Our minds are so powerful! The things we believe about ourselves can define how we act and feel about everything in our lives. When we look at situations and opportunities with an open mind we can find the best in them and make it work for us. On the other hand, if we look at the world with limiting beliefs, all we see are closed doors – or worse – we see the open doors but close them on ourselves!
Limiting beliefs place fences and warning signs around opportunities. They tell us things about ourselves that aren’t helpful and hold us back.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- I don’t deserve (a better job, a break, time off…)
- I’m not comfortable with (trying new things, networking, money…)
- I can’t (be bothered, make more time, dance…)
- Other people (have nice things, make time for family, invest…) but it’s not for me
- I’m always (late, too busy, tired…)
- I shouldn’t try…
- I don’t…
- I won’t…
- It’s just how it is.
These ideas can weigh us down and stop us from experiencing life fully. How do they develop? Sometimes from experience, or fear. Other times these ideas stem from bad logic or even as excuses.
Here’s the key: you create your own reality. If you tell yourself limiting things over and over, you’ll change your behaviour to meet the description. Tell yourself, ‘I’m always late’ every morning and guess what will happen? Here’s how to remove your limiting beliefs.
Notice your thoughts
Listen to the ideas that come up during the day. Do you hear statements that confirm negative ideas about yourself, or that stop you from experiencing good things? Write them down if you’d like.
Challenge the thoughts
Once you’ve started to identify limiting beliefs, it’s time to challenge them. When you recognise a limiting thought (‘I’m always late’), say to yourself, ‘that’s not true!’, or ‘that idea doesn’t help me or serve me’.
Describe what you want
This is the fun part. After you challenge a limiting belief, it’s time to replace it with one that will become a new habit for you. Thinking about how you’d like to act and think in the most ideal world. Now replace that limited thought with your new description of yourself.
- I am always (on time, open-minded, willing…)
- I can (dance, learn new things, make time for…)
- I do deserve (love, respect, time to myself…)
- I will (take care of myself, meet commitments, create opportunities…)
- It’s ok for me to try.
As you tell yourself these new, positive things in place of the old ideas, you will begin to act in a way that reinforces these beliefs about yourself.
It may take some time to internalise it, and like all things it may feel a little too deliberate at first but trust the process. The more often you can be kind to yourself and reinforce the things you’re capable of, the more you will grow and achieve.