Limiting beliefs are stories we tell ourselves that diminish our thriving.
- Clearing a limited belief unburdens our energy system and frees us to be more curious and engaged with what’s alive for us now.
- Limiting beliefs are sometimes inflicted on us and sometimes they creep into our psyche over time. Tending to them is a crucial part of emotional hygiene.
- When you become savvy at discerning limiting beliefs and shifting them, your body-mind will support you in developing core beliefs that build confidence and support your thriving.
Many humans have given up before they even get started because of a limiting belief like, “If you can’t be The Best… The Winner… it’s not worth it.”
But what is this belief standing on? It stands first on a belief that hierarchy is what matters – being at the top of the pyramid, the winner, the gold medalist, the champion – The Best Ever. It’s true that in many cultures we still focus acclaim on those who succeed “above all others.”
This limiting belief unfortunately suppresses thriving. Why? Because Thriving flows from an ecosystem of experiences and skills that work in synergy. Someone who sings happily in the shower may never sing on stage, or for money… yet their joy can feed their heartistry in other areas.
Culture can thoughtlessly communicate such a belief. A parent or teacher or preacher can make it explicit with edicts like:
- “You do not have the body of a dancer, so don’t even think about it.”
- “People like us don’t get to do things like that.”
- “You’ll never succeed that that. You’re not smart/pretty/rich/powerful enough.”
We believe that if it feels good when you dance, you’re a good dancer! We know that family and cultural beliefs often do not fit the freedoms available today (and even more tomorrow!). Their truthiness comes from their usefulness for safety and survival in the past. In their archaic yet strongly held status as “what just IS,” there’s profound suppression of what’s Possible.
It takes courage to explore the limiting beliefs we have. They can be painful! The process benefits from looking deeply, honoring how and where the belief formed in you, how it has been reinforced, how it probably helped keep you protected and safe – even if it also diminished you.
Address how it feels in your body with a tool like EFT Tapping. Then do the hearty work of discovering and putting energy into the belief that feels more You… that contributes to your thriving… now and going forward.
Limiting beliefs do not need to be logical. Indeed, a limiting belief can feel true in our body even though our head has lots of evidence to the contrary!
What rarely works is to just say an affirmation and pretend the part of you that believes otherwise is wrong. “I am a success! I am a winner! I am important and confident in my capabilities!”
That can actually set off an inner conflict. Limiting beliefs can “live” in our core identity, where it FEELS true that we’re a “failure” even after a big “win.”
Go deeper. “What do I believe would have to be true for me to finally know I’m not a failure?” You might be surprised by how illogical the belief can be…
- I would have to always do my best, no matter what!
- I’d have to be the best, and do better than I did last time.
- I can’t make any mistakes.
- Everyone has to like me and everything I do.
- I have to make enough money that I never have to fear uncertainty again.
There are many others. Limiting beliefs around status and worth strike hard in the primitive brain. Our gut reaction then becomes stuck in distress and dissatisfaction – which pushes us relentlessly, or has us succumb and not even try.
How would YOU like to feel? Faced with a belief that no longer serves you, it’s time to re-frame. Is it really about failure? Or do you value experiences that are emotionally rich and not really always about a goal?
We find that for people who want to thrive, the binary concept of “You’re either a Success or You’re a Failure” does not serve. It limits. It even hurts.
Without that belief that success/failure is the measure of a person, we’re free to assert beliefs like:
My unique essence enjoys expressing itself in a myriad of ways. Growth is delicious. Awkwardness is okay. Who I am becoming I value… and so do my ideal co-creators.
Re-cast your focus based on concepts for thriving that naturally calm your fears and build your confidence.
- How does this belief make me feel?
- Where did I learn this belief?
- How has this belief protected me or kept me safe? (especially back then when and where you learned it)
- What does this belief keep me from doing, being, or trying?
- How “true” does this belief feel in my body? (which is different from how logically true it is)
- Who would I be if I didn’t have this belief?
- How would you like to feel instead?
Acceptance, Awareness, Discernment, Emotional Freedom, Gift and Gaps, Re-Perceive and Re-Frame
We invite you to share your experiences and wisdom:
- Life examples where this concept has played a role
- Other useful questions
- Links to audios, videos, books, and courses that add to our shared understanding of this concept
- Memes, quotes, and inspiring images