Have these words or similar phrases rolled off your tongue recently?
Limiting beliefs are statements we believe to be true regardless of whether we actually have ‘evidence’ to prove them or not. Oftentimes they are disguised as seemingly innocuous little remarks that we say out loud to others or think to ourselves. . Most of our limiting beliefs come from our experiences growing up. Do you remember hearing statements like these:
- We’re just not a sporty family
- Girls aren’t very good at geography / maths / insert subject here!
- Boys can’t be primary school teachers
These are all examples of limiting beliefs that we may have accepted as ‘truths’.
What’s the problem with limiting beliefs?
You may think these are just words but over time they can be hugely detrimental to our success.
Thoughts affect our feelings which in turn affect our behaviour which then determines our success. If we start a task believing that we aren’t going to be very good at it how well do you think we’ll do? Unfortunately this then provides us with the ‘evidence’ that we aren’t good at something which then perpetuates the limiting belief. Sometimes limiting beliefs can prevent us from even trying to do something.
How to spot limiting beliefs
These little remarks that roll off the tongue can be easily missed unless we know what to look out for. Firstly we have to be conscious of what we are saying
“Awareness is the beginning of transformation”
Listen out for phrases such as:
- I can’t do that
- I’m not very good at
- People like me don’t…
At this point check in with yourself and ask ‘who say’s?’ or ‘why can’t I do that?’
- What ‘evidence’ do you have to support this statement and is it valid?
- What evidence to the contrary could you find it you looked for it?
We frequently overlook success if it doesn’t fit in with our reality by excusing it away e.g. that was a one off, it was a lucky coincidence
Ways to overcome limiting beliefs
Being logical and looking for evidence to disprove your beliefs can help but it usually takes something deeper to address them properly – it also takes time and persistence. Here are a couple of techniques that have helped me.
*Asking for help and feedback from a trusted individual (who knows what they are talking about not just your aunty Mary!). Sometimes an outside perspective can help us to see things differently.
*Using affirmations. These are statements that we declare to be true. I suppose you might see affirmations as the opposite of limiting beliefs. If you can accept limiting beliefs then you can accept affirmations! Affirmations are always stated in the positive as though they have already happened. You could just flip your limiting belief around into the positive i.e. I CAN do this but most people will struggle because they don’t actually believe it deep down. A more effective way to word affirmations is to use bridging statements e.g. I am learning to, I choose to, I can’t do this YET. These statements feel much more possible.
*Creating rituals to physically let go of limiting beliefs can also be really powerful. Write down your limiting belief then destroy it by either ripping, shredding or burning the piece of paper
When we let go of our limiting beliefs we give ourselves the opportunity to soar
If you are struggling with limiting beliefs get in touch and lets work together to remove them