Last update: 07/02/2022
Today I want to talk to you about limiting beliefs.
Because these beliefs might be preventing you from achieving your goals and obtaining the life you truly want for yourself.
For this episode, I’ve invited Camille from Holywhat? Holistic! to help us overcome our limiting beliefs!
What are limiting beliefs?
First, let's start with the definition of limiting beliefs: they are false beliefs or thoughts about yourself, the world, or life that prevent you from realizing your goals or doing certain things.
How can beliefs impact our actions, might you be wondering?
Well, because when we have a belief, it triggers a thought, which triggers an emotion. And this emotion usually manifests itself into action — or inaction — on our part.
So when we have limiting beliefs, they prevent us — consciously or not — to act and do certain things.
Some of the most common limitings beliefs are to believe we are not “good enough” or that we’re not “lovable.” But really, you can have limiting beliefs about pretty much anything. Here are some other examples:
"I'm not good at arts because I had bad grades in art classes."
"The world is dangerous. I can't travel alone."
"I'm unlucky. I can't get what I want in life."
"I don't have time to dedicate to this project."
"I don't have enough experience to start my own business."
"Everything has already been done. Why would people buy my products or services?"
The good news is that it's possible to work on these beliefs and reduce their impact on our life. But they're unfortunately hard to completely eradicate. You'll probably have to fight them your whole life.
But what's really important is to reduce their impact, so they don't prevent you from living the way you want, doing the things you want to do, and achieving the goals you've set for yourself.
How to overcome limiting beliefs?
So how can you work on these beliefs?
Well, it's not as complicated as you might think: you have to question them objectively and find examples that contradict them.
Identify and acknowledge your limiting belief.
Find the root/cause of this belief. It’s usually something that happened during childhood and that made you believe this thing about yourself.
Find objective proof that this belief is not true. Think about everything you’ve accomplished, all the things you’ve learned, your different experiences and find evidence that this belief is not true.
Formulate a new positive belief that counters your limiting belief.
Think about how your life would be different or what you'd do differently if you didn't have this limiting belief. Write it all down and think about it every time you feel discouraged or feel you're slipping back into your old thought patterns.
Bonus: Use positive affirmations to reinforce this new positive belief.
Let's take the example of one of my limiting beliefs: "I'm not good at sports."
I grew up in a family that wasn't very sporty. And, indeed, I didn't do much sport when I was a child and a teenager. However, ever since I finished high school, I became much more sportive. So now, when I objectively examine the facts, I can prove to myself that this belief is not true:
I've made various demanding hikes and treks in the past few years;
I made a 100-km long-distance hike all by myself;
Just this year, I learned cross-country skiing and kayaking;
I grew much more confident with biking this year and even did a 100-kilometer weekend trip last June;
So I remind myself of these facts whenever this limiting thought arises because, objectively, a person that isn't good at sports wouldn't have done these things.
What about other limiting beliefs that you have and for which you don't have personal examples that can help you deconstruct a limiting belief?
The principle remains the same, but you have to find examples of other people who accomplished what you wish to do in similar conditions.
Let's take a limiting belief associated with age as an example. Many people believe that they're too old to go back to school. You probably know somebody that has done it, whether it's someone who had dropped out of high school and decided to finish it years later or someone who decided to take on a university degree after the "normal college years."
If you don't personally know such a person, you can find many examples on the Internet. You'll quickly realize there's no age to go to school and that, objectively, anybody can do it... if they really want to. And if they go past their fears and limiting beliefs!
Whatever your limiting beliefs are, once you've found proof they're not accurate, you have to formulate a new positive belief that contradicts them. For example, my new positive belief is "I'm good at sports." If you think you're too old to go back to school, your positive belief could be: "There's no age to go back to school."
Eventually, as you overcome your old limiting belief and accept this new positive one, you'll be able to add even more proofs that confirm it.
How limiting beliefs prevent you from becoming your best self
It's almost impossible for a person with no impairment to be unable to become good at something. Most often than not, we alone build the barriers (aka limiting beliefs) that prevent us from becoming good at something.
Heck, our limiting beliefs often prevent us from even trying something if we think we're incapable of doing it!
So let me break you some news: you can't get better at anything if you don't even try it. And, most importantly, mastery comes with practice. Sure, some people have a natural talent that facilitates their endeavours. But if you truly want to become good at anything, you have to put in the time and the effort.
So whenever you have a limiting belief that tells you you're not good at something, remind yourself that you'll effectively never become good at it if you don't do it!
In the end, limiting beliefs impede us from doing what we want and living the life we want, and we don't want to live miserably. So overcoming them can only make our lives better!
So I hope this article will help you work on your beliefs and, ultimately, achieve your goals.
Remember, if you haven't achieved some of your goals, it might be because of your limiting beliefs. Work on them, and you'll see, you'll probably achieve them considerably more easily!
Are you aware of your limiting beliefs? Have you successfully overcome any? How did you overcome them? Let me know in the comments below, or send me a message on Instagram or Facebook!
I wish you a zenly organized week,
P.S.: If you have difficulty setting clear actionable goals, download this workbook. It will help you define your goals in five easy steps: