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How To Identify Self-Limiting Beliefs

As you strive to be your best, what outdated programming is running your life?  Get out of your own way by identifying the limited thought patterns creating havoc in your life.  Identification of limiting beliefs is the first step to eliminating them.

Do you find yourself making the same mistake in various guises and repeating negative thought and behaviour patterns no matter how hard you try?  Do you blame others about situations in your life and not take full responsibility?If you answered yes to both questions, there's probably a self-limiting belief lurking around that is obstructing you from joy. 

A self-limiting belief is a belief held in your subconscious mind that limits you getting what you really want in life, as it says on the tin, it limits the self!  So, bearing that in mind, it is obviously of benefit to remove these beliefs in order to get what you want in life, however before we can begin to think about losing them we need to identify what they are. 

Importance of identifying self-limiting beliefs

Self-limiting beliefs are in fact faulty or outdated programming that obstruct or even halt your growth.  The difficulty in identifying them is that they feel as if they are a part of your core.  Their misleading nature leads you to feel that it's just you, your luck, your genes (after all your Mum/Dad/Sister/Brother, insert relevant relative, are like that) or something else that is out of your control. 

Another difficulty is that some limiting beliefs are cultural and therefore embraced by society.  A majority of people hold them so they feel normal.  Well it's not and my aim today is to help you wake up!

Self limiting beliefs are dangerous to your personal growth, identifying them will show you just how many areas of your life are being affected.  I was shocked to the core when I started becoming aware of mine and pretty overwhelmed by the realisation that as a self-aware person, I had no clue! 

Law of Attraction

The danger with them is that they can be your default thoughts as you have had them for a very long time, so by the law of attraction what do you think these limiting thoughts are inviting into your life!  When you embrace universal laws like the law of attraction, you choose to deliberately create your life.  Doing so without identifying and releasing these limiting beliefs, it is the equivalent of putting clean clothes on a dirty body.  Your older, deep rooted beliefs have more energy as you've held and projected them for longer.  So, identifying and releasing self-limiting beliefs will work wonders for your manifestations as it is a massive release of negative thought patterns and hence negative energy.  Once they are released, there's more room for the abundance to flow in.

Where do they come from?

These limiting beliefs come from upbringing, society, experiences, coping mechanisms.  Our parents probably didn't mean any harm but they passed on their self-limits to us and gave us new ones as a form of protection.  Eg, they may stop us from aiming too high as they don't want us to be disappointed.  Society is just a collection of people, unfortunately a majority of people are limited which is why society can add to or reconfirm our self-limiting beliefs.  Society tells us that we are limited by our education, class, race, age etc - just in case anyone's unsure this is class A b*llshit! 

Limiting beliefs can come from experiences and coping mechanisms as sometimes we develop ways to protect ourselves from certain things in life.  The problem comes when  we hang on to them even when they no longer serve us.  For example, a child learns not to trust people due to being continually let down while he was growing up, but he carries that into all his adult relationships with people he can trust, usually pushing them away.

The self-limiting beliefs I identified within myself were self-punishment, self-sabotage, fear of success, fear of failure and fear of personal power.  Some of those overlap, but you get the gist of it.  My negative programming manifested itself in that I allowed myself certain levels of success (through bloody hard work!) and then I would run out of fight and destroy everything. 

Looking back the reason I didn't see the real problem was due to my philosophies of: no pain no gainyou must suffer for successthe absence of suffering and sacrifice leads to mediocrity I was not aware that my thinking was faulty as the reality I had created supported it and living in a Capitalist society, my views were in line with that, so I was heading for success as far as I was concerned.  By the law of attraction, all I was getting was pain, suffering, sacrifice etc.  Also, by law of attraction all of my success stories I'd heard of were of people that had lost everything and built it up again and generally stories that fitted my philosophy, so I believed I was on the right track.

As said earlier, these beliefs can be clever little things that you may not notice so depending on your level of self-awareness you may not know what's holding you back.  Here are some ways to become aware of my unwanted programming.

Ways to identify your self-limiting beliefs

Dream interpretation - Dreams can be extremely useful in determining what's happening in my subconscious, especially recurring dreams.  A recurring dream is like your subconscious constantly tapping on your shoulder trying to get your attention about something.  I'm no dream guru by any stretch of the imagination, but when I realise I am having recurring dreams I set about researching what it could mean to me and what I could do to address it.  Dreams paid a huge part in my identification of self-punishment as a limiting belief I held. 

I was constantly having the same kind of dream where I was being attacked by the same people.  I knew these people in real life and had fallen out with them, which was the right thing to do but it was difficult.  The dreams were telling me I felt guilty and guilt always looks for punishment, my subconscious was telling me that I had a belief that I needed to be punished.  I set about learning about releasing this in real life and made steps, after a few months the dream changed into me having more power in the dream and standing up for myself.  A few months after that, I was catching punches being thrown at me with my hands and overpowering my oppressors.  The dreams ended with a final one of a conversation where we decided to go our separate ways, made peace and apologised to each other.  I knew then that I was over that and I've never had one since.  Don't underestimate the power of your dreams.

Questions and honest answers - Grab a pen and paper and be open and honest with yourself.  List the area(s) of your life that you are unhappy with.  Deal with each one in turn and explore why you are unhappy in those areas.  Really get into why the situation makes you unhappy, what you could do change the situation and what situation you would be happy with.  Explore what put you in that situation in the first place, what beliefs do you hold that have led you here.  What beliefs would take you to the situation that you have identified you would be happy with.

Really let your hands go and keep writing the answers to each of those questions.  If you are being 100% honest, you will be on your way to identifying your self-limiting beliefs, you may even be clear as to what they are. 

Goal setting - The process of setting clear goals can help you to identify your limiting beliefs.  Particularly answering why you haven't achieved your goals so far ,what has stopped you.  Answer fully, honestly and truthfully.  Review your answers and read between the lines, remember there are no external reasons for not achieving them so far. 

Everything in your life you have somehow created.  I know this doesn't sit well with a lot of people but unfortunately I didn't make the rules.  It is unexplainable and there is a reason for everything so don't feel blamed.  Look on the bright side, the great thing is that this also means it is within your control to change!  When you are continuously unable to do something because of someone else, you need to look deeper and be honest with yourself what the real problem isArticle Search, clue - it is never outside yourself.

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Lola Fayemi, a Freedom coach, works with disconnected and spiritually awakening people to create lives and businesses in alignment with their higher purpose.  Lola is also a Reiki Master and has her own spiritual and personal development blog.

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