First, let me say I love this topic. Limiting beliefs are a common roadblock on the path to reaching our goals and desires, and therefore repeat worthy. Do not underestimate the power of your thoughts, what you believe, and the role they play in your day-to-day life. I love encouraging clients to challenge their current limiting beliefs and reframe with limitless and empowering thoughts. This is what this article is about.
CHALLENGE WITH LOVE
I love a good challenge! But recently someone said to me, “you’re right, I need to stop thinking that way.” My first response, was actually, NO you don’t, but it did get me thinking about how we perceive challenging our thoughts. And, if we aren’t careful about how we go about this process it could lead us to feel defeated.
How you think, what you believe, and how you feel are yours to process and nothing about these thoughts and emotions is “wrong.” You are perfectly you! Many of these thoughts and beliefs are habitual and we have worked on perfecting them over a very long period of time. We can gain serious knowledge, however when we “challenge” old ways of thinking.
It is important to challenge your thoughts from a place of love, compassion and most importantly without judgement.
What is a limiting belief?
We have a tape running through our minds daily of thoughts and beliefs we have given meaning to, and found evidence to support. Because of this, we have come to believe these beliefs are true even if they aren’t. Here are some examples:
- What if I fail, what if it doesn’t work, etc.?
- I don’t have the right skills.
- I will not succeed.
- Imposter syndrome.
- I could never do that.
- It’s just not me.
- I’m not as good, pretty, talented, etc.
- Stress is just part of my life.
- Past events we carry with us:
- This is how it’s always been.
- I don’t deserve anything different.
- It’s never going to change.
- Why should I expect anything different.
- Something to which we gave meaning. Often this happens when the actions of someone else we make about us.
- If someone doesn’t call you back, you may assume they are upset with you.
- Someone treats us a certain way and we assume they don’t like us.
- Fear of fitting in.
Our beliefs create our experiences and our experiences support our beliefs.
Therefore, if we believe it to be true (even if it isn’t), we will find evidence to support it. How do these limiting thoughts keep us stuck though? When we are stuck in limiting thought patterns it can cause stress, anxiety, depression, cause emotional instability, lack of desire – all which can keep us from moving forward and difficult to make empowering decisions, AND keep us stuck.
Where in your own life have limiting beliefs taken residence and possibly held you back? If we want to create fulfilling lifestyles, reach our goals, dream big, feel empowered – feeling limited and having false beliefs is not a solid foundation for a limitless lifestyle.
The goal is to have a heightened level of awareness that allows us to step back and take inventory. When we do this, we can identify thoughts that may be limiting and begin to challenge their validity – again, always from a place of love and curiosity. This process can be a game changer.
Here are some examples to open the internal dialogue necessary to challenge your limiting beliefs:
- Why am I feeling this way?
- What triggered this thought?
- Could something else be true?
- Do I have evidence to support this belief, thought, etc.
- Is what I believe even true?
- Could I gain something positive by letting go of this thought?
- How can I reframe this thought into something empowering?
- Am I taking on someone else’s stuff?
- What else needs to be nourished in my life?
- Is this thought in alignment with my goals and desires?
- How would I prefer to feel?
- Is this belief serving me right now?
Ready for a challenge?
Journal for one week each limiting belief that creeps in.
Challenge with the applicable questions above.
Choose an alternative thought or belief.
Be kind to yourself as it may take time to create new habits around old ways of thinking. YOU can transform your thoughts from limiting to limitless so you can feel empowered!
Stay tuned for more on this topic!
Your Coach for living well,