We all have limiting beliefs, or internal barriers that keep us from doing the things we want.
Maybe you believe you're not smart enough to pursue something you love. Or maybe you think you're too old to do anything worthwhile with your life. These kinds of obstacles can be incredibly frustrating, because they seem like they are there to stay forever. But while they may feel like they're permanently etched into your psyche, they're not! With some self-awareness and a little bit of effort, you can learn to recognize and change them. Here's how:
Let's start with what is a limiting belief is:
A belief is just a thought that you keep thinking, it is any thought or idea that you have about yourself, others, or the world that is inaccurate or distorted. It can be a belief about what you are capable of achieving, who you are as a person, and how other people see you.
Limiting beliefs can also be extremely limiting in terms of what choices and opportunities they present to us in life. These beliefs may hold us back from doing things we want to do or reaching goals we want to achieve. Limiting beliefs may also stop us from growing as individuals (personal development), learning new skills (self-improvement) and being happy with ourselves and our lives. So getting to the root of them is essential if you want to live a happy, fulfilling life.
Why do limiting beliefs form?
The reason limiting beliefs form is because we have all had the experience of believing something to be true, and then having that belief challenged by evidence. When this happens repeatedly over time, the mind forms a pattern of reacting to challenges in one way—by defending itself.
The ego's role in forming limiting beliefs is tricky. It can be formed through childhood experiences with parents or caretakers who were overly critical or demanding; it may also arise from your own thoughts about yourself as an adult (e.g., "I'm not good enough," "I can't do this"). In addition, society plays a part: if you live in a culture where being overweight is stigmatized, for instance, your belief system might include negative thoughts about yourself even though there may not be any basis for them whatsoever! The ego also doesn't like to be wrong, so it will defend to the death, even if the belief isn't true.
How do you know if you have a limiting belief?
There are many ways to tell if you have limiting beliefs. If you feel like you can't do something, or that you aren't good enough at doing something, then you probably have a limiting belief. When this happens, it's important to identify what your belief is and change it so that it doesn't stop you from being successful in the future.
Limiting beliefs also affect people's self-esteem and confidence levels, as well as their willingness to try new things or ask for help when they need it. In order to get rid of them once and for all, all we need is some awareness and patience!
Am I stuck with my limiting beliefs?
No, you can change your limiting beliefs. But first you need to have awareness of them. Often times we aren't even aware that they exist. We all have them, they exist and they're powerful. But once you catch on to the fact that your mind is playing tricks on you, it's time to make some changes:
Recognize your limiting beliefs
Challenge your limiting beliefs
Change your thinking about a situation or issue by replacing the limiting belief with a more positive one
Learn to let go of all negative thoughts that come into your mind about yourself or others (this is called cognitive restructuring)
Decide you want to change.
The first step in replacing a limiting belief is deciding that you want to change. This can seem scary at first, but it's important to remember that you are choosing this for yourself and that you deserve happiness and fulfillment. Make your decision by writing down why you want to change, what kind of future you envision for yourself, and what steps need to be taken in order to get there.
Then commit yourself fully to changing by asking for help from others who have also made positive changes in their lives, or work with a coach (or if this isn't possible, then simply ask God/the universe). Remember that having a supportive social circle is vital when trying something new!
Next up: patience! As with anything else worth doing well—and being happy is definitely worth doing well—it'll take some time before your beliefs shift into alignment with your goals. There will be setbacks along the way; don't let them discourage or derail you; just keep going forward towards what matters most: being happy with who (and where) we are right now. We tend to suffer when we fight "what is". We can't change what is, but we can alter what will be.
You can learn to recognize and change your limiting beliefs.
Here's the important thing to note. You didn't develop this belief, or these beliefs overnight, which means that you won't replace them that quick either. It's a process, but it's possible. It takes time, consistent conscious effort and a lot of self-reflection—but it's worth it. Think about the ways you currently limit yourself, either in your personal life or at work:
Do you feel like an imposter who doesn't deserve success?
Are there things that you know are holding back your confidence?
Are there situations that make you feel nervous or anxious?
Look at the evidence.
The next step is to look at the evidence.
You need to be able to see the positive and negative aspects of both your limiting belief and its opposite. That's because when you have an old belief, like “I'm not good enough” or “I'm going to fail,” it doesn't exist in a vacuum; instead it exists as part of a complex network of beliefs that make up who you are and what you believe about yourself.
When you remove one piece from this network (the old limiting belief), there will be other pieces that aren't supported by evidence anymore but still feel true. That's why it's important not just for those pieces but for all the other parts too!
In order words, think about how replacing one limiting belief would affect everything else in your life. Who would you be WITHOUT that thought?
Talk yourself forward.
When you're leading yourself in a positive direction, it's important to use positive self-talk. Positive affirmations are another good way to influence your own thinking and help you build up your confidence. When practicing, try saying something along the lines of "I am worthy" or "I am successful" out loud until it becomes a habit. If that feels too awkward for you, try using positive images instead. These could be pictures of things that make you happy or visualizations of success (like envisioning yourself wearing an outfit that makes you feel confident).
Once these techniques become second nature and no longer require much thought or effort on your part, they'll become habits—and those habits will help lead you forward toward a better future! REPETITION! REPETITION! REPETITION! This is how our brains learn.
You can change any limiting beliefs and eliminate obstacles
You can change your life. You can change your future, you can change your world—all through changing limiting beliefs that are holding you back from living the life of your dreams. You can have anything and everything you want in life: relationships, career, family, finances. But if you have a limiting belief that says "I'm not good enough", then no amount of affirmations or positive thinking will make any difference to the results in your life because they're coming from a place where they're not true!
Most people don't realize how much their beliefs influence their lives until they begin to notice how much more successful other people are. This is because these more successful people have changed their limiting beliefs while others haven't yet realized how important it is for them too - which makes them appear like geniuses when really they've just learned to master their thoughts and emotions.
If you’ve ever felt stuck in life, it’s likely because of limiting beliefs and negative self-talk. The good news is that you can change these things. You just need to decide that you want to do so, look at the evidence for why your belief is wrong and talk yourself forward into doing something different. If it's all consuming and overwhelming, try being still or ask others for help or just listen to others talk about their experiences with similar situations. We can learn how others overcame similar challenges.
Finally: be patient! If a change takes time (which it often does), don't give up if it doesn't happen right away—keep trying until something clicks in your mind and heart; if you believe it will, it will. It is universal law because our thoughts are like magnets. Think a thought long enough and another will join.
I hope this serves you today!
All my love,
Amanda xx - Chief Worthiness Officer - Worthy Wands