Reversing Limiting Beliefs
by Daryl Daughtry, Publisher
During the first 6 or so years of our life, we soak up just about everything we hear and our young brains believe it to be true. During these years we develop the most powerful, and often times the most life-limiting, beliefs that can stick with us for the rest of our lives. These early years are known as the imprinting years.
All of this information is held in our memory for the purpose of keeping us safe. It’s how we learn that the stove is hot because it once burned our hand, or how we know to look both ways before crossing the street because our parents drilled that into us every single day.
However, some of these beliefs hold us back in life and keep us in a state of fear and ignorance. Typical limiting beliefs take the form of:
– “I can’t do that because”
– “I don’t deserve that because”
– “If I do this something bad is going to happen”
– “I can’t do this because of what people will think”
I’m sure some of those statements sound familiar. I know I’ve personally said them on more than one occasion in the past. So what can we do in reversing limiting beliefs?
Well, here are 10 questions we can ask ourselves that can help us identify, challenge, and even replace this harmful thinking.
1. What is the limiting belief you wish to change? It might be hard to identify all of our limiting beliefs, but we can all pinpoint at least one belief that has held us back throughout our lives.
Maybe you didn’t apply for that job you wanted because you didn’t think you were “smart enough.” Or maybe you missed out on asking your possible future wife on a date because you believed she was “out of your league.”
2. Why do you believe this? Now that you’ve identified a limiting belief, ask yourself why you believe it until you run out of answers. Maybe something happened to you when you were a kid. Maybe something happened to you last week. Maybe you’ve just never been told it’s okay.
3. What evidence proves your belief to be wrong? Most beliefs are just that, beliefs. Beliefs and facts often are two very different things. Snow is cold. We know that because we can feel it. There’s no debate to that fact. It can be measured.
The fact that you believe you aren’t smart enough for that job is subjective and just your opinion. There’s no way to prove it with 100% certainty. If you look hard enough I’m sure you can find someone not as smart as you doing exactly what you wanted to do. The only thing stopping you is what you believe.
4. What have you missed out on in life because of this belief? Sticking to the job example, how different would your life be right now if you had applied for that job? Even if you applied and didn’t get it, you could’ve learned something valuable from the person interviewing you. If nothing else, you would’ve learned that it’s okay to try and fail.
5. Is there any truth in your belief? What facts prove or disprove it? Is it something you’ve believed for as long as you can remember and you really don’t know why?
If you can’t think of anything to confirm your belief, it’s time to reevaluate. And be sure not to put too much weight on the opinions of others as they can also hold limiting beliefs that they will project on you.
6. Question the impact. What happens if you challenge your belief? Let’s say you wake up one morning and tell yourself you’re not going to let that belief control your decisions anymore. Does your life change for the better? Do you allow yourself to do things that you’ve never done before?
7. What are you afraid of? What’s the worst possible thing that could happen if you challenge your unhealthy thinking? How will this change your daily life? Most of our fears boil down to being rejected, humiliated, embarrassed, isolated, and so on. Is bettering your life by reversing the limiting belief worth the risk?
8. How are you contributing to the belief? What are you doing on a regular basis that’s contributing to your limiting belief? Are you reinforcing the negative emotions it causes? Are you avoiding doing things that could help eliminate the belief?
9. What would you have to give when reversing this limiting belief? What part of your habits would you have to lose if you gave it up? Would it make you a better person? Would it move your life in the right direction and even create more opportunities? Sometimes our biggest fear is the fear of being more than we ever thought we were capable of. It makes us uncomfortable. Make sure you aren’t holding yourself back on purpose.
10. What would you gain if you overcame this limiting belief? How much better would your life be if you simply stopped believing in something that has no weight to it? Would you even be able to make the lives of people around you better if you were to overcome this way of thinking?
Most success and happiness exists just on the other side of a negative belief. Make sure you aren’t keeping yourself from getting there. Ask yourself these 10 questions every time you catch yourself thinking “I can’t” or “I shouldn’t” or “I don’t deserve it.” Make sure that thinking is reality and not just a limiting belief that’s holding you back.
The most effective and powerful way for you to overcome or reverse dark thoughts is to expose them to the light. In this case, the light is the truth. Speak the truth out loud to yourself as many times as it takes for you to eventually believe it. Write yourself notes or send yourself emails boldly declaring the truth.
The lies floating around in your head have been limiting you throughout your life Therefore, the power and positive effects of knowing and believing the truth can actually set you free. Yes, reversing limiting beliefs is possible and powerful.