Do you have limiting beliefs? What are limiting beliefs?
People have limiting beliefs that have shaped their outlook on life; beliefs like not being attractive enough, not interesting enough, or not smart enough to meet other people. Labeling yourself as shy in your mind’s eye will result in behavior that reinforces your belief. Removing these limiting beliefs can help you overcome the patterns of behavior that hold you back. If you have a belief that you are unattractive, challenge that belief. We tend to have a higher standard for beauty for ourselves than we do for others. Take a look at yourself in a mirror and send love and acceptance to every part of your body, even if it does not match the standard that the media and society has given you. Every person on the planet looks different from every other person and we are all beautiful. Instead of focusing on the parts of your body you don’t like, make a list of things that you are grateful for.
“When you are grateful – when you can see what you have – you unlock blessings to flow in your life.” – Suze Orman
I am grateful for my health, grateful that I have five fingers on each hand that can pick up things and allow me to play music and type on a keyboard. I am grateful for two legs that allow me to walk, run and dance. My stomach does not have six pack abs. In fact, that is where I store a few extra pounds; yet I can be grateful for those few extra pounds. In a different time, being overweight was a sign of being affluent. I can be grateful for living in a time where food is not scarce, and I have a choice of readily available food to eat. I can then take the next step and choose to eat healthily and exercise and lose a few pounds if I want. This is part of looking my best to be the best version of myself that other people would want to get to know. So, I may have the limiting belief that because I have a few extra pounds, I am unattractive. Next step would be to remove the limiting belief by challenging it.
Question your negative self-beliefs. If you have a belief that you do something, take a look at that belief and ask yourself if it is true. Most likely you will find that it is an exaggeration of a negative feeling. Maybe this statement has been true mostly in an environment where you are looking for a partner and feeling inadequate. When you look at it with a more critical eye you can find cases where you have comfortably talked to people of the opposite sex. Then take a look at the opposite statement. Make the statement that you have comfortably talked to people of the opposite sex. Find cases where that is true. Next, take a look at how the first negative statement makes you feel; notice where in your body you hold on to that feeling. Perhaps it makes you sick to the stomach. Now, make the opposite and more positive statement and notice how it makes you feel. Did the feeling in your stomach go away? Which statement makes you feel better? Which feeling would you like to feel? Make the choice to believe in the statement which is more true and makes you feel better. Now whenever you are feeling bad take a look at where in the body you feel the stress. Ask yourself what is the limiting belief that is causing this feeling. Question if that belief is always true, and start believing the opposite statement that is more positive, that does not cause stress, and that makes you feel better.
Here are several negative limiting beliefs; ask yourself if you are using them and then work on changing them:
- Mind reading – Assuming you know what other people are thinking, and you often believe that they think the worst of you.
- Fortune telling – Predicting the future, usually while assuming the worst will happen. You believe that things will go wrong, so you’re already anxious before you’re even in the situation.
- Catastrophizing – Imagining the worst by exaggerating things that may go wrong. Instead of thinking it may be uncomfortable you imagine it will be “awful,” “terrible,” or “disastrous.”
- Personalizing – Assuming that people are focusing on you in a negative way or that what’s going on with other people has to do with you.
To remove a limiting belief, take the time to ask yourself if it is really true or not; then take the opposite belief and ask yourself if it is just as true or if it is more true than the limiting belief. Ask yourself if holding on to this belief helps you live your life to the fullest, or if it’s holding you back from being the person you want to be. Choose to stop believing the belief that is holding you back. If your belief is that you have to be in a relationship to be happy, choose the opposite. Tell yourself that you can be happy whether you’re in a relationship or not. If your belief is that you need everyone to like you, realize that you have little control over what other people feel, and you can be happy by being true to yourself. Some people will like you the way you are and others may not.
“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” – Henry Ford