Simple How-To Guide to Identify and Replace Your Limiting Beliefs
A limiting belief is a belief that you hold to be true but it limits you in some way. Chances are limiting beliefs were something you learned growing up and never questioned. They tend to cause fear or resistance about a certain activity making you want to pull back, constrain you.
Take a moment now and think about whether your thoughts and your self-talk are helping you move forward or holding you back?
As a life coach, I use a variety of tools and techniques to help my clients overcome their limiting beliefs and replace them with an empowering belief structure. I meet my clients where they are each week and guide them with these techniques to a place where they can achieve their full potential and successfully move from where they are to where they want to be. A life they love.
Having the support and guidance of a life coach is valuable, of course, but today I want to share with you a technique you can try on your own.
But first, let’s look at a few examples of limiting beliefs, do any ring true for you?
1. I am too young (or too old) to be taken seriously and (get that job, start a business, get fit)
2. I am not smart enough to (attract my perfect mate, get that job, save that money)
3. I will never have enough time or money to (travel, start that business, earn my degree)
4. I am a bad (speaker, presenter, partner, employee, speller).
5. I am not social.
6. I am just a (fat, poor, stupid, old, young, weak) person and will never amount to much.
7. People just do not want what I have to sell.
8. People don’t want to hear what I have to say.
9. People are basically selfish.
10. I can’t change anyway, so why try?
You will need 2 pieces of paper and a pen. Your challenge for today and onwards is to do this exercise routinely, or at least especially when you feel stuck or held back.
Step 1 – Identify your limiting beliefs
take a piece of paper and divide it into thirds.
In the left-hand column, list out your ideal goal - as if you could have anything you can imagine on that topic. If it's friendship or relationships - what does that look like. The ideal. Really stretch – it is in the stretching of what you believe you can achieve that the limiting beliefs will start to take over your self talk by saying ‘no no no, don’t even think about it’.
In the right hand column - list out the realistic goal. Whatever it is you feel you could realistically achieve.
In the middle column - describe the gap between the your stretch goals on the left and the ‘realistic and achievable’ goals on the right. why the gap? these will point to your limiting belief.
Listen to your self-talk and when you talk about yourself to others. there will be many clues to help you with this exercise. Anytime you start a sentence with ‘I am’ or ‘I am not’ – pay attention.
Step 2 - Take away the blind acceptance of your limiting belief
For each limiting belief write down the answers to these questions:
a) is this belief hindering me? how?
b) when is this belief not true? or less true? How is it ridiculous or absurd?
c) what is an alternative explanation?
d) who did I learn this from? Were they worth modeling?
e) did this come from my childhood? Does it even make sense for me now?
f) name one person who has overcome this obstacle
g) if I wanted to, I could overcome this by...
We want to begin to train our brain to look for limiting beliefs and question them, not simply accept as fact.
Step 3 - Replace with an empowering belief
On a new sheet of paper, write down an alternate empowering belief for each limiting belief that was represented in the middle column.
A few empowering beliefs constructed from our limiting list above:
1. Age is irrelevant, what matters is passion.
2. I am positive I can.
3. I am managing my finances and living the life of my dreams
4. I can improve any skill I set my mind to
5. I have a lot to offer
Practice these techniques consistently and you will be changing the trajectory of your life, begin to live on your terms.
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Linda Short of Elle Short Coaching is a certified health and life coach. She helps people struggling with where they are to create their own life story and take action toward their life vision. So that they can get unstuck, find joy in each and every day, and live their best life.
Today has your name written all over it! Be Empowered.