Limiting Beliefs are those that constrain the way we think or act.
Limiting Beliefs are those beliefs that are so ingrained that they pass through our minds without us even noticing them.
They can manifest from our parents belief system or from a bad experience we’ve had or from our own insecurities.
Often a Limiting Belief is an inadvertent safety mechanism to stop us doing something hard or scary.
Examples of Limiting Beliefs are:
“I can never lose weight.”
“People from my background never make it in that industry.”
“I’m not smart enough.”
“I’m not educated enough.”
“Life is hard.”
“It’s a fluke I’ve got this job. I’m not good enough for it. I will be found out.”
I remember my first limiting belief manifested when I started University.
I realised on the first day that I was on a course where being state school educated was the minority.
As in extreme minority.
I think there was a maximum of 3 of us (out of 100) from state school and the remainder were public school educated.
This made me feel insignificant because unfortunately some of the students made it obvious I was “not one of them”. I remember trying to make friends with a particular group and they gave me such an obvious brush off it was horrible.
That was my first taster of a Limiting Belief:
“I’m not good enough.”
My beliefs were not based on fact of course; they were based on how I was made to feel by a select few people.
Of course, I was good enough!
In fact, I was more than good enough, I was wonderful, but it took me a few months to gain my confidence back and realise that my limiting belief was ridiculous.
And that’s the crux of the matter with any Limiting Belief.
It’s total utter poop!
As I said at the beginning, Limiting Beliefs are normally so ingrained, we don’t even realise we are thinking them. This is why they are dangerous. The negativity is so deep we accept them a being real and they are not.
So, what to do?
Step by Step Guide to Banishing the Limiting Beliefs
- Identify: The hardest part by far is to identify what your limiting beliefs actually are? What negative thoughts are you constantly saying to yourself? What’s the horrible little voice inside your head saying to you about you? This is not a quick exercise to do. Monitor your thoughts over a period of two weeks and jot down the negative thoughts that come into your head over this period.
- Name your inner voice: Now give your Limiting Beliefs or the horrible little voice inside your head a name. I call mine Cruella. I’ve been calling her that for a long while now and I find it really helps. I find by attaching a comedy name to a negative “being” helps to take away the power.
- Replace: Now I would like you to do the following. For every Limiting Belief, you’ve written down do the following:
- Replace with a positive affirmation (statement) and
- Blow it out of the water! By this I mean dispute it as a fact. I ask my Clients to prove to me that their limiting belief is a fact. Obviously, they can’t prove their Limiting Belief is a fact and this is the point of the exercise. Research the validity to your limiting belief and I can guarantee there will be zero truth in it.
Let’s do an example:
Limiting Belief: “I’m too old to change my career”
Replacement: “It’s the perfect time to change my career to something I love.”
Blow it out of the water: Who says I’m too old to change my career? Where is the law that states this? It’s absolute rubbish; I’ve limited myself by believing this is to be true because society dictates this. I’ve researched it and KFC for example was not started by Colonel Sanders didn’t start KFC until he was in his mid 60’s!
Going forward in life
Limiting Beliefs can’t be quashed overnight.
It takes time and some will always be work in progress.
Going forward though it’s simple, every time you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself; check yourself and immediately replace it with a positive affirmation either out loud or too yourself.
For example, I over slept this morning and straight away Cruella was in my ear:
“Lazy Gemma, your day will be ruined now because you’ve missed out on your morning routine.”
Instead of giving any weight to her I said out loud:
“Bugger off Cruella. Don’t worry you’re allowed a lie in whenever you feel you need one! You’ve been working hard. Go have a fantastic day!”
It sounds ridiculous but it works! I instantly felt better and carried on with my day.
So every time you think these negative thoughts instantly change them and every time you come up with a new limiting belief blow it out of the water!
I want to to proactively prove it’s wrong.