During the late Medieval period (around 15th to 17th century) a weird psychiatric disorder swept through Europe.
Many people believed that they were made of glass and were likely to shatter with the slightest contact. This order was later named “The Glass Delusion” and was recorded in the research journal History of Psychiatry.
Such a belief meant that people took great efforts to change their lifestyle habits, adjust their behaviors, and even avoid human contact so that they won’t get “shattered.”
Limiting beliefs are thoughts that, as the name suggests, limit your way of thinking and prevent you from seeing all the possibilities open to you.
As a Nutrition and Health Coach, I work with a lot of Women that struggle with weight loss and the all or nothing diet mindset.
Here are some common underlying beliefs that I often hear from my clients:
“I’ve never been thin. It’s just not possible for me.”
“Everyone in my family is fat. It’s in my genes.”
“I want to lose weight but I just don’t believe I can be successful at this.”
“I have a slow metabolism.”
“Even if I do lose weight, I can’t keep it off.”
As you can imagine, these ideas are self-defeating and can sabotage on a big scale. These thoughts can keep you from seeing your potential and discourage you from pursuing your goals.
The thing is that you may desire something consciously, but there is something in the subconscious mind that’s stopping you from having what you want. And until you clear the block in your subconscious mind, the called limiting belief, it just won’t happen.
This negative self-talk of limiting beliefs about ourselves, our diet, our body, and our own inability to lose weight, talking about my field of work, this is what forms the basis of our self-sabotaging behavior. Writing down those beliefs and shining a light on them is the first step in taking away their power.
“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.” — Tony Robbins
The truth is that most people believe that weight loss is about depriving yourself and hard work. And if you have that belief that weight loss is going to be a struggle for you… guess what? It is going to be a struggle… If you believe that you will suffer, you will either fail to lose it or you will drop a few pounds only to gain it back soon afterward.
The same is to decide to make a change, starting a business… Change is challenging, starting a business is hard work but if we have our beliefs in check we can accomplish so much more and give ourselves a break!
“If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?” — W. Somerset Maugham
Some beliefs are a quite limiting right? But it doesn’t have to be like that.
In fact, my clients are always amazed to see how effortless it is. “I am losing weight and eating what I like!” is what I usually hear after my clients do the work and eliminate all the blocks. (It does take time and persistence, but it works!)
Why is it so effortless? Because when you rely on diet and exercise alone, you are forced to use willpower as your only source of motivation, but when we work with the subconscious mind and clear all those underlying beliefs and emotions, things suddenly become easy.
So now that you know what limiting beliefs you have, you can neutralize and release them.
You can’t really remove limiting beliefs without a lot of unnecessary struggle but you can more easily replace them with beliefs that will support your goals and the results you want to have in your life.
The first thing and the most important is to become aware of them.
Next, you must take some time and write it down. List at least 5 or 6 beliefs that opposed to what you want to accomplish.
For example, you can try to answer the questions:
I can’t do this because____
I don’t think this would work because___
For other people may work but in my case___
This hasn’t worked in the past and will not work now because____
The final step now is to replace these limiting beliefs with positive and supporting ones. You can write them down on a piece of paper and read them every day or write them every day.
If we embrace them often enough, they will replace the ones that are preventing you from reaching your goal. Affirmations work really well!
A recent belief that I had to work on was “I am not confident enough’’. I kept saying this without noticing, and guess what? It was affecting my way of working, performing, organizing my ideas. My Coach called me on that and I decided to stop saying it and start taking actions that made me feel quite “on the top of the world”. My ideas got clearer, I could get work done in a more efficient way and my energy went to the right place.
After being aware of those beliefs that are not true, you need to create new beliefs. Choose your new beliefs carefully because those beliefs will manifest into your life.
After doing this re-framing of beliefs and you have your new empowering and positive ones, start acting as if. Start acting and behaving like you are this new person that has all these beliefs inside of him. It might be hard and awkward at the beginning, it might take weeks or even months, but with your dedication and consistency, you will get there.
This is something we all have to do constant work on.
Just by being aware of them you will see that you will start to make much more progress on your goals.
Design your best life!