How Beliefs Can Limit You or Empower You

Beliefs can limit you or empower you depending on the belief. We’ve all heard the old saying, “If you believe you can’t, you can’t. If you believe you can, you can.”

We’ve all heard stories about people who did the impossible just because they believed they could or didn’t realize they couldn’t.

Are you aware of your beliefs? Do you know how your beliefs are affecting your success and happiness?

What are limiting beliefs?

First of all, limiting beliefs do not reflect your true self. Examples might be the easiest way to define limiting beliefs.

The belief “I’m not good enough” can cause problems in every area of your life. If you don’t feel good enough, you won’t do what it takes to excel in your career, you will settle for less in your relationships, and so on.

If you believe “I’m not lovable” your relationships will suffer. Even if your loved ones tell you how much they love you, you won’t believe them. You will feel insecure and needy.

If you believe “I’m not deserving” you won’t be able to live the life you dream about. You may even shoot yourself in the foot to avoid success – because you don’t deserve it.

There are many other limiting beliefs such as, “I’m not worthy,” “I’m too old/young,” “I’m not smart enough,” and “I can’t be a success.” This is not an exhaustive list, but you get the picture.

What are empowering beliefs?

Empowering beliefs are easy to define. These are the beliefs that keep you going when life throws you a curve ball. These beliefs help you set powerful goals and stick to them – no matter what.

Often they are the opposite of limiting beliefs. Here some examples: “I’m good enough,” “I’m worthy,” “I can do it,” “I’m lovable,” and “I’m deserving.”

3 ways to discover your limiting beliefs

Here are three easy ways to discover the beliefs that are holding you back:
1) Listen to what you say. Usually limiting beliefs show up in a variety of contexts. For example, if you don’t feel deserving, you won’t feel comfortable taking the biggest piece of pie or the office with the best view.

2) Make a list of possible limiting beliefs. Take each belief and say it out loud several times. Does this belief feel right or true for you?

3) Take a look at your life. What limiting beliefs could create your life? This one takes a bit of courage, but the benefits are great. When you stop blaming the wrong things and start working on the real issues your life will change in amazing ways.

How to change your beliefs

Sometimes limiting beliefs can change as a result of new behaviors. Acting “as if” a desired belief is true can help.

Other times it is easier to use a personal growth technique to change the belief. The poetry of emotion process is one way to release limiting beliefs and reclaim your empowering beliefs.

When your beliefs reflect your true self, you will be able to live the life of your dreams.

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(Image: Ananda Maharjan @ Flickr

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