Limiting Beliefs: What do you believe—and say—about yourself?
I’ve heard many incredible storytellers throughout my life, but none are as hardworking and clever as the one inside my head. This storyteller puts in long hours from morning to night and even stays at it while I sleep. Constantly building on the stories that seem to play on repeat:
I will never…
You do not…
You are not…
Do you have these stories too? If so, go ahead and take the time to complete your thoughts. Since our storytellers are so inclined, they will be delighted to start spewing out every single limit, hurdle, and high jump that we believe about ourselves. If, for once, they are shy, go ahead and coax them out. And then write them all down.
Do you have any limiting beliefs that you tell yourself?
A limiting belief is a story we tell ourselves about who we are that holds us back from growing into the person we are capable of becoming. The limitations we place on ourselves are a result of these beliefs. These subconscious thoughts keep us from reaching our full potential. Often, we are unaware of them until someone points them out to us.
Limiting beliefs are, in fact, a method of self-sabotage that restrain us before we ever get out of the gate.
Embracing discomfort to overcome limiting beliefs
Stepping out of our comfort zone is never easy, but with growth comes the pain of stretching and pulling. Everything under the sun reflects change. The leaves don’t panic when it’s time to turn from green to golden hues to litter on the forest floor. Humans, animals, and nature change. The sun gives way to the moon. And we shouldn’t expect to be the same today as we were a year ago. Thank goodness for that.
What’s keeping you in your comfort zone?
Think about this for a moment. Ask yourself what’s keeping you there.
How do you justify this answer? The answer that came to your mind is a mistruth you’ve consistently repeated to yourself, and none of it is true.
None of it.
I want you to pause if you think your answer is justified. List the reasons why your brain tells you to stay in this comfortable place. Your mind may even convince you that this is untrue and that you are doing just fine.
That, again, is your subconscious regurgitating what limits you—and that is what is profoundly untrue. You are so much more.
Removing limiting beliefs from our subconscious
So, if limiting beliefs live in our subconscious and we’re mainly unaware of them, how do we remove them? How do we reach our subconscious to remove these limiting beliefs, pluck them out one by one, and replace them with beliefs that will move the needle forward to helping us live the life we dream (and deserve)?
We can start in three ways:
- Put new beliefs into practice
How does each method help to remove limiting beliefs?
The practice of meditation is an effective tool for changing or overcoming limiting beliefs. As you practice meditation regularly, you begin to gradually unearth old beliefs and make way for something new and more supportive. Through meditation, you can excavate thoughts, plant new beliefs, and learn to focus on what your mind is telling you. Awareness is crucial because you cannot change what you don’t know. Through awareness, you will be able to recognize these thoughts and understand why they happen through a place of compassion. The seeds of limiting beliefs are planted by past hurt, pain, and disappointment. We will need to learn how to unearth the weeds we’ve planted. In this meditation, listeners become more aware of limiting beliefs through gentle guidance.
The purpose of an affirmation is to promote change and self-love while squashing worry and fear by using specific positive statements about yourself. Positive self-talk, such as affirmations, can alter subconscious thought patterns.
After all those limiting thoughts, this positive self-talk may feel strange but imagine how great it will feel when your subconscious expresses your capabilities rather than limitations. You can speak affirmations and listen to them throughout the day and even during the night. Below are a few affirmations I strongly recommend:
- Powerful Morning Affirmations by Jason Stephenson
- I Am New Affirmations by Jess Shepherd
- Affirmations in Spanish by Jess Shepherd
- 60 Affirmations for Confidence
Put new beliefs into practice
It’s important to note that doing a single meditation and saying or listening to affirmations for a week will not change your limiting beliefs. It took a lot of time and effort to create these perceptions about ourselves, and they will not disappear overnight.
These limiting beliefs are often rooted in past experiences or other people’s opinions. For example, if an adult told us as children that we weren’t good at math, we may believe that to be true and never try to improve our skills. A person carries these beliefs with them throughout life, and new ones spring up when we have life circumstances when we feel we aren’t enough.
Think of it like this: as you’re reading this article, your heart is beating, but you don’t know how many beats, and you’re not actively controlling the heart’s function. An electrical system called the cardiac conduction system controls the rate and rhythm of your heartbeat. As your body works, it performs many other functions that we’re simply unaware of. The same can be said of our limiting beliefs. They are at work while we’re performing different functions. It doesn’t mean they aren’t there and not doing their job. We’re just unaware.
Unearthing these beliefs will take time and effort—and you are worth every minute. Practice as though your healing depends on it because it does.
We all have a belief system that we operate from. This belief system is developed over time, starting when we are young. We form beliefs based on our experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Many of these beliefs serve us well and help us to live happy and prosperous lives. However, some beliefs can be limiting and cause us to feel stuck in life. These beliefs might tell us that we’re not good, smart, or worthy enough. They might tell us that we’ll never be able to achieve our dreams. Whatever the case may be, these beliefs can have a significant impact on our lives. If we’re not careful, they can hold us back from reaching our full potential. Fortunately, we have the power to change our limiting beliefs. By becoming aware of them and replacing them with more empowering ones, we can break free from their hold and create the life we truly want to live and deserve.
You are exactly who the world needs, and you have everything it takes to make a difference. Your talents, experiences, and perspectives are unique to you. You have something special to offer that nobody else can. You are of utmost importance and value—and the world is a better place with you in it.
Grow your team (and yourself) by removing limiting beliefs
Most people think the best way to build a strong team is to find individuals who complement each other’s skill sets and then put them to work. However, another key ingredient is often overlooked: removing limiting beliefs.
All too often, people let their personal preconceptions get in the way of effective teamwork. As a result, they may be hesitant to try new things or take risks, stifling creativity and innovation. By eliminating these limiting beliefs, you can create an environment where your team members feel free to take chances and explore new ideas.
If you want to take your team to the next level, let’s begin by tackling those limiting beliefs head-on. Get the ripple effect throughout your organization by inviting Stephanie Berman, MSN, RN, CALM, to speak at your next event.
Stephanie is a highly skilled and experienced keynote speaker whose expertise spans many areas, including team building, leadership, motivation, and personal development. She has a proven track record of delivering inspirational keynote speeches that inspire audiences to rethink their goals and work towards a new vision for their lives—request speaking information today to begin leading your team from good to great.