What are limiting beliefs? Essentially, limiting beliefs, are false thoughts, ideas, or opinions that one considers to be the truth. In all instances, limiting beliefs are typically unconscious, yet often work as a defense mechanism against potential lower or higher vibrating emotions (i.e. happiness, frustration, anger, disappointment).
The primary cause of limiting beliefs is usually attributed to an immature brain. This is the belief, “If it feels good, it’s possible”. However, the truth of the matter is that if a person experiences happiness, they must also experience pain, and if they experience pain, they must also feel happy. Thus, limiting beliefs originate from an immature brain.
To correct limiting beliefs, you must first correct the emotion that is generating them. For example, if your core belief is, “If I don’t do this, it will hurt”, you need to reframe that belief. Instead of focusing on how it will hurt, focus on how it will help. If your core belief states that “it will be difficult to get promoted” you need to reframe to state that “my experience of getting promoted in my previous job was difficult, but I was able to overcome that with the help of the support of my new boss, and I plan to use the same strategy in my new job.”
In addition to reframing your limiting beliefs, you also need to question them. Ask yourself these questions: Are my limiting beliefs true? Is this really what’s important to me? What would I have to give up in order to gain this belief? And, most importantly: Does my core belief about myself and my capabilities hold true?
As you can see, this exercise requires you to critically evaluate your current belief system. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to make some changes. The purpose of this exercise is two-fold. First, it helps you to remove your self-defeating limiting beliefs, and second, it helps you to build a stronger and more supportive belief system. If you want people to like you, if you want to feel good about yourself, and if you want to move forward in your career, then this exercise is for you!
Self-reflection is always a good exercise. You may not like the way you look or feel, or you may not like how your emotions are behaving. Now, instead of turning to your therapist for help or trying to suppress your feelings, admit that you have these problems and start looking at your thoughts and emotions. What types of thoughts and emotions are contributing to your current problem? Are they causing you to do what you don’t want to do or to feel what you don’t feel?
For example, are you using logic and rational arguments to justify how you feel or what you think? If so, this limiting belief is telling you that logic and rational arguments don’t matter, that what matters is what you feel. If you start looking at your thoughts and emotions objectively, then you’ll soon find that this belief isn’t true. You will soon discover that logic and rational arguments are useful, but they don’t tell the truth. This is why self-awareness and self-reflection are so important. You have to become aware of your thoughts and emotions, and then you need to take action to remove them.
And here’s the final tip: once you are able to remove one limiting belief, you can move on to eliminate the others. It will not be easy, but it is possible. Don’t give up! People please keep in mind that the self-awareness and self-reflection exercises outlined above are tools to help you get to where you need to go, but they are certainly not the only tools available to you. If you put your heart into it and use it consistently, you can free yourself from a variety of limiting beliefs and emotions and live the life that you’ve always wanted.