How to Get Rid of Limiting Beliefs: 7 Tips that Help

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How to Get Rid of Limiting Beliefs: 7 Tips that Help | A limiting belief is false narrative, accusation, or state of mind that prevents you from doing certain things and keeps you stuck. Limiting beliefs are often the result of our family values and beliefs, life experiences, and education, and negatively impact our ability to take risks and move towards our goals. If you want to know how to overcome limiting beliefs, this post has lots of tips and ideas to help.

When was the last time you tried to accomplish a goal, and something prevented you from moving forward? Maybe right before taking the first step, you thought, “What if I fail?” or “What if I’m not good enough?” These self-critical questions can paralyze us and sabotage any dream we want for ourselves. They’re also limiting beliefs that live deep within our subconscious mind. While they’re not easy to change, you can learn how to get rid of limiting beliefs to achieve everything you want.

What Are Limiting Beliefs?

We all have limiting beliefs, those ingrained perceptions and thoughts that shape our view of ourselves, others, and the world. These beliefs, however, prove limiting because they hold us back in one way or another and convince us that certain goals are beyond our reach. For example, maybe you want a promotion but fear asking your boss because you believe you’re not worthy of a raise. Or you believe you’re not good enough to be at the same level as other colleagues. However, even though you have the skills, education, and experience, you trick yourself into accepting you can’t go after what you want. The paradox lies in your conviction in these limitations, treating them as facts. Yet, in reality, these beliefs don’t define your potential.

What Causes Us to Have Limiting Beliefs?

Several factors cause limiting beliefs. Most notably, our childhood. For example, perhaps you heard your parents say, “Money doesn’t grow on trees” repeatedly, and today, you subconsciously believe money is scarce and difficult to achieve. Another route is through our past experiences. Perhaps you had to give a speech in class when you were little and heard classmates giggling. You immediately thought it was because of your capability, and now, as an adult, you struggle to voice your concerns or speak publicly. These beliefs also stem from our brain’s innate desire to protect us from future pain. Therefore, when we try to go after new experiences, our brain may trigger a series of “What if” statements that stop us in our tracks.

How to Get Rid of Limiting Beliefs

1. Identify what’s holding you back

The first step in learning how to get rid of limiting beliefs is to identify them. Yet, it requires a bit of self-awareness. For example, writing down your thoughts as part of a daily self-care routine allows you to go back and find the patterns. Perhaps you often say things like “I’ve always been like that”, “People can’t change”, “The world is an awful place full of terrible people”, or “I never get what I want”. Notice how these red flags are affecting your life.

2. Discover the root

Looking back at childhood memories and past experiences, can you think of a moment when you may have adopted one of your limiting beliefs? A few examples of limiting beliefs are “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not smart enough”, “I’ll never have enough money”, and “I’ll never find love”. When you discover which ones are living within your subconscious, retreat to a safe, quiet place, close your eyes, and ask yourself, “When was the first time I felt this way?” Whatever emotions, memories, or words pop up, grab your journal and jot them down to help you increase your self-awareness.

3. Use the downward arrow

Downward arrow is a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) technique where the therapist asks the client after they show signs of limiting beliefs, “If that were true, what does that mean about you?” The good news is you can use it on yourself. For example, if you believe you can’t go after a new job opportunity, ask yourself the CBT question. Perhaps you believe it’s not worth the time and effort. Keep asking the question to uncover hidden layers. Maybe after you think, “I won’t get it. There are better candidates than me”. Ask again, and you may think, “I’m not good enough” – that’s your limiting belief.

4. Start to challenge the beliefs

After using the downward arrow technique, challenge your beliefs even more. For example, if you believe “I’m not smart enough”, write it on top of a paper and investigate it. List the reasons why you believe it’s true on one side and on the other, list why it couldn’t be true. Reflect on past encounters, look at your accomplishments, and find the evidence to create reasons to prove to your brain that you are intelligent. Now, the goal isn’t to achieve full conviction. Challenging your beliefs takes time, but this exercise will help you open your mind and think of other possibilities. 

5. Observe your internal dialogue

Limiting beliefs are automatic and may be challenging to catch, but be on the lookout. For example, while you’re getting ready to meet your friends for an event and think, “This event is going to be terrible. I’m not going to have any fun”, catch it in its tracks and try to replace it with a different belief. For instance, investigate it and ask yourself why this belief may not be true. Maybe you will have a lot of fun. Perhaps you will meet the love of your life, make new connections, or experience something thrilling. Every time you catch a belief, it retrains your brain to find the positive and shapes new beliefs and, subsequently, provides new experiences. Give it a try.

6. Overcome uncertainty

The challenge of overcoming limiting beliefs often stems from the deep-seated certainty within our comfort zone. Maybe we’re afraid of what exists on the other side if we drop the self-sabotaging and open ourselves up to new experiences. Even though we’re aware that limiting belief causes pain, we know it, we’re comfortable with it, and it keeps us safe. In other words, it prevents us from experiencing pain and rejection. However, practicing radical acceptance and understanding that certainty holds you back and you can’t control everything can help you push past the fear. In fact, it’s better to take the risk and grow from failure.

7. Keep practicing

We are undoubtedly creatures of comfort. And, when we experience pain, we often want to retreat to our shell and give up. But be like the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. This quote means the key to overcoming your limiting beliefs and positively transforming your life is through consistency. Make journaling, meditation, and following morning mindful habits a part of your daily life to increase your self-awareness. The more you understand how your thoughts shape your reality and how they aren’t always true, the more adept you will be at investigating and challenging them. Before you know it, you’ll believe and accept that you are an unstoppable force who deserves everything they want plus more.

Remember, your beliefs are just beliefs. They aren’t predictors of your life and don’t reveal anything about your true character. Your soul knows the truth, but to learn how to get rid of limiting beliefs, you need to start believing in yourself, others, and the world around you. There is beauty within you, within all of us, and you have the power to create the life of your dreams.

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How to Get Rid of Limiting Beliefs: 7 Tips that Help | A limiting belief is false narrative, accusation, or state of mind that prevents you from doing certain things and keeps you stuck. Limiting beliefs are often the result of our family values and beliefs, life experiences, and education, and negatively impact our ability to take risks and move towards our goals. If you want to know how to overcome limiting beliefs, this post has lots of tips and ideas to help.

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