Have you ever heard of the term limiting beliefs? I was introduced to the concept this year, however, have lived with them without knowing my entire life.
The definition that resonated with me, “a false belief that a person acquires as a result of making an incorrect conclusion about something in life.” Huh, sound familiar to maybe something you do? An example of this might be “I am not smart enough”, so you don’t go back to school or do the thing you want to do. I don’t know, like start a flipping blog?
The part of the definition that slapped me in the face was the “incorrect conclusion”. YEEEESSSS! That is EXACTLY what it is. You have told yourself something your entire life right? You were made to believe it was true by an outside source. You never once questioned it because it was all you knew. Most often, this can stem from your childhood. This does not mean that you necessarily had a hard or traumatic childhood by any means, but something happened at some point in your life that allowed for you to have certain beliefs and then you made that belief a reality.
Okay, you are either shaking your head saying “YEESSSS, I DO THIS” or I am losing you! Maybe you are wondering why in the heck I am talking about something that happened in the past? Let's focus on the future! Well, the reason is that these limiting beliefs that we came to believe are why we make the choices that we make today. Here, let me dig up some of mine that I have recently identified and include how they have been impacting my life even today.
Please, let me introduce you to some of my limiting beliefs.
- I’m not good with money.
- I don’t have enough time.
- I’m not an active person.
- Financial security is a pipe-dream.
- My plate is too full already.
- I can’t be a working mama and have a career.
- I’m an impostor.
- Life is hard, that’s just the way it is. That’s what happens to people like me.
- There is no point in dreaming big.
- Others approval is key to my worthiness.
- If I get too happy or successful I will jinx myself. It will end.
- Others needs are more important than mine.
- I am broken.
- If I relax/don’t plan/don’t control all areas of my life all hell will break loose.
- Risking being criticized or judged is not worth the pain and noise in my head.
- I am not self disciplined.
- I can’t change.
- I’m not strong enough.
- I don’t have enough experience.
- Why try? I’ll just fail.
Any of these resonate with you? Maybe you think them yourself? Maybe reading mine made a couple come to mind that you experience? Are there others that I have not listed that jump out at you as things you believe about yourself? Do me a favor and write it down. Look at it and really sit in it for a minute. Think about where it comes from. Did something happen to make you feel that way? Did someone say something to you at some point in your life that you still remember to this day? Now write down the opposite of whatever that thing is and how you can prove that limiting belief as a false one. See my example below.
I am not self disciplined. I would try a million different things and never stick to any of them. I am going to walk every single morning with the dog before work (before my two littles of course). I maybe did it once? I am going to never eat carbs again! Wait, vegetables are carbs? Never mind. I never, ever, ever followed through with something. I found an excuse for everything, I mean everything. Diets, exercise routines, excuse, excuse, excuse.
At the start of this year I entered a competition with my husband and brother-in-law. Really, they made the competition for the two of them and I talked smack and told them I would blow them away with THEIR goal. They were going to hit 2,000 miles on their bikes for 2019. I was going to a spin class at my local gym and thought “I’ve totally got this!” I have NEVER done anything like this, because “I’m not active” (another limiting belief) but I was not going to fail and have them point out the fact that I couldn’t actually do it. We purchased a stationary bike for our home, I took out my calculator and a calendar and did the math for the whole year to figure out how many miles I needed to do each week in order to hit this goal. Then, I made a promise to myself. Yup. I made a promise to myself just as I do to my kids, my husband, friends and family. That promise was that I was going to do this and prove to myself that I could do it. I then put appointments in my calendar just as I do for any other plans my family has. I was not going to cancel these appointments with myself. Don’t get me wrong, things come up and the appointments have to move, but the keyword is to move the appointment. I just make sure to find another time to do it during the week, knowing I have to hit 45 miles a week in order to maintain my goal. Let me tell you, I have busted my butt to stay on track. By the end of June I will have hit 1,000 miles. Um, what in the world?
I’m doing it! And, it’s a lot of work. But I am not going to break this promise to myself and that feels so much bigger than anything else. Side note, I am not doing this to be skinny. I am doing this to 1. Prove to myself that I can do it. 2. Be healthy. I want to be able to keep up with my children and this is definitely helping me!
Okay, so do you see? Do you see how we have these things called limiting beliefs that make us believe an “incorrect conclusion” that ultimately determines our path without us even thinking more about it or challenging it? Honestly, I could probably write blog posts on each and every one of these using them as topics as to why I have the limiting belief and the truth I now speak to the opposite of each of them as much as I can. Let me add, the truth I might speak to the opposite of them is work. It is work every single day. If you think about it, I have had many of these beliefs for 37+ years, so it is going to take a while for me to flip my perspective on each of them. I am by no means a master at this or perfect. Every day I work towards this and you saw that list, it is huge. I take it one limiting belief and one day at a time. It is a work in progress, but the upside is that I have realized that they exist and I am more aware of them as they come up.
So tell me, what is a limiting belief that you personally have? If you don’t want to share it in the comments shoot me an email or a message on social. Make sure you also write an opposite of how you can prove this limiting belief wrong but you are really going to need to think about it.
Also, please let me know if you saw a limiting belief in my list above that you would like me to maybe dig into more with its own post. I’m always looking for more ideas! It is time to challenge your limiting beliefs so you can finally be the person you were meant to be.