What are limiting beliefs?
We all have beliefs about the world and the way it works. Our experiences in life have established deep-seated notions in each of us about what is, or is not, possible; what we are, or are not, capable of doing.
Can you think of some beliefs you have from your own childhood?
Some of these ideas may be valid; some may be wildly off the mark, having perhaps been inherited from a family member or picked up through a case of burnt fingers before we were old enough to examine them objectively. Either way, our beliefs can affect our decisions profoundly, whether or not we realize it.
Why should we care about limiting beliefs?
As we home in on what it is we really want, our beliefs may cause resistance to the goal that we would like to set. It's time now to get rid of those limiting beliefs!
Let's pick an example to clarify all this. Suppose you have a goal of learning to tango. Now, if you're a natural dancer, this goal will probably excite you and energize you into action. You will anticipate your weekly dance class and eagerly review the previous lessons in your mind during the week.
But suppose you are someone who isn't very active, and that furthermore you have a long-standing belief that you are uncoordinated. Imagine how this belief will impact your progress in trying to learn to tango!
Now if this is a very old belief, perhaps from grade school, you might consider yourself uncoordinated, even though you don't really use the word or allow it into your conscious thought. If so, despite your goal of learning to tango, you will likely have a tougher time learning to dance.
As a result of this belief, you might feel uncomfortable with the idea of learning to tango, and find that you frequently feel tired on Thursday evenings, perhaps too tired to attend your class. You have unconsciously sabotaged your own success for a goal you chose for yourself!
In reality, your belief that you are clumsy may be completely unfounded. If you were able to go to your lesson without this emotional baggage, you could proceed confidently and might soon become an excellent tango dancer.
So, whether or not this example applies to your personal dancing ability, you can probably imagine how the process might work in your own life.
Recognizing this is one of the most important steps in the path to success - understanding that often the thing that holds us back most is just our own idea that we are not likely to succeed
Where did these beliefs come from?
Once we grasp that our own preconceptions about what we can’t do - our limiting beliefs - are some of our biggest obstacles, we can begin to work on changing those preconceptions so we can move forward. In this way, accomplishing our concrete goals becomes also a journey of self-discovery, as our secret fears are, one by one, rooted out and dismantled.
At this point you may be wondering about your own limiting beliefs. Finding them can be tricky, as your mind is probably very good at hiding them from you. Your mind is quite content in the comfort zone and feels safe there.
But to change your environment, you need to leave your comfort zone. The nice thing about leaving your comfort zone is that it is exciting! Once you start to broaden your horizons, you'll be stronger than you ever imagined.
To start, we will identify your limiting beliefs...