Imagine for a minute, that you had no limiting beliefs whatsoever. What would that make possible in your life? Would you go after the same things you do now and what would that do to your overall motivation? How would your outlook change? If you’re currently facing a challenge or a big life decision, would the knowledge that you can succeed no matter what you choose lead you to take proactive steps forward?
While I’m not suggesting you strive for perfection – heck, we all have negative thoughts once in a while – I do believe that identifying your limiting beliefs and replacing them with life-affirming beliefs and behaviors will make big changes possible for you.
My intention is to help you start identifying these core beliefs and finding ways to remove them from your life so you’re no longer controlled by them.
Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life
Numerous self-help gurus and authors have based their life’s work around changing people’s mindset. Why is this so important? Well, if you have the wrong mindset, you will approach every day and every single decision in your life with a glass half-empty outlook. You can imagine what that does to your motivation and overall personality, over a long period of time. The effects are cumulative. If you believe in concepts like manifestation a la “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, you also attract the same energy as you put out there. So, if you’re putting out crappy energy, don’t expect to bring in sunshine and flowers into your life as a result.
What are limiting beliefs? They’re the little negative thoughts you have that over time become strong, ingrained beliefs through repetition. Things like: “I don’t have enough energy to do that” or “I’m not good enough.” Are they true? Well, no, not necessarily. But you’ve repeated them enough times to start to believe it as truth. And they affect the way you see the world.
Neuroplasticity to the Rescue
I’m about to get a little scientific on you, but I promise it’s just to further your understanding.
Neuroplasticity – the belief that the brain is plastic and changeable – is being used today to help stroke victims heal from brain injuries and other individuals heal from chronic health issues like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, among others. By thinking new, affirming beliefs, people eventually prune away old maladapted pathways and rewire their brains.
These maladapted pathways cause us to be stuck in negative thinking patterns and don’t let us move forward in the ways we want to. When we think the same thought over and over again, it leads to a core belief around something that can be very hard to change.
Putting it in Context
Let me give you an example you may be able to relate to. Let’s say, for example, that you haven’t had the best experience with jobs you’ve had in the past. Every job you’ve had hasn’t been fulfilling and you end up watching the clock most of the day, waiting to be home doing things that are more fulfilling. You’ve had a few bad experiences like being laid off or having a demanding boss, and now this starts affecting your overall outlook on your career.
When you have a core belief like this, you may use it to help you make decisions in your life. It may also be something you’re not aware of consciously but it’s still influencing your decisions. Let’s say you would like to make a change in your career. If you’re offered a job after a few interviews, will you take it? Or will those thoughts come back telling you you can’t handle it or it will be too stressful? Maybe you are ready to take a new job, but you keep hearing these negative voices telling you to reconsider. You’ll want to examine any lingering beliefs you have that may be holding you back from experiencing growth and fulfillment.
Or another example, maybe you’ve been “unlucky in love.” You’ve had a string of short relationships that haven’t really led anywhere or you keep seeing the wrong type of person for you. Or you never seem to be interested in the people who you’re attracting. There are probably several core beliefs you’ll want to examine here.
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