Limiting Beliefs could be Stopping You from Being Successful - Architect Of Your Life

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Limiting Beliefs could be Stopping You from Being Successful

Do you limit your own success by having beliefs that are unhelpful? You may not even be aware of these limiting beliefs because they are so ingrained in your psyche. Why would you limit yourself intentionally? Most people who come to my coaching sessions are totally unaware of how their own thoughts and beliefs are holding them back. In this article I explain where these beliefs originate.
There are some things in life that you hold to be true that are unlikely to change. These are things that just are, for example, the sun rise and sunset, the rivers flowing towards the sea, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. You would not want these to change as they are the fundamental to your sense of safety and security. Knowing that these things are continuing to happen as you sleep, helps you to sleep.

Whenever something out of the ordinary occurs, your sense of security is rumbled and you start to feel fearful. For example, a totally unexpected Tsunami or Volcanic eruption. For those involved directly it is devastating. For others what you think and feel about the situation can be unsettling. Your thoughts can turn to ones of fear and negativity and if allowed to those thoughts can limit your opportunity. Imagine if you start to believe that the worst is going to happen at any time. You want to travel abroad however, your belief is that there will be a disaster, so you stop travelling.

If you control your thoughts you put things into perspective, yes there is always a risk that this might happen again however, you believe the chances are small. You have listened to what the experts are saying and as they are more likely to be better informed than you, you choose to believe that the disaster is unlikely to happen again. You start to feel safe and soon it becomes a distant memory and you go about your normal routine.

In these examples I am referring to beliefs that we hold to be true. A belief is something that you think is true about the world, nature, an event or experience, a person, science, life, work, business. In fact anything you have an interest in. A key word that I used in that previous sentence is think. A belief is a thought. Hold that thought while we examine where these come from.

Clearly the thought is in your mind. But what puts it there? I am not talking about the anatomy and physiology of your brain. I mean, what influences the thoughts that you choose to believe? You start to accumulate beliefs as a child through listening and watching your parents, teachers, friends and family. As you continue to develop and learn your beliefs will grow and change. Other sources of beliefs are from religion and faith, experiences, TV, Radio, newspapers, politicians. All of these influence your view of the world and the thoughts that you choose to have. The thoughts that you choose to believe to be true. You all have different experiences through life and so your thoughts and beliefs will be different to the next person.

Many of these beliefs will be helpful and positive and help you to understand the world and feel safe and secure. As Abraham Maslow describes in his Hierarchy of Needs theory you all have basic biological, physiological and safety needs before you can feel motivated to perform to your fullest potential. Part of those basic needs is the belief that the world and your environment is safe and secure. When you believe that you are safe and you can overcome any life challenge then you are better positioned to achieve what you want.

When your beliefs are negative these can be unhelpful and limit your progress and success in life. In particular, if these beliefs are about your immediate environment, the people in your life and you. For example, a belief that life is dangerous. This may come from a fearful mother. You may have grown up with children who said that you are too stupid to play with them and now you believe that you are stupid. When you hear it often enough you start to believe it. You start to act in a way that re-enforces your thought. The more experiences that you have that confirm your belief then the stronger the belief becomes and you stop taking notice of the information that goes against your belief.

Someone once referred to a belief as being a table top. It becomes a strong table when it has four legs. The legs are references that support the belief. The references can be events or experiences that give you evidence that the belief is true. The more references you have the stronger the belief. If a table only has one leg then the belief becomes weak and is easier to change.

The important thing is that you can change those unhelpful and negative beliefs. Where the belief is from your childhood with many references then it will be more challenging to change however, with time you can change. 

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