If there’s one thing that’s really crushing to your motivation on your personal development journey, it’s limiting beliefs. Like rubber bands around your waist, they not only hinder you from taking the courageous steps you know are going to help you move forward, but when you finally do get yourself to take such a step, you are pulled back hard, often falling even deeper into your old stories and patterns than before.
I get it. You want these beliefs to move like a woman that just got her period and realizes she’s out of chocolate 15 minutes before the supermarket closes, and be gone already. So now, you’re googling ‘’letting go of limiting beliefs’’ and sifting through self-helpy blog posts hoping to find THE solution. 😉
Welcome. Grab yourself a drink. Cheers. You are doing wonderfully. That's the good news.
The bad news is that, unfortunately, most of the tips you'll come across don't make a whole lot of sense. So, to counteract all those horseshitty tips for "letting go", "reversing" or "overcoming" those fun beliefs, here's a strategy that actually does work. 3 tips that you can apply both sequentially and individually to support yourself in this particular not-so-great experience.
#1 Help yourself soften by better understanding the belief
Every part of you loves you in its own way; including the part that thinks this limiting belief is the absolute truth. This part of you has a very limited toolbox and therefore uses such desperate means to "help" you, but at its core it (you!) is just trying to protect you from a certain ''pain''.
So, you might want to consider what this belief is still bringing you at this time. How might it be trying to (perhaps in a very roundabout way) serve and support you? What good intention (regardless of its expression and effect) could potentially be at the root of it? Every belief gets you something. And that's not a bad thing, it is only logical. Maybe you (unconsciously) still have a need for that which it brings you - even though you would never consciously choose it. Maybe it satisfies an old need or bandages an old wound and really all that was needed to free yourself from it was this recognition.
Whatever the why, it is advantageous to figure out in what ways this belief is still keeping you ''safe'' right now - no matter how limiting and uncomfortable it feels. Because then you’ll know better what to focus on in supporting yourself in dealing with this obstacle.
#2 Reduce the impact of the belief by accepting it
Maybe all you can really do is surrender to how things are right now. And that doesn't have to be a passive practice. It's a choice you keep making over and over again to surrender to how things are right now. To stop fighting it. The belief is here. It is part of you right now, and probably has been for a very long time. Ask yourself: what CAN I do despite holding this belief? Currently, you are probably focused on all the ways in which it prevents you from having the life you want - which makes sense - but what could a happy life or successful career or loving relationship look like WITH this belief? What do you need for that to happen and how can you most effectively arrange that for yourself?
#3 Support yourself by shifting your focus
You are not obligated to live by and act on this belief, even though you carry it with you. You are aware of it, so you can choose to act differently. Show yourself (and the universe) that you are willing to change your behavior first, to behave more and more as if you don't believe this belief, and trust that the feeling you long for will come to you naturally as a result.
In the meantime, it may help to remind yourself that just as there are different seasons and all kinds of weather simultaneously present on this one planet, so too, anything can exist simultaneously within you. Seemingly conflicting beliefs, thoughts or feelings need not at all be mutually exclusive. Try to hold space for other beliefs that better suit you and the life you want, so that you can begin to connect with those as well.
And then, after all the investigating, accepting and supporting, this is a nice way to, little by little, move away from these old beliefs: consciously moving toward your future self, the person you so desire to be (and therefore already lives inside you). How do you do that? Ask yourself regularly who you want to be, what that person would do, and then act accordingly. Make choices like that future version of you would and with each decision you'll get closer to it.
And please don’t forget: even with this belief circling your system, you are still very much good enough and you can do anything you set your mind to.
Hi, it's me, Shirley!
A few years ago I decided to stop making my life any harder than it already was. And since then my life has been perfect.
Okay, that's a lie.
But thanks to my self-compassion practice I now know how I can, time and time again, find my way back to my authentic self. And that's what makes my life so much more easeful & joyful these days.