This is part two of a five-part series on Beliefs.
Let me begin by saying something you may have heard me say before,
“A belief is only an idea one has come to accept as the truth”.
This does not mean that all beliefs, or any beliefs, are absolute truth, but for the particular individual who holds the belief, it is a truth, and this truth is used as a lens and a filter in which the individual views and navigates through their lives.
There are universal beliefs that most of us hold to be true, such as fire is hot and ice is cold. But even some universal beliefs have proven to be untrue over the years. As an example, the belief that ‘the earth is flat’ was a pretty universal truth for a good long while until the belief was challenged and found to be untrue.
We each have our own unique belief systems, and besides holding many universal truths, we also hold our own unique mixture of personal truths, which consist of our own unique mixture of beneficial life affirming beliefs… and some limiting beliefs as well.
Beneficial life affirming beliefs add to our lives. For example, a person who has a healthy amount of self-worth will probably hold the beliefs of ‘I am valuable’ and ‘I am deserving’, and because these are the filters this person views their life through, they will tend to attract and notice people, circumstances, and situations that validate these beliefs about themselves, each time making the beliefs even stronger.
The problems arise when the beliefs are limiting. And a limiting belief is exactly as it sounds… a belief that limits us in some way, a belief that limits us from living life to the fullest, a belief that limits us from experiencing the people, circumstances, and situations we would otherwise choose to experience.
For example, a person who holds the beliefs ‘I am not valuable’ and ‘I am not deserving’ will use these beliefs as the filters they view their life through, and they will tend to attract and notice people, circumstances, and situations that validate these beliefs about themselves, each time making the beliefs even stronger.
Some more examples of limiting beliefs include:
I’m not good enough to have ________.
I don’t deserve to be ________.
I’m supposed to look old when I reach 40/50/60/70.
I’m supposed to feel old when I reach 40/50/60/70.
________ is supposed to happen when I reach 40/50/60/70.
There is no such thing as looking and feeling ageless.
I don’t have the genetics to look youthful at my age.
I don’t have the genetics to be thin/fit.
Premature aging runs in my family, so I have no choice but to age prematurely like they have.
My family won’t accept me if I don’t show my age just like the rest of them have.
People will think I’m vain if I begin doing things that make me look more ageless.
People will think I’m self-centered if I begin doing things that make me feel more ageless.
It would be dishonorable to look and feel more ageless than my (mom/dad) did at my age. I need to be like them to honor them.
And pretty much any statement that says “I can’t _______ because _______ ” is a limiting belief.
Maybe you recognize some of these as beliefs of your own. Nothing to be ashamed of, we all have them… it’s impossible to be human and not have them. But just as you took the beliefs on, you also have the same power to clear or reprogram your beliefs if you find that they aren’t working in your best interests.
Reflect back to what I mentioned at the opening of this post…
“A belief is only an idea one has come to accept as the truth.”
When you cease to accept a limiting belief as truth, it can no longer be a part of your belief system.
I hear you already, “Sounds great, Krystal… but how are we supposed to change our beliefs?”
Read on… we’ll get there… Beliefs – Part Three: Discover Your Limiting Beliefs
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