Storytelling is something that makes us human. We learned important life lessons by listening to the stories of our parents, uncles, aunts and grandparents. But most of all, we tell ourselves stories. Stories that we hold for absolute truth even when there is no truth to them at all.
The stories that I tell myself might start off as one of these innocent stories I told my friends. I exaggerated it a bit here and there. Maybe I didn’t actually read every self-help book available before starting to write this chapter. But so what? When has a little white lie ever hurt somebody?
Apparently I have some deeper belief that I should have read every self-help book in order to be worthy of writing this chapter. And this is the story I am telling myself.
These stories are limiting beliefs. They are beliefs that we hold dearly, but that no longer serve us. Beliefs that we hold as absolute truth. And beliefs that we use to hide those unwanted parts of ourselves behind.
Strangely enough, these limiting beliefs are also what brings us comfort. It’s way easier for me to insist that I am not ready yet to finish this book, than it is for me to actually finish the chapter with my current knowledge. S
Limiting beliefs are there to keep us rooted in our comfort zone. And in the end they are all about the fear of rejection. The fear of not being good enough. Why would we try and risk rejection, if we can simply tell ourselves that we are not good enough and leave it at that?
“The only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself.” – Tony Robins
Limiting beliefs are formed from what we learn in our early upbringing, our past experiences and in some cases our traumas. If we often heard our parents say “there just isn’t enough money to go around”, chances are, we will have adopted this belief for ourselves.
Sounds pretty limiting, right? Sounds pretty lame as well, if you ask me. I want to celebrate life and live it fully. So why don’t we give them a positive swing?
Let me give you some examples of limiting beliefs that I encounter in my own life:
- “I don’t have enough inspiration to write this chapter. I should study some more books first”.
- “I have to do my best to be interesting for my date, because otherwise she won’t want to see me again”.
- “When I don’t get 8 hours of sleep, I can’t do anything challenging for myself on that day”.
- “I love dancing, but only in certain settings and with specific types of music”.
One thing we can do to overcome our limiting beliefs is to look for evidence of the contrary. For example, I have written chapters without having read many books about the topic before. So I am sure I can do it again. It can also be helpful to ask your friends or family for evidence to the contrary of your limiting belief.
Another thing that I like to do is to use positive affirmations. I just reserve 10 minutes in my morning routine and tell myself those things that I simply need to hear from somebody. You can read more about this in 6 Ultimate Habits For A Fantastic New Morning Routine
Let’s try to use this advice to reframe our beliefs into something more positive. Something more constructive for our current selves. And before we know it, we are stuck with some new beliefs that are a bit more empowering!