Limiting beliefs are negative beliefs about ourselves, that are ‘limiting us’ (holding us back), keep us ‘small’, and make us question and doubt our abilities. How influential is the power of belief can demonstrate the example of breaking the 4 minute record. Prior to year 1945 a worldwide ‘collective’ belief was that no man can run a mile (1.609344 kilometres) under four minutes. Since no man could ever run mile under four minutes before, this belief was collectively accepted as true and as a generalised ‘fact’. In 1945, 25 year old Roger Bannister, ran a mile in 3 minutes, 49 seconds, and 4 milliseconds, and broke the ‘4 minute record’. What happened next year was remarkable: 37 other runners ran a mile under four minutes! Roger Bannister did not just break the record – he also ‘broke’ the collective limiting belief that ‘no man can run a mile under four minutes’.Limiting beliefs can be beliefs that we subconsciously picked up from our parents or caretakers, culturally and socially adopted beliefs, and beliefs that were formed by our own generalisation of our past experiences (usually painful and traumatic events).
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” (C.G.Jung)
Most of our limiting beliefs go back to early childhood, as during the first six years of our lives, our brain operates in lower frequency states: delta (1 – 3 Hz, 0 to 24 moths) and theta (4 – 7 Hz, from 24 months to age of six). In these brain wave states, our brain is very receptive to any ‘programming’ and information from our external environment. That helped us to learn all the skills we need to ‘master’ in our early childhood, such as talking, walking, eating on our own, social interaction rules… Everything that we were seeing, learning, experiencing, hearing, observing, and being exposed to in our early childhood was ‘encoded’ and ‘impressed’ upon our subconscious mind. That is the reason why most of our limiting beliefs go back to our early childhood, and why ‘digging’ into our early childhood experiences is part of many psychotherapy practices.
reprogramming limiting beliefs
If you have been struggling in any area of your life (assuming that you were putting in the conscious effort to obtain it or change it) chances are that there are limiting beliefs, fears, or unconscious desires that are contradicting your conscious goals, plans, and desires and sabotaging your success.
While reading motivational self-help books, positive self talk, and taking inspired action can certainly help us in achieving our goals, if we do not identify our subconscious behavioural patterns and beliefs that ‘direct our life’ we will fail to obtain anything what is not aligned with our subconscious programming.
(If you need help with identifying your limiting beliefs, I shared a lot of powerful exercises that can help you in this process in my book ‘Unlock The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind – How To Reprogram Limiting Beliefs and Attract What You Desire With Ease.’ You can get it on Amazon here.
The moment when we start questioning our beliefs, we will start doubting them, and recognising that they are just the ‘false notions’ that we have accepted as ‘facts’, just like we used to ‘believe’ that Santa Claus really comes down the chimney of our home and drops gifts for us in the under the Christmas tree, when we were small, or like people used to believe in the past that the Earth was flat, or that it was ‘impossible for a man to run a mile under four minutes’.
“If you question anything long enough, you’ll start to doubt it.” (Tony Robbins)
The more proof (scientific facts, statistic data, real life examples) you can find to prove your limiting belief ‘false’, the easier it will be for you to reprogram that belief.
Ask yourself if your limiting belief is really ‘the truth’ or it is just something you used to believe to be true, just like you used to (perhaps) believe in Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, or some other mythical or fairytale figure, when you were a child?
If the beliefs you’ve been having so far were keeping you stuck, why would you want to hold onto them?We need to start exposing ourselves to different truths and start ‘imprinting’ our subconscious mind with the messages and ‘facts’ that will help us adopt new, positive, and empowering beliefs. We have to start watching, listening, and reading new, positive, empowering stories, books, magazines, shows, movies, and podcasts, that are aligned with beliefs and mindset that we want to adopt.
use Journaling Questions below
to challenge your limiting beliefs:
‘your home is your 3d vision board’
It is very essential to change our environment, as our subconscious mind is very much influenced by information and visual images in our environment. Our environment is basically anything that surrounds us, but the most important factors that can influence our beliefs, besides the information we are exposed to (TV programs, social media, shows, books, movies, podcasts, magazines…), the space we are spending our time (our home, office, place where we live), and people we are spending our time with.
Place where we live and work can also influence our beliefs and our subconscious mind. Marie Diamond, Feng Shui expert, teaches that our interior decor is a ‘3D vision board’. As our subconscious mind cannot differentiate between the reality and imagination, or ‘real scenery’ and a picture, everything that we put on our walls, on our desks, or in our space influences our beliefs on a subconscious level.
Does the environment you are living and working in reflect the life you want to live, and your worth? Or your environment is filled with images and memories of your failures, or painful break up(s)?
What can you change in your environment today that can reflect how valuable (worthy) you are and that you deserve the best (that you can afford)? Of course, that does not mean being irresponsible and getting into credit card debt buying expensive shoes and bags. It could be buying ourselves beautiful flowers every week, wearing a bracelet with the encryption ‘SELF LOVE’, having a hot tub bath with sea salt when we feel tired, using toxin-free soap for our skin care, having organic granola for breakfast, buying a comfortable pillow on which we can sleep better, or displaying framed certificates and photos of the most significant moments in our career on the wall in our workspace.
We also need to be careful what kind of ‘people environment’ we are exposing ourselves into. If our intention is to increase our self worth, that can be very hard to achieve if we are surrounded by people who constantly criticise us, put us down, and make us feel unworthy.
let go of negative self talk!
If we want to increase self worth, we need to practice self empowerment, and start thinking more positive thoughts about ourselves, our value (worth), and our life.
In 2005., National Science Foundation published an article summarising research on human thoughts per day. It was found that the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Out of those thoughts, 80% were negative, and 95% were exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before.
If we keep on thinking the same thoughts day after day, how we can expect our mindset and our beliefs to change? In order for an external change to happen, we need to change the mental equivalent in our mind: our thoughts.
Our thoughts can be internalised (self talk) and externalised (in our communication), and therefor we need to pay attention on our self talk, as how we speak about ourselves in front of others, in our everyday communication.
Our thoughts influence our feelings, so it is essential to stop with negative self talk, in order for us to start feeling more deserving and worthy!
We also need to observe our conversations. How we are talking about ourselves in front of other people? Do we keep on apologising, or validating our worth, and trying to prove that we are ‘enough’? Do we criticise ourselves often in front of other people or in public? Do we describe ourselves as ‘silly’, ‘dumb’, ‘crazy’, ‘not good with money’, ‘or ‘fat like a cow’…?
Affirmations can help in this process, but we need to have in mind that everything that we say or think is an ‘affirmation’
start taking aligned action
While changing our thoughts, self-talk, and environment is very important for reprogramming our limiting beliefs, our actions are the practical demonstration of our beliefs. What habits no longer serve you? What do you need to change, declutter, let go of, transform, or start in your life right now? What books you can start reading to help you achieve that? What kind of expert or program can help you to go to the next level? Start taking aligned action and practicing daily habits and rituals that will demonstrate your new beliefs in reality.
If you need help with identifying and reprogramming your limiting beliefs, I shared a lot of powerful exercises that can help you in this process in my book ‘Unlock The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind – How to Reprogram Limiting Beliefs And Attract What You Desire With Ease.’ You can get it on Amazon here.
Identifying and reprogramming our subconscious beliefs can be difficult to do on our own, if we have repressed or forgot certain memories from our childhood or our past, or we are so immersed on our beliefs and our distorted perception of reality that we can find it hard to objectively observe our subconscious patterns and bring it into awareness. Therefore, working with a good life coach or a therapist can be of big help in this process (if you feel like that is the right step for you to take, you can click here to read about life coaching services that I offer).