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TRAPPED BY YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS? WHAT ARE THEY AND 4 TIPS TO ERADICATE THEM?

What is a limiting belief?

A limiting belief is a thought or state of mind that you believe to be the absolute truth and that prevents you from doing certain things. These beliefs don't always have to be about yourself. They can be about the way the world works, ideas, and the way you interact with people. Overcoming limiting beliefs is not always easy.

They are deeply ingrained in us, often from childhood. But once you discover what they are and how to identify them, you can learn to overcome your limiting beliefs. Where do limiting beliefs come from? Your limiting beliefs come from many different places.

To overcome limiting beliefs, we must understand that their origins are multiple. They can come from family beliefs/values/behaviors, your educational environment (teachers, peers), life experiences, the influence of close friends with dominant personalities, etc.

How can you manage limiting beliefs?

Addressing limiting beliefs has many different approaches. The well-known author Tony Robbins identifies 4 key points to manage them:

1. IDENTIFY YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS

The first step in overcoming limiting beliefs is to define and identify them. Limiting beliefs are ideas we have about ourselves and the world that prevent us from becoming the best version of ourselves.

They generally fall into four areas:

- LIMITING BELIEFS ABOUT THE WORLD.

These are beliefs about "the way things are" and the belief that your circumstances are out of your control. Lack of time is a common limiting belief. Limiting beliefs about the world also include denial: True love doesn't exist, fulfilling careers are impossible to find, etc. Changing limiting beliefs like these is one of the hardest things we can do in life, but when you do, you will be rewarded with unimaginable possibilities.

- LIMITING BELIEFS ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE

Limiting beliefs about other people involve worrying about what others think of you. The limiting belief behind social anxiety is often, "Others will think I'm X." Perfection also stems from this type of limiting belief: it is the belief that others will be disappointed or not like you if you don't act a certain way.

- LIMITING BELIEFS ABOUT YOURSELF

As opposed to worrying about what others think, limiting beliefs about yourself occur when you believe that you are inherently unfit, dumb, or unlovable. Other common beliefs about yourself are that you are too old, too ugly, or that you can't learn new skills. None of these things are fact. They are just the story you tell yourself, and you can change it.

- EMPOWERING BELIEFS

Would it surprise you to learn that limiting beliefs can sometimes feel empowering? Believing that the world owes you something, that you are better than others, or that others just don't "get you" are often excuses to avoid growth and stay in your comfort zone.

2. TAKING RESPONSIBILITY

The number one reason people fail to achieve their goals is because they don't take proper responsibility for their actions. They choose to believe that their circumstances are beyond their control, that things just happen to them.

This is called an external locus of control and is itself a limiting belief. To learn to overcome your limiting beliefs, you must develop an internal locus of control: the belief that things in life happen "for you," not to you. Ultimately, your own behavior determines your destiny.

Ultimately, your own behavior determines your destiny.

Life is full of events that are beyond our control, but what we can control is how we react to them. We can master our emotions, find the lessons in failures, make smarter decisions and work toward our goals, no matter what.

3. LET GO OF CERTAINTY

Why is it so difficult to overcome limiting beliefs? The answer is that we all crave certainty. It is one of the Six most powerful Human Needs (the other 5 are: Variety/uncertainty, importance, love/connection, growth/development, and connection). Certainty in small doses gives us comfort and stability in our lives.

But it can also hold you back.

It's what keeps you from quitting the job you hate. It's what keeps you in unhealthy relationships with your partner and even your friends and family. It's the reason you never took that trip to Africa or wrote a novel. Certainty kills dreams, and limiting beliefs are certainty's best friend.

Instead of thinking about what you'll never do, dream big. Use the rocking chair test: When you're old and gray and look back, what will you regret the most? That's a powerful motivator for overcoming limiting beliefs.

4. CHANGE YOUR INTERNAL DIALOGUE

Your limiting beliefs can sometimes occur deep in your subconscious, but most of the time it's the negative internal dialogue that tells you why you can't, won't or shouldn't do something. Internal dialogue is constant, and the more we tell ourselves something, the more we believe it. Human beings have thousands of thoughts a day - maybe even tens of thousands - and if even a small number of them involve limiting beliefs, that's a constant negative narrative running through your head.

Write down the negative thoughts and notice which ones come up repeatedly: they are your limiting beliefs. Make a conscious effort to detect them, stop them and replace them with more powerful thoughts.

Learning to get rid of limiting beliefs is essential for personal growth and achievement in all areas of your life. You are the architect of your life. You are capable of anything. It's time to stop letting limiting beliefs hold you back.


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