Are Limiting Beliefs Coming Between You and Your Dreams?

woman tearing note from i can't to i can

Limiting beliefs – the little voices in your head that say “I can’t” – have a sneaky way of coming between you and your goals. Learn 5 steps to reframe “I can’t” into “I can”.

What is holding you back from having a consistently positive attitude? 

There are many possibilities, and one of the most common is holding persistent limiting beliefs.    When you learn how to reframe your limiting beliefs, you open yourself to all kinds of positive possibilities.

What are limiting beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are the things you tell yourself (often subconsciously) about your limitations or failings.

Negative self-talk is damaging to your self-confidence and lessens the possibilities of achieving your goals. They are the things you tell yourself that hold you back from living a full, authentic life.

What you consistently tell yourself, you come to believe.

Let’s take a look at 5 steps we can take to reduce our limiting beliefs, and grow our positive beliefs in ourselves instead:

  • Learn to Identify Your Limiting Beliefs
  • Begin to Change Your Limiting Beliefs by Making Them Neutral
  • Teach Yourself to Find Positivity in Every Situation
  • Record Your Positive Thoughts so You Can Refer Back to Them
  • Realize That This Process Is Ongoing: Review Your Thoughts Frequently
Smiling confident woman in white suit has reframed her limiting beliefs

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Follow This Four-Step Process to Reframe Your Limiting Beliefs

1. Learn to Identify Your Limiting Beliefs

Write down your limiting beliefs as you identify them.

If you tend to speak or think about yourself in a negative way, you need to take action to change this perspective. It can’t always be done in one swoop. You’ll need to take several steps in the right direction in order to achieve your goal.

So get started.

The first step in reframing your limiting beliefs is to learn to identify them.

Because our limiting beliefs are often unconscious or – if they are conscious – they happen routinely, they may be difficult to identify at first.

If you have difficulty identifying this negativity within your own mind, a simple first action can be keeping a thought journal.

Start by writing down a random sample of thoughts you say in your own mind about yourself, events, people around you, and other things that happen throughout your day. Try to write them down as they happen – if you wait until evening, chances are you’ll forget most of them. Don’t worry about whether they are positive, negative, or neutral at this point.

Your goal is to recognize when you are putting any type of label or limit on yourself.

Review the journal each evening to start to identify your thought patterns.

Do certain events trigger your negative thoughts? Certain times of day Particular people or situations?

Take note of these and each time you are faced with a similar triggering event, you will start to recognize it as it occurs. No two people will have the same limiting beliefs, so it’s vital that you learn to spot yours.

Awareness of your limiting beliefs is necessary before you can create change.

2. Begin to Change Your Limiting Beliefs by Making Them Neutral

Banish Negative Thought by Rephrasing Them as Neutral Statements.

After keeping track of your thoughts for a few weeks, you will probably notice how frequently they occur. The next step is to stop them in their tracks, and the way to do this is to substitute different thoughts.

Go back through your journal and identify some of your more common limiting beliefs. See how you can rephrase them to be neutral statements.

At this point, we aren’t concerned with seeing the positive – simply identifying the negative and making them neutral.

For example,

“Bob forgot to take out the trash again so I had to do it because I always get stuck doing everything. I’m such a sap.”

could become

“Bob did not take out the trash. I did it.”

This is a small but effective way to train yourself to remove emotion from your statements. Remember that it’s not the event itself, but the limiting belief you have about it that is the problem.

Don’t just do this exercise on paper in your journal; begin to consciously rephrase your negative thoughts into neutral ones in your mind as you come across them in your day-to-day activities.

3. Teach Yourself to Find Positivity in Every Situation

Shift From Negative and Neutral Thoughts to Positive Ones.

It can be incredibly challenging for many people to jump straight from negative thoughts into positive ones, which is why that neutral-thought stage is so crucial. By banishing negative self-talk, you are now in a great position to genuinely see the positives, in different situations.

Refer back to your thought journal and particularly examine the negative thoughts you have had.

Putting aside all of the things you so obviously dislike about that thing, try to think of at least one positive.

For example, if you dislike your boss because they speak badly to you, think about the way that you are actually developing more resilience and ‘thicker skin’ by being in that situation, which is a positive result of a bad situation.

Limiting Belief: My boss doesn’t like me and thinks I’m a bad employee, everyone thinks so.

Neutral Belief: My boss makes comments about me that aren’t true.

Positive Belief: My boss’s comments are helping me to develop the ability to work with difficult people and to be both flexible and strong when communicating with them.

It can be hard to find benefits within challenging circumstances, but there is always a way to see something good.

As the Dalai Lama once famously said, “See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.”

Sometimes a lot of effort might be required, but it’s worth it!

4. Record Your Positive Thoughts so You Can Refer Back to Them

Keep a Gratitude Journal.

You want to create a written record of the positive aspects of your life – it will serve as a powerful reminder to look for the good in every situation.

A gratitude journal is an incredible way to keep track of all of the wonderful things around you. Each evening you can write down all of the things in your day that you are grateful for.

Perhaps you are grateful to a friend who listened to you when you needed a sympathetic ear, for the warm bed you are able to sleep in, or for the beautiful weather outside that encouraged you to take a long, leisurely walk.

Think about the positive events and situations in your life – no matter how small or insignificant they may seem at the time – and write them down.

If someone gives you a compliment that you appreciated on any particular day or said something very thoughtful, write it down in your gratitude journal too.

When you find negativity creeping back into your mind, open up the journal and read over all of the positive things in your life that make you feel grateful.

This perspective will help you understand how insignificant any one particular trigger may be in the larger scheme of things. Context is important, so keep shifting your mind towards the positive.

Make it a habit to look for the positives, even in what seems to be a negative situation., and record them in your journal.

5. Realize That This Process Is Ongoing: Review Your Thoughts Frequently

Negativity doesn’t transfer to neutral and then to positivity overnight.

You will need to work at this process consistently and remain vigilant to the limiting beliefs that crop up in your mind from time to time.

It takes effort, but the resulting positive mindset is well worth the work!

Read More:

Final Thoughts on Are Limiting Beliefs Coming Between You and Your Dreams?

Practicing these five simple steps can help you to transform the way that you perceive the world around you.

  • Learn to Identify Your Limiting Beliefs
  • Begin to Change Your Limiting Beliefs by Making Them Neutral
  • Teach Yourself to Find Positivity in Every Situation
  • Record Your Positive Thoughts so You Can Refer Back to Them
  • Realize That This Process Is Ongoing: Review Your Thoughts Frequently

Positive perception has the power to change your life, improving your attitudes and the ways that you respond to stress triggers.

Negativity can discourage us, add to our stress, put a strain on our relationships, make us less productive, and reduce our overall happiness.

Positivity on the other hand has many benefits across our lives in terms of our health, relationships, and careers.

Be patient and keep working at developing your positive mindset, as it has so many benefits for your life.

Smiling confident woman has reframed her limiting beliefs

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