Transformation usually occurs when you are able to break free of your limiting beliefs. Limting beliefs hold you back from being the best that you can be and from being open to unlimitied possibilities. One of the most empowering thing to realise is that your belief system can be changed. Many times, you probably feel as if your beliefs are fixed. You are dead sure that you are right and would stubbornly hold on to them. You feel outraged when someone dares challenge your “truths” and distort your reality. However, what you fail to see is the possibility that your beliefs may be flawed, giving you a false representation than what is truly the case.
Beliefs are essentially made up of thoughts. When you habitually think of the same thoughts and when they become “real” in your mind, they form your beliefs. Beliefs can be positive and empowering; or negative and limiting. Positive beliefs can propel you to greater heights, while negative ones can send you spiraling downwards!
Sadly, most of us, perhaps including yourself, grew up with several limiting beliefs. Perhaps it was that when you were young, you were told that you were lousy at art, music or dance. The beliefs became self fulfilling in a way because you gave up your dream in pursuing any one of these interests. If anything, when you were 5 years old, it was easy to accept what an adult or an authorative figure tell you.
“People can, and do believe all kinds of utterly idiotic thoughts.” — Quote by L Michael Hall.
What Are Limiting Thoughts and Beliefs
According to a research into beliefs done by Dilts and DeLozier (both NLP innovators and authors), there are 3 main ways that people limit themselves. They are:
Hopelessness. You feel as if there is no hope because you do believe it is possible to achieve anything.
Helplessness. You believe that something is possible but you are not personally capable of achieving it.
Worthlessness. You do not believe that you deserve to attain success whatsoever.
Ask yourself if you have any of these limiting thoughts:
“I am allergic to homework.” (See above photo illustration.) “It is hard to reach the top”. “Others can do it better than me.” “It is difficult to be successful.” “Trying something new is too scary.” “It’s impossible to lose weight.” “I am just not genetically wired to be creative.” “I am unattractive and cannot attract a good man (or woman) into my life.”
You are a victim in life, when you refused to let go of your negative thoughts. In the face of a financial disaster, you believe that you are not worthy of having money. When you find yourself with no friends, your perception is that “no one loves me” or that “it is hard to make friends”. When you encounter problems at work, you say that “I am not good enough”. (More examples of mental viruses that prevent you from attaining success can be found here.)
On a more horrifying scale, terrorists were motivated by their beliefs, to kill and die with others, by hijacking and crashing two American aeroplnes into the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001. And it was the belief that terrorism must be defeated at all costs that prompted President Bush to respond by attacking Iraq and Afghanistan.
How Are Beliefs Formed?
- Childhood Imprints. The imprint stage is usually up to 7 years of age. Major events can affect your view of the world.
- The environment in which you grew up. Your parents, your school and the community that you are exposed to play a part in shaping your belief system. How you encounter difficulties now is largely determined by the stories that you have been told as a child.
- Modelling. You may unconsciouly take on the beliefs of someone you deeply admire. If the model in your life says so, then it must be so.
- Significant Experiences. You may go through certain life-altering experiences that shape your beliefs. If the experiences turn out to be triumphs, you are likely to believe that anything is possible. If the experiences are horrid ones and your attitude is negative, you are likely to adopt a lot of disempowering thoughts and fears.
A Story On Beliefs
Perhaps one of the most-told story about the power of beliefs was provided by Abraham Maslow. A patient refused to eat because he believed that he was a corpse. In exasperation, the pyschiatrist finally asked him if corpses bled. The patient said that he did not believe so.
The psychiatrist then proceeded to prick him with a pin, after asking his permission to. At which point, the patient started to bleed. In amazement, he declared, “Wow…corpses do bleed after all!”
Why Do You Need To Break Free From Limiting Beliefs
Explained using NLP terms, beliefs are perceptual filters. They determine how you view the world. They also act as confirmations in your reality of the environment. However, problems arise when they are flawed, distorted or steeped in unhelpful ways. Only when you become consciously aware about your assumptions, can there be the possibility of you breaking free.
Whatever makes up your beliefs, becomes true for you. Thoughts that are disempowering wears you down and puts you in a constant struggle. Instead of a smooth easy path, you find yourself facing more difficulties than others. With limiting beliefs, you are thwarting the process of personal growth for yourself. According to the Law of Attraction, it will also be hard for you to attract the outcomes that you desire, since you are not in alignment with your inner Being (and also, the Universe).
It is crucial that you deal with these self sabotaging thoughts. When the beliefs are deep rooted, they are usually in the form of black or white thinking. This simply means that you think in terms of extreme pole ends such as “should” and “should never”, “can” and “cannot”; and “a piece of cake” and “way impossible”. For myself, my pet words have been “never” and “always”, which limited me in several situations in the past.
The life that you create is largely determined by your beliefs. When you hold on to your beliefs that you are not capable of achieving something, you do not try hard enough and sabotage your efforts in some way. You also prevent yourself from finding evidence to disprove them.
What you perhaps do not realise often enough is that when you do learn how to do the things that you initially have no faith over, your beliefs start to change. Suddenly, from a feeling of failure and hopelessness, you feel more positive and empowered! The paradigm shift that you experience can be a very liberating experience! And when you do have this shift, you experience a Oneness with your inner Being. You are in alignment with who you really are. The Law of Attraction works in your favor and best at this stage!
“That a man can change himself, improve himself, re-create himself, control his environment, and master his own destiny is the conclusion of every mind who is wide-awake to the power of right thought in constructive action.” — Quote by Larsen
Be Open To Change
Let go of your rigid beliefs. Be flexible. Open yourself up to more possibilities.
Your belief system is not cast in stone. Recognise that it can be changed. Consider stepping out of your comfort zone and make room for more a more positive and healthy belief system. When someone challenges your beliefs and instead of feeling righteous or the need to defend your stand rightaway, take a step backwards. Question your beliefs. Ask yourself if your beliefs are flawed. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see if you may have unconsciously assumed certain things.
Admittedly, certain beliefs may have served the purpose of protecting you from harm while you were young. However they may not be thoroughly relevant now. An appropriate question to ask yourself: Is the belief still a useful one for you?
Here is a good illustration. In your younger days, your family may have taught you the virtues of hoarding because there was never enough food to pass around. Into adulthood, you continue to hold on to the belief that resources are scarce, even thought it may not be truly the case right now. You become selfish and miserly, always counting the pennies. This feeling of scarcity also affects your ability to give love, because you suffer from a sense of lack in your life.
If you find yourself being held back by your limiting thoughts, recognise that it is possible to change your belief patterns. In fact, the more tenaciously you hold on to a belief, the more it signifies something valuable that you may need to let go of.
Your beliefs are made up of thoughts, which are essentially energy. In metaphysical terms, they are statements of desires to to the Universe. As a human being, you originate thought in a creative process. So think of it this way: If you can create thoughts, you can definitely change them. It would be useful to think and behave in a way that is in alignment with your inner Being. Your energy vibration shifts, allowing you to effectively attract the outcomes that you so desire, with much less struggle.
“Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your beliefs.” — Quote by Dr Maxwell Maltz
My Life Journey and Yours: Transcend Early Limiting Beliefs
In a healing session with my therapist this morning, I wanted to seek more clarity about my life’s purpose. While I already knew that my purpose was to be in the area of self help, I was hoping for clear answers on where my path was leading to. A motivational speaker? An author to a life-changing book? What? I wanted to see if was possible to know a clear end state.
Instead, I got this revelation from my Higher Guides: To Know the Purpose Now is to Defeat the Purpose. The message, it seems, is that my purpose is to be found in walking my life journey itself. I am already on the right path; part of what I need to do is to transcend my early limitations. It appears that I am here to recognise my magnificence and to explore my divinity.
What an interesting insight! With this answer, I am pretty sure it would apply to you too - Break Free from Your Limiting Beliefs and Work Towards Being One with Your Inner Being!