Limiting Beliefs: What they are and how to destroy them

I have become very passionate about personal development in the last year. I never used to be – I honestly disliked it. I thought it was, in the words of Lord Business, hippie dippie bologna. But when a business partner pushed me to start, I quickly became obsessed. I’ve read the books, invested in courses, watched videos. I’ve learned so much about myself and what has been holding me back.

One of the most important things I’ve learned about are limiting beliefs. Now this does sound cheesy but I promise this is something that could honestly change your life if you let it.

Limiting beliefs are those beliefs that limit you from being your best self.

Limiting beliefs could revolve around money, fitness, business, parenthood. Anything and everything.

For example, if you believe that because your dad was a crappy dad, you’re destined to be a crappy dad, that’s a limiting belief. If you believe that everyone in your family is fat so you have to be fat too – it’s just the cards that have been handed to you, that’s a limiting belief. If you’ve always wanted to lift weights in the gym but felt you were too fat to stand next those big, bulked up dudes, that’s a limiting belief.

It seems like a very simple concept, and really it is. But while it’s a simple concept to explain, it’s not easy to bust past them. It’s very possible to, but it will take work and determination on your part to actually move on and stop letting them hold you back.

The first step to busting beyond limiting beliefs is to realize what yours are. We’ll focus on fitness here, but really you can apply this to anywhere in your life.

Get out a piece of paper or maybe even start a journal and write down all of the limiting beliefs you can think of. What are the things holding you back from really going after your fitness goals?

I’ll share some of mine with you for inspiration:

My whole family is fat – it doesn’t matter how hard I work, it’s just genetics. I’ll always be fat.

I’m not athletic – it just isn’t in the cards for me to be physically active.

I have autoimmune issues and chronic pain. It’s not possible for me to achieve my fitness goals.

I’m too busy – I just don’t have time to make these goals a priority.

The list goes on and on, but I’m sure you get the point.

Once you have them written down, you need to really dig deep and find the solution to those beliefs.

Is your whole family fat because of genetics, or are they fat because of how they choose to eat? Are they fat because they all sit around all day? I’m fully capable of putting in the work – just because they won’t doesn’t mean I can’t.

Am I not athletic, or have I just not really applied myself? Not every sport is for me, but my body was made to move. So there is an activity out there that will help build my athletic ability.

I have autoimmune issues and chronic pain – I can’t afford NOT to move. The reality is that I’m in pain laying in bed all day doing nothing. Although painful at first, if I work towards moving a little bit more every day, eventually I’ll feel amazing.

It’s not that I don’t have time – it’s that I’m choosing not to create time for this priority. I am choosing to watch Netflix and scroll Instagram instead of working towards my fitness goals.

Once you see those limiting beliefs out on paper, it becomes a lot easier to really see how ridiculous they can be. They’re no longer just swimming around in your head, but they’re in a solid, tangible place. Write your responses to each belief below them and post the list up where you can see it every single day.

You probably won’t be able to think about every limiting belief you have in one try. But by doing a ‘belief audit’ of your life is so beneficial. It will help you to recognize the beliefs as they come up. When they do, make note of it. Write it down in the notes app of your phone, keep a journal in your car, or maybe take a quick video of you saying it. You may not have time to analyze it right that second, but by keeping track of it you can journal about it later, and come up with the response to it.

This isn’t easy. It forces you to take responsibility of your life, which I know is hard. But instead of seeing that as a negative, think about how empowering it is to be in control of how you can respond to life. Think of all of the amazing things you’re capable of that you’ll finally accomplish once you move past those beliefs.

It’s all about your mindset. You can see this as something awful and stay in the victim mindset. Or you can decide to take responsibility of your life and feel empowered in doing so.

Very few people realize just how powerful your thoughts are. You can’t choose or control what happens to you. But you can control how you think about and respond to it. You can decide whether it’s going to help you grow or break you down.

What’s a limiting belief you’ve held on to? How were you able to move past it? Let’s start the conversation!

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