If you want to learn how to identify and overcome your limiting beliefs, this article is for you! Keep on reading and don’t forget to download the free printable Worksheet to guide you on the way to identify and overcome your limiting beliefs.
You probably remember being fearless as a child. Your natural curiosity was enough to overcome any self-doubt and you were unstoppable. Unless an adult intervened. At those times, you probably thought that adults were always afraid and limiting your freedom, because you knew what you were doing.
Incidentally, as you grew older, I am sure you have realized that there are a lot of things that you would not do or say as you would when you were a child. And although growing up is an important process, if the rules that limit your way of thinking end up limiting what you believe you are capable of, you may end up never realizing your full potential.
Which is exactly why it is important to identify your limiting beliefs in order to overcome what is holding you back and allow you to live a grounded life with purpose and harmony.
As a society, it is important to set rules and boundaries for a more harmonious life. Imagine if everyone did exactly what crossed their minds without thinking about the consequences. It would most likely be a chaotic world. However, you should not feel controlled and constricted by society that you feel blocked within your own mind. This set of rules and boundaries is a belief system, the basis of our worldviews.
What defines a belief?
Beliefs are what our minds accept as true and real. But it does not mean that what we believe in is, in fact, true or real. Our minds just think it is.
Our belief system is learned at a very young age from our parents and other influential adults. However, as we grow up and start to get older, some of those beliefs become limiting and perhaps even damaging, affecting how we experience life altogether, as beliefs can:
- Shape your character;
- Influence your relationships;
- Influence perceptions;
- Direct actions you may or may not take;
- Define what is good/bad, true/false, possible/impossible;
We never question our beliefs, because we believe them to be true. As long as beliefs remain unquestioned, they shape our perceptions and direct our actions at a subliminal or subconscious level.
What we should keep in mind at all times is that beliefs are thoughts, and as our minds conjure thoughts, we have two choices: believe the thought or disregard the thought. The key is to question, always question what you are thinking with an open and critical mind. What you think is your own perception of things, and not necessarily the reality.
This is exactly why it is important to learn how to identify your own set of limiting beliefs. To become aware on unhelpful thinking patterns and start thinking differently to overcome those beliefs that are holding you back.
What are limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs, often called false beliefs, are thoughts, or convictions, that we believe to be absolute truths that end up restraining ourselves. These thoughts can be about you, your interactions with other people, or with the world and how it works, and can have a number of negative effects on your life. Limiting beliefs may be keeping you from grasping opportunities, making good choices and reaching your full potential. This results in a permanent state of mind that keeps you from living the life you have always dreamed of.
“The only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself.”Tony Robbins
An example of a limiting belief may be, and I am sure you have already heard this one, “money is the root of all evil.” Believing this statement as true may lead you to have an unhealthy relationship with money and how you handle it, which, in turn, may be preventing you from earning enough to support yourself.
This is a process that we automatically operate out of. Something that is so intrinsically connected to our way of thinking that we do it without even noticing it. Which brings me to the next topic.
How do you identify your limiting beliefs?
Now that you are aware of limiting beliefs, think about an area in your life you are not completely happy about. Maybe you have problems with relating to other people, or maybe you are not feeling fulfilled in your job, or, to use the example above, maybe you are not happy with your finances.
Consider that specific area of your life and try to write down everything you believe about that subject. Relating to finances, it could be something like this:
- I can never save enough money;
- My paycheck goes in my bank account and out in the next day;
- I can’t manage my finances;
- I will never make enough money to buy this.
And the list goes on. Write everything that comes to your mind about that topic.
Congratulations! You have just identified your limiting beliefs.
How do you overcome your limiting beliefs?
Once you have correctly identified what limiting beliefs you have around a same subject, the final step is to actually realize that these concepts which you believe to be true are just thoughts fabricated in your mind. Your limiting beliefs are your point of view on a topic, and as such, are not necessarily true. Although I discourage comparing ourselves to others, if you look closely, I am sure you can find someone who seems to be impervious to your limiting beliefs, or your point of view on that matter. For example, if you have an unhealthy relationship with money, I am sure you can find someone with a healthy one. In fact, I am sure you can think of more than just one person who manages their finances in a safe and healthy way.
Accept that your thoughts are not the absolute truth. Accept that other people are not exceptions to your rule. Try to think back at the origin of your limiting beliefs. Maybe you had very frugal parents who never spent any money because they were saving it for an emergency.
As soon as you identify your limiting beliefs, you start letting go, living a life of freedom from prejudiced thoughts. I have designed a worksheet to help you correctly identify and overcome your very own limiting beliefs. The worksheet is free for you to download, so please do, print it and fill it out.
Remember, limiting beliefs are thoughts that we believe to be absolute truths that ultimately end up conditioning our lives. To be able to overcome limiting beliefs, the first step is to correctly identify the thoughts behind every topic you are not happy about in your life, which may be holding you back. Once those thoughts, or beliefs, are identified, the next step is to consider the validity and the truthfulness of said thoughts and where they might have come from. The final step is to let go of the unhelpful thought patterns that are holding you back.
Therefore, the secret is to be completely honest with yourself. Let go of any judgement. And live a free and purposeful life.
Let me know in what areas of your life you have identified limiting beliefs and how is the process of overcoming those beliefs is coming along. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.
Until next time.