How To Crush Limiting Beliefs
Recently, we talked about how damaging listening to other people’s opinions can be. Now we are going to challenge your own opinions that ultimately form your limiting beliefs.
It is incredibly easy for all of us to form an opinion – whether it’s about something or someone. Most of us only have to look at a book cover and instantly form an opinion as to whether we’re going to like it or not. Research suggests that, when meeting someone, it only takes six seconds before an opinion of them is formed. Only six seconds before we’ve read the book by its cover!
Opinions (whether we hear them from someone else, or form them ourselves) are the basis of all beliefs in our lives. The ones we really need to watch out for however, are the limiting beliefs. Now, these beliefs may be difficult to recognise, as you’ve probably believed them for so long that you’ve actually forgotten that they started out as unfounded opinions (yours or someone else’s) that you chose to believe.
“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy.”
Limiting beliefs are beliefs which constrain you in some way and are often driven by fear. They are usually generalisations about the past based on our own interpretations. The challenge comes when we need to identify these beliefs as just that – beliefs! Beliefs that we created and that are NOT the truth.
When I work with coaching clients 1:1 it is easy to discover which limiting beliefs are stopping them. How? Because they usually just tell me. They don’t say – ‘Oh hey Jodie, my limiting beliefs are X, Y & Z’ but as we work through the actions to move them to their goals, I start to hear the limits they put on themselves coming through in the language they use. I start to hear the ‘this can’t happen for me’, or the ‘I can’t achieve that’, or the ‘I’m not ready because’.
Do you identify with any of these limiting beliefs?
- I’ll never make it in my career;
- I’m so unlucky;
- I don’t have time;
- There is never enough money;
- I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, motivated enough……
- I don’t have the confidence to do that.
Try to identify your limiting beliefs by listening very carefully to the words that come out of your mouth and by paying close attention to your thoughts. Limiting beliefs usually start with phrases like :
I can’t …….
I mustn’t …..
I don’t ….
Limiting beliefs can also be focused around what you think you can achieve in the world, the class system you believe you exist in, your rights, your abilities and everything else wrapped up in your self-identity.
It is important that you challenge your beliefs constantly and are always questioning whether they are still relevant to you.
If a belief doesn’t empower you, then change it!!
Here’s how to CRUSH limiting beliefs:
1. FIND the belief
If there is an area in your life that isn’t working the way you would like it to, then it is likely that there is a limiting belief in there somewhere. The very first challenge is to find out exactly what the belief is. Think about that area and write down your thoughts and the usual things you say to yourself, in order to try and achieve an insight into what might be stopping you.
2. STOP identifying with that belief
If your limiting belief is that you are unmotivated, then the next step is to stop identifying yourself with that belief in mind, that is, as an unmotivated person. Accept that that is NOT the truth but merely a BELIEF that you think has become your truth.
What you think is what you create, so you must change the thought first.
3. TRY on the opposite
Start by telling yourself that the opposite is true. The best way to do this is to write the new, more empowering belief as an affirmation or a power mantra then start saying it over and over and over.
I am a motivated and confident woman.
I do have enough time.
I am a good sales person.
There is always enough money!
4. STRENGTHEN the new belief
Now, you need some results so it’s time to move into action! With your new thinking now in place, it’s important to strengthen this new empowering belief. In my book, I talk about thoughts being like super-highways in your mind. You may have been driving on that old, negative super-highway for years so it is probably going to take some time to strengthen this new, more empowering road that you’re building.
Think about what you can do to help strengthen this new thinking. Some ideas might be:
– What new actions would I take?
– What habits could I set up around this new belief and what old habits can I break?
– What quotes or inspiration could I find to remind me of this new thinking?
If you think you can’t do something, ask yourself why and what hard evidence you have for that view. I guarantee that most of the limits we place on ourselves have no real evidence or truth to them.
Challenge them all and you WILL change the way you see your world!
Oh yes, and please give someone more than six seconds to impress you. You just never know who you might meet!