Our subconscious absorbs everything we see, hear, think and experience. All of our past experiences are stored there, which shape the beliefs we hold about ourselves and our world. These beliefs can either empower us and propel us forward, or limit us and hold us back.
Our subconscious loves the familiar, so when we start to make positive change in our lives or start to step out of our comfort zone, doubt and limiting beliefs often pull us back. This is because committing to these changes requires a new set of unfamiliar beliefs. For example, if you have a creative project you want to pursue, which involves emailing senior people and putting yourself out there, the belief that “I’m not the kind of person who emails people out of the blue” or “I’m not good enough, I’ll just get laughed at” might stop you.
To make the changes we want in our lives, we will at some point come up against our subconscious beliefs. The brilliant news is that we have the power to rewrite these. We can create new neurological pathways at any time.
Uncover your current limiting beliefs
The first step is becoming aware of the specific beliefs that might be holding you back. You could journal on this, e.g. noting the thoughts that come up when you consider creating positive change or behaving differently.
A practical way to do this could be looking at each of your goals or each image on your vision board. For each one, ask yourself:
- Do I believe I am worthy of this?
- Do I see this as possible for me?
- Do I believe I would be able to handle it?
- What insecurities do I have around this?
- What am I scared of?
Create an opposite affirmation
Affirmations, or mantras, are a powerful tool we can use to reprogramme the subconscious and help to change repetitive negative thought patterns.
An affirmation is a statement about yourself or your life that offsets a limiting belief you currently hold. For example, if you think you’re disorganised, your statement could be ‘I’m the kind of person who gets everything done on time’. It’s really important to look for evidence from your past that you are this. For example, think back to a time when you have been organised. Maybe you were on time or early for a meeting last week, maybe you planned some meals this week or maybe you make your bed every morning. It can be the smallest things. Look for proof. Then look for small ways you can prove it to yourself as often as possible. Don’t berate yourself when you don’t, just focus on more ways to do it. When you have the experiences that make your affirmation real to you, the old belief will change.
How should I use them?
You can either speak or write your affirmations, but the key is consistency. Time of day is also important: our subconscious is most receptive to this kind of messaging first thing in the morning or last thing at night. I personally prefer to write mine down. The more you write or speak it, the more you embed it into your subconscious and the more actively your brain will look for opportunities to make it happen.
Your greatest power is your ability to choose what you think. When you change the story you tell yourself, you really will change your entire life. Have a think about the way you identify. If there is any part of this that is holding you back, how would you like to see yourself instead? Think of 3 times you have acted this way in the past and use this as your evidence. How could you continue to act that way this week?
2 thoughts on “Overcoming limiting beliefs”
Love this post. Thank you so much for sharing your insights. Limiting beliefs are REAL. It can be so difficult to get past them if you aren’t aware or have the knowledge in the first place. Your post is very practical and easy for those to follow. Thank you!
Thank you! I’m so glad you found it useful 🙂 You’re completely right and it’s much easier to create change when we’re aware of what’s holding us back!