The Truth About Limiting Beliefs and How to Overcome Them
by Erika Slater
Are you an individual who feels stuck in life, never moving forward, or regretting ‘things‘ don’t seem to be turning out the way you wish or expected they would?
Do you know what the one constant in your life is in your continual experiences, situations, potential changes and dealing with others? YOU!
No matter where you go in life, you take YOU with you. No matter when or where you are in your life, you carry around your personal beliefs, whether they are positive and productive, or negative and limiting.
Where your thoughts go, that’s where your energy will flow.
If you limit yourself in your thinking and beliefs, your energy flow is going to hit a dead end.
This is most likely why you’re feeling STUCK!
WHERE DO LIMITING BELIEFS COME FROM?
Have you ever wondered why you “just think the way that you do” and can’t seem to break free from why or where it came from?
Well, the easiest, most realistic and exact answer is your past experiential perceptions! The beliefs you hold, whether they’re positive or negative are the results of the experiences you’ve lived.
Now, these experiences alone didn’t create your belief system, but rather your interpretations and perceptions of the experiences are how you went about creating your beliefs. If the experience was positive, then your beliefs became positive-based, meaning you’re most likely open-minded to future possibilities and change.
If and when a new experience comes your way, you’re more likely to be open to experiencing it, learning from it, and allowing it to enrich your life.
If you’ve had one too many ‘bad‘ experiences and have formed negative perceptions about similar or new experiences, then you’re more likely to be wearing ‘jaded glasses’ whenever you’re looking at new opportunities. What this means is when an opportunity or situation presents itself to you, you’re less likely to look at the possibilities it can present for enriching your life, rather you ‘pre-judge it‘ negatively based on your past experiences, thus placing limits on it, as well as on yourself almost immediately.
This is why and how you get STUCK!
Unfortunately, negative experiences people have, become powerful and intense in their memory banks, and people ‘just don’t forget‘ or let go.
Instead, they use them as ‘cautious reminders‘ to protect them from not being let down, hurt or failing again. When people think this way for one or more situations, they’re likely to start applying the same rules to any and all situations.
Before long you accumulate stereotypes of; people places and things. No matter the situation or time everything is perceived in a ‘jaded’ or ‘cautious light.’ Translated into your life, it means your experiences become limited!
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON LIMITING BELIEFS PEOPLE HOLD?
No two people have the same experiences, or live the same lives.
However, many people carry with them the same types or kinds of limiting beliefs. When you look at what most people name as their ‘limiting beliefs‘, they’re common and can fit under the same umbrella types, whether they’re tangible or intangible beliefs.
There are many types of these beliefs, however let’s just look at the Top 5, which seem to be the most common themes people like to hang onto when it comes to making excuses for why they aren’t where they want to be in their lives, or put more bluntly why ‘Life is not fair!’
WARNING: I’m not out to offend anybody with this article… well I could think of a few… but we won’t get into them today.
But sometimes we – and I include me in this “we” – need some “in your face get with the program” tough love to get out of our own way.
If you’re willing to understand this is the spirit I’m writing this article in today then read on and enjoy.
LIMITING BELIEF #1 – I’M NOT SMART ENOUGH!
Too many people limit themselves by falling into the trap of thinking they’re not smart enough.
The first question worth asking is, “What are you not smart enough for?” Do you believe there are standard IQ tests, ‘smarts tests‘, or some level you need to reach before you can not only try to achieve your goals, but also enjoy your life to the fullest?
There are a lot of people who believe you have to aspire and attain a certain level of education to be smart. Furthermore, many believe success, achievement and abundance/wealth is only reserved for the ‘smart.’
But this is far from the truth.
Society places a premium on education and knowledge, and rightfully so! You wouldn’t want uneducated people practicing medicine, law, or flying airplanes. Education and knowledge is great, but ‘being smart‘ is a general trite concept, which means there’s really no level to aspire to which will make you ultimately ‘smart‘ and ready to achieve what you want to achieve.
In fact, many people who are millionaires, billionaires, or doing what they love most have no formal college or university training. They just went for it and did it, paying no attention as to whether or not they were smart enough.
The question people should be asking is not, “Am I smart enough?” but rather, “Am I motivated and passionate enough to go after what it is I want to achieve?” Now that’s a question that sorts the “wheat from the chaff!”
Often times, people use the excuse of not being smart enough to limit themselves.
So, if you find yourself stuck in this limiting belief then get rid of the self-deprecating excuses, faulty reasoning, and handed down generational beliefs that you’re not smart enough to achieve success. This has most likely limited you and past generations for too long.
Instead, realize success, achievement and accomplishment is all about recognizing the need for motivation – you need to motivate yourself to just do it!
Step One: Get off the couch!
Step Two: Take the next step!
LIMITING BELIEF #2 – I’M NOT RICH ENOUGH!
How rich does one have to be to achieve and be successful in life? What is the exact dollar amount?
So many people believe their lives are limited in terms of their financial wealth. Although that may be true in terms of having to live within one’s financial means, it doesn’t mean people can’t dream and set loftier goals.
Sadly, too many people define their lives by their current financial situations, and others choose to live with a ‘barely get by‘ mentality, or a “Thank God it’s Friday!” mindset. When you choose to live this way, you basically have a belief system based on ‘enduring‘ or ‘existing‘ on your wealth… or lack of it.
Over time, people become content in staying where they’re at, as well as satisfied.
Being content with what you have is definitely how you should be, but you should try to avoid being satisfied! When you become satisfied, you start to exist and endure life as it is, and become more passive. You’re more likely to live in the ‘status quo‘ of how things always are, and that limits your growth, as you get STUCK in that mindset.
Personal growth and the desire for a greater attainment becomes less likely not because of lack of financial resources, but because of not bettering your abilities and circumstances for generating greater wealth. The longer you stay in, and with, this mindset, the more likely this is indeed going to become your financial reality – the proof is in the pudding, and there is no disputing your bank statement. With that said, what are you willing to change?
Perhaps you can create a new belief system which will supersede what you have in place now.
Let’s be realistic, how is your current belief system in terms of ‘not having enough money‘ working out for you? I’m sure at some level it’s bringing some sense of satisfaction for you to keep on keeping going with it, or you wouldn’t be doing it. More likely though, it’s being used as an excuse so you won’t have to change your ‘stinking thinking‘ about money, and actually having to change limiting beliefs and move into action.
If you needed a “kick up the butt” to eradicate this belief… then consider it done.
LIMITING BELIEF #3 – THINGS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY FOR ME!
Things are what they are because you chose that as your reality plain and simple.
Furthermore, things continue to be the way they are for you because you’re willing to accept it! People can try to change you, or help you to change, but unless you’re willing to grab the proverbial “bull by the horns,” then you’ll always be correct when you assert things have always been that way.
After all, you’re the author, artist and designer of your life.
Why are things the way they are for you? Some individuals are habituated or addicted to procrastination as this is a “lifestyle” for them. They procrastinate to avoid anything unpleasant, hurtful or that might result in failure.
The eventual problem, when operating from a mindset of procrastination, is your mind reverts back to its old ways based on the past.
Therefore, to overcome the problem of procrastinating and setting good intentions, you have to cure your mind of what is ailing it – negativity based on irrational past perceptions!
The fact is you weren’t born with this belief. It hasn’t always been this way for you so make the choice now for it not to continue.
Tough love… I know. But you’re more than this limiting belief for sure!
LIMITING BELIEF #4 – I’M TOO OLD TO CHANGE!
They say you can’t teach an “old dog new tricks!”
This is just plain rubbish! For starters you’re not a dog!
When you use this negative and limiting belief, you’re basically saying, “I’m too lazy or not motivated enough to change, or don’t want to put the effort into changing.”
It’s truly that simple.
Most people don’t want to invest their time and energy into making and being the change they want to see or be, and they think, “What’s the use, I’m too old anyway!”
In order to shed this limiting belief, you first have to look at ‘ageism‘ assertions two ways.
First, who said you’re too old to change, and if there was any truth to this, what exactly is that ‘age‘ you arrive at whereby ‘change‘ isn’t possible?
Second, when you age, for most, you become wiser and more knowledgeable. Your life experience knows what works, and what doesn’t work. With that said, if you truly wanted change, you’d probably know how to be more successful at it because you’ve had experience and practice with it in the past!
So the whole belief is illogical – so get off the pot… or are you too old to do that?
Of course you’re not.
This is also a limiting belief that keeps a smoker from becoming a non-smoker. After smoking for 40-years they feel it’s too late. Why bother? I’ve had a number of clients who have quit after smoking for 30 or even 40 years. It is never too late to change, and in the case of smoking your body will love for you for it!
LIMITING BELIEF #5 – I’M WAITING FOR THE PERFECT TIME TO CHANGE!
When is the perfect time to change?
You’ve probably been talking about ‘doing‘ it for days, months, years, decades, and where has it gotten you?
I’m betting ‘Las Vegas’-style heavy… nowhere!
If you’re waiting for the perfect season to arrive, the right person to come along, the right day to stop smoking or lose weight, or the planets to align perfectly in the solar system, then you may be waiting for the rest of your life. The right day to set a date to quit smoking is today. The right day to start eating healthy and exercising is… today.
Furthermore, there really is ‘no time like the present‘ to make changes in your life.
All you have guaranteed is the present moment you live in.
Frankly, if you’re thinking about making changes in your life then that wind of change is currently blowing in your direction, and like a sail boat, you need to raise your sails and catch the wind current.
In all likelihood you’ll never be that motivated again, and so here’s your opportunity to not only tap into this motivation, but start momentum in your favor!
If you’re still waiting for the perfect time to change… it’s arrived NOW!
Surf’s up… Go for it!
CHANGE IS POSSIBLE!
The key to success is to live in the present moment and treat the moment as a unique experience which previous problem solving skills from the past can be used only after the current situation has been analyzed.
Only after you’ve treated the current experience as a unique situation do you explore the possibilities for dealing with it based on past perceptions. What’s most important here is to remember that past perceptions are not the same as current perception.
Limited beliefs will limit your possibilities for success!
Too many people hold onto the past because they enjoy feeling or playing the victim’s role. You will only truly ever be able to live in the present and have a great future when you accept that the past is just that… the past.
It can’t be changed ever.
The only thing you can control and change is you and how you look at what you have now…this present moment in time!
Yes, change can be scary.
Now I really don’t think they’re talking about me doing bungee jumping off the Empire State building or going over Niagara Falls in a barrel… at least I hope not.
But they’re talking about getting outside my comfort zone by trying something new or making a change that feels strange and awkward at first.
If you’re standing still in your life then you’re not progressing for sure, and if you’re stagnant because of a limiting belief well… it’s slowly killing you.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and it’s provided valuable pointers for you if you’re looking to overcome a limiting belief holding you back. If you want to consider working directly with me on limited beliefs, through my online or in-office sessions, then check out my Special Hypnosis Services Programs.
I’d love to get your feedback on this article and welcome comments and suggestions in the section below.
Here is a resource section for further reading and enjoyment on the topic…
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR LIMITING BELIEFS:
Erika Slater CH,
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