A limiting belief is a belief we have taken on over time that sets false limitations upon us. Limiting beliefs usually begin to develop during early childhood. Often, they are the result of ideas and opinions of others being forced upon us. We were told we what we could and couldn’t do and how the world works and what to expect from it from the people that we looked up to and trusted to guide us. However good intentioned they may have been, most caregivers will inevitably pass on some type of limiting beliefs to their charges. This is just a consequence of their attachment to their own beliefs. It is not something to be judged as good or bad, it just is.
Like many people I grew up with the belief that I must be well educated and work hard and sacrifice if I wanted to be successful and that even then, I may never be successful. I came to believe strongly in that. I was also told that I was lazy because as a child I avoided doing things I didn’t want to do, like cleaning my room. I believed that, also. Together, this was a very bad combination of limiting beliefs. If I believe success means hard work and sacrifice and I believe that I am lazy…the logical conclusion is that I am destined to be a failure.
I am destined to failure. This was a belief I took on very young and carried with me until a few years ago when I began to awaken. I had to let go of those beliefs and realize that the world is an abundant place and that I was worthy and deserving of success just as I am and could find work that I was so passionate about, I wouldn’t want to procrastinate or act “lazy” about it.
Here is an exercise that may help you to release your own limiting beliefs.
1. Make a list of all of the limiting beliefs you may have. They can be from any area in your life, such as survival, health, religion, relationships, community, etc. You may come back and add to this list as you become more aware of limiting beliefs coming in through your thoughts. For each limiting belief you have listed, create an affirmation to counteract it. For example, if you have the limiting belief that success is hard to come by, a good counteracting affirmation is that success come easily.
Limiting Belief / Affirmation
Success mean hard work and sacrifice. / Success comes to me naturally and easily.
Some people will never succeed in life. / There is enough opportunity and abundance for all.
I am lazy. / I am capable and motivated.
I am destined to be a failure. / I am worthy and deserving of success.
2. Go through the list and pick one to three limiting beliefs to start working on. It might be helpful to pick beliefs that effect one particular area of your life to work on at time, such as financial beliefs like in the example above. Don’t try to work on more than three at a time. Trying to change too much at once is a sure way to overwhelm yourself and often leads to giving up before any change can take place.
3. Say the affirmations that correspond to the beliefs you chose to work on to yourself several times a day. Have a few set times for saying affirmations, first thing in the morning and right before bed, for example. Don’t limit yourself to these times though. Write the affirmations down where you will see them throughout the day. Say them out loud as often as you can.
Our beliefs are shaped by our thoughts. The more you think something, the quicker it will become a belief. By using the affirmation, you can rewire your belief system to change the limiting beliefs into empowering ones.