If a belief you have about yourself is holding you back in some way – known as a limiting belief – then it’s likely as anything to be the product of some kind of fear.
Fear of failure.
Fear of success.
Fear of embarrassment.
Fear of rejection.
Do any of these sound familiar? You are by no means alone. However, you may not realise that the reason you are not taking action in your life is because fear is deeply embedded in your thought processes and creating seemingly valid excuses. Ever hear yourself saying anything like this:
‘I’m too busy…’, I’m too old…’, I’m too scared…’, I’m not clever enough…’, I’ll be laughed at…’, ‘No one like me does that…’, ‘It’s too late to start…’, ‘I’m powerless…’, ‘I don’t deserve…’
…and so on…?
Fear is a natural thing. It is the way our body protects us from danger. That’s a good thing! We need it and a little spark of it can be a great help in keeping us alert or providing us with the thrill element to sports or theme parks. But when the fear just completes a self-fulfilling prophecy, keeping us locked firmly in our comfort zone and flat-lining in a state of inertia steeped acceptance, then it’s time to free ourselves.
Take a good hard look at these fears and beliefs. Are they real? Are they actually true? Do you absolutely know it is true or is it a perceived truth? Is it a truth you have just accepted but never questioned? Is it a truth that has been imposed from others?
Then ask yourself what the benefit of this belief is? What do you gain from holding on to it? Is it giving you value for the investment you are making in it? Or is it, in fact, costing you? And if so, what are you losing out on or sacrificing?
Then consider what would happen if you let go of that belief. What would happen to you and who would you become? Imagine your life without this limiting belief and the consequences? How would it look? How would you feel?
Finally pivot this limiting belief to the opposite, positive version. If ‘I can’t learn a new skill at my age…’ becomes ‘I can learn a new skill whenever I like…’ how does this ‘new truth’ differ? How does the future look with this new belief as the new absolute truth?
The ultimate step is taking some action, implementing this ‘new truth’ and accepting it as the fact that it most certainly is. If you are wondering if you can take on this new truth and accept and live it, then remember you accepted the old truth (the limiting belief) as fact – and that was based on no fundamental truth, it was just based on fear.
I think that fear is best confronted. Ironic huh? But often it’s just not as scary close up as we think. Our response to the unknown is what we are fighting against so it makes sense to begin to ‘know’ it. Know thy enemy. If it’s failure you fear then shining a bright light into the corners of why is only going to be beneficial ultimately. If you are afraid of letting others down, not being loved or just not being deemed good enough, then there is work to be done on you closing yourself off from new chances, bolstering your self-love or the way you view the overall discovery process. Fear of success can be the same set of issues wrapped in a different debilitating wrapper. Fear of looking stupid or being embarrassed is best countered by considering what truly is the worst that could happen? Other people actually admire those of us who speak up and follow our own paths! Remind yourself that other people have their own fears which can cause them to behave and react the way they are, and that’s not your responsibility. Rejection is part of life and best not taken personally, after all the discoveries we make because of them can be the most useful.
So why not start now, today? Write out those limiting beliefs and start to eliminate them. Re-word the way you talk to yourself and about yourself. If you catch yourself thinking or saying something that upholds a limiting belief, immediately think the opposite and tell your brain to stop that old behaviour and begin the new one. It takes time, effort and practice to embed a new habit but it is so, SO worth it…