Say No to Limiting Beliefs and Transform Your Life
During my late teens and early twenties I had absolutely no life direction. Having been through multiple jobs, moved states three times, and lived in many different suburbs, I was still lost. I was trying to find myself, and I thought moving location, and changing jobs would help me “find me”.
It took me a long time to realise that I was not going to be successful or fill my life with a sense of meaning and purpose by starting over every couple of months.
One day I was frustrated, feeling the need to escape my job and thoughts of relocating came to mind, assuming this would bring the happiness I was searching for. I thought enough was enough, relocating wasn’t providing purpose and happiness so I decided to sit down and ask myself some tough questions.
“Why don’t I have purpose or a vision for my life?”
“What is success to me?” “Why am I not successful?” Staring blankly at the page, this is what came out…
- I lack motivation
- I am not good enough to be successful or do something special
- I am too old to change
- It’s too late to go back and study
- I don’t know where to start
- I am too dumb to get anywhere
- Everyone else is better than me
I looked at these enemies of my progress and had a realization; this is what had been holding me back. If this is what is playing in the background of my mind all day, then how will I get to where I want to be? It didn’t matter that I didn’t know where that place was, but I knew I didn’t want to be where I was – stuck.
You can look at a belief as the lens by which you see your reality.
If you put on a pair of rose coloured lens, your reality will look.. well rosey. Then if you put on a blue coloured pair of lens, suddenly your reality is blue. Now, if you are wearing a lens which encompasses all of your limiting beliefs, as I do above, then this is how you are going to perceive your reality. No wonder my life wasn’t all rainbows and sunflowers!
A self limiting belief is exactly that, a belief which places limitations on yourself and the reality you want to create.
I was shaping my experiences in life, based on these self limiting beliefs. I felt relief as I identified what it was that was holding me back, but how do I now change them? How do I move forward?
1. Know that a belief is not the truth; it is just what you believe
You picked up your beliefs somewhere along when life happened, usually from your childhood and by someone that meant something to you – your parents, teacher, friends, authority figure, social media. One day someone called you ugly, dumb, that would never be successful, you aren’t good enough, you need to work hard to earn any money.
Not having a confident sense of who you are at the time you took that information in as the truth, like it is who you are, and you began to play back that memory over, and over again in your mind until it was on playback 24/7.
Stop buying that belief as truth. Once we are past childhood, we know better than to believe what we are told. So why keep on holding on to an old belief you picked up, when you know it isn’t true? So stop buying it, and let it go.
2. Your reality is happening in a way because of the beliefs you are holding onto
The self limiting beliefs you hold onto creates your reality, convincing you that your beliefs are true. This is what fuels the vicious cycle of your negative reality. In my case my underlying beliefs were creating situations and outcomes in my job and life that reflected my beliefs. Consciously I wanted success and purpose; subconsciously I wanted a reality that reinforced that I wasn’t good enough to have it. Our beliefs create our reality, not the other way around.
3. Take responsibility for your beliefs
It is so easy to fall into “poor me, “life is so hard,” “it isn’t fair” thought patterns. Yes life has its up and downs, and although it is important to fully acknowledge your emotions and be with them during these times, submerging yourself in self pity only leads to long term suffering. Sometimes it is easier to blame other people, than ourselves for the lives we lead without ever taking responsibility for the beliefs we hold.
It is important to realize that the beliefs you hold are not the truth and that you have a choice in how you mold your reality from here. These beliefs are thoughts that can be replaced, you have a choice, and recognizing this is a crucial part of changing.
4. It is only acceptance of thought which gives your beliefs power
Imagine a snowball rolling down a mountain, and as it collects more and more snow on its way down, the momentum and speed builds until the snowball has turned into a massive avalanche. Now imagine your accumulating negative limiting beliefs to be the same.
The more we keep thinking about the same limiting belief; it builds up momentum in our mind, until we are crippled by it. Stop giving negative thoughts power. It is only through acceptance of these beliefs that gives it power. If you don’t believe a thought then it cannot manifest into a reality in your life.
5. Begin to change your thoughts into a new belief
Start to shift your reality and challenge your negative beliefs.
Replace: I am not good enough to be successful or do something special.
With: I am not good enough if I tell myself I’m not. I can be successful I have a lot to offer.
Replace: I am too old to change.
With: This is ridiculous, no one is ever too old to change
Replace: It’s too late to go back and study.
With: It is never too late to learn and gain new knowledge
Replace: I don’t know where to start.
With: that is okay, I am going to write down where I think I would like to be and begin to change day by day.
Replace: I am too dumb to get anywhere.
With: I don’t have to be perfect, and know everything to get somewhere. I am smart, I can apply myself.
Replace: Everyone else is better than me
With: Everyone is on their own journey, I refuse to compare myself to others and focus on my own journey.
At a Glance:
- Identify your negative beliefs
- Know that a belief is not truth- it is only what you believe
- Take responsibility for your beliefs
- Reduce the momentum of your thoughts, by not accepting them
- Write down what you want – everyone has to start somewhere
- Begin to challenge your thoughts, with a new belief