How To Overcome Limiting Beliefs That Plague You: 4 Easy Steps

limiting beliefsLimiting beliefs are beliefs that you hold, whether you’re aware of them or not, that limit your success or your ability to live life to your fullest capacity.

These are the beliefs that hold us back, and they are at the center of our psychological fears – the ones that tell us what we are and aren’t capable of, what we have permission to do, when we will and won’t be valued as a person, and more.

We all have limiting beliefs, and they are often formed very early in childhood based on what those around us told us about ourselves or the world in general.

There are even some common limiting beliefs that many people share such as “girls should be nice,” or “boys don’t cry.”

We operate with beliefs, even limiting beliefs, all the time until one day when we run up against one of these bad boys and we find that our belief truly does limit us from getting something that we want out of life.

When that happens, life can become very painful unless you know how to blast through your own limiting beliefs.

It’s often tempting to think that a situation has external causes – that there are things outside your control that are causing you to not get what you want. Many times, there are. But more often than not, you have much more control of the situation than you think, and by shifting your beliefs and consequently your actions, you can ultimately get what you want.

People can transform their lives once they are willing and able to get rid of the “mind trash” that’s in their way.

So how do you do it? Here’s a simple (not easy) 4 part exercise that will show you.

Changing Careers? Do It With Confidence. 

Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs

Here is a simple 4 step process for overcoming your limiting beliefs. Try it with something you are feeling stuck with right now in your own life and see if you can get unstuck. I’m using a fictional example to help us understand it better.

Step One: Identify Your Limiting Beliefs

The first step in eliminating a limiting belief is to identify it.

Let’s say you really want to write a book, but every time you sit down to write your story, you freeze up. You just can’t seem to get past the fear. What’s going on here?

First, is there a limiting belief? Yes! You realize you are afraid that if you actually write your book, someone might read it – and what will they think? Will they hate it? Will they think it’s the worst book they’ve ever read? Will they laugh you out of town, tell you never to write again, and not to quit your day job?

Yes, that’s your fear.

So so far you have this:

You’re afraid your writing will be bad >> rejection and ridicule. 

Bad writing leads to the fear of rejection and ridicule. Yes, to you that feels pretty authentic, and you’re fairly certain that this is the reason you haven’t been able to get past Chapter 1.

But what’s next?

Let’s look at rejection and ridicule a little closer.

What would it mean to you if people rejected and ridiculed you?

Well, you tell me, it would mean that I was unlovable.

Ok, so now we have this:

You’re afraid your writing will be bad >> rejection and ridicule >> being unlovable. 

That’s pretty powerful stuff.

Let’s take it one step further:

What happens to you if you’re unlovable?

If I’m unlovable, everyone leaves me and I lose everything. I’m alone and depressed.

Woah! That’s pretty heavy. And a lot of pressure to place on yourself.

So now here’s your equation:

You’re afraid your writing will be bad >> rejection and ridicule >> being unlovable >> alone, depressed, lose everything. 

And if you simplify it, it looks like this:

You’re afraid your writing will be bad >> alone, depressed, lose everything. 

That’s your limiting belief.

If you get this writing wrong, you’re going to lose everything and everyone you love. No wonder you can’t start! I wouldn’t either if I believed that!!

Now that we know what you believe, let’s figure out what to do with this belief.

Step Two: Challenge Your Limiting Beliefs

Once you see your limiting beliefs, you can spend some time acknowledging it for what it is, a belief – it’s not real.

This can be easy, once you see the belief laid out like this, or it may be hard. There is a method called the Lofkoe Method that is designed to help you break through your limiting beliefs and my understanding is that at its core the goal of the method is to get you to see that there is no basis in truth for your belief. It attempts to show you that it was your interpretation of events that lead you to create a belief that you then carried.

It is true that your beliefs are just beliefs. They aren’t truths. This method will powerfully illustrate that, so if you are getting stuck here and you can’t “unbelieve” your belief, even in theory, then you may want to take a look at this method.

But lets say that you look at the belief above and you say, “Of course I’m not going to end up alone, depressed and losing everything if this book is terrible. My life will go on, even though it scares me to think about my book flopping.”

That means you believe in theory that your limiting belief isn’t the truth. If that’s the case, let’s look at what happens next.

Step Three: Find Un Limiting Beliefs

This step is all about finding beliefs that aren’t limiting.

But note: This doesn’t mean they are necessarily the opposite of your limiting beliefs or that they are just a sunny outlook.

Sunny Outlook Mistake: Don’t just reassure yourself that your writing won’t be bad. (Changing the beginning of your equation). You want to be able to live with it if it is bad, because sometimes bad things happen and the goal is to be able to live with the fear.

Opposite Mistake: Don’t just reassure yourself that the ending will be the opposite. “My writing will be bad but I will be happy.” You’re probably never going to believe that.

Let’s see if we can find something that might work, but bear in mind that your solution, the belief you come up with has to come from you and has to be a belief you can get behind. You have to find a belief that actually works for you – something you can truly believe and that makes sense to you.

Here’s what we started with:

You’re afraid your writing will be bad >> rejection and ridicule >> being unlovable >> alone, depressed, lose everything. 

Let’s look at it again:

You’re afraid your writing will be bad >> it might not be, but if it is,

rejection and ridicule >> will this really happen? probably not, but if it does,

being unlovable >> does this truly mean I’m unlovable? No, not at all. It means those people are being nasty. It means I tried something new, but it didn’t turned out as I hoped. It actually means that I was bolder and  braver than those people. 

alone, depressed, lose everything.   being bold and brave. 

So now you have a new equation that looks like this:

You’re afraid your writing will be bad >> some people might reject and ridicule the writing >> those nasty people are not being as bold and brave as me >> I’m stepping up and being bold and brave.

Now who knows if that’s the equation you’d actually come up with, but for this fake person, they come away with a new belief that even if their writing is bad, it’s just a sign that they were able to put themselves out there.

It becomes much easier to sit down and write now that the stakes aren’t so high.

Step Four: Believing Your New Beliefs

It’s one thing to figure out a belief that makes sense, it’s another to believe it.

That’s why it’s so important to come up with something that truly works for you – something strong enough and logical enough, and with enough emotional resonance to stand up to your big, bad, bully limiting belief from before.

When you have a new belief that fits the bill, now it’s just a matter of forming a new habit.

Our  brains all have a great deal of neuroplasticity, meaning that we can learn new things. All you have to do is practice. Here are some ways to do that:

Thought: Practice thinking your new thought. You’ve thought your old limiting thought thousands of times, until you got to the point where you believed it. Now you have to think this new thought again and again.

Visualize: Actually watch yourself mentally performing an action (in this case writing) with the attitude you will adopt when you believe this un limiting belief. There is documented evidence that visualization has the power to make physical changes in your body – so much so that it is a technique used by professional athletes.

Action: Actually perform your task with your new attitude. Tony Robbins talks about “peak states” and how to change your mood and shift your mindset using the power of your body. When you can get your body and mind into a peak state and you can shift your attitude into a positive mindset, you’ll have a better chance of shifting your thinking into your new un limiting belief and away from your old limiting belief, even if you’re having a bad day.

4 Easy Steps Through Your Limiting Beliefs

It’s all about practice and it does take time, but with these techniques you can blast through limiting beliefs that hold you back from doing and being whatever you want. When nothing in your mind is holding you back, what will happen for you?

Changing Careers? Do It With Confidence.


Personal Development

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