The opportunity: It doesn't have to be like this.
The solution: Use these 6 steps to challenge your beliefs and create new ones that support your success.
You are what you believe
Beliefs are really just thoughts - thoughts that you accepted as being true, correct, or right at some point in the past. Once you accept an idea as being true, then you develop a belief. Over time, your beliefs often bury themselves in your subconscious mind where they quietly guide your worldview and actions for years to come. This is tremendously beneficial for you when your beliefs are supporting you and serving you well. But, this can also be painfully destructive and confusing for you when your beliefs only serve to hold you back in ways that you're not consciously aware of today.
Do you believe that?
Here are some examples of common limiting beliefs:
- If I show my emotions, everyone will think that I'm weak.
- The only way to get ahead is to fight my way to the top.
- I can't trust others to do what they say they will do.
- If I ever become successful I will lose it all quickly.
- This world is never fair to good people.
- There are not enough resources for everyone so I need to get all I can.
- I don't deserve to be happier than I am now.
If a belief is supportive and beneficial, it will lead to successful living.
You might be able to see how the beliefs above can put limits on what you think is possible for you in life. For example, if you truly believe that whenever you show your emotions others will think that you're weak, then you will deny or bury your feelings until they finally overwhelm you. If you can't trust others to do what they say they will do, then you're constantly suspicious of others or taking care of their responsibilities for them. If you don't believe that you deserve to be happier that you are now, then you may be settling when you could be soaring.
6 Tips for Building Better Beliefs
The first step in overcoming your limiting beliefs is to identify the ones that you have now. Use the examples above as a guide to get you started. Try to list 3-5 beliefs that you accept about yourself, life in general, or other people that limit you in some important way. Define how they limit you specifically.
Next, find out where you got each of your beliefs from. Did you think this belief up yourself? Did you inherit it from a parent, family member, partner, friend, co-worker, etc.? How did you come to believe this? If you're not sure, keep these questions in mind as you move on.
Now it's time to find out if what you believe is actually true. Is it true, correct, or right for you? Is it supportive and beneficial to you (and others)? Does it lead to successful living? How? In what ways does this belief help you when you need to make an important choice?
Try letting go of the ways you have identified with your beliefs so that you can gain more perspective on them. For example, instead of saying, "I believe (something)..." try saying, "I notice that I believe (something)...." When you can notice a belief from this more objective point of view, then you will not take it so personally and it will not have the same power to define who you choose to become.
Once you've had some time to define your limiting beliefs and to see the specific ways they negatively affect your life, then you need to decide if they are worth keeping anymore. How does the belief really affect you? What would be different if you believed something else? What would it take for you to choose a new, more supportive and empowering belief?
When you've decided that you have a limiting belief that you're ready to get rid of, it's time to create some new beliefs that will support your success in life. To do this, list 3-5 new beliefs that could replace the old limiting belief. Ask yourself: Is it supportive? Is it empowering? Will it work for me? When will I use it? How will I use it?
When you've created your new beliefs, try them out in your daily life and pay attention to how and when you use them. Ask yourself: What were the results? What did I like? What would I change next time? Would I use this belief again in this way? Finally, repeat the process over a period of time to see how your new beliefs are serving you. Celebrate your victories and enjoy a more successful, fulfilling life!
If you would like help in overcoming your limiting beliefs, please CONTACT me to schedule a free 30 minute session to see if coaching with me could be right for you.
- Norman Vincent Peale