What most people don’t realize is that the vast majority of our beliefs about the world are not really true “out there.” They are only true because we’ve decided they are, albeit we likely haven’t done so consciously.
Beliefs are formed through repeated thoughts, and the only reason they hold any weight is because you’ve decided or agreed that they are true.
There are a lot of collective limiting beliefs that you’ve probably agreed to:
- Work must be a chore
- Marriage turns you into a boring old person
- Time is money
- Once you’re an adult, life is about responsibilities, not fun
- Dreams are not practical
And there are probably a lot of personally acquired limiting beliefs you’ve collected through your own unique experiences. Whatever the case, most beliefs are formed unconsciously, without our knowing about it. We didn’t necessarily decide to agree to these beliefs because we wanted to.
It’s not like one day we woke up and thought “Man, you know what would be awesome? To go out today and repeat a bunch of thoughts that are going to turn into hard and fast conclusions that will keep me from experiencing the life I want. Yeah, I think that’s what I’ll do today.”
That would obviously be ridiculous.
None of us want to keep these beliefs, but we either think:
- That’s just the way things are (everyone else agrees), or…
- It’s become such a part of my identity that it’s too hard to change now
In order to solve the first problem, we need to realize that what is often seen as “just the way things are” is, in reality, just a collective assumption. And because it’s an assumption, that means that we decided to agree to make that assumption as well, on some conscious or unconscious level.
In that case, we need to reclaim our power, and choose to stop agreeing. It can really be that simple.
When it comes to ingrained limiting beliefs, patterns, or habits, these can be a bit harder to change. Because we’re so used to them — and mostly because we identify with them — they hold a lot of weight in our experience. It can almost feel as if they’re immovable objects on our path.
Some common limiting beliefs are…
- The feeling of not being enough
- The feeling of not having enough
- Having to work hard for money
- Not deserving success
- [insert your limiting belief here]
These things can seem daunting to try to change. And even when you do make a real, consistent effort, inertia is often just too hard to overcome.
Luckily, there are a few steps you can follow in order to make the shift to new, more empowering beliefs.
- Stop identifying with the belief. Most beliefs are so difficult to change because we identify with them. They seem to be ingrained as a part of who we are. And because we identify with them, we allow ourselves to be defined by them. If you think you’re not creative, you’ll see yourself as someone who just wasn’t born with that ability. If you think you’re bad with getting things to work, you might think you’re just not a mechanical person. It’s easy to get caught up in allowing our beliefs to define us, but they don’t have to. So the first step is to stop identifying with or defining yourself based on what you believe.
- Kill your conclusions. Whatever you think you know to be certain is probably a lot more flexible than you think. What you think to be required is certain to be much more negotiable. Question all of the conclusions you have about what you think to be true, fixed or possible.
- Test your assumptions. Without pushing the boundary and testing your assumptions, it’s impossible to move past your limiting beliefs. You need to do something to break the pattern of your limiting belief. Questioning is the first step, but if you only do that, the possibilities of moving to a more empowering perspective stay in your head. Some type of action must be taken that puts your conclusions to the test. Just make sure that you’re not staying in the limited head-space that leads you to reinforce what you already hold to be true. Suspend your judgment and take some kind of action to test your assumptions.
It might seem simple, but these are the basic steps to moving past any limiting belief.
They’re only part of it, though. In order to really integrate a new, more empowering belief, you’ll need to spend time cultivating it. And it can help to go through a structured process to dissolve the limit.
I’ve developed a technique that helps you rip a hole in the fabric of your limiting beliefs so you can begin unraveling the limit. Once it has dissolved, you can transform it into a powerful, self-enhancing belief.
You can download this free tool to help you overcome your limiting beliefs here.
It’s called The Limit Erasing Technique. Magic wand not included. :)
If you think you could use some help moving past a belief that’s been keeping you from getting the results you want, then this will definitely help.
It’s time to say goodbye. Go here if you want to break your limits.
photo courtesy of Michael Sarver
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