Hidden Power of Limiting Beliefs
We all have them. They are often unconscious, an unknown and invisible power within you. They are your beliefs. Their power is so strong that they shape your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions. Sometimes they are helpful and sometimes they hold you back from realizing your full potential. Fortunately, they only have the power that you give them. And it might just be time for you to take some of that power back.
The Source of Power
A belief is an idea you have accepted as true, either consciously or subconsciously. It may concern yourself, others, or the world around you. Your beliefs stem from all of life’s experiences, the people with whom you interact, and the lessons you’ve learned along the way. Your beliefs are formed from what other people say and do. They develop from what you observe in the world, read in the news, and hear on the radio. You subconsciously create them in your mind to help you navigate the world. And they are a very powerful force, influencing your thoughts, feelings, and ultimately, your behaviors and actions. Some of those beliefs may, in fact, be false. And some of those may be ‘limiting beliefs,’ the ones that hold you back from realizing your full potential.
Discover Your Limiting Beliefs
Taking your power back from those limiting beliefs starts with discovering what they are. Since beliefs often live in your subconscious, this might require some conscious intention, mindful self-reflection, combined with thoughtful journaling. If you are not into journaling, grab a notebook, and ease into it. Commit to capturing one thing a day and see where it takes you. Consider your thoughts, your feelings, what you do, or avoid doing.
Pay attention to the words you use and the thoughts you have, especially those which express an obligation, an opinion, or a judgement. Pick up on reasons you offer in an explanation, often following the word ‘because’ or the phrase ‘so that.’ There is likely an underlying belief there. As an example, some have the opinion that mobile devices should not be used during work hours based on the belief that anyone on a mobile device during work hours is unproductive.
Explore any strong emotions you experience. They may be a sign that a belief is being challenged or violated. Tap into your fears which may be the result of a belief in a perceived threat. For example, someone who fears public speaking may have a belief that they will be judged harshly.
Actions / Inaction
Observe habits and routines you have. Our behaviors often stem from our beliefs, as does our inaction. Is there anything you are avoiding? Take note of anything undone that is draining your energy. For example, someone may avoid offering helpful feedback due to a belief that it will not be received well.
If you are looking for a place to start your journaling, consider any persistent problems in your work or life and any thoughts or feelings you have about them. Consider your behaviors, or lack thereof, relating to those problems.
Take Your Power Back
Once you have identified a limiting belief, evaluate whether it is truly holding you back. Some beliefs are likely protecting you from real harm. Others may be causing you to avoid nothing more than an undeserved but perceived threat. Some beliefs motivate forward progress while other lead to counterproductive behaviors. For those beliefs that are not serving you well, decide to take back your power.
Once you have identified a limiting belief you wish to address, choose to discard it. Instead, adopt a more powerful mindset, and choose new beliefs that propel you forward with more productive thoughts, more positive feelings, and actions that lead to stronger relationships, better results, improved outcomes, better health, greater fulfillment and more opportunities.
Invest in You
Take the time to address the limiting beliefs in your life. It will be time well invested to have what you desire, to achieve success, and to realize fulfillment in your work and life. I believe each one of us has the answers within us for leading well and living well. If you are feeling stuck anywhere in this process, a coach can help you unlock those answers and take back your power.
What will you write in your journal today?
“Magic” by Bohman is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Passionate about growing amazing leaders who create great places to work and lead fulfilling lives, Angela enables transformational change in individuals, teams, and businesses. As a Certified Professional Coach, she is skilled at combining sound coaching skills with proven leadership methodologies to cultivate growth and ultimately, results.