To be our very best means believing that we can achieve anything we set out to do. Have goals, create a plan, and achieve it!
But sometimes our subconscious can have us believe that we can’t do something, a belief as to why we can’t reach our goals; physically, professionally or even relationally. These are called limiting beliefs, and they can keep us from moving forward and becoming the best that we can be in every aspect of our lives.
Those limiting beliefs include telling ourselves things like: “I don’t deserve to have what I want,” “I’m not smart enough to have the job I want,” or “I’m not pretty enough to get the person of my dreams.” These are all lies! You are worthy. You are smart. You are enough! Let’s shift our focus from what you don’t have to what you do have, gratitude attitude.
We have to work on ourselves to move beyond these limiting beliefs to achieve the goals we set for ourselves and live the life we truly want to live. Here are some tips on changing those beliefs to positive, confident and empowering beliefs:
Find the counter instance.
What does this mean? It means finding an example that proves your limiting belief wrong. For example, what if you decided you are a terrible cook, and this is your limiting belief. Find that instance in which you made a great dish for a potluck, or your chocolate chip cookies turned out fabulously. You get the idea. Thinking and finding these instances can introduce the possibility in your mind that your limiting belief might just be flawed and is actually not the case.
How has this “belief” worked against you?
Did believing you’re a bad cook keep you from participating in events that you really wanted to be involved in or keep you from trying new things out of fear of failure. Remember change means action. The way to turn this impact around is to take action. You could take a cooking class that teaches you cooking techniques for dishes that fit your interests or tastes. Want to live a healthier lifestyle? Take action to learn to prepare those healthier meals you desire. Understanding how this belief has impacted you will help you figure out the best way to take action and begin to change that belief!
What’s the source?
Where did this belief come from initially? When learned to cook, did you only make dishes that perhaps you didn’t like or didn’t interest you? Was the source a teacher who criticized the way you cooked that first dish? Remember that moment and the emotion that you felt when it happened. Remembering these moments helps us understand the triggers for that emotion that drives that limiting belief and helps us begin to overcome them as we work to take action to change them.
Change your paradigm.
Think about what may have also been going on during that instance. If the source was perhaps a teacher, was the teacher simply having a bad day, or was the class rushed, or was there some other circumstance happening at the time? Chances are, the teacher didn’t set out or intended to make you believe you were a bad cook and it had nothing to do personally with you!
Changing our paradigms allow us to see things from a different perspective and may help us understand where that limiting belief first generated itself.
It’s time to eliminate that belief. Now, begin writing positive, affirmative statements that reflect the opposite of that limiting belief. Write: I AM a great cook because I make healthy dishes my family enjoys. I AM a great cook because I create the tasty dishes I am most passionate about, and it shows.
Those limiting beliefs now become empowering beliefs that will move you to that place where you can change your perspective and really begin to become the best you can be!
It’s up to you to Create your own story!
Of the many books I’ve read, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz has been one of my personal favorites.
One of many reasons is the perception and understanding this book has brought to my life. It made me aware of the personal agreements we allow and tell ourselves to believe based on our upbringing (domestication), belief systems (old and current), values (family and self), truths and lies (internal and external) we’ve believed throughout our lives. One example from the book which I find myself referring to often when facing a limiting belief is from the
First Agreement: Be Impeccable With Your Word
Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
There was a woman, for example, who was intelligent and had a very good heart. She had a daughter whom she adored and loved very much. One night she came home from a very bad day at work, tired, full of emotional tension, and with a terrible headache. She wanted peace and quiet, but her daughter was singing and jumping happily. The daughter was unaware of how her mother was feeling; she was in her own world, in her own dream. She felt so wonderful, and she was jumping and singing louder and louder, expressing her joy and her love. She was singing so loud that it made her mother’s headache even worse, and at a certain moment, the mother lost control. Angrily she looked at her beautiful little girl and said, “Shut up ! You have an ugly voice. Can you just shut up !”
The truth is that the mother’s tolerance for any noise was nonexistent; it was not that the little girl’s voice was ugly. But the daughter believed what her mother said, and in that moment she made an agreement with herself. After that she no longer sang, because she believed her voice was ugly and would bother anyone who heard it. She became shy at school, and if she was asked to sing, she refused. Even speaking to others became difficult for her. Everything changed in the little girl because of this new agreement: She believed she must repress her emotions in order to be accepted and loved.
Whenever we hear an opinion and believe it, we make an agreement, and it becomes part of our belief system. This little girl grew up, and even though she had a beautiful voice, she never sang again. She developed a whole complex from one spell. This spell was cast upon her by the one who loved her the most: her own mother. Her mother didn’t notice what she did with her word. She didn’t notice that she used black magic and put a spell on her daughter. She didn’t know the power of her word, and therefore she isn’t to blame. She did what her own mother, father, and others had done to her in many ways. They misused the word.
How many times do we do this with our own children? We give them these types of opinions and our children carry that black magic for years and years. People who love us do black magic on us, but they don’t know what they do. That is why we must forgive them; they don’t know what they do.