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  • Writer's pictureannepawlowski

Are your beliefs holding you back?

I didn’t fully understand what a limiting belief was until I went through life coach training. And once I understood, I started to realize how much my own limiting beliefs have held me back or made things harder for me in my life. A limiting belief is simply a thought that has gained momentum. It’s something you believe to be true about yourself, others, or the world that limits you in some way. Most beliefs are unconsciously created based on how we interpreted painful (or enjoyable) experiences in the past. Limiting beliefs hold you back from taking chances, keep you blind to opportunities, prevent you from accepting gifts, or simply keep you stuck focusing on the negative aspect of your circumstances. And here’s the kicker – we ALL have them. Here are some common themes in limiting beliefs: “I’m not worthy” “I need to be ____ to be worthy” “I don’t deserve it” “I’m not ____ enough” “Others’ opinions of me are more important than my own” “I don’t have time to _____” “Life is hard and unfair” “I’ll get hurt if I let my real self be seen” Do any of these resonate with you? Here are four steps to identify and transform your limiting beliefs:

1. Acknowledge the Belief You must begin by paying attention to your thought patterns and programs. What are some of the common story lines that come up often for you in your life? Ask yourself ‘What belief would someone have in order to feel this way?’ Example: I need to be perfect to be worthy of love and acceptance. 2. Challenge the Belief

Ask yourself, ‘Is this really true? Who would I be without this belief?’ Think of experiences in your life that have proven this is not true. 3. Create a New Empowered Belief Example: I’m doing my very best. Being imperfect is a part of being human. I am always worthy of love and acceptance, no matter how I show up. 4 . Practice “Installing” the New Empowered Belief and Reprogramming Your Brain

Example: Commit to incorporating your empowered belief in daily practice – create an affirmation, write it in your journal or planner, or say it in your head every time you do a routine task like washing your hands. And whenever the old limiting belief comes up, choose self-compassion and affirm your empowered belief.

I’ve had a limiting belief around perfection and worthiness for as long as I can remember. When that belief comes up for me now, I am able to be aware of it, give myself compassion, and then override the limiting belief with one that’s more empowered. It takes commitment and conscious awareness, but it has honestly improved every aspect of my life. It helps me put myself out there, dwell and punish myself less often when I show up imperfectly, and overall feels like a huge self-imposed weight lifted off my shoulders.

I highly encourage you to look at some of your own beliefs that hold you back. Awareness alone is a HUGE step in the right direction!

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