Rid Yourself of Limiting Beliefs
by Chris Nelson-Jeffers
What Are Limiting Beliefs?
Almost everyone has limiting beliefs that negatively affect their lives.
Unfortunately, most people have no awareness that they are limiting and sabotaging themselves with those beliefs, and further, they don’t know how to rid themselves of them.
If an idea or belief that you have is keeping you from the success and happiness you want, why not challenge it?
Everyone has a set of beliefs that guide their actions and affects how they view the world and interact with other people.
Limiting beliefs are beliefs about yourself and your circumstances that you consider (believe) to be true, in spite of evidence that they are not what stops you from achieving things that you want to achieve.
Negative Self Talk
Limiting beliefs are a sort of self-talk. The mind is a powerful thing. If you repeat something in your mind to yourself often enough, particularly with emotion, your mind will come to accept it as true, and will guide you accordingly.
For example, if you have ever told yourself any of the following things, they have probably become a very real limiting belief in your mind, and are preventing you from accomplishing your goals and desires.
“My genetics prevent me from being a healthy weight.”
“I’m terrible with money.”
“I’m not smart.”
“I don’t have enough experience.”
“I’m too young.”
“I’m too old.”
“Other people are keeping me from getting ahead.”
“I can never work hard enough to make enough money for my needs, or for what I want.”
“I don’t deserve to be loved the way I need.”
“There is no one who will love me the way that I am.”
“The economy is in a downturn, so my business will fail anyway.”
“I don’t ever have enough time to do the things I need to do.”
“I’m bad at selling.”
“Rich people are selfish, greedy and evil.”
Negative statements like these are what program your mind to limit your own actions and sabotage your success.
The most frustrating thing is that most limiting beliefs aren’t even true. Many of them may stem from things we were told as children, often by people who honestly had our well-being at heart.
One way to begin to rid yourself of limiting beliefs is to recognize that what may once have been true may no longer be true. For example, you now have a lot more life experiences, and you’ve learned a lot.
You know, a lot of very successful people started out with a lot more self-doubt and a lot less going for them than you have right now!
Often a limiting belief becomes an excuse for not taking positive action. We fear to fail, so we find or repeat reasons for not trying in the first place, or for giving up our efforts before they begin to produce results.
For example, the idea that you can’t achieve a healthy weight because of your genetics is simply false. It may be an obstacle – some people are able to lose weight and keep it off more easily – but that’s not a reason not to try, and to keep at it.
Overcoming Your Limiting Beliefs
Overcoming limiting beliefs can take some time, and real effort. Practice turning these thoughts around in your mind by proving the statements to be false.
Whenever you find yourself saying you “can’t”, stop right there, turn it around and tell yourself that you “CAN”.
If you find yourself thinking “I can’t seem to lose any weight,” immediately stop yourself and repeat, “I CAN lose weight, and I WILL lose weight, because I AM losing weight.”
Then back it up with positive action. Do it now! Your genetics play only a partial role in how much weight you gain and hold onto. You can eat better than you have been, for example, and cut your portions in half, eat only at regular mealtimes, don’t take second helpings, and cut out the snacks between meals.
Try walking more. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car on the far side of the lot instead of in front of the door.
Losing weight is not a matter of genetics, and it’s not a matter of you “can’t” … it’s a series of small decisions that you make for yourself, every day.
Do the above things and you certainly will experience a loss of weight within a few days, proof that you CAN!
Keep on doing what you did to lose those first few pounds (plus additional habits of healthy weight loss that you might discover through reading and research), do it consistently, and sooner than you think you will be down to your “ideal weight” … and feeling a LOT better, and more energetic.
Keep Moving Forward
Perhaps you have tried this “positive thinking” thing in the past, and got only so far before you fell off your horse and lost ground in spite of weeks of hard effort and modest gains.
So what? Don’t let that momentary lapse stop you. We’ve all been there and none of us are perfect.
After years of negative self-talk and others who reinforce our limiting beliefs, it shouldn’t be surprising that a limiting belief buried deep in your sub-conscious will pop up to tell you that you CAN’T overcome your negative programming, it’s too hard, you’ll fail, so you shouldn’t even try.
Don’t you believe it! Whatever it is that is holding you back, practice saying to yourself “I CAN.” Make it a habit. Make healthier eating a habit. A positive mental attitude is the most powerful tool in your personal toolbox.
If you fall off your proverbial horse, dust yourself off, hitch up your big-boy (or big-girl) pants, and get right back up on that horse! It’s not how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you get back up that matters in the end. You can’t beat someone who is determined to win.
A Basket-Case of Beliefs
So, maybe you’ve got a LOT of limiting beliefs.
Don’t try to take them all on all at once. Pick one, and focus all of your attention and efforts on changing your attitude toward and improving yourself on that one thing.
Do you never seem to have any money because any time you have a little you spend it? Start tracking where you are spending your money. Write down every penny you spend every day. Include what you spend in cash, what you write in checks, and what you charge to your debit or credit card.
Include money you promise to pay in the future, and purchases made using store credit and gift cards. EVERY penny you spend or give to someone else. Allowances to your children. Donations given to your church, candy bar sales, or any kind of fund-raiser.
It’s eye-opening. You’ll quickly see where you are tending to engage in unnecessary or extravagant spending.
Start with a sheet of paper, or a small notebook and pen in your pocket or purse. Then get an inexpensive notebook, journal, or ledger to write down your expenditures. Start a new page each day. Total each day at the bottom of the page.
Identify the un-necessary expenditures (do you REALLY need a $7 cup of coffee?). Create a reasonable budget (it’s okay to indulge in a FEW luxuries, from time to time), and stick to it. Make saving money a fun game, a hunt to find expenditures that you can eliminate.
Start putting money into a savings account, and set a goal of $1,000. Saving at least 10% of every dollar you take in should be your goal. If someone gives you a dollar, throw a dime into a jar on top of your dresser. Add to it all the loose change from your pocket, purse, or car-cubby.
Once you’ve filled the jar, go down and deposit the money into your savings account at your bank.
Put Yourself In Control
When you’ve saved that first $1,000, set a goal of $5,000. Keep going! Pay off your debts. Start with paying off your smallest debt, then roll that payment over and add it to the payment on your next-largest debt, keep that debt-crushing snowball rolling and growing.
Once you’ve paid off your last debt, put yourself on a cash-only, no-debt basis. In fact, you don’t need to wait until you are debt-free to take this step. As you pay off each credit card, cut it up and close the account to reduce temptation.
You’ll be amazed at how much money you can save up this way in a short period of time, and when you have money in the bank, normal “emergencies” are no longer so scary. You’ll be in control.
Success in overcoming that one limiting belief will inspire you to continue. As you practice and cultivate the habit of positive self-talk, and in rooting out and squashing negative thoughts like bugs, the process will become easier for you, and the results will multiply.
Likely you will find that overcoming one limiting belief will cause several others to disappear.
By thinking more positively and by overcoming your own limiting beliefs, you will become a happier and more pleasant person to be around, and you will begin to find yourself surrounded by more and more positive people, who will be the ones who will support and encourage you in your ongoing success.
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