If you have not read my previous blog post, Untangling the Seeds of Impression: The Imprint of Vasanas and Samskaras on our Mind and Heart I encourage you to take a read and learn just how these imprints are created and why.
In the journey of self-discovery and personal growth, one of the most significant roadblocks we often encounter is our own set of limiting beliefs. These beliefs, often formed early in life through experiences, upbringing, and societal conditioning, have an incredible power to shape our perception of ourselves and our capabilities; recognizing and challenging these limiting beliefs is essential to unlock our true potential and live a more fulfilling life.
Understanding Self-Limiting Beliefs
Limiting beliefs are those negative assumptions and perceptions we hold about ourselves and the world around us. They act as mental constraints, imprints that restrict us from pursuing our goals, dreams, and aspirations. These beliefs can manifest in various areas, such as career, relationships, health, and personal development.
Imagine wanting to switch careers and pursue a passion but constantly thinking, "I'm too old to start over." Or desiring to start a business but believing, "I'll never make it on my own.” These statements are classic examples of limiting beliefs that hinder personal growth, ignite fear, and create roadblocks.
The Origins of Limiting Beliefs
Our beliefs are often shaped by our upbringing, experiences, and interactions. Childhood experiences, family dynamics, cultural influences, and even traumatic events can contribute to the formation of these beliefs. For instance, constantly being told that you're not good enough or witnessing failures can ingrain a belief that success is beyond your reach.
The Impact on Our Lives
Limiting beliefs can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe you're not capable of something, you're less likely to take action, which in turn leads to lack of progress and reinforces this negative belief. This can lead to missed opportunities, unrealized potential, and a life that feels stagnant. In Yoga you may hear instructors say “where your mind goes, your body flows.” Meaning, that if we tell ourselves that we tell ourselves that a posture is out of our reach, it will be.
These beliefs affect our confidence and self-esteem. They erode our sense of worthiness and can lead to imposter syndrome, where individuals doubt their accomplishments and fear being exposed as a "fraud."
Challenge and Overcome Limiting Beliefs: Recognizing and challenging limiting beliefs is the first step towards overcoming them. Below are steps that we can utilize to help us move beyond our limiting beliefs and start working towards the life we have always wanted. It's about acknowledging that these beliefs might have been valid in the past, but they don't define your present, and will not be carried forward into your future. By challenging them, you open doors to new possibilities, unlock hidden talents, and cultivate a stronger sense of self-worth.
Self-Awareness: Pay attention to your thoughts and identify any recurring negative patterns. When you catch yourself thinking you can't do something, ask yourself why you believe that. Try and get to the “root cause” of this belief, as that is where the works begins.
Question the Belief: Challenge the belief by seeking evidence. Is there tangible proof that supports this belief, or is it based on assumptions and past experiences? Overcoming limiting beliefs requires patience, perseverance, and self-compassion.
Seek Counter-Evidence: Look for examples of people who have succeeded despite similar circumstances. This can help you realize that the belief is not an absolute truth.
Positive Affirmations: Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Instead of saying "I can't," try saying "I am capable of______."
Take Action: Actively challenge the belief by taking small steps towards your goals. Each accomplishment will help weaken the grip of the limiting belief.
Seek Support: Share your struggles with trusted friends, family members, a therapist or wellness coach. Sometimes an outsider's perspective can provide new insights, support you, and empower you.
Self-Reflection: If you have worked in one capacity or another, you already know the level of importance I place in having a self-reflective practice. Without self-reflection, how will you know what is working and what is not? Journaling is a practice that will help you digest, move through, and if needed, release.
Continuous Growth: Overcoming limiting beliefs is an ongoing process. Regularly revisit your beliefs and continue to challenge them as you grow and achieve.
The above steps do not happen in a linear or sequential format, this work is cyclic and continuous.
To embrace a Limitless Future, remember the journey to a fulfilling life begins with the belief that You are Deserving of it. So, take your first step today, challenge your beliefs, and embark on a path of boundless growth and potential. Your future self will thank you for it.
Please note: In no way, do I write these words from the seat of an expert, rather the complete opposite, I am sharing these words to help encourage you, as well as myself, on a journey towards breaking free of self-limiting beliefs. If I am not mindful I can spend hours/days giving my self-critic (I have even named it Stanley) more space than Stanley deserves.
As we move into the season of Autumn, we need to align with Mother Nature, she will soon begin to let-go of what is no longer serving her, we should do the same. We are also moving into Vata season; the air element. Vata and Prana go hand in hand, without Vata we cannot have Prana; our life energy; therefore, it is the perfect time to focus our energy on what uplifts us and engage with people that inspire us. It is time to give space to positivity.
RN, BSN, NC-BC, FMP, RYT
Olympia Integrative Healing llc
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