Last year when I was in Mexico, I went underwater in a pool for the first time since I was a kid. I don’t know how it happened that I stopped going underwater, but at some point, I started going to the beach just to sit in a chair and get tan, not to go in the water. Then, I guess I wasn’t around swimming pools much in my 20’s and so it just happened that decades passed and I hadn’t been underwater. It started to seem like something other people did. I wanted to go under, it just seemed crazy scary to me, even though I had been a decent swimmer as a kid. Not only did it seem like something other people did, it seemed kind of impossible for me to ever do it again. There was my world and it was definitely a world that existed only above water.
Then, after spending all day every day for 4 straight days poolside in Mexico, I had a thought, I could try to go underwater again. It seemed like everyone else was having a great time in the pool going under and I was missing out. I decided to do it and just did it without a bunch of typical Regina-type overthinking.
It was fun! I didn’t get water up my nose or anything. I started having hand stand contests, doing flips, it was amazing! Tyler even humored me by practicing the Dirty Dancing lift in the water, which I’m pretty sure annoyed everyone around us, but it was so fun! All of a sudden, going underwater was no longer something I didn’t do, it was totally possible. It’s that easy. (Full disclosure, I did have to hold my nose and margaritas were involved.)
This is just a silly example of a physical limiting belief, but the mindset change is the same for all limiting beliefs.
Think about a time in your life when you had some kind of obstacle in front of you and you didn’t think you could do it. Then you did it and lo and behold, it was possible. That became your new normal.
If you can’t come up with something, I’m wondering if the term limiting belief is throwing you off? I think you could also call them excuses. What are your excuses for: not losing weight, staying in a bad relationship, not standing up for yourself, drinking too much?
Whatever you call them, limiting beliefs, stories, excuses, they are what hold you back from being happy and living the life you deserve to live.
For example, do you believe you need to hold onto friendships even if they don’t feel healthy to you anymore? Do you believe that you should place other people’s wants and needs before your own because that’s what ‘nice’ people do? And it would be selfish to do anything else? If so, where did those beliefs come from? Did you see that role-modeled for you as a child? Does your mother still have friends that drive her crazy but she maintains friendships with them only because they’ve been friends for so long?
Or, are you scared to communicate your feelings to people in your life because you don’t want to risk anyone getting mad at you? You don’t want to rock the boat so you keep your feelings inside even though they end up coming out in snide comments? Do you have the belief that if you keep quiet things will just get better on their own, eventually?
In a divorce situation, do you believe that you can never get along with your ex because that would mean forgiving them, which is something you never plan on doing?
These are just a few examples of types of limiting beliefs people have, specifically, in relationships.
Examine what your limiting beliefs are and where they came from. Then, think about how those beliefs are keeping you safe or benefiting you. In the above examples, limiting believes are keeping the person safe from being accused of being a bad friend, safe from conflict and safe from being hurt.
Next, think about what those limiting beliefs are costing you and get specific.
When you stay in a close friendship with someone who doesn’t bring you joy, you are losing out on meeting new friends who don’t bring you down and cause drama. Your energy is being drained. Your family life is also affected because of the constant complaining you do to them about your friend.
When you don’t speak up for yourself you are giving up your power. And you aren’t giving the other person a chance to explain or change their behavior or apologize. You are losing the freedom that comes with speaking your mind.
When you assume that you can’t get along with your ex it is costing you a peaceful co-parenting relationship.
Finally, think about how you could slightly shift your current limiting belief. If letting go of a friendship completely is too scary take baby steps. Say no to the next get together and see how it feels. Try writing your feelings down on paper first before communicating about something sensitive with a loved one to figure out what you want to say. Try being just a little less resentful to your ex on your next interaction and see how it feels to start to forgive and let go.
You can take baby steps, or you can go full out. It all depends on how attached you are to your beliefs and how important being happy is to you.
As a coach, I have been trained with many skills to help you to reach your goals faster, while supporting you along the way so you don’t give up. I would love to help you with any step of this process. Click on the link below to sign up for a free session.