What Are Limiting Beliefs?
“Beliefs are part of the ingrained thought patterns we develop in childhood, all those years ago”
Over and over I’ve heard the ‘American’s’ talking about personal development. Those Tony Robbins infomercials that ring in my ear promoting growth and happiness, internal peace and loads of cash. And they kept banging on about beliefs. Limiting beliefs - like what da f*** are they even? Tbh I thought it was a load of nonsense. And then one spiritual awakening later it started to make sense.
See… beliefs are part of the ingrained thought patterns we develop in childhood, all those years ago thanks to Mam or Dad or Nan or whoever it was that was lucky enough to drag up your fabulous self. Limiting beliefs include anything from I’ll never be happy to no one will love me to I will always be broke. They invade and obstruct any path that isn’t in line with what they believe so the key to freedom is unleashing the beasts and setting you free. So as kids we soak up all the beliefs of those we spend our time with, whether you know it or not those attitudes or ways are deeply ingrained in your psyche.
And children have a very different view of the world than adults. They take in everything. Every yes, every no, every rejection, every failure, every dismissal and it hurts them so much more than it does our adult selves. With no context for life the worst day of their lives to date may well be being picked up from school an hour late. Poor things have it all ahead of them. The point is that things affect kids differently to adults so things that might be trivial to adults can have huge effects on kids later in life - on how they view themselves, on how they view their potential and all round on the life they think they can create, or can’t.
And the mind is a funny thing. We gobble unfathomable volumes of information everyday from conversations to experiences, feelings to memories and to make space for the new the mind enlists a KonMarie method of sorts to file stuff away in true Japanese form. Everything is categorised and packed away neatly - some in the unconscious (the part of the mind we have no awareness of), some are sent to the subconscious (the part that we can easily recall from) and some stay in our conscious awareness. The trouble in identifying limiting beliefs is that most of them are stored in the unconscious so we haven’t a clue what they are. Now I realise that’s not much use to you when you’re trying to figure out what’s holding you back from that threesome with Becks and Tom Hardy. Is it a limiting belief? God I hope so. Outlined below are 5 things you can do to begin identifying the beliefs that may be holding you back.
CRAKING the Code
To change a belief first you have to identify it. And that’s the hard part. But these steps might go some way towards helping you identify the stuff that could be holding you back. For this consider the key areas in your life - love, finance, friendship, career, health and adventure.
Consider your feelings in each of these areas. Are you happy with progress? Are you seeing the results you want? Or are you frustrated? Annoyed with the fact that you keep plugging away but not getting the results you want? The same issues keep cropping up again and again - bad choices, repetitive patterns that are doing you more harm than good. Hone in on the areas that cause you frustration, look for patterns and explore anything that comes to mind
It’s funny how we can give the best advice to everyone else but fail to listen to our own. The same can be said for psychological blind spots and boy have we got some. It might be helpful here to look around at those you were brought up with, your parents, your siblings. Do you spot anything here? Was your Mam obsessed with weight loss? You Dad with money and never having enough? Look hard and see if you can spot anything that resonates with you.
Beware of whatcha thinking. Our inner voice can give the most away when it comes to limiting beliefs. Listen to your thoughts, spot patterns, note them, observe everything. Then begin to challenge your thoughts - if something seems a little out of place then it probably is.
Without meaning to come across all Tony Robbins on you limiting beliefs really do play a huge role in fulfilling our potential. They are most likely the block we face in achieving our goals. So dig my pretty, dig. Freedom is there for the taking.
About The Author
Siobhan is a Trainee Psychotherapist, Mental Health Advocate and Editor of crakd. She’s also embroiled in an intense love affair with eclectic interiors and colourful food.
Follow Siobhan on Instagram @siobhan_scan