Limiting beliefs: our greatest enemy

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There is something we are unaware of. Or, to be more precise, something most of us are affected by, but without realizing it. What I am talking about is self-limitations.  

Being limited, but not in capabilities, efficiency or intelligence. Rather, in our minds. Being convinced we are not good enough, or clever enough, or skillful enough to do what it takes to turn our dreams into reality. We want something so badly, but never dare to take action and give it a tangible form. If that happened to you, don’t worry, you are not alone. Lots of us experienced the same, myself included.

Too scared of failure, we keep dreaming to change job, to become self-employed, to write that book, to speak with that beautiful girl/boy, and so on.

Too worried that something could go wrong in the process, we tend to procrastinate by postponing our actions indefinitely. Or we simply give up right away, by making up some excuse, like ‘I am too busy’, ‘it is not really worth it’, etc.

Interestingly, rather than admitting we don’t have the guts to act, or to give it a go, we convince ourselves that it is not really worth it. That we can apply ourselves to something better, and more productive. Again, this is just an excuse our minds keep using to justify our dismissive behaviours. 

You need to know that the mind is our strongest muscle. The one to control everything. Telling us what to do, or not to do, from the moment we wake up to the minute we go to bed. Now, it is fair to say that the mind is not really our enemy. Quite the reverse. All it does is to act in our best interest, by playing it safe. The only issue is that by taking that road, aspirations get buried without ever being given the chance to bloom. No surprise we lead a dull existence. And all of this, because the mind wants to keep you safe in your comfort zone. And it does that by dismissing any great idea you may have as too risky.

Since the mind is like an internal remote-controller ordering the body what to do and how to behave, if the former is reluctant, or discouraged, the body will not be willing to move as a result.

What to do at this point?

You can follow two strategies, but they should be used together. The first strategy must be followed by the other in order for this to work and bring about the key positive results.

  • The first strategy is to convince yourself (and your mind) that what you want to do is really worth it. You can do this by focusing on all the positive aspects your objective would bring about, rather than what could go wrong. If it is your habit to be pessimistic, keep in mind that each habit was learnt and can be changed and replaced anytime. By deciding to look on the bright side, your mind will not consider any new idea as too risky any longer. And, trust me, this will already be a massive step forward.
  • As for the second step, it is all about forcing your mind to ‘stay’ positive, so that you won’t give up. How? By writing down all the benefits your potential idea, plan, or goal would bring into your life. Make sure to write at least three or four aspects. Once you are done, read them aloud several times, until your very mind (remember, your internal remote-controller) is convinced. In fact, you have to believe what you write. A common mistake is that people pray a lot, but remain doubtful. Likewise, an individual may come up with an incredible goal, but deep within, they don’t really believe it is feasible.

These are two strategies that, combined, can do wonders. At least they did so for me (and still do). Don’t make the mistakes the masses do. Start off on a positive note, and influence your mind to think the way you want. And ‘freeze’ your thoughts by noting them down. In doing so, you lead the mind to think and act your way, and not vice versa (as it may have happened until now). Repeat this as many times as necessary so that your potential plan or idea sinks in (and stays in). If you remember back in our school days, the teacher used to make students in detention write lines on the board, ‘I must not…’ over and over. The purpose was to ensure the corrective message would get into the student’s head once and for all. 

I am not saying you should put yourself in detention, but that the method was somewhat efficient.

To get back to our topic, I am a firm believer that ‘Limiting Beliefs’ are the main cause of unfulfilment nowadays. It is the reason people are stuck in a cycle of mediocrity all of their lives. Before even getting started, they evaluate what could go wrong. They reason by ‘ifs’, ‘buts’, ‘maybes’, all of the time. So, it is no surprise they don’t end up achieving anything concrete and, thus, complain a lot of the time.  

Unfortunately, everything new, or out of our comfort zone, has a percentage of risks and discomfort. That’s a given. So enough of doubting yourself and your means. Rather than fixing on why it won’t work, follow the strategy above: list the positive aspects and repeat them. What may sound discouraging, may turn out to be thrilling. Give it a chance and you will see the difference in no time.

Take care

Federico  

Published by Federico

Hi there! Like many of you, I also came to a point where I asked myself, 'What is the Meaning of Life?' I have decided to start off this blog, in order to share ideas, inputs, and posts. In a nutshell, to inspire and be inspired. The world would be such a better place if we all did so. We cannot change others. However, you can always decide to set a good example. In doing so, you can still influence your loved ones in a positive way (and indirectly change them). It is not easy, but in my humble opinion, it is worth trying. After all, in the words of Bertolt Brecht, 'He who fights, can lose. He who doesn't fight, has already lost'.

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