What Are Limiting Beliefs and What Can You Do About Them?

Do you have limiting beliefs? Limiting beliefs are the ones that hold you back from living the life you dream about.

If you think you are unworthy, not good enough, undeserving or unlovable you have limiting beliefs. There are many others. Most limiting beliefs describe a lack of ability, such as “I’m not good at math” or a lack in your very being, such as “I’m not lovable.”

Limiting beliefs were learned and you can unlearn them.

Why are limiting beliefs so important?

Beliefs affect every area of your life. Tony Robbins says, “What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true ability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.”

Where did you learn these limiting beliefs?

Most limiting beliefs were learned in early childhood before you had much experience with the world. Perhaps you were embarrassed or shamed or punished for something you did not understand. Perhaps you could never please your mother or you felt responsible for family problems.

Children often believe they are responsible for adult issues. A young girl might believe “If I had been a better daughter, my dad wouldn’t have left us.”

Sometimes you have no memory of how you learned a limiting belief. Beliefs can be learned at very young ages.

How are beliefs different from thoughts?

Beliefs are made up of a thought and an emotion. The emotion holds the belief in place and makes it hard to change.

For example, a young boy was shamed for making too much noise and bothering people. He was told: “You’re a bad boy.” The shame holds the thought in place and it becomes the limiting belief, “I‘m a bad person.”

Can’t you just change the thought?

If you have ever tried changing a limiting belief by thinking more positive thoughts you will know how difficult that is. You can’t just think “I’m a good person” and expect results. It doesn’t feel true.

So, what can you do?

You can focus on the emotional aspect of the belief. Although this sounds more difficult, it is the easiest and most straight forward method to change a limiting belief. You will be releasing the false emotion.

When you release the emotion you do not need to decide on a new belief. You will naturally move toward your true self. You will know that you are worthwhile, good enough, deserving and lovable.

Does this sound too good to be true?

When you have limiting beliefs they have been with you for a long time, often since early childhood. You may not be able to imagine having an empowering belief. The best way to get started is to jump in.

If you want to improve your life, the first step is to let go of inner limitations. Marsha Sinetar tells us that “Your beliefs pave the way to success or block you.” Are you ready to let go of those limitations?

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(Inage: kellynphillong @ Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellylong/3214264355/)

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