We all believe things about life and about ourselves in order to function in this world. I believe that I’m still alive tomorrow morning, therefore I make plans. I believe that gravity will still be around when my foot leaves the ground, so I don’t hesitate before every step. There are a million things we don’t experience anymore, but simply assume to be true in this world. Otherwise, we would be overwhelmed by input, all day long.
There’s one issue, though. If we just assume most things and don’t reevaluate these assumptions, how do we know when they’ve changed? Maybe we would just notice it? The truth is this: We don’t. And we get stuck. Every belief becomes a limiting belief after some period of time, some take longer, some are faster. The general rule is this:
Everything you believe will be proven wrong.
If we would just reevaluate everything, every day, we wouldn’t get anything done. The solution is to prioritise according to our specific needs. Even if I knew that gravity could be overcome, I wouldn’t care enough to work on it, I got more important things on my plate.
A limiting belief is basically this: I cannot do X because of Y.
The basic question is this: What do you want that you think you cannot do? That thing is probably possible and maybe you even know people who have done it before. Still, if you believe in your incapability, it won’t happen.
So here’s the thing about beliefs: The more pressure we feel about achieving something, the more we will stand in our own way. If gravity would suddenly stop affecting us and we could easily jump up 30 meters high, you will not find that many people seriously denying it. There would be no resistance to the new evidence. It would be very obvious.
On the other side, imagine people who in the face of this fact, start wearing full-body weights, walking more slowly and claiming that they can’t do what others can do.
That is exactly how we tend to treat the limiting beliefs that have built up an enormous pressure. We can clumsily break things to remind ourselves of how incapable we are, we can hurt ourselves during exercise to confirm that were not cut out for this and we can crash and burn every time we bring up the courage to express ourselves honestly. All this happens unconsciously of course, but it is nonetheless self-created.
So, how can we break through this? First of all, we need to notice when we are just waiting for our limiting belief to be confirmed. Sometimes it’s obvious in the self-talk we have, sometimes our attention is just fixed on some specific stimulus and we don’t really catch ourselves doing it.
What we put our attention to becomes our reality
As Peter Sage said: When you are hungry, all you see is restaurants. When your car just broke, all you see is mechanics.
Using this concept, the first thing to do is this: Make the decision to stop looking for proof why something can’t be done. There might be plenty wherever you look, but that’s not what you’re here for. If you think about it, there’s also lots of proof in the news why there might be a terror attack at the bus stop tomorrow, right? But we usually don’t include this into our plans.
So, stop looking for proof why something can’t be done and your mind will inevitably start looking for alternatives.
The next thing is that, even if we know that it’s possible, we might still fail. Between understanding and experiencing is a huge gap that needs to be overcome. It’s easy to ignore something when it also ignores you. It’s significantly harder to ignore it when it’s right in your face.
The important step is this:
Develop an intense resolve that you want something.
This is different from deciding if something is possible at all. This is the actual decision to make it happen. That’s what you keep in mind. When the world around you wants to suggest that you can’t do something, you push through it like a wave breaking a dam. You’re not aggressive and you don’t hurt anyone, you just push and persist. You are not fighting against your environment because you are not dependent on a certain outcome. You are fighting against your inner resistance by developing an extreme resolve in what you really want. You don’t need to be liked and you don’t need to be approved of, all you want is to persevere.
Just to clarify: This concept is not about fear because fear implies that you move into uncharted territory. A place where you don’t feel like yourself. This is about owning your intensity, to push forward and to stand your ground like a rock, regardless of what the outcome will be. You don’t want to get something as a reward, you are self-sufficient. As Bruce Lee said:
“I have no fear of opponent in front of me. But, I’m very self-sufficient. They do not bother me. And then, should I fight? Should I do anything? I have made up my mind, and that’s it, baby, you better kill me before…”
He further says:
“[…] Do I have any doubt within me that he’s going to get me? I do not have such doubt. And if I do not have such fear, I would certainly treat it very lightly, just as: today the rain is going on strong, but tomorrow, maybe the sun is going to come out again. “
So, you don’t want your little reward, approval or security and then go home to be happy because that’s a silly fairy tale. You want to truly express yourself on this planet, again and again, and again.
Since I’m at it, here’s another quote by Bruce Lee:
“But to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself, and to express myself honestly, now that, my friend, is very hard to do.”
That pretty much sums up how to deal with your own limiting beliefs. All the best, please leave your comments below!