4 Steps To Eliminating Self-Limiting Beliefs & Creating Possibility
Some beliefs are just more stubborn than others, and these setbacks are part of the natural clearing process. You might have to repeat this process a few times before the new belief pattern sticks. Throughout these steps, I provide an example from my coaching practice of how this might work in your life. Let’s start the process now with Step 1.
Identify your limiting belief
We must start with awareness. This seems like an obvious statement, but there are so many times when we are really not aware of what we believe in. To uproot a limiting belief, we must first be able to clearly articulate it and see it for the obstacle that it is. So, how do we recognize a limiting belief when it arises?
Though each limiting belief is unique, what all limiting beliefs have in common is that when you think about them, you don’t feel good. Are you feeling scared, ashamed, anxious, depressed, or hopeless? Make note of what you’re thinking in those moments, because those thoughts will often represent your limiting beliefs.
They create a situation of “either/or” thinking. There is no room for creativity. Also, when you think a limiting belief, your body will often respond with physical sensations that reflect the negativity of that thought. You might frown, furrow your brow, or feel a pit in your stomach. You might experience feeling your body freeze, or you may even have a bad taste in your mouth. These sensations can be clear indicators that you’re operating with a limiting belief. Once you’ve identified it, you’re ready to move on to Step 2.
Connect to choice
Once you are aware of your limiting belief, your next step is to connect to choice. Stay open and curious, and remind yourself that this belief is not happening to you. It is something arising from your internal thought process, and you can change it. By connecting to choice, you put the power to change the experience of your reality back in your hands.
To activate choice, first feel into your limiting belief. Once you have a clear experience in your mind and body of the limiting belief, repeat this: "I created or adopted this belief, and it no longer serves me. At any time, I can choose to create or adopt a new belief, a far better one to replace this one. Am I ready to do that now?"
When you receive a resounding and authentic “yes” to that question, you have connected to choice. This seems simple, but it’s not always. Connecting to choice means we have to give up our stories of victimhood or blame and shame. It means we also have to look at the ways we may have been perpetuating a negative belief and sabotaging ourselves. It means being vulnerable as we step into the unknown. If we connect to choice, we might make a mistake, and that can be scary.
Expand the context around the limiting belief
The goal of this step is to break through the resistance of the old mental landscape so that we can carve out a path to a new reality. It’s like clearing the weeds from a garden. Before we can plant a new seed thought, we must clear the mental weeds and be sure to pull them out at the root so they don’t come back. If we skip this step and try to jump right to creating a vision or an affirmation for a new possibility, our mental weeds are likely to sabotage the whole process.
So, how do you expand the context around a limiting belief? When you notice a limiting belief in your mind, press pause and upgrade your negative self-talk on the spot by replacing it with an empowering declaration. Empowering declarations are very effective tools to use in clearing your mental weeds. They free up the imagination and create space for creativity by moving away from either/or thinking. They inspire a sense of ownership and responsibility in you and build upon your current strengths, resources, skills, and talents. They also help you focus your positive thoughts on yourself instead of distracting you with things or people you can’t control. And, most importantly, empowering declarations acknowledge where you are at and speak to what’s possible for you right now, instead of postponing a feeling of empowerment to some future date.
To stimulate a new inner dialogue, here's a sentence to complete with a new thought:
"Even though I feel scared that I can’t make a living doing something I love, I am an intelligent, creative, and resourceful person, and I know that..."
Create a new possibility
With the context expanded around the original limiting belief, your mind can now open up to create a new possibility. In other words, you’ve done your mental weeding, and there is now space in the garden of your mind to plant whatever new seed thoughts you like. When you create a new possibility, you can anchor it into your body and mind by developing an affirmation and a visualization that support the new reality you’d like to create.
When creating an affirmation and a visualization, it’s important to focus on the belief you want to create, not just the external vision you want to manifest. For example:
"I am in a process of finding the career of my dreams. I stay relaxed and let my intuition guide the way. With every step, my trust in the process grows deeper."
When you work with your own affirmation and visualization, it’s important to remember that these tools support you only if you connect with them intentionally and regularly. Practice not only saying and thinking your affirmation and visualization daily, but practice feeling them too. To merely think the new belief is not enough. Your body must also say a solid yes to this new energy. One good way to get the body to hold the potential of this new belief is to practice saying your affirmation out loud and then close your eyes for three long, deep breaths. As you breathe, picture your new visualization in your mind and imagine the new belief literally downloading into your cells. How does it feel to hold this new belief as if it were a reality right now?
Amy Lombardo is the author of Brilliance: A Coaching Guide to Clearing Inner Obstacles and Letting Your Authenticity Shine, as well as a pioneer in personal growth programming who has worked for over fifteen years as a spiritually-focused entrepreneur. In 2016, she created the Brilliance Academy for Personal Transformation and Social Change to train and certify aspiring coaches in her uniquely integrative approach to empowerment and to inspire the next generation of change agents in the field of human potential.