How we describe ourselves, our abilities and the world around us has a huge impact on the way we go about living. Our individual believe system is a complex myriad of past experience, messages instilled in us from a young age and our inner-most fears we harbor. Whenever we become aware that something in our life isn’t working out, our belief system is the first thing challenged. Unless we’re equipped with a way to re-tune what we believe about the world and our capabilities, lasting change is impossible. So what is that pre-conceived notion that you’re not suited for something? That’s a limiting belief, which is something you’ve accepted as the absolute truth about yourself and the world. Thing is, your limiting belief is usually in direct conflict with a goal or aspiration you have – hence why it’s a block.
Limiting beliefs come in many forms, but generally take the approach that the way YOU are can never lead to the success you want. Examples of limiting beliefs are “You have to have money to make money” or “I’m not experienced enough to try for that job,” and my favorite, “I don’t have enough time or energy for that…”
Here’s why they are so damaging to us: they make us give up on our desires before we even try. They rob us of a sense of possibility and hope. They crush our self-confidence and keep us in our “place.” They are the million excuses we come up with and make us feel less than who we really want to be.
You might not even know you’re letting a limiting belief hold you back. Next time you’re excited about something and then suddenly, discredit actually trying it – that’s a limiting belief creeping in. Whenever there is a “…but…” that’s one too.
So how do we transform that message? You start small by flagging it when one pops in and begin to develop a habit of inquiry, not resignation. Ask yourself:
- How true is that REALLY?
- Where does this belief come from anyway?
- What are instances of that not being true for others?
- If I didn't think that, what would be different?
As a coach, helping a client work through their limiting beliefs has been one of the most incredible transformations to witness. Here's a short example of someone who overcame their limiting belief in order to follow a dream. This person really wanted to go back to school for engineering, but believed they didn’t have the math-chops for it due to years of people telling them that math was just TOO hard and not to try. Well, we worked through the core belief and now they are enrolled in an engineering program and got an well-earned B+ in their first math class. Um, yeah..limiting beliefs can definitively be over-turned and unblocked to allow for personal success.
The whole gist of personal growth and development is catching our default thinking patterns when they occur. It’s not an overnight process to un-do years of thinking – it’s little steps of growth and awareness. Sooner or later, you’ll be flagging those limiting beliefs the moment they pop-up. They are one block to your success and removing them feels like opening the flood-gates of possibility.
Stay tuned for the next energy block article!
~ Coach Rachel