“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.” — Tony Robbins
Limiting beliefs have more of a negative impact on your life than any other factor.
We all carry around numerous limiting beliefs.
They come from a variety of sources as well as from our own interpretation of the world around us.
Humans can’t help but learn, but sometimes we learn things that are inaccurate.
The good news is,
you can eliminate limiting beliefs and replace them with beliefs that empower you.
So what is a limiting belief?
A limiting belief is one that causes life to be less than completely satisfying.
“If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?” — W. Somerset Maugham
To change anything, you must first identify it.
It’s important to stay relevant.
We all have tons of limiting beliefs, but the truth is that many of them are irrelevant.
Only worry about the limiting beliefs that are going to have the greatest impact.
When you’ve dealt with those, you can deal with the others.
Part of being successful is focusing on the most important issues in your life.
Remember to keep that in mind as you go through the process of discovering your limiting beliefs:
# Make a list of the areas in your life where you feel challenged.
If you have an area of your life that displeases you and you’re not actively doing something to repair it, then it’s a pretty good bet that you have a limiting belief.
Otherwise, doesn’t it make sense that you’d be doing something to change the situation?
Your behavior is an indicator of your beliefs.
Consider how you’re doing in the following areas:
- Finances. Are you feeling ﬁnancial pressure in your life? Do you have all the things you need or really want? How much money do you have in savings? Do you have the income you desire? Is that income secure?
- Relationships. Are your relationships satisfying? Consider your intimate relationship as well as your relationships with your family, friends, and co-workers.
- Health. Are you taking good care of yourself? How is your weight? Do you go to the doctor regularly for checkups?
- Fun & Adventure. Are you doing the things you really want to do? Do you dream of going overseas but haven’t been yet? Do you want to learn to play the guitar but never have?
- Any other aspect of your life in which you’re experiencing dissatisfaction. Think about any other areas of your life where you’re less than satisfied. If you’re not pleased with your life, a limiting belief could be the cause.
# Identify the beliefs that are contributing to your challenges.
Make a list of all of your beliefs, good and bad, regarding the challenges you identiﬁed above.
Don’t attempt to ﬁlter them as positive or negative while carrying out this process — just get them all listed as you brainstorm and examine them later.
Here’s a short example around money:
- I’ll never be wealthy.
- Rich people are dishonest.
- I’ll never have enough money to have a nice house.
- If I’m rich, people will try to steal from me.
- My friends will treat me diﬀerently if I have a lot of money.
Can you see why it would be diﬃcult to make a lot of money if you believe these things?
# Identify the beliefs that are holding you back.
Think about which beliefs are having the greatest negative impact on your life.
One way to do this is to
consider how your behavior would change if that belief were eliminated from your life.
Don’t just guess which beliefs are the most damaging.
Genuinely examine them and consider the change that your life would experience if you weren’t held back by that belief.
# Put those negative beliefs in order.
Start with the limiting belief that you feel is creating the most challenge in your life.
Put them all in order from the belief having the greatest negative impact to the least.
It makes sense to spend your time where it’s going to do the most good.
Prioritizing your time is always a valuable strategy.
Now that you have a list of your limiting beliefs and have them in order, it’s time to start dealing with them.
“Other people’s beliefs may be myths, but not mine.” — Mason Cooley
Follow this process to get rid of a limiting belief:
# Read the belief out loud and ask yourself, “Do I really know that this is true?”
Have you experienced this yourself enough times to be conﬁdent that it is true?
Remember, you can’t accurately draw conclusions from a limited number of experiences.
Do you really know that this belief is true without a shadow of a doubt?
# Where did you come up with this belief?
For example, did your limiting belief about money come from your parents?
Were your parents wealthy?
If they weren’t, then they’re not a reliable source of information.
After all, an expert on money would be able to have a lot of it.
If someone hasn’t had a lot of money, then they don’t really know how to accumulate it or what it means to have it.
Consider whether or not the source of your belief is a valid source.
Your beliefs should come from your own personal experiences and from the advice of experts. Period!
So rely on experts!
They are easy to ﬁnd with a little research.
# Simply state to yourself, “I choose not to believe this anymore. It’s not true.”
Stating your intention has a profound eﬀect.
Look for supporting evidence.
Find some reasons and examples why this limiting belief is false.
- The person that told me this doesn’t really know.
- I’ve never actually tried it for myself.
- I’ve seen others that are less capable than me be successful at this.
At the very least, you should feel a sense of doubt about that limiting belief.
If you don’t, then keep coming up with more reasons.
Get online and read some articles by someone that you feel is truly an expert on the topic of your belief.
Search for examples that the belief is false.
Imagine how much your life would change if you didn’t have this belief anymore.
# Create a new belief that serves you.
This will be the opposite of the limiting belief or at least something along those lines.
Create a belief that will improve your life and support your ability to take action to make your life better.
Find examples to support this new belief.
Any belief will be more stable if it has supporting information and evidence.
Really try to prove that it’s true.
Imagine that you had to prove to someone else that your new belief is accurate.
That should get you where you need to be.
# Measure yourself.
Each day, audit yourself.
How do you feel about your new belief?
How do you feel about your old belief?
Gauge your gut instinct— it’s a direct link to your subconscious.
Is your behavior changing?
If your beliefs change, the way you act and feel will change, too.
Our lives and feelings are a manifestation of our beliefs.
If your beliefs have really changed, your life will also change.
# Go back to your list of limiting beliefs.
Keep working on your list of negative beliefs.
Work through those items and continue to add new items to your list.
You’ll ﬁnd that you’ll discover new limiting beliefs as you start making progress in your life.
As you experience new things, new limiting beliefs will show up.
These are beliefs that you didn’t know you had until this point.
As you set new goals, new challenges will present themselves.
As you learn and experience more, your objectives change, so the limiting beliefs you have will also change.
Maybe you’ll decide that 5 years from now you want to be an engineer.
Any limiting beliefs you have about being an engineer would then have to be addressed.
Continue examining your life for limiting beliefs and eliminating them.
It’s like pulling weeds.
No matter what you do, some weeds always pop up over time.
Simply recognize them and get rid of them.
# Repeat all the above steps on a regular basis.
As you set new goals or have new challenges in your life, repeat the process above.
Sit down once a week and make a new list of limiting beliefs.
You’ll be unstoppable.
“Sometimes all it takes to change a life is to decide which beliefs do not serve you and to literally change your mind about those beliefs.” — Joy Page