We often hold ourselves back from reaching our potential by believing something is unachievable. This is a limiting belief. The most important thing to remember is that limiting beliefs are usually not based on fact. They often originate from our interpretations of previous live experiences.
Your belief is then strengthened the more this experience or similar experiences occur. Beliefs can start as vague ideas and grow in to something we believe with absolute conviction. You can often see where the belief lies on the scale based on the language you use. For example:
- ‘I think it will snow in Scotland for at least one day in June’ – this is an idea more than a belief as there is probably little certainty of it happening
- ‘I believe it will rain in Scotland for at least one day in March’ – there is a bit more certainty around this so more likely to be a true belief
- ‘I know it will be light in Scotland during the day tomorrow’ – given the level of absolute certainty here it can be called a belief with conviction
These may be trivial examples, but be aware of when you use these words. Your beliefs have a major impact on your ability to live a happy, purposeful life.
Yet don’t worry, you can overcome limiting beliefs! The strength of your belief will determine how long it will take.
Shift your thinking, shift those beliefs
Here is a short exercise that can help you to shift your thinking.
- • Become more aware of your negative thoughts. Make a conscious effort to tune into your thoughts and notice whether they are limiting or empowering.
- • Write down what that limiting belief is and how it makes you feel. Name your emotions and make a commitment to let go of them
- • From the list, score out the limiting beliefs and emotions you no longer want to have
- • On the opposite side of the page write down an alternative way of thinking that will empower you to take positive steps forward
- • Think of situations that will help to reinforce your new empowering belief. Add further examples every day until you believe your empowering belief with conviction.
Here is an example:
Limiting thought: I don’t have the skills or knowledge to be successful in developing my own business.
Empowering thought: I can bridge my skills and knowledge gap by getting the appropriate training, coaching and mentoring. I will be successful in developing my own business.
The subtle difference in these statements is crucial. The more you form a habit of re-framing your thinking, the more your positive, growth mindset will develop!
We recommend journaling your thoughts, beliefs, feelings and emotions to shift them from your head to paper. This increases your self-awareness and can offer up life changing insight.
What are your experiences of limiting and empowering beliefs? How have they affected your life? Please comment below and join our journaling community on social media.