So I’m sure it’s not that hard to guess what a limiting belief is: a belief that is limiting us in some way – you guessed it!
That being said, limiting beliefs are a lot more than that. They are deep-rooted fears and ideas that we have constructed in our minds (both sub-consciously and consciously) that have shaped the people we are and govern the things that we do.
Sometimes they can take over our entire belief system and change the way that we see things. Essentially, they shape the reality that we live in. Deep stuff, right?
I think limiting beliefs are very powerful and they can be the reason for a lot of crap in the world. People believe that the world is a certain way depending of what their specific limiting beliefs are and then they feel like they can’t do anything to change it.
So where do limiting beliefs come from?
I think that there are three main sources of limiting beliefs.
2. Our families
3. Our peers/colleagues/friends/partners
In the list above, I have categorized them based on the type of influence that they have on you. Each group is a bit different and will contribute to your limiting beliefs in a different way.
Society is a major player in the way we think. Our societies have a huge amount of influence in our daily lives, whether we are aware of it or not.
In a large North American city, for example, one’s life would consist of playing/going to day care as a kid, then going to school, then university/college/community college, then getting a job, then a house.. you get it.
Now this is just an example and can vary depending on one’s socio-economic stature (which is another way society can influence one’s life), but society gives us a limited scope of things that we think we can do in our lives.
Because of this influence, we then create our own idea of how we think the world is – but it’s completely biased based on what our society has taught us.
Here are some examples of common limiting beliefs that have been imposed by someone’s society.
- You need to follow a certain timeline in your life (career, marriage, house, kids, etc)
- Being in a relationship will make you feel happy and complete (thanks Disney)
- You need a university degree to make money
- You need to save to buy a house so you can settle down
- If you don’t do well in school, you’re not smart
These are just a few examples, and there are definitely many more. They also might be different depending on where you live, but the main point is that we have false ideas of how our lives should be, just because of what we have seen and heard in our day-to-day lives.
Note that some of these are now becoming out-dated, but this is because people have realized how limiting these things are and have started to change them. (Yay progress!!) But, I think that there is room for broadening the narrow views on the world that we might have been brought up with.
Depending on how your parents treated you or treated themselves, you could have some extremely limiting beliefs or just some minor limitations.
I’ll stick to some moderately limiting beliefs for my examples:
- You shouldn’t pursue your riskier passion, you should get a stable job instead
- The world is a scary and dangerous place (shout out to my fellow kids of helicopter parents!! Also no offence to my parents, very grateful for them)
- You aren’t good enough to do what you want to do
- You will only be loved if you do everything perfectly
- You are doomed to have a bad relationship (this is generally for people who have witnessed a bad relationship in their family)
- Nobody cares about you (a more common belief than you’d think, and it can have detrimental consequences)
Now, these won’t be true for everyone, and we have to also give our parents and guardians some credit because they also give us a lot of positive beliefs too.
We also can’t blame our parents/guardians for these things, because these types of limiting beliefs are usually inadvertent and a product of what they were taught by their parents/society growing up.
As we’re growing up, and well into our adult years, we are constantly influenced by the people around us.
Based on our interactions with these people, we generally develop a story about who we are that ends up dictating our lives. Often times, these people can give us some very negative views of ourselves, because, let’s face it; people can be turds sometimes. Not you though, of course 😉
But the reason those people are turds is because of their own insecurities and limiting beliefs!
Anyway, here are some limiting beliefs that you might have because of the people in your life.
- I’m not very social, therefore no one wants to talk to me
- They said I’m stupid, therefore I am
- People don’t like me because this person doesn’t like me
- I’m not as good as this person at this thing, therefore I’m not good at anything
And the list goes on…
It is very important to keep in mind, that these people should not have power over you. There is only one person who should really shape your view of the world and that person is…
Based on all of those things above and our experiences and traumas in our lives, we develop these limiting beliefs.
In fact, even though we get these limiting beliefs from outer experiences and people, we are the ones who are truly in charge of our beliefs.
This is why there are specifically two limiting beliefs that really grind my gears.
1. That’s just the way I am
2. That’s just the way the world is
These are two of the most toxic beliefs you can ever have. They basically take away any sense of control that you have and put in onto the world and your biology.
If there are any beliefs that you should get rid of, it’s those two!
They should be changed to:
1. I control my thoughts and actions, and therefore I can be anything or do anything I want
2. My inner reality affects my outer reality, therefore the world can be anything I want. I can do anything I set my mind to, and I can change the world.
These are a bit lengthy, but they are absolutely true. Even if you don’t believe me.. just believe me ok?! You have so much more power than you even know.
AND reality is a subjective experience, so if you believe that life is good and you are capable, then that will be your reality and your life.
So I hope that sinks in and helps you out in some way! If you have anything to add or want to start a discussion, comment or send me an email. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
If you are finding yourself in a bit of a rut, perhaps because of some limiting beliefs or maybe some other factors in your life, you should try my 7 Day Mind, Body, Spirit Reboot. It has 17 pages of tips, tricks, and advice to start feeling your best!