Our inner beliefs and the perceptions that we have of ourselves can play a big part in keeping us stuck, keeping us small. They limit the belief that we have about ourselves and our abilities.
Whether you want to believe it or not, the majority of beliefs will have become programmed within us from an early age. A young person aged between 0-7 years old has a mind like a sponge. The mind’s whole purpose is to soak up the information from all around us. It’s how we are programmed, how our brains work and how we learn.
The information that we take on board, can come from everywhere in our lives, everything we see, everything we do and everything that is said to us. All of our experiences, circumstances and the people around us – family, friends, parents, teachers and others shape our beliefs. So does society, television, books, games… the list can go on and on! You get the idea.
Forming Our Beliefs
We form our beliefs from positive statements we hear, positive information and feedback we receive, we create positive inner beliefs which help us to achieve success. However, negativity also influences our beliefs, negative feedback and negative comments can create negative beliefs which hold us back and limit our success. These negative or limiting beliefs become the things we believe about ourselves. Whilst these beliefs are not necessarily true facts about ourselves, they are things we we believe to be true.
For example if someone says “that’s stupid” or “that’s not enough” then we often assume that statement is about us, especially at a young age. It might have been said about an action or piece of work, but at a young age, there is no ability to differentiate, so it is assumed that the comment is about ourselves.
Naturally, our brain fills in the gaps between what we see, what we hear and what happens around us. Then we may start to form a belief about ourselves that we are stupid. That young person may begin to believe “I am stupid”. This then becomes a self-limiting belief which gets in the way of us achieving our goals, whether we realise it is happening or not!
How Belief Affects Us
There’s a story that I tell people who work with me – listen in for that.
We learn these beliefs and if we don’t change them, they become who we are. In order to break free, we have to change those negative beliefs to positive ones. As long as you believe that you cannot accomplish something, you won’t accomplish it. Your inner beliefs define who you are, but inner beliefs can be changed.
When we are able to let go of that belief about ourselves, we are able to see things differently, approach situations differently and respond differently.
If you ever say, “I can’t…” then that is a limiting belief. It is not true, but if it is your belief than it becomes true.
“I can’t go for that promotion because…” As long as this is your belief, then you won’t get the promotion, because it’s probably easier not to try. It’s safer to stay where you are.
Those fear responses that we have are designed to keep you safe. However sometimes the safety isn’t about life and death, it’s just about being at ease or comfortable.
“I can’t possible ask xyz … what if they say no?” This is a common one and I’ve talked in episode 16 about the fear of rejection.
Stop to listen to the words you use and the messages you say to yourself or others around you. What reasons are you giving for not being able to do something? Here’s the things – at the end of the day, these reasons, they’re actually excuses. Oooh I know that might sound harsh. These excuses are going to be based on your limiting beliefs. If you want to make changes and keep moving forward and onwards then I’m sorry, we’re going to have to look at the tough stuff. So listen to your words. Write them down if necessary. Then take it up a level to find an overall belief.
One of my beliefs was about being judged. Listen in to the way that bothered me and what I did about it.
How to Change Limiting Beliefs
When we work on our limiting beliefs, things in our everyday life start to change.
1. Identify the belief
Listen to the words you are saying and the excuses you are making.
2. Accept the belief
Recognise and accept that this is your belief. Write it down and own it.
3. Challenge the belief
Question it, challenge it. Is it really, really true? Is it true NOW? What if this really just does not apply or if you got it wrong when you were little?
4. Look for evidence
Start to look for evidence that this belief is not true. Maybe if it’s I’m not good enough, get out all your certificates of training or your pay slips or look at your family. Does it really show that belief?
5.Create a new belief
Write this down too. Next to each negative belief write a new positive belief.
Limiting Belief: I cannot speak in front of people; I am too shy.
New Belief: I am a good speaker and have information that others will want to hear.
Every day look at your list of new positive beliefs and say them to yourself – out loud!
Say them to yourself whenever you are feeling a lack of confidence. You may even want to list them on a note card to carry around with you so they are available throughout the day. If you keep saying them, they will eventually become a part of you. You will have changed your inner beliefs to positive ones.
What success or progress could you achieve when you stop limiting yourself through your beliefs?
I’d love you to let me know in the comments or send me an email.
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