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Have you ever thought about doing something that you wanted to do and got excited? Then, you have another quick thought, only this time it’s all the reasons why you could not accomplish that experience or goal. Well, if this has ever happened to you, then you have experienced what’s called a limiting belief.
Limiting beliefs are thoughts that you believe are true that keep you limited in some way. It can be a system of beliefs or convictions that you easily accepted as true and have never questioned or researched. Usually, these are the beliefs that have guided your life and the decisions that you have made. Limiting beliefs can be about limitations that you place on yourself, the people around you, or how you interact with the world.
Limiting beliefs may have been created when you encountered a circumstance that helped you survive a challenging experience, but as an adult, they are now hindering your growth. Limiting beliefs are negative because they can keep you stuck and hold you back from living your best life.
Limiting beliefs can:
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These beliefs can come from a multitude of experiences such as things that you were taught in childhood. Specific groups and circumstances that may have created these beliefs are caregivers or family, society or community, the education you received or school, or possibly traumatic events that you experienced at some point in your life.
We all come from different types of families and communities that have different belief systems. Those belief systems can come in the form of religion, tradition, deep values, or stories that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Many times, the people in our family that created the belief systems probably created them for a specific reason. Such as if they were going through a difficult situation and had to learn new ways of living to survive. At that time it probably served them very well so they passed those beliefs to their children and grandchildren. The issue is that the belief system may have worked for that group at that time, but it may not work for your life now in this present time.
(Learn more tips on how to stop sacrificing your happiness for others here.)
The reason is that you may not be going through the same experience, therefore your needs may be different from your grandparents’ needs. For example, if your grandparents were really poor and had to survive on only bread and water, they may have thought that was a decent way of life. But if you are not poor and you have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, then you should not feel guilty for not only eating bread and water.
Give yourself permission to acknowledge the sacrifices that your family or ancestors made and acknowledge that you have more options and can make better choices. This doesn’t mean you don’t respect your family or care about them, it just means that you acknowledge that they could only give you what they knew at that time. Now that you are an adult with more knowledge, you can make better choices for your needs based on the life that you live and the more abundant opportunities you have.
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Similar to family, the society or community that you grow up in or experience can have a great effect on your limiting beliefs. As a child, if you grew up in a community that didn’t have access to higher education, it’s possible you may not have thought that you could get a higher education because you didn’t see anyone in your neighborhood going to college.
Or, if you grew up in a community where women only stayed home with their children, you may believe that it was bad for a woman to be single with no children.
The point is that what you see in your daily environment can affect your belief system because it is what shapes your experience. For you to believe that you can do, be or have anything that you want, you need to be able to see people that look like you doing, being, or having anything that they want.
Depending on your community or the environment you group up in, you may need to physically move to an area with people or groups that have the belief system you desire in your life now. There is nothing wrong with changing your community to feed your mind with more positive experiences that help encourage your growth.
Formal education, whether elementary, middle, or high school, can give a person the foundation they need to start life. However, you must be willing to decide what part of your educational experience was helpful and which part you may need to let go of or change.
For example, a school may have taught you to follow the rules and not to question authority. However, as you grow older, you may find that some people in authority positions are not always right or have your best interest in mind. So, it’s important to question whether what you learned in school applies to your life today.
When the human mind has negative or traumatic experiences, it naturally concludes that these negative experiences will happen again. For example, if you got into a biking accident when you were younger, you may have had a belief that bikes were dangerous or that you might die on a bike. This may or may not be true, but because you experienced it, you believe that it is true.
The issue is that you have allowed one bad experience to keep you from trying again or at least questioning whether you can do it differently the next time. When it comes to trauma, it’s important to get support in changing your beliefs and build your self-esteem so that you don’t allow old circumstances to haunt you in adulthood.
(Click here to learn simple tips on how to incorporate daily micro-healing techniques into your life)
Part of you getting past these limiting beliefs are by confronting and questioning them. Here are a few tips to get you started:
(Get the FREE Clarity, Confidence Courage Affirmation E-Guide to work on releasing limiting beliefs)
If you are having trouble allowing yourself to question your beliefs, I highly recommend that you find a certified therapist to help. Onlinetherapy.com is a program that provides therapy and counselors online all over the world. You can access them easily in the privacy of your own home or wherever you are. They can support you in digging through some of these questions and make you feel comfortable as you transition into new affirming beliefs.
If you have found yourself defending your limiting beliefs, know it’s not your fault. It took years of programming to get you to learn those beliefs during a time in your life when you were most vulnerable. Understand that if you have beliefs that do not support your goals of a better, happier, more fulfilling life, you will stay stuck. Be willing to question why you have certain beliefs and ask yourself if they are serving you for where you want your life to go.
Ready to start the process of gaining more clarity, confidence, and courage? Start here:
Don’t let more time pass by, reclaim your life today!
Tiffiny has a B.A. in Psychology, and master’s degree in Public Health Education. She worked in consulting for over 16 years, as well as previously owning a fitness and health business. In her personal life, she used personal development, mindset and health strategies to go from being overworked in a demanding corporate career, emotionally drained in a toxic marriage, physically unhealthy, and depressed to becoming an award-winning figure level bodybuilding athlete and entrepreneur. As a women’s empowerment coach, she works to help women get clear on their goals, build confidence, increase self-esteem, take action on their deep desires and create a life they love