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7 Limiting Beliefs that are Stealing your Personal Freedom

What are Limiting Beliefs?

You may not realize it, but when it comes to living your best life and meeting your potential, you could be your own worst enemy. Limiting beliefs, all that negative self-talk, are the single biggest thing holding you back.

Limiting beliefs are the negative messages about your ability or your characteristics often imprinted from your childhood. Think of all the messages you might have received about being bad or lazy or selfish, even slow or ‘just not that smart.’ These messages go deep into your subconscious and help to create the adult self-talk that makes you feel bad – an Inner Critic who chimes in to say you’re not that great. This continuous loop of ‘no you can’t’ becomes a pattern of self-sabotage that blocks you from achieving your dreams. To start with, you can begin to re-script that negative self-talk by turning it around and embedding positive beliefs.

Here are some of the most common limiting beliefs that may be lying low in your subconscious, stopping you from being your best you.

  • I’m nothing special
  • I don’t know what I want
  • I don’t have time
  • It’s too late
  • Everyone else knows what to do except me
  • I don’t need help
  • I’m not good enough

If any of these messages sound familiar, don’t despair! There is so much you can do to confront limiting beliefs and free yourself from their dead weight. You can start right now by challenging those beliefs and replacing them with more positive messages.

Switch your Negative Messaging to Positive

To start with, you can try some simple mindset techniques. Look at your list of negative beliefs and give them a reality check. Try challenging each belief that feels familiar and replacing it with a more positive take.

  1. I’m nothing special

Believing you’re just an ordinary Joe with nothing special to offer is one of the most damaging beliefs. No one else in the history of the world has been just like you. You are unique, with an exclusive set of skills, talents, and experience. No one else has what you have to offer.

  1. I don’t know what I want

You can’t move forward unless you know what you want, not just what you think people expect of you. Take some time to brainstorm what you would love to have in your life if money or circumstances were no object. Then write down another list of all your skills, passions, interest and experience. See what resources you already have to turn your dreams into reality.

  1. I don’t have time

Sure, everyone is busy, but saying you don’t have the time to work on your limiting beliefs is just the same as saying no. It’s a signal that maybe you’re scared or that you don’t want to change. Start by working out what you like and don’t like in your current life, and you’ll find more motivation to find time to make changes.

If you want to be free to be your best you, you can choose to free up some time in your schedule.

  1. It’s too late

It’s never too late to do whatever you want to do. No universal schedule says you must have achieved particular life goals like buying a house, getting married, or even finishing college by a certain age. You live your life to your schedule, and you can choose to change it whenever you want.

  1. Everyone else knows what to do except me

Nobody has all the answers! Everyone on social media might look happy and wealthy and on vacation all the time, but that’s not the whole story. People curate their lives for social media, and they create a story to look successful. Don’t give in to comparisonitis! Everyone is doing the best they can, just like you.

  1. I don’t need help

It’s okay, even necessary, to ask for help sometimes. No one can make it alone. Humans all rely on each other to some extent. And it’s reciprocal. Someone helps you, and you pass it forward by helping the next guy.

  1. I’m not good enough

Feeling unworthy can be corrosive. Let go of perfectionism and accept yourself for the beautiful person you are.

  1. I can’t do X until I fix Y

Procrastination is another way of saying you don’t have time to work on your self-worth. If you wait until life is perfect before you act, you’ll never get anything done! Tell yourself you can do whatever you want, right now.

Going Deeper

As well as choosing to replace those negative messages with positive ones, you can go deeper to get to the root cause of your limiting beliefs. You might need some extra help from a professional, in one or more therapies designed to support you in working through deep-seated issues.

As well as mainstream therapies like traditional counseling and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, you can try alternative therapies like meditation, Emotional Freedom Technique or Reiki to help shift those negative beliefs.

  • Mindfulness

Mindfulness and meditation are simple techniques you can use at home to step away from your negative thoughts and find inner peace. Practicing mindfulness concentrates your attention on the present, allowing you to detach from the things that are holding you back.

As well as making mindful meditation a regular practice in your life, you can decide to set the intention to release one or more of your negative beliefs.

Start by sitting in a quiet room or space. Make sure you’re comfortable and warm. Take a few deep calming breaths.

Bring to mind one or more of your limiting beliefs. Say to yourself “I release this (negative belief) to the Universe.” Visualize the belief dissolving and leaving your body and mind. See yourself released from the fear and self-doubt.

  • Emotional Freedom Technique

Emotion Freedom Technique, EFT, or tapping is a simple technique you can use yourself to work through your mental blocks and limiting beliefs.

The technique requires you to tap with your fingers on points along your body’s energy meridians. You focus your attention and speak out loud what comes up for you when you think about a particular limiting belief.

For example, if your limiting belief is that you’re no good, you gently tap through the prescribed points working through all the issue that comes into your mind. Perhaps it’s ‘I always fail,’ or ‘I know I can’t do x.’ Tapping frees you to work through all the aspects of your limiting belief so that you can confront and challenge it. It may take a few cycles of tapping to dig down into your deepest fears, to release them and find a resolution.

Based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture and neuro-linguistic programming, EFT is non-invasive and quickly learned. You might want to have one or two sessions with a trained practitioner to help get you started. There are also many websites, online videos, and books to help you become familiar with the meridian points and how to tap through them.

  • Reiki

Reiki is another energy-based therapy that can help you to drop your defensive self-talk, identify your limiting beliefs and release them. It relies on the belief that our bodies can tap into the universal energy (chi in Traditional Chinese Medicine, prana in yoga) to help heal pain, suffering, and disease.

You can receive a Reiki healing from anyone who is a qualified Reiki practitioner. Or you can also benefit just by adopting the philosophy and practices of Reiki in your own life.

There are five pillars of Reiki which provide a sound basis for living an authentic, kind life, freed from harmful beliefs and focused on doing your best right now. People who practice Reiki commit to these five pillars every day.

  1. Just for today, I will not be angry. That allows you to let go of resentment, envy, and anger and frees you to be open to peacefulness and kindness to others.
  2. Just for today, I will not worry. This pillar frees you from fear, gives you permission to love and relinquish the need to control.
  3. Just for today, I will be grateful. Practicing gratitude is one of the best things you can do to reduce stress and anxiety. Being thankful for what you have right now releases you from envy and fear of failure.
  4. Just for today, I will work honestly. You are free to work in achieving your goals in a spirit of honest hard work and not for greed or to get one over the other guy.
  5. Just for today, I will be kind to every creature I meet. Committing to be kind to all beings in your life immediately changes your attitude to them. You are open, positive, generous and kind. You start from a position of love, not fear.

Conclusion

Whatever method you try, you don’t have to stay stuck in your limiting beliefs. It doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you take the first step so you can move forward to gain the personal freedom you want.

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