I think about all that is going on and that has been going on for the past year and it seems almost overwhelming. And there is one thought that always keeps me going when I wonder if my aspirations are too much….
“There is always a way you just have to find it.”
This is a mantra I have said since I was a kid. I have no idea where it came from but I can look back and see it is my cure to any limiting beliefs that come my way (either internally or from someone else).
And this is what we are talking about today. So let’s dive into what a limiting belief is before coming back round to this mantra and how it can help you.
What is a limiting belief?
A limiting belief is when you have a concrete conclusion about something. It’s when you believe something is 100% set in stone or is a truth that can not be swayed.
We all have limited beliefs – the trick is in learning to see and hear them within ourselves so we can dilute their power. Awareness brings greater control to you and less control to the limited belief in your mind.
There are so many “truths” that we think we know, but you have to consider that we don’t really know.
Here are some historical limited beliefs to open up your mind…
- The world being flat was “fact” until it was proven to be incorrect and anyone that believed it could be round was laughed out of the room.
- Before we knew about bacteria, it was commonly believed that infections were caused by bad spirits.
- If you had asked someone 100 years ago if it would be possible to travel to the other side of the world in a day do you think they would have believed you?
- Glass Delusion is an external manifestation of a psychiatric disorder recorded in Europe mainly in the late Middle Ages and early modern period (15th to 17th centuries). People feared that they were made of glass “and therefore likely to shatter into pieces”. One famous early sufferer was King Charles VI of France, who refused to allow people to touch him and wore reinforced clothing to protect himself from accidental “shattering”.
These people weren’t stupid – they were just misinformed… and let their minds believe something that wasn’t true. We can look at the Nazi regime in the same way. A belief that a neighbour was a friend, changed into a belief that their neighbours needed to be taken away to concentration camps…
Its interesting looking at these examples because I remember learning about people thinking the world was flat and as a child I just thought these people must be stupid and assumed that at this point in history we know all the things that are impornant to know. I was a child, but this is a great example of a limited belief. I could not comprehend at that point of my life that WE may be wrong about any number of things we take for granted. In reality, it is quite possible that we trees are sentient creatures. Who says that just because we haven’t conversed with them that it’s not possible? In 100 years time it might be common practice to receive “tree learning for a year before starting pre-school…. Who knows?!”
What has this to do with limiting beliefs on a personal level?
Firstly, it shows how strong these beliefs manipulate us into thinking there is a LIMIT on the possibilities and outcomes.
Secondly, the Nzzi example, while a negative one, shows us that we can change our beliefs…. Or that they can be changed for us when we are exposed to manipulative advertising, marketing, campaigns etc etc….. It may be some food for thought on what you are consuming from the media with what is going on in the world today and I would invite you to open your mind up and ask, what else could be true? What is the limited belief statement being sold to me right now?
I’d like to take limited beliefs and talk about ourselves personally though, and how they stop us from growing and evolving more than we could.
This is how we think we form abstract beliefs:
- We hear something;
- We think about it and vet it, determining whether it is true or false; only after that
- We form our belief.
It turns out, though, that we actually form abstract beliefs this way:
- We hear something;
- We believe it to be true;
- Only sometimes, later, if we have the time or the inclination, we think about it and vet it, determining whether it is, in fact, true or false.
Limited Belief Statements we say to ourselves include –
- I cant do it
- There is no way
- Now this is going to happen
- I am no good at…
- “I can’t tell the truth because I may get judged…”
- “I don’t want to get close to this person lest my heart gets broken…”
- “I don’t want to ask for what I want because, what if I get rejected?”
- “I can’t trust people because I’ve been betrayed before…”
- “I can’t pursue my dreams because I don’t know what I’d do if I fail…”
- “I can’t do X because of Y…”
- “I can’t do A because of B…”
The only difference between us and the Medieval Europeans is that their belief was centered around physical contact, while our beliefs are centered around our emotions, relationships, and goals. Deep down, we’re afraid that once our emotions get hurt, once we experience a heartbreak, or once we face a setback… we’ll shatter and die.
These beliefs are no less irrational than the Medieval European’s glass belief and they are preventing you from living your best life.
Be aware of your language! Anything that denotes an entirety is generally limiting…
They are ALWAYS…. I am ALWAYS
I NEVER…. They NEVER… you can NEVER
Rephrase to “I FEEL like they are always….” (or perhaps count how much?)
Because the truth is, most of our statements are emotional – So make it clear that it is an emotional judgement and not the truth. If you have counted something and every single one meets a criteria, you could say “Every one of the(12 ducks)…. I counted was (black)….. But it is possible that (other colours exist)….
When we start challenging all of these beliefs we can change our reality… Nothing new can be created if we don’t entertain possibilities outside of our current reality. This is very challenging as it is against our nature. But think about our phones, planes and even the array of cuisine we eat – none of it would be possible if someone had not thought outside of the “norm.” It is why creativity is EVERYTHING when it comes to evolution of both ourselves and our species. (Check out my last podcast episode for more on that).
Let’s say you want more abundance in your life so you can go on a holiday… a possible limited belief is “I don’t earn enough money to go on holiday” if you believe that then you aren’t going anywhere but you could change it to
“How can I earn more so I can go on holiday… or what would it take for me to go on holiday… or even I don’t earn enough just yet…. Or I haven’t found a cheap enough holiday yet…”
The possibilities are endless as long as you aren’t limiting them!
Another one I hear as a mother is “I wish I could study but I cant because of…… insert life”
But the truth is that you can. Anyone can.
There is always a way you just have to find it…
You will most likely have to make sacrifices but there is a path that will work. Taking away the limiting belief makes you take back ownership of the choices you make in life.
You may need to sacrifice social time… or holiday money… or maybe study part time… hell you could even run away from home and leave your kids without a mother and go study – its probably not a choice you would choose but it is still a possibility…. And perhaps after entertaining all the possibilities you can think of right now (because you KNOW there are more you haven’t thought of), you may finish with the statement, “I want to study but I have not found a way that is acceptable to me right now, but I will keep looking because it is important to me.”
We are Releasing our Limited Beliefs in our next AN workshop for AN members this coming Wed. Its just $15 to join us and the AN meditation and workshop will be available to you after the live event in case you cant make it. Head to my website or come find me on social @happymemichelle and reach out if you have questions.