Limiting beliefs have more of a negative impact on your life than any other factor.
After all, most of us are pretty rational – we’re not going to spend a lot of time on something that we believe is doomed for failure. Why would you even try to lose weight if you genuinely believed that everyone in your family was destined to be overweight?
We all carry around numerous limiting beliefs. They come from a variety of sources as well as from our own interpretation of the world around us. Humans can’t help but learn, but sometimes we learn things that are inaccurate.
Fortunately, you can eliminate limiting beliefs and replace them with beliefs that empower you. Imagine replacing a limiting belief with one that makes life easier and enables you to be more successful. How would you feel?
It’s important to follow a plan or process. Most things in life are like baking a cake. If you do all the right things in the right order, in the end you’ll get a cake. It’s impossible to have any other result. Likewise, by following a process, you can banish your limiting beliefs.
Processes can be a wonderful thing. For example, if you have an effective process for getting up and getting ready in the morning, you’ll never be late. If you have a healthy process for deciding what to eat, you’re likely pretty healthy.
What is a limiting belief? For our purposes, here’s our definition:
“A limiting belief is one that causes life to be less than completely satisfying”
You might believe that you can’t be a doctor, but if you have no interest in becoming a doctor, what’s the harm? There’s no point in dealing with a belief like that, because eliminating it isn’t going to have a positive impact on your life.
Focus your energy where it can have the greatest impact.
The belief that you can’t be a doctor is not a limiting belief based on our definition. So, limiting beliefs are those beliefs that restrict desirable options or your happiness.
Consider that if all of your beliefs were 100% accurate, you would be able to have nearly anything you’ve ever wanted. Believing the right things has a huge impact on your level of success.
Follow these 7 steps to banishing your limiting belief:
1. Ask yourself if the belief is true.
Read the belief aloud and ask, “Do I really know that this is true?”
Answering ‘no’ to yourself might seem silly, but simply stating that the belief might not be true gives you permission, subconsciously, to continue and examine the belief more objectively.
2. Determine the source of the belief.
How did I get this belief? Where did it come from?
Sometimes we believe things with a lot of certainty, but when we really think about it, we’re not sure why we believe it. If you’re going to base your decisions around a belief, that belief should have either come from an expert or a lot of personal experience.
An expert should be someone that started where you are and then achieved what you want to achieve.
3. Your declaration.
Declare to yourself, “I don’t believe this anymore. It’s not true.”
Now look for proof to show yourself that it’s not true.
4. Imagine being free from the belief.
What would your life be like without this belief?
How would you change?
How would your life change?
5. Replace the belief.
Find another belief that counteracts the old belief.
Getting rid of the limiting belief is good, but eliminating it and replacing it with something positive is great!
6. Find evidence for the new belief.
Find evidence that this new belief is valid.
Keep adding evidence until you feel comfortable with the new belief.
7. Test yourself.
Observe your feelings, behavior, and results after replacing the belief.
Once you’ve eliminated the old belief and replaced it with something you like better, you’ll feel and behave differently, producing more pleasing results!
“If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever.
Is that good news?”
– W. Somerset Maugham
Limiting beliefs really do put our lives in a stranglehold. They can lead us to believe that we have limited options to deal with our challenges or that we’re limited in doing new things.
These beliefs have profound negative consequences and eliminating them is one of the best things we can do for ourselves.
Our limiting beliefs come from a variety of sources: friends, family, teachers, neighbors, the media, and our own interpretation of the world and the events in our lives. In many cases, the source of the limiting belief truly had our best interests at heart. The people around us have a significant effect on us.
By examining those beliefs and asking ourselves some key questions, we can eliminate them. Unless we’ve experienced something numerous times or we have the advice of an expert, we don’t really have the knowledge to make accurate judgments about something. Be selective about whom you believe.
Look at your limiting beliefs today – your life will never be the same!
What are some of your limiting beliefs? How do you think they are holding you back?
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