Limiting beliefs (sometimes called SELF limiting beliefs) are assumptions and learned beliefs that restrict you and inhibit growth & change.
They can be formed at any point in your life, but usually, they begin early on when your perspective as a child is limited. Sometimes self-limiting beliefs are even-handed down from generation to generation. They can stop you from being the strong independent person you are created to be and they can be difficult to overcome without the right tools.
So, how exactly are these thought patterns formed, how do they take root in your life?
1. You experience pain, rejection, or abuse.
2. Your mind draws conclusions about how to prevent this pain from occurring again because your brain is ALWAYS trying to save you from abuse, hurt feelings, or exclusion from the group.
3. Thus self-limiting beliefs are born.
An example of a limiting belief is:
“I can’t say no to people.”
This could be stemming from thoughts like:
· I said no and someone got upset with me and I felt guilt for letting them down.
· If I say no, then important things won’t get done, and then people will get mad, then I could lose my position or relationship with them.
· If I say no that person may not like me, they will reject me and I won’t be included anymore.
Therefore, your brain tells you, “Don’t say no!”
Your brain doesn’t like the idea of being rejected or alone. Your brain knows you need a tribe, because the most primitive part of your brain is programmed for connection and when connection is broken, life is DANGEROUS for you on the Sahara. The tribe offers protection that is not available when you are on your own. Deep in your core you know this so you will go to great lengths to avoid being alone and vulnerable to the world around you.
In other words, limiting beliefs can be rooted and founded in your brain’s desire to survive.
Operating as a strong independent woman sounds appealing to us, but it can bring apprehension to your brain because of it’s instinct to protect you from saber tooth tigers.
Some examples of limiting beliefs you could be facing in your journey to a healthier lifestyle include:
· I am not strong enough to stand against temptation
· I will never be able to give up the foods I love
· I don’t like to cook or prepare food
· I hate exercise
· This is too hard
· It’s not a battle worth fighting
· ___________ (insert sickness such as type 2 diabetes) is in my genes, all my relatives had it and so will I, there is nothing I can do about it.
· I will never get past the hurt of my past and be able to overcome addiction
What are your limiting beliefs?
I encourage you to sit down with a notebook and write out all the limiting beliefs you can think of that have kept you stuck. None are too silly- write them ALL.
In the next post I will be talking about how to overcome limiting beliefs.
If you have not yet joined our online community Craving Peace, please do! You will find many women there in the same boat as yourself and we are stronger when we connect with and support one another.
Psalm 139: 13-14
13 For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful.
You can do this!
He’s where the peace is,