What Are Limiting Beliefs?
“If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become a truth for you.”
Limiting beliefs are those things such as thoughts, attitudes, judgments and actions that stop us from achieving our hopes and dreams. These beliefs constrain us by putting an impenetrable wall between what is and what can ultimately be.
Are you defined by what you do? Or do not do? By it's very definition, limiting beliefs inhibit us from ever finishing what we start. That is the biggest obstacle we must overcome if we are ever going to reach our maximum potential.
What is so different about the people who have achieved their dreams and where do you stand today with your own dreams?
It's all about your limiting beliefs. When you choose to limit yourself, you choose the easy way out of life. The easy way is filled with excuses, negativity and defeatist attitudes. When we limit what we can do and achieve, it sets us up for failure.
Nothing can happen unless we choose to make it happen. We get so caught up in the self-judgment that we forget to look around and see the potential inside of us. Vironika Tugaleva tells us, "Courage is your natural setting. You do not need to become courageous, but rather peel back the layers of self-protective, limiting beliefs that keep you small."
Are you living small? You don't need courage to live small but to break out of your perceptions of the world, you need to take chances. Take chances on yourself and what you are fully capable of doing. The world is in need of your love, your dreams and your visions.
When I was young, my parents moved us to a different town every year for about the first seven years of my life. I found it very hard to make friends and so my self-confidence was very low and it fed my limiting beliefs. Every negative belief was self-fulfilling. It didn't matter if it was a big or small belief. My deepest fears controlled my every move. I limited what I could do with false beliefs that never came true
This is the main reason why so many people never fully realize the dreams they had as a child. The limit their functionality by believing things which aren't true. These beliefs have an incredible impact on your future self.
How Do Limiting Beliefs Impact Your Life?
“You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights.”
Most people ground themselves and never allow the mind to rise above mediocrity. They say "I can't" or "It's not possible" without really trying. Fear of failure, fear of what others may say as well as the fear of possibilities limits your chances at success.
How often have you had that little voice in your head tell you no when you wanted to do something and then you backed off in fear of what may happen? It is quite common to listen to your fears but only when you face those fears and destroy the limiting beliefs can you soar with greatness.
We see others living the type of life we can only dream about yet what are you doing to make your own way in this world?
Are you always sitting on the sidelines watching others play the game of life?
Are you jealous of those who take chances and succeed?
Are you worried what will happen if you do the same? What others may say about you?
In the Tom Cruise movie, "Risky Business", his character Joel Goodsen, learns a very valuable lesson about life. His father badly wants him to get into Princeton but Joel has no idea how to do it. He's scared to take chances as evidenced by his recurring nightmare - He's taking his college boards but there's only two minutes before the test is over and he hasn't started even it yet. Through a series of adventures such as crashing his father's Porsche, falling for a prostitute and having his family's possessions stolen by Guido, the prostitute's pimp, he realizes the consequences of his actions.
But things suddenly change when his best friend, Miles, tells him, "Sometimes you gotta say "What the F**k", make your move. Joel, every now and then, saying "What the F**k", brings freedom. Freedom brings opportunity, opportunity makes your future.", he finally understands what life is all about.
It's those two sentences that are the basis for all success.
Do your limiting beliefs impact your decision making process?
Of course they do. We agonize for every decision in life wondering if it will propel us forward or saddle us in debt and remorse but you can overcome those limiting beliefs by saying what the hell once in awhile. This mantra can help you gain a much needed awareness of what life has to offer.
Problems can't be fixed if you don’t know you have a problem. Awareness of those beliefs that limit your progress helps you chart a course for opportunity. Singer Rita Coolidge puts it bluntly when she said, "Too often, the opportunity knocks, but by the time you push back the chain, push back the bolt, unhook the two locks and shut off the burglar alarm, it's too late."
What causes this inaction? Your limiting beliefs do. Those thoughts and fears that you have conditioned yourself with throughout your life. The challenge with having limiting beliefs is most people refuse to believe they have them and won't do anything to overcome them. They are stuck between living a lie and facing the reality of life.
How To Exorcise Your Limiting Beliefs
“Do the uncomfortable. Become comfortable with these acts. Prove to yourself that your limiting beliefs die a quick death if you will simply do what you feel uncomfortable doing.”
How uncomfortable are you with life?
Are you comfortable with the uncomfortable or do you shy away from anything that will force you out of your comfort zone?
Limiting beliefs are the cornerstone of the unsuccessful. They tend to hide behind excuses while justifying their actions.
So how do we exorcise those limiting beliefs and start firing up a new set of positive beliefs that can take us to a whole new level of success in our lives?
- Learn From Your Experiences - Everyday we have the chance to learn from what life is teaching us. The problem comes when we close our eyes and mind to the lessons we need to learn. The more you learn, the better you will be able to re-educate yourself re=adjust your beliefs so they are in perfect alignment with the real you.
- Get Rid Of Faulty Logic - Are the decisions you make based on logical assessments of what is really happening or do they come from judgments that lack truth and coherence? What may seem logical based on past experiences may not have all the evidence needed to make sound decisions. Test your logic and see if it passes the B.S. meter. Most of the time it doesn't so you'll need to re-examine how and why you make the decisions you do.
- Face Your Fears Head On - This may be the hardest action to swallow but fear has the uncanny ability to limit us and keep us caged into a corner. Everyone faces their fears at some point in life so you can't keep running away from them. It is how you gain strength and courage to better yourself. Fear is not the enemy, how you react to it is. Everytime you face your fears and overcome them, the easier it is to take calculated risks that will pay off in the future.
- Replace Your Beliefs With Positive Ones - Beliefs are not set in stone. They can and should be changed if they cause problems for you. This means you must do a lot of soul-searching and be honest with yourself. If the belief is not working, find a belief that will. This doesn't mean that you take on any old belief system because it works for others. You must personalize it with powerful and positive actions that remain true to your personality.
- Stop Trying To Control Life - The more you try to control the things around you, the more you will lose control of who you really are. You can't control everything and everyone so back off and stop trying to control factors that are outside your control. How you react to life plays a big part in how successful and how strong a person you become. Giving up control is not weakness but strength in faith. You don't know what life will offer you from minute to minute so let it come to you and enjoy the moment. The fears, the stress, and the unknown have no control over you. They are part of life and when you limit the soul, it cannot fully taste the communion with God.
How Do You Transform Your Limiting Beliefs?
“All too often we're filled with negative and limiting beliefs. We're filled with doubt. We're filled with guilt or with a sense of unworthiness. We have a lot of assumptions about the way the world is that are actually wrong.”
Limiting beliefs are all about perception. What you may perceive to be an obstacle is only there to help you grow. In his article, "THE COMPLETE GUIDE ON HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS", author Adam Sicinski states, "It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean."
When you start shifting your perception from the events to the actual meaning, then you can shift your limiting beliefs to positive ones that push you in the right direction towards a successful life. Adam goes on to say "Beliefs are not facts."
This is important to remember as our limiting beliefs in our mind are held up as facts when in reality, they "Are nothing more than conclusions you have drawn based on your childhood experiences" according to Adam.
To change those limiting beliefs, you must look for the key signals that offer clues to what is limiting your mindset.
- What Do You Complain About The Most?
- How Often Do You Make Excuses?
- What Negative Things Do You Think About?
- How Often Do You Procrastinate?
- What Makes You Worry?
- Do You Make Assumptions Or Conclusions About Yourself And Your Abilities?
- Have You Set Your Standards Too Low? Too High?
Limiting beliefs serve a purpose for each and every one of us. Whether it is to hide from pain or protect us from our fears. Each belief we have must be examined, defined and tested to see if holding onto it helps you become the person you envision yourself to be.
To transform your beliefs, you must be open to the possibilities of life and be ready to embrace them as they come. It's no use being fearful as limiting your perceptions serves no purpose.
Here are 3 ways to transform your limiting beliefs
- What Outcome Do You Want For Your Life? - You'll never get anywhere until you decide what outcome you want for you life. What are your goals and what's preventing you from achieving them? What do you want to change and how will you go about changing them? The end result is what you will be working for.
- Put Your Limiting Beliefs Through The Ringer - Change doesn't come unless you decide to change and the only way to change is to put your beliefs through the ultimate test. That is, question the validity of every belief. Take it through the ringer until you expand your perspective of the infinite you. Seems rather a bit much but what else can you do? The more you push your beliefs to the limit the more you can shake out the things that don't belong. Each question that comes to mind is done to learn more about who the real you is. All this is done to find clarity. Without it, those limiting beliefs will never go away.
- Constantly Work On Your Beliefs - Once you've transformed your beliefs into the real you, it doesn't mean you're done. It only means you must continually grow. Overcoming your limiting beliefs is a constant struggle but that is the beauty of life. Continuous growth makes you stronger and better equipped to deal with the complexities of life. You must condition your new beliefs until they become part of you. Be flexible with your beliefs as they may need to be tweaked from time to time but according to Adam Sicinski, "Your beliefs must change with the times, they must also change with your goals."
When you let go of your limiting beliefs and adopt empowering ones, you seek out your deepest fears and conquer them. The day you give in and let those beliefs rule you is the day you limit your chances for success.
Let me leave you with this quote from Marianne Williamson, which talks about living small. "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
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