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Limiting Beliefs – How They Work And What To Do About Them

January 31, 2011

“There’s something wrong with me”
“I should never fail”
“I need to be perfect”
“People are evil”
“It’s all about money”
“You have to work hard to have money”
“Being rich is evil”
“All men are pigs”
“All women are bitches”
“Sex is sinful”
“You have to strike before they do”

You have certainly already heard about limiting beliefs, haven’t you? Everybody is talking about them – for a good reason. But what are they actually?

Well, the name says it just right: beliefs that limit us.

They are statements about life that we are emotionally invested in. They color our thoughts, feelings and choices. They skew our perceptions and influence our actions – so that the consequences we get reinforce them. Even if we intellectually understand that a belief is false, it still has emotional power over us.

If you have a limiting belief, your life experience will seem to be a living proof for its legitimacy. You will absolutely buy into it, and questioning it will seem ridiculous. You will probably get angry and offended by any suggestions to test its validity.

That’s only natural. We develop limiting beliefs as a response to frustrating events in an effort to protect ourselves from future pain. Thus any suggestion to question them seems to us like:

  • a suggestion to leave our safety and get burned again;
  • the person suggesting it has no understanding of what we’ve gone through.

The sad part is, that by sticking to our limiting beliefs, we give up on any hope to live our lives fully. We also push away the people who would like to show us something better.

There are at least two ways in which limiting beliefs perpetuate themselves and dictate our life experience: Read more …

From → Concepts

34 Comments
  1. Juridikum permalink

    eh jo. bin der aus der bib. dein blog ist gut! ich leses regelmäßig. weiter so!

  2. Dave permalink

    Very interesting !
    mind = blown

  3. Tony permalink

    What we experience in our day-to-day lives is just an internal representation of reality. We all maintain mental maps of the world that we use to navigate through life. These maps can never be complete and exact.

    This was stated about 2500 years ago as “The Myth of the Cave.” Yes, I will admit that my internal representation of reality is flawed. But how can you say that your internal representation of reality is any better than mine?

    • Hey Tony, thank you for your comment.

      Now that you mention it, I have to agree: the myth of the cave says something very similar – and I didn’t make the connection myself.

      How do I know that my representation is better? I don’t. How did I make the impression that I mean this?

      I believe that there are many possible representations, and as long as we become aware of this, we become able to choose one that makes us happier.

      The possibility of many representations also allows diversity, which is something great in my opinion.

      While this video was created with a religious context in mind, I believe that the idea of diversity can be taken out of the religious context.

      Thank you for speaking your thoughts and tell me if you have any questions or other ideas.

  4. I never thought Leftkoe’s techniques worked, but now I feel like giving it another take. I have a list of articles I come back to as mental fuel, and this will be one of them. Mental cleaning is necessary from time to time, especially under challenging times.

    • Thank you for commenting.

      I don’t believe that there will ever be a method that works for absolutely everybody.

      If you want to have success with anything, you’d probably have to test many methods. Sticking with just the only one method that worked for you is not best, either, IMO. Flexibility is good.

      I personally did get a lot of value from the Lefkoe Method, and everybody has the possibility to test it for themselves. If it happens to not work for you, well, your search will have to go on. No big deal.

      It is also possible, that while it didn’t work for you the first time, it would do, if you gave it a second try. If you feel like trying it again, be sure to do so.

      I also invite you to share your experiences here.

  5. Thanks for the video, very inspiring. I tried EFT in the past, it helped me with addiction to gaming.

  6. What a wonderful and comprehensive article. I love the charts. I have been practicing affirmations on a daily basis for over a year now. I find your suggestion for dealing with negative self-talk very helpful: “A way to deal with your objections is to write them down, and then read them with a squeaky and whiny voice. Make them sound as ridiculous as you can. Tape yourself. Then listen and have a laugh.” Something I else I do is to physically hang my affirmations in my bathroom and study so that I am constantly “seeing” them even if I am not saying them, so they can subconsciously enter my mind as well. Do you think this is a good technique? Also, have you read the book “Beyond the Myth” (http://www.beyondthemythbook.com/) – I have found it useful for the step-by-step directions on how to remove limiting beliefs and for the great affirmations. I am looking for similar books like that to read, I am going to try some of the ones you reference above. Thanks.

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