It is very important for you to learn how to identify limiting beliefs as they play a big role in whether you will fight to achieve your goals or give up. It is easy to assume certain things are impossible based on your limiting beliefs. Thoughts such as “it is useless for me to eat right or go to the gym since we are all plus size in my family” are limiting beliefs which keep you from setting and attaining your ideal weight because you believe it is a waste of time. Such limiting beliefs will always hold you back. It is vital that you find ways of identifying limiting beliefs from facts. These beliefs are limiting because it is so ingrained in you that you actually believe them to be true, mostly because they are based on facts which may be real or not. You may reject proposals of marriage because you believe marriage and unhappiness are synonymous. This may be because of the experiences of those close to you but it is a limiting belief as you may actually be turning down a chance to be in a relationship that could actually be fulfilling.
Ways of Identifying limiting beliefs
Acknowledge the presence and origin of the limiting beliefs
For you to successfully find out how to identify limiting beliefs, you need to acknowledge the existence of these beliefs. It is easy to accept them as the norm and possibly part of your life. However, this is not true. These beliefs must have started from somewhere. It could be an experience you had or something you heard people say all the time such that you accepted them as true. It could be your inability to compete for a position at work because you believe only men are better suited for that position or you think you are not good enough to handle the responsibilities that come with being a holder of that office. Some of these beliefs start being instilled at a very young age while others are based on experiences in life. Finding out when and why you started having the limiting beliefs will help you overcome them.
Differentiate limiting beliefs from truths
You need to tell the difference between what you believe to be true and what actually is true. The lines may be blurred and it may be difficult to actually see the difference. However, it is vital for you to be able to tell the difference. It may be a little difficult but with a little determination, you will be able to tell the difference and actually alter your belief system. If you have to, create a list of your limiting beliefs against what is true. Such a list will help you focus on what is true and possibly acknowledge that your beliefs had been false and a hindrance to your personal development.
Consider alternatives of the belief system you have held and find out how they make you feel
Once you have a list of the beliefs you have held on to, probably for most of your life, you need to find out how to identify limiting beliefs from what you have written down. Not everything you have believed in is false, just as not everything you thought to be unattainable is true. However, your feelings come into play as much as these are mainly thoughts and belief systems. You need to understand your feelings towards these beliefs if you are to find a way to overcome the limiting beliefs you have held onto for so long. For example, is your lack of ambition based on your belief that you are not good enough or was it because someone said something to you that you took to be the truth? If you start considering that you could actually be more than what you are if you pushed yourself a little harder, do you feel nervous? Do you think it is indeed possible? Are you scared? You need to go through all the emotions and pick an emotion you truly believe is the true representation of your feelings. It is vital for you to pair these feelings with what is true. This will help you accept and change your views on life and the truth you have been hiding from.
Talk to an honest friend
The keyword here is “honest”. A friend who will tell you what you need to hear and not what he or she thinks you want to hear. Sometimes in life, you need that voice of reason. This voice needs to come from someone you believe in and trust. Someone who will not try to appease your conscience. There are times when an outsider will be able to see things better than you. This person will help you discern your feelings and help you separate fact from fiction.He or she will be able to guide you on how to identify limiting beliefs and possibly lead you to the right path.
Steps to take once you have identified limiting beliefs
Accept to make the necessary changes
Once you have accepted that you have been living based on limiting beliefs, it is time to make a change. The change will not come easy. In fact, it will be difficult to forget something you have lived by for a long time. However, the first step to start making the necessary changes is by accepting that you need to make the changes. Once you have learnt how to identify limiting beliefs, it will be easier for you not to fall into a similar trap again. This gives you room to focus on making the changes you need to based on your previous thoughts and actions. If the false and limiting beliefs were many, you will have to find a way of working through them, probably from those that were most limiting to the least limiting. Once you start seeing changes in your life, you will have the courage to face more of the limiting beliefs until you get to the point where you will be able to say, “I’m free”.