The 2 Most Common Limiting Beliefs
Limiting beliefs are the thoughts holding us back from living our best life and from achieving our dreams.
Beliefs are the thoughts we have that are so ingrained we don’t realize they are thoughts at all, we simply believe them as truth. These thoughts are so sticky, so deep inside us, that often we don’t see or hear them. That is why coaching is so valuable.
Many people think of life coaching is someone telling you what to do… and in a sense we do coach you to come up with actions, but good coaches are shining a light on your thoughts for you. They are helping you dig out those thoughts that are driving the bus of your life. Many of those thoughts you don’t know are there until a good coach shines that light and allows you to see.
Why is it important for us to see what we are thinking?
Because our thoughts literally create our feelings, our feelings fuel our actions, and ultimately our results come from the entire process stemming from those thoughts. So imagine if you have a lot of limiting beliefs creating the results of your life. Those results are stunted and more limited because of them.
Coaches are not meant to tell you what to do, they are meant to shine a light on your thinking.
Helping you understand why you are doing what you are doing and how to change the results in your life by recognizing and upgrading your thinking.
If you don’t know what your limiting beliefs are - simply state a lofty goal and see what comes up for you. Here is an example to help you get to your limiting beliefs, your new goal is…
~You want to become the president of United States of America.~
(I don’t and likely you don’t either but this example will definitely drum up plenty of limiting beliefs for most of us.)
Now list all the reason why you can’t be the president of the USA.
- I’m a woman.
- I’m not smart enough.
- I’m not rich enough.
- I’m not good at networking.
- I don’t know enough people.
- I can’t do that.
- I don’t have wealthy friends.
- I don’t come from a wealthy family.
- My family is crazy, if people only knew.
- I didn’t graduate college.
- I did inhale.
- I don’t know enough.
- I’m not dedicated enough.
- I never follow through.
- I’m not special.
~Now imagine you are literally the president of the USA and it’s time to get to work, you’re sitting alone in your oval office, thinking…~
What are you thinking?
- This is a mistake.
- I don’t belong here.
- I’m not qualified.
- They’re going to crucify me.
- They are all going to know I’m a fraud.
- I’m going to fail.
- I’m not good enough.
- They will all wonder, who do I think I am?
- I don’t know how to do this.
I could go on and on and on here, most of us will have very similar lists.
Do you notice that all the limiting thoughts above can be summed up by stating “others will judge me” and “I’m not good enough”.
Let’s take a look at these two limiting beliefs.
Others Will Judge Me
Here is the simple answer. Survival. We used to live in tribes and caves, if we didn’t fit in we were ostracized and forced to live away from the group where it was much less safe and so much more likely we would die.
But now, we don’t live like this. Our brains simply haven’t caught up with modern life. Now we can find our tribe on the internet, all around the globe. No matter how unique or weird we are, we can probably find a warm welcome somewhere.
This concern about others judgement just isn’t valid anymore.
The answer to the thought, others will judge me, So what? Who gives a shit? No one else’s opinion should ever mean more to you than your own, ever.
I’m Not Good Enough
Says who? Other people? See answer above, so what? Who gives a shit?
We are literally all made of the same stuff. We are all made from the same energy as the moon and the stars. All of us. We humans all have the human experience. We are born, we live, and we die. We think, we feel, we act. All of us. None of us are special and all of us are special.
We have limitless potential and possibility. All of us.
What Limiting Beliefs Do
When we think thoughts like “others will judge us” or “we are not good enough” they create feelings in our bodies, feelings like shame, worry, anxiety, fear, and guilt.
These feelings are then fueling our actions in our life. When you are feeling shame or fear what actions are you taking? I’m guessing you are hiding, playing small, and not reaching for your dreams.
Do you see how important it is for us to pay attention to our thinking and especially to our limiting beliefs?
What to do about them?
Like many of you I still get tripped up by limiting beliefs, I still get stuck worrying about what other people think, we all do.
The awesome part about shining a light on these thoughts is that when we recognize and have awareness, these thoughts lose their power, it’s when we allow them to run our brains unchecked that they are detrimental to us.
With practice we get better and better at just being ourselves, doing what we want and being who we are with no restriction, no restraint, no hesitation, and no judgement. These thoughts are sneaky and require constant attention, they need a constant light shining on them.
I hope this little exercise helps you shine that light.