How do you recognize a limiting belief?
This may seem like a simple change, but beliefs can be stubborn defying the most rigorous logic.
A limiting belief is a simple statement that will usually begin with one of the following:
- I can’t…
- People should…
- They don’t want…
- Everyone/no one thinks…
Here are a few classic examples.
- I can’t maintain a long-term relationship.
- People never listen to me.
- He is easily distracted.
- Learning a foreign language is difficult.
- I’m no good at maths.
Here’s a simple belief-change exercise.
Whenever you hear yourself making the kind of statement mentioned above use this exercise. There are three steps to changing an unhelpful belief.
Shake its roots by challenging it. Answer the following questions:
- Have I always believed this?
- Where did this belief come from?
- Is the belief still valid?
- What evidence do I have to support the belief?
- Who do I know who holds an opposite belief?
- What evidence suggests that the belief is untrue?
Find an alternative, more empowering belief – brainstorm for beliefs that open up more possibilities. This is a matter of „trying on” a variety of beliefs until you find one that fits. Make sure that your new belief is stated in the positive – for example, „I can learn a foreign language and I am learning something new in each lesson.”
Integrate the alternative belief. Imagine how things will be different and gauge how you feel about this change. Imagine yourself doing what you will be doing. Imagine having a conversation holding your new belief.
Is this motivating you?
Does it feel good?
If necessary try on another belief and go through the same process. Then select the belief(s) that make you feel really good about yourself.
Before finally committing to the new belief consider how it might affect other people.
Congratulate yourself for having taken control of your kaleidoscope.
You have rid yourself of a limiting belief and created another that is infinitely more powerful. Even better is that over time this new way of thinking will become a habit and you will generate empowering beliefs naturally.