This week, I experienced a bit of a downer moment.
I was living my typical daily routine when my head decided to fill itself with an encyclopedia of negative thoughts:
“Maybe I’m not smart enough to be successful”
“I’m not cut out for this kind of thing”
“What if no one likes my style?
“What if I fail?”
“Hang on a sec, easy there Tiger!” I began to think.
My mind had spiralled so far ahead of where it needed to be and by giving attention to these limiting beliefs, I was letting myself be pulled down for no particular reason.
The thing is, limiting beliefs are TOXIC.
Yet, they are something many of us struggle with each and every day.
And, as the name suggests, they limit us from achieving your true potential and goals.
“I can’t do this.” “No one will like me.” “I’m not smart enough.” “I’m not pretty enough.”
“I’ll never get a boyfriend” “I don’t deserve to be loved.” “I must work hard for money.”
Thinking like this is super toxic….
Not only for you but for everyone else around you too.
We need to change our mindset and train ourselves to recognise and overcome these limiting beliefs.
That’s exactly what I’m going to explain in this article.
Change Your Beliefs – Change Your Life
Most of the negative thoughts and beliefs that infest our minds are triggered by our brain trying to protect us.
Trying to prevent us from confronting our fears and stepping outside of our comfort zones.
But, if you want to be successful you must stop these beliefs from influencing how you live your life.
It’s time for a change.
No more self-sabotage!
Why You Need to Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs
Many of the beliefs that we’ve been holding on to throughout our lives were imprinted on us from a very young age relative to who/what:
- We grew up with
- We’ve surrounded ourselves with
- People have said about us in the past
And, once installed these beliefs become difficult to change, especially for those who are completely unaware of them.
P.S>> If you’re more of a video person, you can watch the video below as an alternative to reading through this entire article.
Note: In the video above, the part of the brain that stops us from stepping out of our comfort zones and taking risks is the Amygdala, not the Hypothalums/Hippocampus. My mind went blank at the time – so there you go!
Without knowing, we all select, filter and mould sensory information to fit in with our position, opinions and the way we want to see the world.
But in many cases, what we think we see, is not necessarily how it really is.
We choose to ignore other information that doesn’t confirm what we believe, called Confirmation Bias.
This is why if you ask someone about their perspective on a certain polarising topic or event, let’s use Climate Change as an example, you’ll get the avid:
- Believers who have found every possible resource supporting evidence for their argument, and
- Non-believers who have also found every possible source to support their opinions
In this instance, few people will actively seek out content that supports the “other side”. This is because doing so, can lead to cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive Dissonance relates to the mental discomfort (psychological stress) felt when someone simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. And our brain hate’s this feeling!
Therefore, we avoid it like a disease and without even being aware that we’re doing it.
It’s pretty trippy actually!
But now that you’re here, it’s time to let go of some of those old beliefs and you can do that by following the steps below.
4 Steps to Help You Overcome Limiting Beliefs
Your beliefs shape your life.
What you think and perceive affects how you behave, which in turn affects how you perform towards others around you.
When not managed effectively, your belief prism can become your own personal prison and demise.
This is why it is so important to take charge and confront them.
You must go into battle….with yourself.
Step 1: Identify
The first step is to IDENTIFY what limiting beliefs you have about yourself, other people, your surrounding environment and your ability to achieve your goals.
Which of these beliefs need to be challenged and uprooted in order to achieve your goals?
As an example, do you believe that you:
- Have to work hard for money?
- Don’t deserve love?
- You’re ugly?
- You’ll never lose weight?
- You’re unworthy?
By taking a moment to identify what is going on in your mind, you can now take action towards uprooting these beliefs and making a real impact and change to your life.
Step 2: Decide
It’s time to decide that you’re not going to believe something anymore.
In this step, we draw a line in the sand (metaphorically) and take a stand that from now on, this is it.
You’re not going to believe those things about yourself anymore.
You can do this and you are just as worthy as anyone else to achieve your goals.
Step 3: Immerse Yourself
Your next step is to start bombarding your conscious and subconscious mind with new and more empowering beliefs.
There are three ways you can do this:
- You can flip your negative belief into a positive affirmation (Ie. Think a 180 degree shift)
- Make up a new belief that supports the vision of the person you want to be
- Consume your mind with positive resources and information (Eg. podcasts, personal development, etc)
- Meditate regularly to slow down and observe your thoughts.
On paper these strategies may sound really simple.
BUT, uprooting old limiting beliefs that have been ingrained into your brain for years, can be challenging.
It can take lot of accountability and self-discipline.
I teach more about overcoming limiting beliefs and the powers of mindfulness and meditation in the Mindfully Happy Handbook.
In this ebook, I equip you with the techniques you need to overcome limiting beliefs on your own. I’ll talk more about it at the end of this article.
Step 4: ACT
- Take a leap of faith by stepping out of your comfort zone.
- Start doing the things you’re afraid of.
- Review the people you hang out with.
Did you know? We become the combined average of the 5 people we spend the majority of our time with.
What does your circle say about you?
If your circle is made up of people who put you down, make you feel bad, insecure or are judgemental of others, it’s time to distance yourself.
Surround yourself instead with people who are happy, genuinely positive and who are where you want to be in life.
As best-selling Author, Darren Hardy says, “Courage is feeling the fear but doing it anyway!”
Using Mindfulness to Overcome Limiting Beliefs
In addition to meditation and positive affirmation, being more mindful of your thoughts can help you to overcome limiting beliefs.
Taking the time to pay attention to what is going on inside in your head will give you the chance to confront your negative beliefs.
That way you can pull yourself up on that inner dialogue that puts you down when you’re faced with hard times – be it rejection, failure, self worth etc.
If you’re wanting to overcome your limiting beliefs, becoming more mindful of your thoughts is a good place to start.
A Simple Way to be More Mindful
If you need some help overcoming your negative thoughts or beliefs, ensure to snap up your copy of the Mindfully Happy Handbook!
In this 20+ page handbook, I introduce you to the simple but powerful principles of mindfulness, gratitude, positive mindset and mindfulness meditation.
I highlight how these natural activities have helped me to gain a much greater control over my mind, negative beliefs and anxiety.
Take the first step towards being a happier you.