The tool to overcome your limiting beliefs
I recommend writing it down on paper or in your journal for more clarity. There’s something magical with writing things down. Plus, if you only do it in your head, your annoying, negative thoughts might kick in – you’ve been warned.
Step 1: Isolate the belief
Consider what the belief is that is limiting you. Find times when you have done something (or not done something) that seemed to limit you in some way.
- What beliefs led to this choice?
- What belief underline this belief?
Consider what concerns or frightens you and so limits you.
- What do you fear?
- What belief led to such fear?
Step 2: Seek the source
- When did you first believed this?
- What happened for you to believe it?
- Were you told to believe it by someone else?
- Was it based on an experience?
- Did you try something once, failed and then formed the belief that you were incapable?
Step 3: Recognize the falsehood
You are holding on to your belief because you were told to or because it helped you once. Take time to reflect on this and recognize the full extent of the belief and how false it really is. Especially how it has limited you so far. Feel free to get angry about it. You may need to accept that you are not perfect. You must be open to learning and ready to change (if you want to change, of course).
I suggest you write down arguments against your limiting beliefs, as if you’re a lawyer in court. Take your limiting belief and write all the things that come up to mind that proves it to be false or even ridiculous. Maybe this belief was true when you were 7 or 8 years old but it doesn’t mean it’s true now!
- What happened since then that proved it to be not true?
- What counter beliefs can you form agains it?
Step 4: Form empowering belief
You need an empowering belief to replace the old one. Make it realistic. As I said, in my case, I couldn’t go from „I’m not good enough to be a life coach” directly into „I’m the best coach ever!” because it just was too much for me. Maybe you need to take it slow as I did and just take the next step in forming your new belief? Or maybe you want to go all in and form the most amazing belief ever right now? 🙂 Write it down.
- What new thoughts you’d like to see come to your mind instead of the old ones?
- What new belief will serve you better at this point in your life?
- What is your new, empowering belief?
Step 5: Start „as if”
A good starting point for many beliefs is to act as if the belief was true. Take some action. For example, the next time you have an opportunity to do something to prove your new belief to be true, just do it. Don’t overthink it. Go into action mode. It can be the smallest step, like making a phone call or answering an e-mail you wouldn’t normally answer. Or saying what you really think. Or taking one small step towards creating your business. Anything that will help you build the confidence by taking action.
Step 6: Create evidence of success
The most powerful and unshakeable beliefs are those that are based on lots of evidence. Start collecting your evidence until you feel confident and comfortable with your new belief. Personally, I like writing everything down, so I recommend to write down all the small and big things that support your new belief for at least a week. It can be something somebody told you, a compliment, a task you finished on time, a difficult conversation you had, small success, big success, really anything. Then, after a week, read the whole list. It gets you thinking, believe me 🙂
Do you want different results in your life? Start with forming different beliefs!
(This tool comes from this website and is complemented with some of my comments.)
Why bother, anyways?
You might ask, why should you do it in the first place? Well, if you want to change something in your life and you didn’t do anything to achieve it so far, I am more than sure that there’s something that prevents you to do it. And all of the things that prevents us from action and shaping our lives in the way we want it, are connected to our limiting beliefs. If I believe that „I’m not good enough”, I will not pursue people to coach them. It will prevent me from having clients and building my coaching practice. And I will still be stuck.
When we are aware of our limiting beliefs and the stories behind them, we have a power to choose. You can see that in a given situation you are going into your automatic response mode or your thoughts keep coming over and over again like a broken record. Then you can simply observe them and be aware that it’s your limiting belief showing up again. And then you can choose: do you want to behave and act as usual, meaning nothing will change or do you want to break the pattern and behave differently? If you choose the latter, you’re starting to build your confidence. Why? Because you just proved to yourself that you can do it. And it gives us positive kick 🙂 And then you can do the next thing and the next thing. And slowly but surely your life transforms into a version that you’d like it to be. Nice, right?
Life after you know what it is about
Does knowing your limiting beliefs cures you for life? No 🙂 But it helps you move in the right direction. It gets you in action. It helps you create the life you really want instead of feeling stuck. Now when I feel stuck, I know it’s the next layer of my beliefs showing up and I begin to search for them and work with them and heal my wounds as a result.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I had (and still have) many, many limiting beliefs. They show up one by one so that I can do something about it. The positive change I’ve experienced is that now, that I have the awareness of limiting beliefs existing, I can do something about it. I was able to heal a lot so far, but I know life is a journey and stuff comes up all the time. But this time it doesn’t paralyze me. When I feel deeply sad or feel a lot of resistance towards some actions, I know my beliefs are coming up to the surface. And I can work it out. I can move pass it and grow. And as a result be more open and happy with my life. I don’t have to blame „the government and politics” or „other people” or „the economy” or any other external circumstances on my lack of action and resistance towards change. I can look at it, decide what I want and what I don’t want and do something about it. And that’s really empowering. It feels like a superpower 🙂 It helps a lot, when you have like-minded people around you, so that they can reflect back to you with an open heart what they see in you and this situation. Because being a lone warrior is a very tiring place to be. We need others to be our mirrors, support and hold us. This is how it works. And having a community you can lean on is really nice and gives you safe space to vent, to feel supported and to be seen.
I always think of small babies when it comes to limiting beliefs. Babies keep trying and trying. They are unstoppable. They don’t say one day: „I’m not good enough to walk”. They stand up, fall, try again and do it over and over again, many times until they succeed. We just lost this natural ability along the way while growing up. But you can reclaim it. Today. Just try again.
The conclusion is, you have the power to create your life. And that’s really awesome, if you ask me 🙂
Actions you can take today
- Do the excercie I recommend in this article. One remark: do it mindfully. So take your time, remove all distractions (people, phone, social media, tv, etc.) and focus on one question at the time. You can do it on the airplane if you travel a lot, or after your kids go to bed if you’re a busy mom. But take it as a time to go inside and really get to know yourself. It’s a beautiful way to take care of yourself, btw.
- Observe the situations in which your limiting beliefs pop up and how your automatic response mode works. What thoughts come to mind? What do you say? What do you do?
- Try to act differently in one situation this week. Act in a way that serves you better than when you go into your automatic response mode and do/think as you usually do.
- The metaphor of the table and limiting beliefs in Jey’s video
- Netflix released a documentary about Tony Robbins recently. It really shows how fast you can change your limiting beliefs.
- I haven’t read it yet but I’ve heard that all the books by Tony Robbins talk about limiting beliefs and how to overcome it. So, I’m looking forward to read them and let you know later on what’s my opinion about them 🙂