"Our beliefs are so powerful that they dictate the direction of our lives. We only see what we believe to be true. We only attract what we believe we deserve to receive. Our beliefs are the lens through which we see the world. Unless we change our beliefs, it is unlikely that our situations will change. Our beliefs have been formed since the day we were born. Our environment, upbringing, education, and experiences have all come together to create who we are today. And just like positive experiences add to who we are, negative experiences tend to create walls within us for protection." (Mo Seetubtim, How To Get Rid of Your Self-Limiting Beliefs)
A Personal Story:
I remember when I was in elementary school and was struggling to learn math. My parents took me to an after-school tutoring organization where I was assessed in all areas of learning. The results came in that I had a slower processing speed than other kids my age. After hearing this information as a child, the belief that I will always be slower than others stayed with me into adulthood. Subsequently, my way of coping with this belief was to work three times harder and overachieve in every aspect of my life. To be as perfect as I could be. To do and accomplish as many things as I could. To always give my 110% effort in order to succeed.
In college, I became overly confident as a way to cope with this limiting belief. I was so nervous of failing, disappointing my parents, and disappointing myself, that I made it a point to work ten times harder than anyone else in the room, and for everyone to know it too. If I could go back to that time in my life, I would tell my younger self to loosen up, stop comparing myself to others, have fun, go out with friends and make more memories. But during those four years, I lived and breathed homework, group projects, internships, and my side hustles; all while trying to plan what my potential future would be after graduating. Because, being slower than others was not an option for me. I wanted to reach my goals as quickly as possible.
After I graduated from college in 2019, the inevitable happened. I had no job lined up and I felt like a complete failure to myself. How could I have worked so hard and have no amazing job to look forward to after college? My limiting belief followed me to every job interview from there on.
"I'm never going to be able to learn what it takes to succeed in this position." I'd tell myself while scrolling through Indeed. "I'm not going to be able to learn things fast enough."
Even when I did get my very first job a few months after graduating, I was so stressed. It wasn't my dream job I pictured doing after college. I remember being presented with all this new information my first day and feeling completely overwhelmed. I told myself that I needed to learn this information as quickly as possible so I won't be seen as dumb or slow by my coworkers. It probably took 3-4 months for me to finally retain all the information about each individual product to help customers confidently complete their purchases online.
Around the three-month mark, another member joined our team and it was my responsibility to help support her during her training process. She was given the same presentation and all the same packets as me, and somehow she seemed to retain the information so much more quickly than I ever could. Within one to two months, she had things down and could speak to customers so eloquently about the different products we offered. I remember feeling a combination of jealousy and awe of her learning skills, which to me, only validated my limiting belief more that I will always be slower than others.
After being at the same job for a year, I expressed interest multiple times to grow within the company. However, even though I expressed my interest in growth, my lack of confidence to perform well at the time definitely showed. Unfortunately, this also lead to new limiting beliefs being projected on me by my boss. As expressed, I was "too young and not experienced enough" to move up. I was given different projects to try and 'prove' I was ready to move up, but somehow the results were never quite good enough.
This was definitely the moment in my life when I realized, something is wrong with this picture. When we transitioned to work from home at the beginning of the pandemic, I found more time on my hands. I started to do some deep soul searching. What was holding me back from truly accomplishing my goals and dreams?
It was this limiting belief that I will always be slower than others, therefore, not worthy of success.
It was the limiting belief that I was too young and inexperienced, therefore, I will never be taken seriously.
It was the limiting belief that I'm not good enough or smart enough for any real job.
Needless to say, I quit that job and removed myself from the negative work environment, with zero promise of growth.
That was the beginning of my new journey in life, and slowly but surely letting go of these old and limiting beliefs.
The fundamental truth is that beliefs are at the core of who we are. If we believe so many negative things about ourselves, it becomes who we are. Thus, manifesting this as our reality.
Examples of Limiting Beliefs:
I am not good enough.
I won't ever find love or be in a happy, committed relationship.
I'm not smart enough.
Life will always be unfair.
I will never make enough money.
I don’t believe I can start my own business and make it succeed.
I'm not a true hippie.
I will never achieve my ideal healthy weight.
I will never be truly happy with life.
I'm too out of shape.
I'm too young.
HOW TO LET GO OF OLD AND LIMITING BELIEFS:
Identify your limiting belief - The first step is acknowledging what's truly holding you back. Identify the limiting beliefs that you want to work on and overcome.
Identify the root cause of your limiting belief - For example, if you believe that life is unfair, it may be that you're focusing too much on what you lack versus what you do have. This might be from comparing yourself to others. Another example could be that you believe you're not a 'true hippie.' This may stem from trying to be someone you are not. You may be trying to overcompensate for this change of lifestyle, only to feel like a fraud and unhappy. (Trust me, I've been there too) Therefore, you started adopting that belief that you are not a 'true hippie.'
Challenge your beliefs - As you’re reading this, you’ve probably already realized that you have limiting beliefs that are holding you back and you want to get rid of them for good. In order to change your beliefs, you must change your environment. Remember, we are a product of our environment and our brain subconsciously mirrors the people and things we are in closest relation to. Surround yourself with people who support you and life you up. If you're surrounded by people who also believe they will never be truly happy with life, then you'll be stuck in this mindset as well. This doesn't mean you necessarily have to cut those people off, but you can set boundaries as you work on yourself and overcome that limiting belief.
Write affirmations and read them out loud - Affirmations are such a powerful way to help manifest what we want in life and to subconsciously change the way we think about ourselves. Keep a journal by your bed so you can read your affirmations first thing when you wake up and before you fall asleep at night.
Meditate - Meditation is a great way to quiet your mind. It allows you to quiet the thoughts in your head and just be. After practicing meditation consistently, you'll notice yourself become more observant rather than reactive, as well as more in touch with your higher self. Connecting with your higher self allows you to see things from a new perspective. Our egos are what control these limiting beliefs, and when you work on disconnecting from your ego, you feel more in control with your true reality. Thus, letting go of limiting beliefs.
Pay attention to your inner voice - Observe the little things in life that could help you reinforce the new belief. When voices of self-doubts come up, try shutting them down and canceling those thoughts out. Make your new inner voice louder than your old inner voice through positive affirmations and repetitive visualization.
“The only thing limiting you is yourself." ~Ken Poirot