Limiting Beliefs – Why Conscious Efforts May Fail You

We’ve talked about limiting beliefs a couple of times (and how to eliminate a limiting or negative belief in under 20 minutes) on this blog, but we skipped over the nitty-gritty and talked about my experience with a belief elimination method, how I eliminated limiting beliefs and how it affected my life experience and results. (Here is the original post, and here is the two-year follow-up.)

We haven’t discussed what a limiting belief is and how it manifests in your day-to-day life, showing up in the places that you are unhappiest. This can include your money situation, work situation, health situation, relationship situation and the relationship with yourself. It shows up in different places for different people based on their particular beliefs. It usually is much stronger is some areas.

What is a Belief?

A belief is something we hold to be true. Inherently, belief is the absence of doubt. We hold beliefs about everything and our beliefs inform our view of the world and our relationship to other people. Beliefs are self-perpetuating.

A small example is the belief that you are a people person. This belief leads you to behave more friendly towards others, engage in conversations, smile and think the best of others. In turn others are more friendly towards you – this belief then accumulates more experience to reinforce the belief and so on.

You can see how this can become a self-fulfilling prophecy and strengthen the belief even more. Now, with this example, it is a perfectly fine belief with seemingly total positive outcomes.

What About Negative or Limiting Beliefs?

Here is where is we can find a treasure trove of inner mucky muck to work on. I truly believe it is in these limiting beliefs that we have real work to do that brings real results in such an amazing and immediate way.

See these beliefs are formed when we are young through many similar experiences. We may come up with the belief that deep down we are not good enough. We may acquire the belief that what we have to say is not important. We may believe that if we make a mistake, we are not worthy of the love of the people around us.

Limiting Beliefs - Why Conscious Efforts May Fail You

These beliefs often gain real traction in our day-to-day lives – accumulating experiences to reinforce them. We continue to form or reinforce these beliefs by assigning meaning to otherwise meaningless events or circumstances.

Greater still because of the cognitive biases, like confirmation bias, we use to process information, we ignore evidence to the contrary of these beliefs. They just keep snowballing. As we grow up we realize that we don’t want to wear these beliefs on our sleeves so we may fake it or project the opposite of these beliefs. This can get very confusing.

We may work hard to make a dent in the belief and see incremental results in our life. It’s hard work and I’ve done a lot of it myself. Still, we feel we are held back somehow. If we keep doing the work, we get the distinct sense we are the ones holding ourselves back, but why would we do that? We continue to lack  results or the results are not proportional to the amount of work we are putting in. It can be discouraging to say the least.

It seems to me to be the exact reason why we want X, Y, and Z outcomes, and keep getting A, B, and C instead. The reason we try and try with all our might, but end up in the same or near the same place as before. When this happens we usually get angry at ourselves and basically kick ourselves while we are down. We are sure it has to do with some shortcoming and continue the cycle.

Still, we are resilient creatures and try again. We may stumble upon something along the way that gives us hope and helps us to realize perhaps we have been going at it in a fashion that is not a direct root cause analysis, but a treating-the-symptoms type approach. Yes – that is the essence of belief work.

Where to Start – Get a Shovel

We have to dig up our framework around our perceptions. I would say the best place to start is by first imagining the reality that there is no inherent meaning in things except for the meaning we assign. This may be a though hurdle to jump or it may be an “aha!” moment. Whatever it is, it is the truth. What meaning are you assigning to any given thing that is happening around you in the moment?

Next, start writing down what you sense your limiting beliefs to be. If you are reading this blog and writings like it, I am sure you have an idea of it, even if it is abstract, you can tease out the words by going deeper into that feeling and looking at parts of your life.

Look in the places where you have emotionally disproportionate reactions – what is the feeling you get from one of those incidents? Is it that you are not good enough, or that what you have to say is not worth saying? Is it that you are not smart enough or that what other people think and feel about you reflect who you truly are?

A personal example is an old reoccurring situation with an friend. The friend was habitually canceling or really late. She would continually break plans and/or totally flake out of plans and I would be let down time and time again. The funny thing was that instead of accepting the behavior as her own thing I kept hoping it would change, and when it didn’t I felt bad about myself. I attributed false meaning to her behavior, concluding that it was my lacking that created this behavior. We do this all the time!!

There are so many variations of the core misbeliefs and some basic ones we all seem to have left childhood believing. These are the things holding you back from what you really want to do and where you really want to go. The external situations are mostly just physical barriers we construct to keep us from having to face the option of getting what we really want. We are here to fully express ourselves and each and everyone of us can do it.

Belief Elimination Methods for When You are Ready

We are not always ready for the next big step. Often we have to work our way up to it, taking incremental steps in the right direction. Bookmark this page for when you are ready. The fastest and most effective way I have eliminated limiting beliefs is through the Lefkoe Method. What the Lefkoe method is is a simple process where you walk through your past and examine or imagine where beliefs were formed. You then plant seeds of doubt and other interpretations for those situations and incidences. They walk you through each and every step.

This method was developed by Morty and Shelly Lefkoe and has proven to be effective. It is a paid program but you can get enormous value for free. Click here and you can eliminate 3 of the most pervasive limiting beliefs for free.

I know that if you did even one you would see changes in days. I did the first one, and felt subtle changes immediately, I did the next two and grew further still. Finally, I bought the program and the changes were almost unbelievable, click here for the timeline of what changes happened after I did the method.

I understand you have to be in the place to move forward so like I said, begin when you are ready. In the meantime, this knowledge of limiting beliefs will illuminate areas where your limiting beliefs are holding you back. I look forward to hearing from you and what you have noticed and what has changed.

Additional Resources

Ready to eliminate a limiting belief in under 20 minutes? If so, click here.

Read about my experiences eliminating limiting beliefs here and here.

Oh and let’s not forget those cognitive biases.

 

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