This past week I attended an event and the conversation at the table came around to beliefs. Where they come from and how they affect our lives in good ways and in not so good ways.
I find beliefs extremely interesting actually and can pinpoint several that affect me almost daily.
We are all walking around, living our lives based on a foundation of limiting beliefs about ourselves and the world around us.
What I find most interesting about beliefs is the extreme affects they have upon our physical, mental and emotional health. Many ailments in the physical body originate with a belief. Money worries originate with a belief. And depression, anxiety and fear all originate with a belief.
Your limiting beliefs about yourself can have 2 different effects. They can either paralyze you to the point where you don't move forward in anything because of your limiting belief. Or you over exaggerate your actions and words on every aspect of life for fear that someone will actually see the "truth" of what lies beneath the facade.
I put the word "truth" in quotations because in our minds our limiting beliefs are the truth. This could not be farther from the real truth about yourself, however we have believed this about ourselves for so long that is now the "truth" inside of our minds and either we will live out that truth or we will try to hide it from the world.
Either way, this can be exhausting!
We've all experienced this at one time or another (or on multiple occasions). During conversation someone is presented with a perspective that is different from their own, instead of rolling it around in the heart and brain to see if it fits, they immediately jump into a fit of anger, defensiveness and frustration. It's quite funny to watch. You can tell how strongly their own beliefs are affecting them by how they react to something outside of that belief system. I have often witnessed people's bodies go rigid, mouth clenched, jaw set ready to attack, their whole body language changes. On the flip side someone who has a lot of fear based beliefs will shrink and cease talking altogether.
Almost like they are back in their child bodies experiencing the exact moment when someone questioned their behaviour and set that belief in motion.
As children we grow up being told all sorts of things about ourselves, other people and life. We take everything that is said to us to heart because we are in a trusting state of mind at that point, we trust all the adults and peers around us and look to them for advice and counsel.
It's okay to not accept someone else's perspective on something. In fact, ideally we all need to be taking more time to consider what feels right to us (or wrong for that matter) so that we are not filling ourselves with useless limiting beliefs, however with that being said, right in this moment your own perspective and judgement is clouded by the beliefs that were fed to you when you were an infant and child. All it takes is for one person to mention something unpleasant about your behaviour, a life event or another person and BOOM! you've got a limiting belief.
We've all heard things like "don't run your going to fall and hurt yourself" "Money doesn't grow on trees you know" "why can't you be more like your sister/brother".
Beliefs can also be instilled non-verbally. Children will base their beliefs on another's actions and their perception of those actions.
So, how do we move away from these limiting beliefs and start to create a new set of positive beliefs that can propel us to living a successful life full of joy and contentment?
First of all you can ever be too old to deflate a limiting belief. We are alive until the day we are not and therefore the potential is at it's maximum until that time.
I also believe that it is essential to remove yourself from the people who feed your limiting beliefs most often. Most of the people in our lives have our best interest at heart and will warn us against all sorts of "dangers", not allowing us to take the risk and determine the outcome for ourselves. This feeds the limiting belief that we can't do something and keeps us in a state of perpetual procrastination and misery.
If you cannot remove yourself from them, then at least change the way see that person. You can begin to see them in a sympathetic way, as they too are also trying to figure out their life while looking through belief tinted glasses. They are in the same situation you are in and they are channeling their beliefs to you. You can nod generously while allowing the words to fall flat on the floor and then go about your business they way you desire to do that.
Find a group of people who are positive and supportive of everything you do. Create a new community of people so that when you are in a space of doubt and limitation you can access someone who can buoy your enthusiasm and cheer you on to the next level.
Watch your words! Become aware of why it is you speak the way you do to others and yourself. This is the best way of identifying your limiting beliefs. When someone compliments you what is your reaction? Fear that they will discover the "truth" about you, disbelief in what they are saying, shame? If you don't react to a compliment with a smile and a gracious Thank you with a deep belief that what has been said is true, then you are living with a limiting belief.
Take this to the next level and challenge yourself to speak nothing but positive things one day at a time. As you do this you strengthen the real truth that lies within you that we are all loving beings and that there are no limitations in this life.
Everything is infinitely possible.