Each day, depending on the study you look at, 70%-80% of our thoughts are negative, and 95% are on repeat every day.
Among these negative thoughts are limiting beliefs — ideas that we hold that constrain us in some way. By literally just holding these thoughts, we do not say, think or do whatever they inhibit.
Some examples might include “I don’t have enough time to do XYZ”, “I am not good enough to do XYZ”, or “I won’t ever be a great leader because of XYZ”.
Most of the time, these limiting beliefs stem from our brain’s desire to protect ourselves from pain in the future, usually based on our experiences in the past. These beliefs are likely triggered by fear, imposter syndrome, and past experiences.
The challenge is, when we draw up memories from our past, our brain has to rebuild the neural pathways for each memory, so oftentimes that leaves us open to mistakes as our brain rebuilds it. Couple that with 70%-80% of our thoughts being negative, and you can quickly get the idea that we often don’t rebuild the best case scenario, or even the facts about a situation.
The truth is that we create our own reality based on our mindset.
It’s true, our mindset sets the bar for all of our thoughts and behaviors.
So how can you shift that mindset to become more positive, allowing you to break free from your limiting beliefs??
1. Write your limiting beliefs down
The first step to overcoming the beliefs that are holding you back is to identify them. Most of the time, these ideas are presented within your head rather than spoken aloud.
Putting these thoughts down on paper can help you sort out fact from fiction, and allow you to leave your negative thoughts behind.
2. Assess the accuracy of your beliefs
If identifying and letting go of your negative thoughts is not enough, it can be helpful to work through the process of identifying the root cause of your beliefs — are they coming from a place of accuracy or falsehood?
Getting to the bottom of this will help you to see what your beliefs really are. The next time a limiting belief presents itself, take a moment to analyze it. Evaluate it to see if it is limiting, and whether or not it can be backed up with concrete evidence because the reality is that the majority of these thoughts are coming from past experiences of a fear of the unknown.
3. Reframe your thoughts into positive ones
When negative thoughts or feelings come up throughout the day, use it as an opportunity to shift your mindset! Re-frame your thoughts into more positive ones that encourage growth and upward movement. Eventually, this will train your brain to think of challenges in a positive way!
Examples of reframing include:
4. Don’t give up
When these limiting beliefs and feelings of self-doubt creep in, don’t give up.
Do your best to overcome them through shifting your mindset, pouring energy back into yourself. Letting these beliefs go and working through them will allow you to be your best self, which is the best gift that you can give to the world.
So, the next time that you are struck with these limiting beliefs, do your best to shift your mindset and overcome them through acceptance, analyzing, reframing and perseverance. These tools will help you break free from your limiting beliefs and achieve your peak potential!!
Brenda Lee is a Leadership Development and Team Building expert to some of the world’s most exciting entrepreneurs and professionals who have all the trappings of success but have hit a barrier they are ready to breakthrough.