How To Overcome Limiting Beliefs (In 5 Easy Steps)
Now, more than ever, we live our lives in a field of infinite possibilities. We truly have the power to pursue any life that we could possibly dream of!
However, many people allow their past experiences and false beliefs to dictate the absolute truths of their lives.
Our belief systems are so deeply rooted in our subconscious mind and our life experiences that we don’t even realize our limiting beliefs are stopping us from reaching our full potential.
Learning how to overcome limiting beliefs is something that we write about often at Joyful Through It All. We believe that this is an important step to start creating a life that you love living!
So let’s dig into how to overcome limiting beliefs. Let’s take an old belief and replace it with a new belief so that you can start reaching your highest potential today!
What Are Limiting Beliefs?
The first step to learning how to overcome limiting beliefs is to understand what they are and how they show up in your life.
Limiting beliefs are the false beliefs and negative thoughts you have about yourself. They are the inner voice who’s goal is to keep you from reaching the highest potential you can reach in your life.
Often, limiting beliefs sound something like “you can’t do this because…”. They tend to take the form of an untrue explanation as to why we can’t do something.
Limiting beliefs are essentially defense mechanisms that you use as an easy excuse to not be your best. They are what is stopping you from going after new opportunities and life experiences. And they keep you from chasing your dream job and going after your life goals.
Often times, you may not even realize that you hold these limiting beliefs about yourself. We become so accustomed to that little voice in our head that we don’t even realize that we can make conscious choices to seek out new perspectives and positive experiences in our lives.
It’s time that you stop letting your own beliefs destroy your inner world and begin working on a way to change an old belief into a new belief!
It’s time to tell yourself a different story!
Limiting Beliefs Examples
One important thing you should do before you dig into how to overcome limiting beliefs is to look at limiting beliefs examples. Hearing limiting beliefs examples might help you understand why you have these negative beliefs in the first place.
Use these examples as a way to help you navigate the personal beliefs that you have in your own subconscious mind.
- I have always been in unhealthy relationships. I must not be deserving of a good relationship.
- I had bad childhood experiences, so I am doomed to be a terrible parent.
- I can’t change career paths, I don’t have the time to learn a new skill.
- I hate my job and will never find a new job.
- I will never start my own business, it costs too much money.
- I don’t have time to make healthy food, so I will always be unhealthy.
- I’m too old to try things outside my comfort zone.
As you read through these limiting beliefs examples, try to spot the part that sounds like an excuse. There is always a part of a limiting belief that is a negative interpretation of reality.
The trick is to question the part that we make up about ourselves. Sure, there are a bunch of good reasons why you might be busy, and healthy food is time consuming to make. But, if being healthy is important to you, you can find the time to make your health a priority.
You might feel too busy to learn a new skill and change career paths. But, how much time are you spending watching TV or browsing social media?
Having a conversation with your inner voice is the best way to take the power out of the lie. Your inner voice hates being wrong!
Why We Have Limiting Beliefs
When learning how to overcome limiting beliefs, it may help you to understand why you have them to begin with.
Limiting beliefs are our minds’ great defense mechanisms. They make us feel like we are removing the responsibility from overselves when things don’t go our way. And they make it easier for us to stay in our comfort zone when we are afraid of growth.
Limiting beliefs can show up in your life in a few different ways:
1. From What You Are Taught
It goes without saying that who you are now has a lot to do with how you were raised.
If you were lucky, you had a family member or role model that encouraged you to reach your full potential. These are the types of people who built you up to believe that you can do anything you put your mind to.
If you were less lucky, the influential figures in your life made you lack confidence and second guess your every action. This can lead to the development of limiting beliefs about yourself.
If you are constantly told that you can’t, or that you aren’t enough, it makes sense that you would start to limit your own thinking in the same way!
2. From a Painful Experience
A painful experience is an excellent place for a limiting belief to grow. When things don’t go your way, it is easy to make sweeping generalizations that things will never go your way.
In some cases, people who have a painful experience will develop a limiting belief about themselves.
I once burnt our Thanksgiving ham. I will never be able to cook the perfect ham.
I’ve had unhealthy relationships, so all of my relationships are doomed to fail.
These are examples of how we build up walls to prevent ourselves from feeling pain again. Think of past experiences that bring up negative thoughts. The odds are they had an impact on how you react to similar situations now!
3. From the Fear of the Unknown
The fear of the unknown is also a great place for a limiting belief to grow. When there is a risk involved, or the potential for failure, our minds like to make up excuses to keep us in our comfort zones.
This is why limiting beliefs are considered defense mechanisms. In some cases, they are a result of our mind trying to protect us from a potential threat. The problem is, we aren’t great at knowing when the threat is worth taking seriously.
In some ways, our minds mean well when they create these false beliefs for us! But, it is important to remember that finding growth and overcoming your limiting beliefs is an important thing if you want to create a life that you love living!
How Limiting Beliefs Are Impacting Your Life
One of the major impacts limiting beliefs have is that they keep us stuck. They keep us stuck in our comfort zones, and they keep us stuck in situations that we hate.
Whether it is a passionless job or a toxic relationship, if you have a limiting belief about yourself, it will be a struggle to find a way out.
So let’s get into how to overcome limiting beliefs so that you can start living the life you want to live!
How To Overcome Limiting Beliefs
You now understand what limiting beliefs are and how they are impacting your life.
The next step is to think of your mind like a garden. All of the limiting beliefs you have are like weeds that you want to pull out. Your goal is to replace them with beautiful flowers!
This is an analogy to help you understand that you are going to be replacing an old belief with a new belief!
Use these 5 steps to start digging into how to overcome limiting beliefs and replace each of yours with an empowering belief.
#1. Identify Your Limiting Beliefs
The first step to learn how to overcome limiting beliefs is to identify what your limiting beliefs are. This is really the only way to get started!
Start by grabbing yourself a piece of paper and enough time to work through this exercise. Your goal is going to be to write down every limiting belief that you have about yourself.
To do this, ask yourself a simple question: what do you want to do with your life?
You could think about personal goals, professional goals, dreams that you once had. Anything that you want to do with the time you have. Write down each of these aspirations.
The next step is to write down all of the reasons you won’t reach each of these goals. What is getting in the way and keeping you from working toward these goals?
#2. Understand Why You Have These Limiting Beliefs About Yourself
So you have realized that you have a bunch of weeds in your garden!
The next step is to find out if what you wrote down about yourself is accurate. This can be tricky, because your default setting is going to be to take your limiting beliefs and accept them at face value.
After all, they are your beliefs!
It’s time to put on your gloves and get in the ring, because you are about to go toe-to-toe with your limiting beliefs!
To get started, ask yourself these three questions for each of your limiting beliefs:
- Am I believing something I was taught that is not true about myself?
- Are my beliefs based on a past painful experience?
- Am I afraid of the unknown?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, get ready to do the hard work. Because it is time to take responsibility!
#3. Take Responsibility For Them
Taking responsibility is hard! It means being vulnerable, admitting that you aren’t perfect, and acknowledging your areas for growth.
But the good news is, you only have to worry about admitting you aren’t perfect to one person: you!
But before you do that, you need to know about a very important tool. A growth mindset is a way of thinking that helps us to find opportunities for growth everywhere. This is very helpful when dealing with negative beliefs.
When you have a growth mindset, you don’t believe that failure is a permanent end of the road. Instead, failure is seen as feedback. It tells us how to get better for next time.
So if your limiting beliefs come from a past painful experience or failure, it is time to take responsibility for the failure, and move forward.
Take the time to wrestle with that failure. What can you learn from it?
One thing is for certain: just because you failed once does not mean you will fail again. Sure, you might fail the second time, or the third, and so on. But you will learn more each time. And eventually, if you persevere, you will succeed!
When you are ready, start up a conversation with that inner voice of yours. Get your growth mindset on and start hunting for the growth opportunities in each of your limiting beliefs.
- Focus your attention on how much you have grown. Ask whether the negative beliefs you have about yourself still apply now that you are where you are in your life.
- If you failed in the past, ask yourself what you can learn to do better next time.
- If you are afraid of the future, think of all of the opportunities for growth you will find when you step out of your comfort zone.
A growth mindset is like a Lysol wipe to your limiting beliefs. Like a nasty bunch of bacteria, limiting beliefs just can’t survive around a growth mindset. It is time to cleanse your mind of all those false beliefs!
#4. Use Positive Affirmations
Okay so you have done the hard work and wrestled with your limiting beliefs. You used your growth mindset to see the opportunities for growth rather than the false beliefs you once had.
The next step is to replace any old belief that was limiting what you are capable of with a new belief.
Any old belief that you targeted was built on a false belief about yourself. Your goal is to replace it with a new belief that is positive and built on growth.
Consider using positive affirmations to start solidifying a different story in your mind. Doing this will help you make your new belief stick!
#5. Keep Your Limiting Beliefs From Resurfacing
You know how you spend hours weeding a garden, only for them all to return? Well, if you aren’t careful, limiting beliefs can come back too.
Putting in the hard work to remove an old belief about yourself is important, but maintaining your new belief is even more important!
You will be challenged! After all, your mind is used to telling you false beliefs about yourself. It wants to protect you with its defense mechanisms, remember?
But, just like with any new skill, practice makes permanent. Over time, as you exercise your new belief more and more, it will become second nature!
Old Belief, New Belief
Now that you know how to overcome your limiting beliefs, it is time to do it! Kick your old belief to the curb and replace it with a new belief – an empowering belief!
The worst part about the limiting beliefs that you have is that they hold you back from greatness. The false beliefs that your mind makes up keep your feet on the ground instead of letting you dream big and fly high.
But, once you have learned how to overcome limiting beliefs, it is time to start pursuing your goals again! Imagine what you are capable of now that you aren’t holding yourself back from reaching your full potential!
Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family on social media! If you know someone who could use some help overcoming their limiting beliefs, this post could be just what they need!