As I ponder life and my goals and dreams I realize that many of my thoughts tell me a negative story about mysef. What I now know is that these are my limiting beliefs, they are thoughts and beliefs that have been with me me since childhood. As many wonderful positive affirmations I can say to myself there is still a continual murmur of negativity always running in the background.
What are limiting beliefs? They are false beliefs that keep us from reaching our potential, from realizing our dreams and keeping us living below our potential. They are the thoughts that we keep thinking that keep us held back from reaching our dreams (or even reaching for our dreams).
The wonderful thoughts that are on the surface are all well and good but then we listen to the fleeting little thoughts that keep nudging us. You know the ones that pass through your mind at lightening speed, so much so that we often are not even aware of them.
Here’s how I see it. We have goals and dreams for all kinds of wonderful things and we can dream and visualize these ideas and make them as real as we want. Then they bubble up to the surface so we can begin to act on them. On the way to the surface these dreams and goals have to go through our filters which then attach to our judgments. 90% of the time these are negative beliefs we picked up in our childhood. Now our beautiful dreams are clouded by negativity and the pollution of our false beliefs.
Let’s talk more about where these limiting beliefs come from. As I mentioned they primarily come from our past and start as a small comment, thought or observation you picked up from someone else. For instance in my case I often heard one of my parents comment about how overweight someone was in a derogatory voice implying that something was wrong with them. This happened over and over again so as I was growing up I came to believe that the person was less than because they were overweight. Although I had no real proof that there was anything wrong with them it was a judgment I carried from my past. As a result I had a prejudice about people who were overweight because of this belief I was taught from my parent. Imagine how I felt once I became that 'fat' person.
When I quit smoking the pounds crept onto your body and before I knew it I was 40 pounds overweight. My parent never made a comment about my size but I knew inside what his beliefs were and knew that these were my beliefs as well. Now in my size 16 - 18 clothes I felt worthless, incompetent and my self-esteem has plummeted. To top all of that off I also had come to believe that losing weight was extremely difficult and could only be accomplished through starvation and deprivation.
So as a well-intentioned child I picked up the limiting belief that shaped what was to become an adult living a life of feeling less than and not living up to my potential because of a limiting belief about the way my body looked.
Of course awareness is key to changing the limiting beliefs so once I understood where these 'less than' thoughts originated I have been able to consciously make the change to the way I think about being overweight. I have been able to clean out the filter that was clogged with thoughts about being less than because I struggle with my weight.
Instead of letting those limiting beliefs keep me in a place of fear and pain I have been able to release them and as well release some of the weight that was such a struggle. I still have issues with my food and weight but with more awareness of my limiting beliefs and being able to let them go I feel better every day!
What limiting beliefs are keeping you from reaching your goals and dreams?