Limiting beliefs are embedded ideas that we often don’t even realise that we have, but that stop us from doing certain things or make us conform to certain behaviours. They can sabotage our success or make us stay small. Limiting beliefs are often narrow minded, and frequently they’re unconscious – we don’t even notice that they’re there! Which can make them tricky to smash through at times!
In therapy breaking down limiting beliefs is almost always a first step to move my clients forwards. Once we recognise that we’ve been running through the same situations, on the same pathway over and over again, that’s enough to persuade us to just lift our heads up and notice a whole heap of different directions we could pick and different choices we can make.
There are 3 main kinds
1. Beliefs about the world
“I can’t start a business now – the market is terrible”
“Working class people never earn much money”
These beliefs often limit our freedom if we don’t question them – and are perfect excuses not to try things.
2. Beliefs about others
“They’re too busy to help me, I won’t ask”
“She ignored me. I must have upset her”
These beliefs are not necessarily the truth and are often far more reflective of our own fears of being rejected, or of our issues with self-worth in comparison to others.
3. Beliefs about ourselves
“I’ve always been terrible with money. I can’t save”
“I never finish what I start – I’m easily distracted”
These beliefs are the ULTIMATE at holding you back – and again, they are often false, or half-truths at best
ALL limiting beliefs can be smashed – once you recognise them for what they are. Start noticing your inner chatter, and questioning the things that you say to yourself.
How do I tackle limiting beliefs?
Tackling limiting beliefs is a simple process. That’s unfortunately not the same as a quick process! My best advice to fight you limiting beliefs is to change them to liberating truths. This part for me seems easy! I’ll take somes examples from some gorgeous women we have in our members club.
I never follow things through
I love experimenting to see what I like, and am absolutely entitled to change my mind!”
I lack self control
I choose my actions and can change them whenever I want to. If I made an unhelpful choice I can decide to make a better one now/next time”.
I am too emotional when I want to be calm or assertive
I’m too emotional” can become “I recognise that my emotions rise quickly, but I can learn to take a breath before I address situations, or remove myself completely until I am ready
So much of the guilt from limiting beliefs comes from the use of “pressure words”. They all imply that if you don’t do whatever it is you’re trying to, you’ve failed. & that itself is MASSIVE limiting belief – and my favourite one to work on with clients!
My biggest limiting belief is ALWAYS “I haven’t got enough time”. It’s a definite half truth – I have two young sons, run a couple of businesses and am often mentally knackered. But that’s not the same as not having enough time. I have 1440 minutes every day – just like the rest of the world. Am I using them well? If I’m too tired to use them, am I looking after myself in a way to replenish my energy the best I can for this life stage. TIME is not the issue – but it’s the excuse I use.
Recognise, redefine, and address the real issue rather than the beliefs screening it!
Pop me your limiting beliefs in the comments or in the free Facebook group and let’s see how we can reframe them. Then it’s just practice, practice, practice!
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