What is a Limiting Belief, Really?
How does this messaging impact our lives, where do we pick it up, and how can we conquer it?
Have you ever said out loud, or to yourself, “I can’t …,” “I’m not ready for …,” “I’m not good at …” or any number of other phrases that immediately suggest you are incapable of something? This is a limiting belief.
The idea that a goal, plan, or purpose is too far beyond us and our abilities – and while some limiting beliefs may seem harmless enough, “I can’t sing to save my life,” it is the repeated pattern, the continuous outward and subliminal messaging we deliver to ourselves that says we’re not good enough, that stands in between us and achieving our next level desires.
So, where do these limiting beliefs come from? We’ve been pre-programmed with limiting beliefs based on environmental or situational factors beyond our control.
From age 0 – 7, our brains act like a sponge, soaking up the things said TO us and those implied. Do you remember when your Aunt Wanda said, “our whole family has wide hips,” and then, for the remainder of your adolescence and into adulthood, you’ve carried a self-consciousness about your hips? Or how about when you overheard or were told directly by an adult you looked to for guidance that “talking about money is impolite.” And immediately, your discomfort with your earnings … and earning potential … were tainted.
The truth is that many of our limiting beliefs exist because of a power struggle in which we focus on external perceptions and expectations and give the power of control over our thoughts and feelings to others.
When we give in to external pressures, what we’re really doing is creating an excuse to avoid what we’re truly afraid of … judgement, failure, and looking foolish.
So, instead of risking looking foolish by, say, enrolling in that dance lesson, we self-sabotage and create limiting beliefs “I have two left feet. I could never dance in front of others!”
There’s good news, though. Once a limiting belief is revealed, you can no longer hide from it. So here we go, let’s face the truth together … YOU are the one holding yourself back.
Identifying your limiting beliefs takes a few key steps:
1. When you hear yourself say something negative, write it down! Writing down your limiting beliefs makes them tangible, real. It forces you to confront the messaging head-on, and often when read back, it can spark a feeling of WHY?
2. Get clarity on why this was created to begin with. Ask yourself what experience(s) led me to feel this way and what do I truly want to believe instead?
3. Face your fears. Decide what fears exist between your limiting belief and what you WANT to believe instead. Using our dance class example, determine what fears are holding you to the belief that you have two left feet. Remember what I said about giving away your power and using excuses? It’s not enough to say, “I’m afraid others will think I look silly.” You have to ask yourself why you fear that. Where did that come from? Who told you that trying new things could make you look silly?
4. Take it one step at a time! Decide on one small thing you can do to move yourself forward from your current limiting belief to where you want to be and what you want to believe. Determine what support you need, intensive coaching, a breakthrough session, etc. For something like believing you could never take that dance class, a breakthrough session can help you to identify where that messaging originated. For a limiting belief around money, intensive coaching can help you completely reframe your money mindset.
Ultimately, it is up to us to break the patterns of thinking and eliminate the limiting beliefs holding us back. But you don’t, and shouldn’t, go at it alone.
That’s where I come in. I am so PASSIONATE about helping women identify and shatter their limiting beliefs. I know what that journey looks like because I still work through it in my own life.
Ready to get to work freeing yourself of the self-imposed roadblocks? Let’s work together to determine what support you need to take you from “two left feet” to “dancing with the stars!” – something I perso