What are Limiting Beliefs
Put simply, limiting beliefs are beliefs that we have that determine what we will and will not do. For example, if I had a belief that my personality is too dull to engage in interesting conversation with people, it would most likely limit the way I communicate with people. What if I had a belief that I can’t get a better job because I’m too old? That belief would probably keep me in the same job or unemployed. Any belief that we have, that holds us back from taking action on something that we could potentially achieve, is a limiting belief.
Where do Limiting Beliefs Come From?
Limiting beliefs come from our everyday experiences. All the way back since we were kids and up until this very second that you read this today. When we were kids, we heard people say “you can’t do that”, “don’t touch that”, “your’re stupid”, “your’re always late”, I’m sure you get the picture. Then as we got older, we started saying these thing to ourselves, subconsciously every time we made a mistake or an error in judgment. I remember the first time one of my old associates tried to use a spreadsheet. After 30 seconds I heard him say, “I’m not very good with computers.” Are there people who are good with computers? Of course! Do you think they say, “I’m not very good with computers” to themselves? I’m sure, from past conditioning, some do even after they’ve learned how to! So you can see from this example, we can be our own worst enemies. We often fall for the false fear of “I can’t”, when we most certainly CAN – and yes, he asked me to do the job for him – and yes I did do it. I think he must have finally taken a class or two since then or he might have gotten someone else to help, who knows!
3 Steps to Overcoming Limiting Beliefs
There are more than just 3 particular steps we can take to overcome limiting beliefs, but, these 3 can help you move forward.
- First, identify any limiting belief that is standing in your way of achieving what you want. Here are some examples. It could be you feel you don’t deserve a better relationship because you are too involved, you can’t get up on time because you’re always tired, you can’t save any money because you can’t make enough, you can’t exercise because there is not enough time, you can’t see your family because you always have to work, you can’t get a better job because you don’t have enough experience, you can’t donate to a special cause because you can’t even pay your own bills.
- Secondly, we can set a goal using the active goal setting process to help us move forward. Using one of the examples above, we will set the goal: to exercise for 30 minutes a day starting this Friday. Once we set that goal, we need to identify at least 3 obstacles that are stopping us from moving forward. Three example obstacles are I have to cook dinner, I have to help the kids with their home work and I want to watch American Idol. Finally, we set action steps to overcome the obstacles. Using the examples above, I will ask my husband to pick up dinner on Friday, I will have the kids do their home work as soon as they get home and check it on Saturday morning and finally, I will DVR American Idol and watch it while I check the kids homework. Of course, these are just some random examples. (note: not a literal example)
- Lastly, the final piece of the puzzle, is to listen to positive self-talk. Listening to positive self-talk will help reprogram your mind. It will help weaken and eventually replace the negative, limiting beliefs you currently have. Listening to self-talk has been proven to help create new habit patterns of thought and eventually will help you overcome your limiting beliefs.
Final Thoughts on Limiting Beliefs
Finally, remember, the most powerful thing a human being possesses in their corner, is the power of belief. Remember where we came from? We are intelligent, capable beings that need to have faith that we can do anything that has been done before us. We have the capacity to learn so much more and do so much more than what we do on a daily basis. The choice is always ours to make.