“The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we’re afraid. We fear we will not find love, and when we find it we fear we’ll lose it. We fear that if we do not have love we will be unhappy.” – Richard Bach
Many of us have limiting beliefs running in our subconscious. We created some of them and others have been handed down from generation-to-generation, but these beliefs are running rampant in our lives.
Some examples of limiting beliefs are:
- I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, good enough
- I’ll never have enough money to…
- Marriage is boring and being a grownup is the end of fun
- There are no good men/women out there
- Dreams are irresponsible
Negative messages can play in the background of our mind like a tape on loop. They are the loudest when you are considering doing something different or moving out of your comfort zone. These messages limit your forward action and paralyze you into believing that you have no right or no reason to follow your dreams or find that thing that you love. You can see evidence all around you that these messages are wrong, but still you believe them. It’s easier to tell yourself that the person that is having what you want has something that you don’t have.
The truth is that we are all the same and we all have the capability to have what we want and do what we love. What separates us is the lies that we tell ourselves. It’s the stories that we create about our lives and the meaning that we give the events. It is our limiting beliefs that create the world that we experience. For example, if you believe that all men are dogs and all the good men are taken. You will continue to attract men that treat you with disrespect. As you discuss these men with the people in your inner circle, they will reinforce your belief which will launch you into a continuous cycle of getting the very thing that you say you don’t want.
How do you recognize your limiting beliefs and change them?
- First, it requires your awareness. Limiting beliefs usually show up when you feel fear. The next time, you feel fear or are worried, pay attention to what your mind is telling you. Write down the negative thoughts going through your mind.
- Examine those thoughts. Interview them. If you find that your limiting belief is that you’ll never have enough money, ask why do I believe I’ll never have enough money? When did I learn this? What experience taught me this?
- Question the limiting belief. Look for moments that contradict the belief. Is this belief right? Were there moments when I had enough money when I thought I wouldn’t?
- Determine if the belief is serving you. Is holding on to this belief helpful or hurtful to me?
- Decide to let it go. Decide that the limiting belief doesn’t apply to you. When it comes up, challenge it. Remind yourself that there are more positive instances in your life than there are experiences that match the belief. Or, you can decide that you would prefer to have better experiences and more positive experiences.
“What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it.”- Oprah
Limiting beliefs may have served to keep you comfortable in the past, but life requires some risk. If you want to love, you have to risk being hurt. If you want to be successful, you have to risk failure. If you want to be better, you have to take the risk that your beliefs may need to be changed. If you want to change your life, you have to take a healthy risk. But, your first job is to get your mind on your side. If you don’t know what’s going on in there, you can’t begin the journey.