Your limiting beliefs aren’t doing you any good. In fact, they’re keeping you from living your best life. Learn how to get rid of them!
Our beliefs define who we are. For better or for worse, what we believe dictates our behavior, thoughts, and reactions.
If the belief is strong enough, it can carve out our entire destiny. Limiting beliefs included!
Our beliefs serve many purposes. They keep us safe, reflect our self-esteem, and maintain our social status. To step outside these beliefs means we risk rejection and loss. Believing we will lose something if we strive to meet a goal makes us fearful and avoidant.
Beliefs are also kept intact because of a psychological concept is known as belief perseverance. In belief perseverance, our brains persist in weeding out evidence that contradicts our belief. Our brains focus on reinforcing memories, thoughts, and actions related to the belief while leaving out evidence to the contrary.
Giving up a self-limiting belief isn’t easy. The unknown and the fear of being wrong is scary. These beliefs are familiar to us even when they are unhealthy or self-defeating.
But, there is a way to obliterate self-limiting beliefs once and for all!
If you want to live your best life and let go of limiting beliefs, then read on to discover how to let them go.
Finding Freedom by Obliterating Limiting Beliefs
Beliefs provide us with a sense of certainty. We all need certainty, but we also need to progress and grow in life. Explore the following ways to let go of self-limiting beliefs so you can open your life up to new possibilities.
1. Truth and Reality
The truth can be translated in a variety of ways. As we switch from one news channel to another, we know this to be true! One news channel focuses on one aspect of a story making it positive or neutral and the other focuses on another part of the story to make it seem negative.
Which news channel is “right”? It depends on who you believe and what you believe already!
To open ourselves up to other beliefs, we need to lovingly turn our attention inward. We need to gently ask ourselves questions about our limiting beliefs.
Author Byron Katie created a method for questioning strongly held beliefs and judgments in order to accept reality. She calls it “The Work” which includes “The Four Questions.”
These questions are:
1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know it’s true?
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?
The key message to Byron Katie’s questions is that we can never know for sure if one belief is absolutely true. We may believe it to be true, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually true.
You discover this by turning around the initial statement you made using opposite statements. These statements could be about yourself, another person, or the world. When you turn around these statements, you’ll discover that they are just as truthful as your initial statement.
We discover holes in our beliefs when we consider that other truths may be just as true, if not truer than, our original belief or judgment. When we accept that many “truths” can exist at once, we open up our minds to believe in other possibilities and discoveries.
2. Change Your Story
Beliefs are usually a part of a story we tell ourselves. In the case of self-limiting beliefs, these stories provide us with a detailed explanation as to why we can’t do something.
For example, imagine a young man who believes he can’t go to college. His story says that he can’t go to college because his family can’t afford it, no one in his family went to college, and his grade average isn’t good enough.
Imagine another young man with the exact same background who believes he must go to college because of his upbringing. What’s the difference? One used his background to form a self-limiting belief whereas the other created a story to use as fuel to overcome his struggles.
Ask yourself how you can use the past to create a motivational story. How can your story be changed from limitation to overcoming obstacles? Has someone with the same background as you created a different ending to their story?
Find a spark of inspiration such as another person’s story and never look back! If they believed it, so can you!
3. Build on Success
We normally aren’t composed of only self-limiting beliefs. We also have beliefs which have served us well! We can use these existing beliefs to give us the confidence to overcome self-limiting beliefs.
Take out a pen and paper and write down all the times you’ve succeeded in life.
Did you graduate from high school? Do you have a job? Are your relationships successful?
What strength and beliefs would someone need to accomplish these tasks?
For example, to get a job, you would have to be brave enough to apply and be qualified in some way to do the job. To graduate from high school, you would have to be persistent in getting your work done and intelligent enough to pass exams.
Make a list of skills and beliefs needed for each accomplishment. Then return to your self-limiting beliefs.
Have you used skills in the past that contradict your self-limiting belief? Do these skills directly contradict your limiting belief?
For example, imagine your self-limiting belief is that you can’t lose weight because you’re not disciplined enough. Define what “being disciplined enough” looks, then turn to your list of accomplishments.
If it’s true that you aren’t disciplined enough, then how did you graduate from high school? Going to high school means getting up early and getting homework done for four years. Would you agree that that takes discipline even if you didn’t see it as a discipline at the time?
Perhaps the biggest problem is that your discipline “muscle” is just out of practice! Does that mean you can’t lose weight? No, it means you’re going to have to re-learn how to be disciplined so you can lose weight.
Your belief that you can’t lose weight isn’t true, you just are out of practice in believing in yourself and following a plan.
4. Avoid Comparisons
When you think about your accomplishments, try not to compare yourself to others. When we compare ourselves to our peers we can instantly believe we can’t do something. The reasoning goes, “if I could, I already would have been successful like them.”
Life, however, is not linear. The people you are comparing yourself to also may not be as successful and happy as they appear. And if they truly are, then ask them what their recipe for success is!
We can all use someone to look up to. If they did it, then so can you!
Obliterating Limiting Beliefs, Gaining Back Your Life
To obliterate limiting beliefs, we must nurture our strengths. We have to feed the good in ourselves by shifting our focus and changing our stories.
We can do this on a daily basis. We can set small, manageable goals for ourselves. We can allow the truth to overpower our beliefs by being open to other interpretations.
It takes courage. It takes persistence. But, you made it this far in life, and that isn’t by accident.
You made it this far in life because something inside of you believed you could. Build on that belief and you’ll open yourself up to a whole new reality. One where you believe in yourself more than you believe in your fears.
Feel like you need a life coach to help you overcome your limiting beliefs? Find a life coach today and open your life up to endless possibilities!
Author | WENDY COPE
I was a rebellious teenager and at the age of 20 found myself in a recovery program for drug and alcohol addiction. That was 30 years ago and I have been passionate about the pursuit of personal-growth ever since. At one point in my recovery, I felt really “stuck” and need to do something different. That was my first encounter with coaching. I completed a 12-week program and the changes I experienced were profound. Like more than 5 years of therapy profound.
That triggered a deep passion and desire to help others. Anyone can get “stuck” at some time in their lives. I work with people of all walk of life although my area of expertise is the recovery community. Helping people get “un-stuck” brings me deep satisfaction. I felt inspired to create a platform that serves both coaches and clients and that’s how Life Coach Library evolved. Educating people and getting the message to them that they CAN reach their goals while providing a practical means for great coaches to grow their business is what Life Coach Library is all about.
I hold a bachelor’s degree from Hawaii Pacific University in Justice Administration and have 25 graduate level credits in professional counseling from Walden University. Later in my career, I completed a career switcher program and hold a professional teacher’s license in Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland. Additionally, I am a certified hypnotherapist and reiki master. I am presently training with the Coach Training Alliance and while I will complete this module in February 2019, I am committed to personal-growth and life-long learning in the coaching profession.