We get so caught up in the details of what has happened to us…it’s our “story”. It defines us, it’s our background and our history … the chapters of our lives. But it’s not about your story…not about what happened to you.
It’s actually about what you THINK about what happened to you.
The thoughts that we form around the events of our lives become our reality. The beliefs, the systems and the understandings that we adopt about these events and translate into beliefs about ourselves, shape our future. For example, the little girl who sings in her church choir, loving every moment of using her voice and being a part of the group, hears a voice in the congregation saying “she’s too loud“. She internalizes this, believes that she is too loud, feels less joy about singing and perhaps stops singing altogether. Is it the event of the comment that changed her path? NO. It’s what she thought about that comment, how she internalized it and the new beliefs she created about herself based on that comment.
Typically we form these beliefs in childhood and they continue lodged in our sub-conscious into adulthood or perhaps our whole lives if left unchecked. They could remain as ideas that only dance in the background or, if attached to a more traumatic event, they act as more of a trigger. Triggers can be associated with any event that our subconscious views as traumatic.
The mind can be understood to have 3 sections: the conscious mind, subconscious mind and unconscious mind.
Conscious: Freud referred to this as the Ego which holds responsibility for information, logic, willpower and decision making. the Conscious mind communicates to the outside world through speech, pictures, writing, physical movement and thought.
Subconscious: For the Freudians, this is the Superego and the link between the conscious and the unconscious. It contains recurring thoughts, behaviors, feelings, habits and short-term memories, that we can chose to recall.
Unconscious: (ID) Those memories, beliefs, traumas, phobias, addictions and emotionally charged life events that are out of reach of the conscious mind but form the foundation of our beliefs. The information stored here, is that which we do not want to recall.
How To Overcome Your Self-Limiting Beliefs
There are steps that can help you to overcome your limiting beliefs and empower your perspective. These steps will help you eliminate all of your previous limiting beliefs and help you tackle life with new confidence and understanding.
1. Acknowledge Your Self-Limiting Beliefs
The first step is to be totally honest with yourself. What limiting beliefs do you think you have? Take a piece of paper and write down the self-limiting beliefs that you know are hindering your personal growth. These beliefs could include anything from fear, excuses, experience, etc.
2. Find The Core Reasons For Those Beliefs
After you list all of those self-limiting beliefs that you have, try to understand the reasons for why you have those beliefs. These reasons could be various, but usually, it’s because of your childhood experience/societal programming.
3. Understand That Those Beliefs Are Simply Not True
If we take a look at some examples, we will find out that most of those beliefs are unjustified. Usually, these beliefs appear because you have one (or more) bad experience regarding these beliefs, and automatically your brain shuts down to the possibility of you doing it. But this can be changed simply by shifting our mindset to a more empowering one. Understand that many of these beliefs are not true, and the foundation of these beliefs are very subjective.
4. Arm Yourself With New, Empowering Beliefs
The next step to take after acknowledging that those beliefs you held are simply not true, is to form new beliefs. Use this time of epiphany to form new beliefs that serve you. Choose your new beliefs carefully, because these new beliefs will manifest in your life.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Visualization is extremely useful in changing your thought patterns. If you can see it…on a board, person your computer…whatever, it helps to trigger your brain.
Basically, it’s about paying attention. Do you like the thought, or do you want to change it? How can you look at something differently? For example, pay attention to your anxiety. Consider why you’re anxious. What thoughts and beliefs can help you overcome the anxiety of the moment?
Taking charge of your brain and questioning certain feelings is known as reframing. Taken one step deeper it’s called Neuroplasticity, and it represents the ability we possess to change our brain patterns.
After changing all of those limiting beliefs with new, empowering, and positive ones, start acting as if. Start acting like you are the new person that has all of these positive beliefs inside of them. It might be hard to change (It might take weeks or months), but with proper dedication, you will get there.