Stifled by Negativity? Change Limiting Beliefs With 4 Key Strategies
Take a scroll through your news feed and you’ll see no shortage of posts about “positive mental attitude.” This can be a good trend but it rarely delves into the nuances of how our minds work. We don’t have a positive/negative switch that can be flipped at will. In fact, if we want to maintain a less negative mindset, it all begins with the act of changing limiting beliefs.
What is a Limiting Belief?
First things first: A limiting belief is almost always a false belief. A limiting belief is something — typically formed in our childhood — that constrains us. For example, we may have internalized a belief like: “I can’t pursue my dreams because to do so would be to risk likely failure.”
The power of such a belief is that it sounds somewhat logical. Who could condemn you for protecting yourself, right? You might be thought of as prudent and careful, which both sound better than “loser.” In reality, however, you are limiting yourself and probably missing out on many adventures and opportunities. These are the two hallmarks of a limiting belief:
- they are false
- they are self-sabotaging
More Examples of Limiting Beliefs
- I must be fit and attractive to feel acceptable.
- What matters is what others think of me.
- I can’t show people my real self.
- Others are smarter and more prepared than I am.
- I’m too old, too poor, too unattractive, too stupid, etc.
- It’s wrong to enjoy my life when others are suffering.
- I’m not born to be a leader.
- People are not trustworthy.
- It’s too late for me to succeed.
- I’m just not good with money.
These and countless other similar beliefs unknowingly form when we are young. This means they are deeply embedded. Gratefully, though, they are not permanent. In fact, here is a new belief for you: “I am capable of changing limiting beliefs.”
A Few Key Strategies for Changing Limiting Beliefs
1. Keep a Belief Journal
Each day, we make countless decisions. The bulk of these choices rest on what we believe to be true. It’s super helpful to document these beliefs and the behavior they inspire.
2. Make a “Miracle” List
What if you had no self-imposed limits? Allow yourself to take a flight of fancy. Make a list of what your life would be like if you could do anything you want to. Take your time and craft an entire landscape. Next, review your writing and identify everything limited by your own beliefs.
3. Try On Some New Beliefs For Size
It’s a limiting belief to accept that you can’t embrace new beliefs. Make a list of a few beliefs you’d like to try on for size. Maybe it’ll be more than a “few”?
4. Enjoy Evolving!
This just in: Change can be exciting. You don’t have to live your entire life in Houston, work at the same job, or simply root for the same sports team. Challenge yourself to try the beliefs you identified in #3. Then monitor how this evolution makes you feel. The odds are it will be more comfortable than you allowed yourself to imagine.
A Lifetime Program for Changing Limiting Beliefs
Perhaps one of your current limiting beliefs is that therapy is not for you. You may tell yourself that you can figure it out and don’t need to ask for help. Therefore, reaching out to start counseling has the dual value of changing a limiting belief while you begin the work of changing many more limiting beliefs. Eddins Counseling Group has many experienced clinicians that can help you change those limiting beliefs and create lasting positive change in your life. Your weekly sessions with a professional guide can be the perfect launching pad for a whole new slate of beliefs — without the restraining limits. Call us at 832-559-2622 or book an appointment online.
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