What Are Limiting Beliefs?
Many people view limiting beliefs as those beliefs that tell us we can’t do a specific thing. So, what are some common limiting beliefs? Some people believe that they aren’t good public speakers. While other people think that they aren’t good in stressful situations. And other people feel that they aren’t as smart as other people. I’m sure you can think of your own experience with a limiting belief.
Are These Limiting Beliefs True?
It depends. If you continue to believe in your limiting belief, it will be true. Why? Because you don’t challenge the idea. Even when you make attempts to overcome a long-standing belief about yourself, you still sabotage yourself.
Let me give you an example. One of my limiting beliefs is that I’m not a good public speaker. While I’ve overcome my fear of speaking to people I know, through years of personal and professional experiences, I still clam up in large meetings and frequently avoid making eye contact with strangers, so I don’t have to strike up a conversation.
Due to my limiting belief, I freeze in awkward conversations, or I fumble and stumble over my words. We aren’t even going to go into my terrifying reaction of doing a FB Live in “real time.” Holy cow! You mean someone can respond when I’m speaking? Ah, no way man, not happening.
Where Do Limiting Beliefs Come From?
Where do these limiting beliefs come from? Limiting beliefs come from our perceptions of childhood experiences. During our formative years, we have limited understanding of the situations we are experiencing. For example, in the case of my fear of public speaking, I’ve been able to trace the feeling back to when I was about four years old. I can vividly picture one of my dad’s friends asking me a question, and I was too shy to answer him. I froze and said nothing. The man laughed and commented on how shy I was and how bright red my face looked.
In my mind, I believed that he was maliciously laughing at me. My four-year-old brain couldn’t comprehend that he was a nice man and thought my reaction was cute. Who doesn’t think a four-year-old is cute?
Anyway, this memory was stored in my body for further reference. When did I reference it? Any time I felt awkward in social interactions. I tapped into the belief that I was going to say something, and people would laugh at me. As a result, I avoided conversations with people I wasn’t comfortable with and saved myself the embarrassment and awkwardness.
Are Limiting Beliefs Negative?
On the outset, we tend to view limiting beliefs as negative. These beliefs are keeping us stuck and unable to accomplish something that we would like to do. Let’s explore another example of a limiting belief. This limiting belief frequently happens to children of divorce. These children believe that they aren’t lovable because of their parent’s divorce. Many adults, who are products of divorce at a young age, understand now that their parent’s relationship had to do with the adults and not themselves. However, the feelings of being at fault for the divorce will continue to rear their ugly head, if not dealt with. This fear can sabotage the adult relationships and personal feelings that a child of divorce continues to experience during times of stress.
Yes, it isn’t helpful, but we need to remember why it’s there in the first place. That limiting belief was a coping mechanism that their childhood self used to interpret their environment and protected them.
Limiting beliefs protect you from further awkward or harmful situations. The childhood me didn’t want to feel embarrassed, shy, exposed or made fun of, so I continued to avoid experiences where these feelings would surface. This belief protected me from further damage.
Therefore, I want to honor my limiting beliefs for providing the “little me” with protection based on the knowledge of the world, that I knew at the time. So, instead of ridiculing my limiting beliefs for being a hindrance in my current situation, I will honor them for taking care of me. Then, I will work to re-frame what these limiting beliefs are protecting me from.
How Can You Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs?
A few months ago, I healed my shy inner child. I re-interpreted her perception of the situation and immersed her with love and support. It helped me tremendously in personal conversations. However, I still haven’t gotten past that FB Live thing. A part of that must be stored with some other protective beliefs. As I continue to work through my limiting beliefs, I feel that I will discover what is at the root of this fear as well.
I would like to provide you with an invitation to delve into your unconscious. Your long-buried emotions. Instead of blocking out your feelings, you need to experience them. We’ve become so good at fight or flight responses that we don’t sit in the muck of our emotions and address them.
Only then can you release yourself from the ties that bind you from reaching your ultimate potential. What do you need to tell that little girl?
Are you courageous enough to heal your inner child?
Check out my free mini course on Eliminating Mommy Guilt!
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