Three Steps to Overcome Limiting Beliefs
Sharing a post written by Jessica Pena.
It is an amazing addition to my limiting beliefs’ series. You can find her at
Have you ever ran into a problem in your life that you thought you solved months or even years earlier? This is something almost everyone experiences a few times, and when you look deeper into it it’s easy to see why! In life, we repeat lessons until we learn them. Our brain is really good at looping experiences and feelings so that we experience them in different ways. We have a natural instinct to figure things out and play with concepts that catch our attention. Our limiting beliefs are a prime example of this!
A limiting belief is a belief that holds you back from being your greatest, most expansive and empowered self. Sometimes limiting beliefs are really obvious, like when you know you shouldn’t feel insecure about something, but you can’t help it. You see the limiting belief on the surface in this case. Other times, the limiting belief can be buried deep, such as beliefs we might form around money or relationships. It’s common for limiting beliefs to build upon each other into a waterfall of negativity and restriction we can’t seem to stop.
One of the most effective ways to break free from limiting beliefs is to find that core limiting belief, something Jessica May Tang, RRT coach and genius behind The Love Yourself Podcast, refers to as the “root block.” When the root block, or core limiting belief, is broken down, all of the beliefs that were built upon it fall away too, it’s a really powerful process that truly transforms your perspective!
So let’s talk about how to overcome that root block, that core limiting belief, in a few simple steps.
Step 1 | Identify the problem
Of the entire process, I find step one to be the most daunting and difficult. You’re reading this article on limiting beliefs because you’re unsatisfied with something in your life. So before we do too much, we need to make sure we’re “solving” the right problem by becoming fully aware of what exactly the problem is.
This step requires patience with yourself; it’s truly an act of self love. To identify the limiting belief, you have to trust yourself enough to really open up about what is bothering you in life.
There may be layers, so it helps to really spend time identifying the root of the limiting beliefs.
Try making a list.
First, write out everything you’re unhappy about in your life. Every little tiny thing. Write until you’re done.
Then, repeat this process every day for a week. Avoid the urge to judge or figure anything out at this point, just let yourself acknowledge what you’re unhappy with in life.
Note: If you’re very sensitive like me, I recommend having a plan in place to shake off those blah-feelings when you’re done. Create a playlist to get your mood up and off the things you’re unhappy about- you don’t want to focus on this list all day, you just want to allow these unhappy points to come up, and then let them go until you write about more the next day. Go for a walk outside, pet a sweet animal, watch an uplifting YouTube show, shake it all off, do whatever it takes so you’re not miserable this entire week while noticing what you’re unhappy about!
Step 2 | Name the belief
After spending a week identifying the problems, take some time to name the belief that is causing problem by reflecting on the many problems bringing you unhappiness. Identify any major themes. Think about the way each item on the list makes you feel, and make a note of any common feelings.
Look at what you’ve written, and consider this: what we notice in life is a decision. We notice these problems, on some level, because we are looking for them. We have a belief that tells us these problems exist, so we are finding them.
Looking at the themes and feelings you’ve identified, ask yourself the following questions:
– Why am I upset about this?
– What do I believe about myself when I experience this?
– What would I rather the situation be?
Go down your list of problems, and ask these questions for every one that fits any of the major themes you identified. Journal it out! (And if you find these sort of questions helpful, check out my blog post with 22 Questions to Ask When Working Through Resistance!)
This takes some time, but it’s really worth it to learn more about yourself. Notice what keeps coming up. Are you feeling ignored, inconsistent, worthless, or unimportant? Use that to name the limiting belief. State it openly.
“I am not enough.” “I am not heard.” “I am not loved.” Whatever it may be, you’re allowed to say it. You need to say it, name it and take away its power.
Once it’s seen, it can be shifted into something true, loving, and expansive!
Step 3 | Disprove the belief
Now that you’ve uncovered the core limiting belief, it’s time to retrain your brain. These beliefs tend to come from our childhood, so we’ve been practicing them for years! Or else they come from painful or traumatic events, which means the lesson is more deeply ingrained into our thought patterns so that we can avoid future pain. Disproving the belief takes a second, but it also needs to become a regular practice to retrain your thought process over time.
To disprove the belief, write it down on paper.
Then, write the opposite. Finally, make a list of reasons why the opposite is true. Use real, concrete evidence!
Push yourself on this step.
It’s going to feel challenging and uncomfortable, but really sit with it and do the work. Demand 20 pieces of evidence for the new belief. Write 20 down. If you need help, ask for it. I recommend doing as much of this on your own as you can, rather than seeking outside validation, but if you need help that’s okay!
Continue adding 20 pieces of evidence to your list each week, and read back through your new belief and your evidence list every day! This is another thing Jessica May Tang taught me and it’s such a powerful activity!
These steps are simple actions, but that doesn’t make them easy. Honestly, breaking through limiting beliefs can be really difficult. It can be exhausting! Our mind creates these fast-tracks for us for a reason, they make life easier. It’s easy to do what is already a habit, from following a morning routine to thinking about certain situations in a certain way. It takes more effort to carve out a new path, so really go easy on yourself through the process of overcoming limiting beliefs. Show yourself love and affection. Give yourself kindness and the benefit of the doubt.
Treat Yourself with Kindness
Something I’ve learned to do is to think of myself as if I were speaking to my sister, or to a niece or a friend. I imagine what I’d say to my own daughter. What would I tell any of these wonderful people who I love so dearly if I knew they were overwhelmed? Tired? If they had this deep belief that they weren’t enough? That they were too much and not worth loving? Allow yourself to think like this, and write yourself a letter as if you love yourself that way already. No matter what beliefs you find in this process, loving yourself is so important every step of the way. When you throw away your old limiting beliefs, you’re not getting rid of ugly parts of yourself. You’re shedding what was actually never you at all. You’re moving a layer closer to your most authentic, loving core. You’ve always been that most brilliant, loving core- that amazing person you aspire to become. Remember that you are simply learning to let that core shine through again by putting down what no longer serves you in life.
(Photo by Ali Marel via Unsplash)
#protectivebeliefs #limitingbeliefs #personaldevelopment #livingalifeofgratitude #livingalifeofpurpose #purposedrivenlife #livingalifeofdeepmeaning