going through the motions? If you don’t enjoy your job why are you still doing it? Don’t use the excuse that you can’t find another job or you’re too old (or young) to be looking for another job, there’s a job there for you if you want it!
Make a plan! If you don’t have a plan you’re just letting life happen to you. I’m not saying that you need to come up with a life plan and dive straight in because that wouldn’t be beneficial in any way shape or form. But it is important to begin a plan with small, realistic steps. The actual plan isn’t important but the fact that you’re willing to sit down and think about what you want and how you’re going to get it, is! It could be that you keep procrastinating. Procrastination happens for three main reasons: 1. Laziness, 2. Fear, 3. Not the right time. Ask yourself why you keep putting something off and make a plan to take a small step towards that thing.
Affirm The Change
Eradicating limiting beliefs is done by changing the pattern of your thoughts. It needs consistent practice and commitment. One way of doing this is to use affirmations. Affirmations, or positive statements, can do a great deal to get rid of these things which are holding you back. Repeating the affirmation several times in a day will help you break the negative pattern. When you first start I can guarantee that you will slip back into your old negative, limiting belief way of life. That’s okay, as I said earlier you’ve been thinking this way for years so it’s going to take time. The trick is is to nip it in the bud very quickly. Replace a negative thought with a positive one…in fact if I catch myself saying something negative I instantly say three positive things. It is also worth remembering though that a negative thought doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad one. What it is doing though is highlighting what you need to work on.
You don’t have to say the affirmations out loud, but you do need to say them to yourself at least mentally. If you can spend at least five minutes repeating them - the longer the better - they will start taking effect! Affirmations don’t need to be complicated either. A simple affirmation is often more powerful than one that is too wordy. Try one or some or all of the following: “I am a capable and successful person.”, “I respect everyone and everyone respects me.”, “Money flows to me easily.”, “A challenge is an excellent opportunity to learn.”, “I am enough.”, “I am good enough.”, “My life is incredible.”. If you can come up with your own that’s fantastic! Just remember they need to be short and positive. Whether you actually believe in the words you’re saying or not, doesn’t actually matter…the more you say them the more you’ll start to believe that they are true.
Something New One final thought on eradicating your limiting beliefs…there is something wonderful and positive in creating something new. It doesn’t have to be a massive thing. Cooking a new dish, painting a picture, colouring a picture, singing a song, writing a story, writing a poem, planting some seeds in the garden. In fact I love the symbolism of gardening. Breaking up the soil and getting rid of weeds is like getting rid of your negative thoughts. Adding fertiliser to the soil is like nourishing your mind with positive thinking. Planting the seeds is like the affirmation sowing the seeds of positivity that’ll grow and bloom into something wonderful. The act of doing something new helps develop a feeling of accomplishment which will help boost your confidence…which will help you deal with your limiting beliefs.
Seeing a life coach can help you with your limiting beliefs. You may feel embarrassed that you need a life coach to help you in your life, but the truth is we all need a bit of guidance every now and then. Speaking to an impartial person who is committed to helping you find your best self is a worthwhile investment in yourself.