Limiting Beliefs – We all have them, the ceilings we put on what we think is possible.
At any given moment what we see as possible changes. We move through our lives and days opening and closing to ideas and concepts more than we realize. Think about it, when we are in a good mood and on an upward spiral we are far more optimistic about what we can create out in the world. The flip side to that however is when we are in a less-than-stellar mood we have a tendency to let pessimism slip into our minds. Being mindful of these ‘receptors’ and how open or closed we are is important.
Understanding limiting beliefs is the start of how to shatter them.
What It Takes To Shift Away From Limiting Beliefs
It takes vulnerability to acknowledge and discover where we even have limiting beliefs. Our limits are born out of the need to feel supported and secure. If you have lived long periods without these things they become normalized. As we firm up our foundation of basic human needs (Food, water, clothing, sleep, and shelter) we can then begin to open up and expand, but not before.
We first need to look at our foundation before we can begin to branch out and take different actions. It takes a solid base before we can build and grow and expand and be bold. It takes having evidence that success is even a possibility.
We look at many things for evidence of things being possible. This is often where we get caught up, we don’t realize that we are making or breaking a case when we make snap judgments throughout our day.
If your foundational basic needs are not strong and stable being honest about that opens up space to make a shift toward expansion. Often shame can seep in when our lives take turns we don’t expect. Especially when we feel we ‘ought’ to have these parts of our life handled consistently and without effort.
The truth is over the course of our lives what we view as safe and secure changes. It requires self-awareness and honesty to assess your current beliefs before you can grow and expand.
Invitation: look out into your life. If your results are not what you truly desire, read on and see what else you can create.
It Takes Being Honest
Often we don’t carve the time out to see what we have made up. We don’t realize that the way life has life’d us has left an imprint on the way we view people and the world. We often don’t realize when we have slipped into a limited/fixed mindset. It can often be very subtle. Over time as we move through things we change our views.
When we can pause and really look at our limiting beliefs and question them, we can then reconcile the ones that no longer serve us. We can have compassion for the way our minds and hearts always strive to keep us safe but we can also be responsible for when we need to make adjustments.
For instance, during the pandemic, we may have felt the worry about the toilet paper supply. This is one example of how we pull from more than the current situation to respond. We all made choices on how we would respond/react to that situation. We made up all sorts of things about:
- The world
- Our neighbors
- How resourceful we are personally
- How much we could rely on our local grocer
- How much we are cared for by our government
Can you begin to see that your view of all this is unique to you? Each one of us had our own version of how this situation played out. We had our own limiting beliefs based on our own journeys up until that point. We had our own sense of what we could rely on. We had our inner and outer views on what was possible. We were all uniquely limited as we moved through this unprecedented experience.
As a defense mechanism every single one of us over time shrinks what we believe is possible. There’s a natural pull to become resigned and cynical in reaction to adverse situations. For those however who are willing to take back their power there’s an opportunity to recognize it all begins with our perception.
Think now about how you feel about the following: the world, your neighbors, your grocer, and how resourceful you are. Has this changed at all? Have you shifted any of this since that time?
Our Perception Is Fueled By Our Past Pain
We all have a lens we see the world through. Each one of our lenses is completely unique and formed over time based on what we have experienced. No one else in the entire world will see and feel things the way you do, not completely.
Your journey and all you’ve been through have shaped how you react and respond. Over time limits are inevitable because we believe by having them we can predict our future. The opposite is true however, the more limits that seep into our minds, the less we can curate, create, and control. The more disempowered we feel the more limited life becomes.
We simply cut ourselves off from even imagining some things are possible. Within our limits, we create even more limits. Once we have decided things are going to be a certain way, we simply cannot even see if/when they show up another way. We shrug those off as a one-off or an anomaly. In an attempt to predict the future and feel safe, we literally cap every part of our lives.
The place of acknowledgment is where the shift begins. This is different than acceptance. Acceptance is a form of being fixed and can create powerlessness. Acknowledgment simply invites us to be with what’s so in order to have access to a clear response as opposed to a reaction. It’s the difference between conscious and unconscious living. It begins with not having to be right or be fully known or understood. It’s a place of groundedness where we can begin to imagine/create something new.
It Takes being Vulnerable
Let’s talk about vulnerability for a moment. Many people read the word and walk away saying ‘no thank you, I’m not interested in that’. The more we practice vulnerability and acknowledgment the faster and easier it all becomes.
One of our main fears in life is that we won’t be able to handle things. That we’ll be left feeling incapable and like we have failed. This is exactly what keeps us limited. Once we can acknowledge and own up to the fact that we have run from, and buried these fears it starts to become a little softer to digest.
We are scared to dream big for fear of not being able to expand into those spaces. We remain small as a way of maintaining a sense of control.
At the end of the day, we all want the same things: for our greatness to be seen and known. When our safety/security is rattled or unstable it throws everything off. We make up all sorts of things when this happens. Even the potential thought of our safety/security being rattled is enough to create worry and concern and throw us off-kilter.
It takes Compassion and Awareness
We have shy’d away from being able to ‘be’ with any parts of ourselves or our lives that we don’t love. (For example, our worries and fears and made-up deficiencies.) We disconnect from these parts of ourselves and there’s a cost to that. We can spend our whole lives hoping no one will ever see these parts.
In the disconnect and the burying of the parts we don’t love, we are doing ourselves a huge disservice. In doing this we end up playing a game of distraction our whole lives. Once we see that we do this, we can adjust everything. When we can pause, offer air to these parts of ourselves. When we can provide compassion and awareness that we all dance this silly dance of distraction and disconnect. We can begin to see how natural (but not necessary) this is. Then and only then, we can begin to shift it all.
We can transform the way we see ourselves and move towards wholeness by accepting that we are just as human as the next person. This will transform the level in which we trust ourselves and what we are willing to strive for. This alone will shatter limits.
We all need examples of humans that have transformed their past into power. From there it’s easier to see how we too can achieve this. The world has many examples of people in survival, and few show us how to truly thrive. They do exist however, they come into focus when we adjust our receptors.
Side note: just by reading about your receptors and bringing your awareness to them, they have adjusted. In the simple act of learning how to expand, we expend.
Let’s take all of who we are. All of the pieces we love, and the pieces we forgot. Let’s take what’s hidden in the back of our minds and hearts, and from here it can all be acknowledged, and transformed. From here we can return to seeing ourselves as whole and complete, just the way we are. From here we can expand past our limits and live into futures of true satisfaction.
After all, that’s it isn’t it? We have all experienced disappointment in the past and we live our whole lives trying to be reasonable with our expectations to avoid the pain of future disappointment.
So long as we keep wishing the world around us will change (and get in line with our thinking,) we miss out on what we can in fact change: ourselves.
I do want to pause for a micro-moment here and say: man it’s so much easier sending blame and judgment to things outside our control. Outside ourselves. I get it. But it’s foolish to stay in that loop forever. It will only bring more discontentment and leave us feeling like we have no way of shifting anything.
Where satisfaction lives is where our control resides and it’s closer than we think.
When we can create compassion for our silly human ways we can practice something new. Something powerful. Something that taps us back into remembering what’s possible.