Do you feel like you have vision of your ideal future - the loving family, the fulfilling career or side hustle, and personal goals that we strive to achieve, but feel stuck in reaching those dreams?
Have you ever wondered why this might be happening even when you're trying so hard to bring your vision to life?
That's when it's time to take an introspective look into ourselves and identify what could be blocking us from stepping into that space – our limiting beliefs.
These hidden ‘truths’ can hold us back without us even realizing it - and to stay on the path towards our desired outcomes, we need to first identify them before breaking through them.
In today's blog post I'll examine what limiting beliefs are, why they can be so damaging in our lives, and most importantly – how we can begin working through them.
We all want freedom from these blocks - let's get started!
What are Limiting Beliefs
Limiting beliefs can be described as any thoughts or perspectives that we may have which hold us back from achieving our desired outcomes. They often hold a degree of ‘truth’ in our minds – but this truth is usually false, and not based on facts or evidence.
We can develop limiting beliefs for a number of reasons - perhaps someone close to us told us something that we’ve subconsciously taken in and accepted as absolute truth; maybe our environment, culture or traditions influence the way that we think about certain things; or it could be simply due to our own experiences or past failures.
Whatever the cause may be, it’s important to recognize that these beliefs are likely not actually true – they’re simply limiting our potential by preventing us from trying.
Examples of Limiting Beliefs
Limiting beliefs can come in many forms, and can vary from person to person. Here are some examples of common limiting beliefs:
- “I’m not smart enough.”
- “I’ll never be successful.”
- “I don’t deserve love/happiness/wealth/success.”
- “I don’t have what it takes to be successful.”
- “It’s too late for me to start something new.”
- “I can’t do anything right.”
- “I don’t have enough time.”
- “I can’t do this because I'm not enough (not strong enough, not talented etc).”
These are just a few examples of limiting beliefs, and some may deeply resonate with you or some may feel relevant, but not like really hit the core issue.
That's because people can be dealing with the same blocks, but the limiting beliefs that are blocking them are unique to them.
Take the example of feeling unworthy of love.
One person may hold onto the belief that they don't deserve love, while another may believe they're simply unlovable.
Both of these beliefs are preventing them from receiving the love they deserve, but the person who doesn't feel worthy of love can work on changing this belief to one that supports them, such as "I'm worthy and deserving of love".
The person who believes they're unlovable, however, may need to explore deeper into their past experiences or stories they've told themselves in order to uncover the shame they feel around being unloveable.
It's important to recognize that these beliefs, no matter how ‘true’ they may feel in the moment, are not actually facts – they’re simply stories we tell ourselves.
We were not born with them. They were learned. And if they can be learned once, they can be re-learned and un-learned.
Understanding the Impact of Limiting Beliefs on Goals and Dreams
Why Limiting Beliefs are so Damaging
Limiting beliefs can be incredibly damaging to our mental health and overall wellbeing. When we accept these false thoughts as truth, it can lead to depression, low self-esteem, fear of failure, a lack of motivation or an inability to take action.
For example, if you’ve been told all your life that “you’re not good enough” or “you don’t have what it takes” to achieve something – this can hold you back and cause you to stay in a loop of negative self-talk and inaction.
On the other hand, if you start to recognize these thoughts for what they are – false beliefs that are holding you back from achieving your dreams – then it can be incredibly liberating and empowering.
When we start to become aware of our own limiting beliefs, and what they are telling us, we can begin to challenge them and turn them into powerful affirmations that support us in taking action.
For example, if the thought “I’m not good enough” comes up for you - try reframing it as “I am enough and I have the power to create a life of my own design.”
This type of affirmation works on two levels – it helps us get into a more positive headspace and it can also help us take action towards achieving our goals.
When we start to break through these negative beliefs, we open ourselves up to new possibilities, a better understanding of ourselves, and ultimately, the power to create our own lives.
By recognizing the true source of these thoughts, we can start to uncover what’s really holding us back - and begin to take action towards making our dreams reality.
We all have the potential within us to do great things – but sometimes it takes breaking through our own limiting beliefs to get there.
The Impact of Limiting Beliefs on Our Goals and Dream
Understanding the impact of limiting beliefs on our goals and dreams can be a difficult process, but it's important to recognize that these blocks can prevent us from achieving success.
For example, if you have a dream of opening your own business, but hold onto the belief that “I’m not smart enough,” this thought alone could stop you from taking any action towards achieving this dream.
These beliefs can also prevent us from taking risks and trying new things. If we don’t feel like we’re “good enough,” then why take the risk in case we fail?
Limiting beliefs also give our minds permission to create excuses - no matter how small - to prevent us from taking action.
We can easily come up with a hundred reasons why we shouldn’t do something rather than exploring and investing in the reasons why we should.
It can be difficult to stay motivated when our minds are constantly telling us that we’re not capable of accomplishing our dreams, but it's important to recognize that these beliefs are not facts, and that we can choose to let go of them.
The Benefits of Challenging Limiting Beliefs
Fortunately, challenging our limiting beliefs can be incredibly liberating and empowering. Once we start to recognize these false thoughts for what they are, we can begin to break free from the shackles of self-doubt, fear of failure, and lack of motivation.
When we start to take action in spite of our doubts and fears, we open ourselves up to a world of opportunities and possibilities that we never knew were possible.
We can start to trust ourselves, our capabilities, and our power to create the life of our dreams. We can realize that we are enough - exactly as we are - and that anything is within reach if we believe in ourselves.
Breaking through these limiting beliefs takes time, effort, and above all, self-compassion.
Developing a practice of self-care and self-love is essential for being able to recognize these false thoughts when they come up and challenge them with supportive affirmations that will help you take action towards your goals.
Whenever fear or doubts arise, try to be kind to yourself – this isn’t a failure, this is an opportunity to grow and learn.
Other benefits of challenging limiting beliefs could be:
- Increased self-awareness - By recognizing your limiting beliefs, you become more self-aware. You start to understand the root of your fears and insecurities, and how they have impacted your life. This knowledge empowers you to make positive changes and take control of your life.
- Improved confidence - Limiting beliefs can often keep us from taking risks and trying new things. When you challenge these beliefs, you can build confidence and trust in yourself. You start to believe that you are capable of achieving your goals and making your dreams a reality.
- Greater resilience - Challenging limiting beliefs requires persistence and determination. As you go through this process, you develop greater resilience and become better equipped to handle challenges that life throws your way.
- More fulfilling relationships - Limiting beliefs can affect how we connect with others. By challenging them, we can open ourselves up to new experiences and connect with people who share our values and interests.
- Improved mental health - Limiting beliefs can contribute to negative thoughts and feelings. Challenging them can help improve your mental health and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
- Freedom to explore - Limiting beliefs often hold us back from exploring new territories in our lives. When we challenge these beliefs, we open ourselves up to new opportunities and experiences that can help us grow as individuals.
- Greater happiness and fulfillment - Ultimately, challenging our limiting beliefs can lead to greater happiness and fulfillment. By breaking free from self-imposed restrictions, we can lead more authentic lives and pursue our passions and dreams with greater confidence and purpose.
How We Can Begin Working Through Limiting Beliefs
Now that we know what limiting beliefs are and why they can be so damaging in our lives, let’s look at how we can begin to let go of these false stories and move towards achieving our goals.
Recognizing the Signs of Limiting Beliefs
The first step in working through our limiting beliefs is to recognize when they are present.
Some signs of limiting beliefs can include:
- feeling overwhelmed by tasks that seem too big or difficult
- avoiding taking risks as they feel too “scary”
- negative self-talk about not being good enough or capable of achieving goals
- focusing on the potential failures rather than the potential successes
- feeling stuck and unable to make progress towards your goals
- doubting your abilities and accomplishments, even when others praise you
- comparing yourself to others frequently and feel like you don't measure up
- having a fear of failure that keeps you from taking risks
- feeling like you don't deserve success or happiness.
These are just some of the classic signs, but it’s important to remember that everyone is unique and may experience different sign based on their past experiences, the area of their life, and where they are on their journey.
Identifying Your Own Limiting Beliefs
Once you've become aware of the signs of limiting beliefs, it's time to start exploring your own.
The best way to do this is through self-reflection and journaling.
Here is an extensive list of questions you can journal about when trying to identify your own limiting beliefs:
- What thought or belief holds me back most often?
- What are the recurring negative thoughts that I have about myself and my abilities?
- What are some instances where I have avoided taking risks or pursuing my goals because of fear or self-doubt?
- What do I believe about my own worth, success, and happiness? Are these beliefs empowering or limiting?
- How have my past experiences, upbringing, or cultural background shaped my beliefs about what I can and cannot achieve?
- What are some ways I've held myself back in my relationships, career, health, or overall well-being?
- What would I do differently if I truly believed in myself and my potential? What steps can I take to cultivate a growth mindset and overcome my limiting beliefs?
- What are some thoughts that often come up in my mind when I want to try something new or take a risk?
- Do I have any beliefs about what is possible for me to achieve or experience in life?
- Are there any past experiences that have shaped my beliefs about myself or the world?
- Are there any patterns in my behavior that reflect my limiting beliefs?
For some, these questions can bring up difficult emotions and thoughts. It's important to be gentle with yourself during this process, and remember that it's all part of the process of growth and transformation.
Strategies for Overcoming Limiting Beliefs
Once you've identified your limiting beliefs, the next step is to create a plan for overcoming them. It's important to remember that this process won't be easy or happen overnight – it takes time and commitment to work through our false stories and become aware of our self-imposed restrictions.
Here are some strategies you can use.
Recognizing your limiting beliefs in the moment
Start recognizing when a limiting belief pops up in your mind – this could be something like “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do this”.
Now that you're aware of your limiting beliefs, you have a choice. You can choose to continue to believe it and allow it to hold you back, or you can choose to push through it.
The best way to push through the limiting belief is take the opposite action, or the action that feels aligned AND scary.
For example, if you are working on a creative project and have the belief “I’m not creative enough”, instead of letting it hold you back and avoid starting, take the action that feels aligned but also a bit scary. Perhaps it's getting your supplies, or simply just starting the project! This will keep you moving towards your goals, tells your brain it's stories have no control over you, and starts to rewire your subconscious mind to overwrite that old belief.
Challenging your beliefs
According to the National Science Foundation, our brains can produce as many as 50,000 thoughts per day. We have to learn how to start challenging them!
Once you start noticing thoughts that are holding you back, take a step back and ask yourself if it’s actually true – is there evidence to support this or is there something else going on?
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to challenge your beliefs. Think about them in your mind or journal about them:
- What thought or belief is holding me back?
- Is this true for everyone or just me?
- What evidence can I find to support this belief?
- What evidence can I find that opposes it?
- Where did this thought come from and why do I believe it?
- What would life be like if I didn’t have this thought or belief?
Challenging your beliefs with evidence from life
Another way to challenge your limiting beliefs is to search for evidence that disproves them. Look at evidence from your life that proves they are false - look at past successes, positive feedback from other people, or even just small wins you’ve had in daily life.
For instance, if you have the belief “I’m not good enough”, take some time to reflect on all the successes and accomplishments in your life – even small ones. This will help you see that those beliefs are unfounded and don't necessarily reflect the truth.
Replace your thoughts with empowering ones
Start to replace those negative thoughts with more empowering ones. For example, if you catch yourself thinking “I can’t do this” – switch it up to something like “I’m learning and growing every day and I will be able to do this eventually.”
Find ways you can reframe your old beliefs. Think, what is a more empowering way to think of this or say this?
Another powerful way of doing this is to engage in positive self-talk and affirmations(link this). These can be simple statements such as “I am capable and worthy of achieving my goals” or “I can take risks and trust myself”.
By reframing and replacing, you are gradually rewriting those limiting beliefs and allowing yourself to become more open to opportunities that will help you reach your desired goals. At the same time, you're also beginning to rewire your subconscious mind and create new neural pathways that align with these thoughts.
Using hypnosis to rewrite your limiting beliefs
Hypnosis can be an effective tool for letting go of limiting beliefs because it helps to reprogram the subconscious mind at the root of our negative thought patterns.
By accessing the subconscious mind in a hypnotic state, we can replace limiting beliefs with positive and empowering ones, freeing ourselves from the constraints that have been holding us back.
Through hypnosis, we can rewire our mindset and develop a more positive outlook on life, leading to greater self-confidence, improved relationships, and more significant achievements.
For a deeper dive on using hypnosis to rewrite limiting beliefs, check out How to Let Go of Limiting Beliefs For Good: Getting to the Root with Hypnosis
By recognizing our own limiting beliefs, we can start to break through the stories that hold us back and create a life of our own design. This doesn’t mean it will be easy – but with self-awareness, self-love, and the courage to take action in spite of our fears, anything is possible.
No matter how hard it may be, remember that you are capable and worthy of achieving your dreams. With the right tools and mindset, you can break through any limiting beliefs that may have been holding you back and start to create a life filled with joy, passion, and purpose.
Ready to start overwriting those limiting beliefs?
Take the first step in overcoming your limiting beliefs today by downloading our Magnetic Desires: Hypnosis for Manifesting Desires audio recording.
Learn how to visualize your goals, reprogram your mind with positive affirmations, and start creating a life filled with joy, passion, and purpose.
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