I’m not good enough.
It’s too hard.
I’m too old.
Limiting beliefs like the statements above can be like stop signs on the road to a fulfilling life. We see what we believe. Therefore, if we believe that something is too hard, then we will see evidence of hardship that proves that belief accurate in our minds.
A limiting belief is simply a thought that we have about ourselves or the world that places limitations on what is possible for us. The good news is that we create our own beliefs and therefore, we can change them if they no longer serve us.
We all experience limiting beliefs from time to time – especially when attempting to move outside of our comfort zones in order to pursue a worthy goal. For example, if we wish to be successful artists, we must display our work and share it with the world. This requires us to “put ourselves out there” – exposing ourselves to criticism from others.
In the physical world, a stop sign is not a bad thing. It cautions us to stop, look around, assess our situation as safe or unsafe and then proceed forward when the time is right. But a self-imposed stop sign in the inner world of the mind can be sabotaging if we stay stopped longer than necessary.
Let’s take a look at the what, where, why and how of this process so that we can turn that red light into a green light!
- Clarity – What is stopping you? Clearly identify your limiting belief and state it in a sentence so that you are aware of what appears to be stopping you. For example: I’m not good enough. (Note that sometimes a limiting belief can be subconscious and you may need the help of a professional healer or therapist to discover the cause of your self-sabotage.)
- Inquiry – Why do you need this belief? Before we can transform a limiting belief, we must face it directly and understand why it is there in the first place. We created it for a reason, and that reason is usually a form of self-protection from an external threat of some kind. To find out why we carry a belief, we can ask ourselves: If I were to let this belief go, what am I afraid would happen that would be bad? Understanding leads to compassion and compassion leads to even deeper understanding.
- Forgiveness – Where is your freedom? Forgiveness is the magic ingredient that releases the energy of freedom and forward motion. Once we understand that our limiting belief was simply our subconscious minds’ attempt to protect us, can be compassionate towards ourselves, rather than judgmental towards ourselves. Self-criticism will always limit us because it pits us against ourselves. Forgiving ourselves for standing in our own way allows us to gently move out of our own way and keep moving forward. Reflect on this thought: Where have you been holding yourself hostage in your life as a result of holding onto this belief?
- Perspective – How can you see this differently? Our perspectives can either create possibility or impossibility – it depends on how we look at life. Now that we clearly understand what has been stopping us, why we felt we had to believe it, and have forgiven ourselves for experiencing limitation, it’s time to turn it around! Ask yourself these 2 questions: What do I really want to experience? What would I need to think in order to achieve that result? Play that idea out in your mind’s eye by imagining what it would be like to live with this new perspective firmly in place. Get excited about the possibilities!
The key to keeping this new, empowering belief in place is to constantly replace the old, limiting belief with the affirmation of what you desire whenever you feel the limiting belief creeping up on you!