This is part four of a five-part series on Beliefs.
If you’ve been following my five part series on limiting beliefs, you’ve probably been growing a bit anxious to begin clearing some of your limiting beliefs. Well, you’re finally here…
The first step in clearing a limiting belief is simply to identify the belief (See Beliefs – Part Three: Discover Your Limiting Beliefs).
The next step is to accept full responsibility for having the belief. It doesn’t matter if you feel deeply that someone or something outside of you caused you to take on the belief, you must take full responsibility for having the belief before you can change it. Think of it like this, if you place the power outside of yourself, you’ll have to find your answer outside of yourself as well. The power is always within you.
Once you’ve identified and accepted full responsibility for having the belief, there are a number of ways to clear a limiting belief. You may be able to clear it with one technique or you may need to try several of them until you feel the resistance softening and then disappearing.
Affirmations and Visualization for Clearing Limiting Beliefs
Affirmations and Visualization are my foundational tools in clearing limiting beliefs as well as creating new beliefs. They are powerful tools that are simple to use and very effective.
With affirmations, we simply identify an affirmation that counteracts the limiting belief and then repeat it often and with feeling.
With visualization, we create a visualization of our life as it would be with a new belief that counteracts the limiting belief and we do this visualization often and with feeling.
Now, let me say, as much as I love affirmations and visualizations, they are limited by the degree your subconscious mind is willing to accept them… and if the limiting belief is just too deeply rooted, or has a network of limiting beliefs that support it, the affirmations or visualizations are going to be kicked right back out until the supporting belief network has been removed or, at the least, lightened up a bit.
Fortunately, we have techniques we can use that can help initially soften our more stubborn beliefs, thus making our affirmations and visualizations more powerful and acceptable to our subconscious mind.
Following are some of the softening techniques I use most often:
Find Counter Examples of your Limiting Belief
Find Counter Examples of your belief and create a new belief using those examples:
Using the example, “I have no choice but to look and feel old at 40/50/60/70.”
To soften this belief, look outside of yourself to other people you know. You’re sure to know someone in whom this belief would be totally false. Find as many examples as you can that counter your limiting belief.
Now, you can create a new affirmation that may have a bit more influence, “Even though I have felt that I have no choice but to look and feel old at 40/50/60/70 , (Person in your example) has proven this to be untrue, therefore I am willing to see this as a possibility for myself as well.”
Now you have a new more powerful affirmation that should be much more acceptable to your subconscious mind. But again, depending on the depth of the limiting belief, and the network of beliefs that support your limiting belief, it may or may not be effective, and you may still need to use other techniques to continue the softening process.
Identify Secondary Gain from Limiting Beliefs
Identify what you stand to gain by keeping the limiting belief or what you stand to lose by clearing the limiting belief. We call this Secondary Gain.
This is very important. Sometimes it’s not so much that we can’t let go of our belief, but that we don’t want to experience what we perceive may be a loss associated with no longer having the belief.
For example, “I have no choice but to look and feel old at 40/50/60/70.”
You may have to give up commiserating with other friends who have these same feelings. You may have to give up that mutual feeling that provides your main source of connection with a parent or sibling who has these same feelings. Or you may find that you have to give up some of your own self-worth and self-confidence related issues here…
Your next question for yourself is “Are these possible changes worth the benefits I will receive by changing my belief?”
And your new more powerful affirmations become:
“Even though my relationship with some of my friends may change, and I may even lose a friend or two, I’m willing to see being able to look and feel ageless as a possibility for myself.”
“Even though mom might not be happy with me if I adopt an ageless point of view, I’m doing this for myself and that’s okay.”
“Even though I do not feel all that confident about my ability to look and feel ageless, I’m willing to be open to the possibility.”
“Even though I have always felt that it is selfish to spend time taking care of myself, I’m willing to look at the possibilty that self-care is a good thing.”
Re-frame the Evidence of the Belief
Take a look at the limiting belief and examine the evidence that has led this belief to become a truth for you.
“I have no choice but to look and feel old at 40/50/60/70.”
Evidence 1: “My mom told me that she felt like she went straight downhill when she turned 40/50/60/70.”
Alternate Evidence: “Maybe my mom had some limiting beliefs about aging and growing older of her own. And maybe those beliefs were even passed on to her from her mom.”
Evidence 2: “My friend, XYZ, turned 40/50/60/70 and she seemed to look and feel old almost overnight.”
Alternate explanation: “XYZ has never really taken good care of herself , maybe the way she looks and feels has more to do with her lifestyle than her age.”
Many of the tools shared in this post not only clear limiting beliefs but, at the same time, they also build new more empowering beliefs. While it’s necessary to address limiting beliefs, when you really begin to get creative, you’re going to want to spend more of your time in creating new empowering beliefs, continue on to Beliefs – Part Five: Create New More Empowering Beliefs
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