Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The Pros and Cons of Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs limit you. This can be good or bad.

A positive limiting belief is one that limits you from doing bad things. "I don't steal because it's wrong". This is a limiting belief, in that it keeps you from doing something. In this case the limitation is good because it keeps you from doing something wrong.

A negative limiting belief is one that limits you from doing good things. "I never trust people because they eventually stab you in the back". This is also a limiting belief, the reason should be self-evident.

The above two examples are somewhat shallow generalizations to make a few deeper points.

In both cases these self-imposed limitations act as a sort of survival mechanism. They keep us from harm in a physical or emotional sense. So, how can someone change their limitations? Good question.

Before anyone can change their limitations, they will have to know what limitations are. Once these are identified they should be analyzed, and put into the two groups; positive and negative.

With the limitations recognized and grouped accordingly, the next step is to figure out what the limiting belief is. In the above two examples the belief comes right after the word 'because'. Sometimes the underlying belief is easy to find. Sometimes it takes asking the right questions. "Why do I think that way?" "Is this really the way I feel?" or "What is it about this limitation that makes me feel right or wrong?".

After you find the underlying beliefs of your negative limitations, you can start to change them. It becomes a relatively simple task once you understand what your limiting beliefs are, where they come from, and how the effect they have on you.

The good news is that you can change negative limitaions into positive ones. For example: "I never trust people because they eventually stab you in the back" can be changed to "The best way to get to know someone is to trust them (and if they stab me in the back they are the ones who lose)".

I have limiting beliefs which I think hold me back, and keep me from reaching my ultimate potential, but my belief is "I will find a way to unleash my ultimate potential, and it is worth every ounce of effort"


At 11:20 AM, Blogger Pug8 said...

It seems to me that most limitations arise out of fears or lack of understanding. A helpful tip for overcoming a negative limitation would then be to confront the fear, or gain a deeper understanding of the circumstances surrounding that limitaion.


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