How to break free from self-limiting beliefs

Imposter SyndromeAs humans, we have the capacity to self-sabotage. We throw obstacles down and put roadblocks in our way, which stop us from succeeding or achieving what we really want.

However, to ensure we thrive, it’s essential to face our self-sabotaging tendencies and self-limiting beliefs.

Fear is our biggest threat. When we’re not looking, when we’re making good progress and when we start to feel good, fear raises its ugly head and makes its presence known. Fear is what causes us to stop in our tracks. Like a villain in a movie, it wants to take the lead role and prevent you from being the superhero in your own life.

When fear is present, it will manifest into everything you do. Over time it will paralyse you and turn your thoughts against you until they become self-limiting. These self-limiting thoughts will become self-limiting beliefs. Once a seed of a self-limiting belief is planted, it will grow and grow until you can’t see beyond the density of the weeds.

More often than not, the things we fear are far from life and death, yet we still have the tendency to hang back, deliberate, over analyse and over question for no good reason. For example, when you emotionally stretch yourself by taking a potential new step, such as making a life choice, a decision about your career, where you live or your relationship, it will take you out of your comfort zone and place you right in the centre of your fear zone.

Fear is not a place that you should reside for a long time. If we indulge in fear, we will remain scared of making the wrong choices, and will stay in limbo for the rest of our lives. Before you know it, your confidence, self-belief and energy will be depleted and your outlook will become negative or even cynical. All this will affect your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing too. A couple of great techniques to avoid a negative spiral and nip fear and self-limiting beliefs in the bud are outlined below.

Reframing

Reframing is a powerful way of looking at things through fresh eyes. Going beyond the drama, the roles and the words, to see love instead of fear. When you can learn to do this for yourself, you will learn to honour the whole of you, including the parts that have been hidden or locked away. It’s important to remove the fear and write your villain out of the script.

In order to move beyond your self-limiting beliefs and truly reach the potential you’re capable of, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I accept?
  • What do I appreciate?
  • What affection do I need?
  • What do I need to pay attention to?

Write your answers down and say them out loud. Being true to yourself and your feelings can feel like a weight has been lifted. Moving beyond your limiting beliefs and villainous fear is easier said than done because, like any villain, fear does not want to be pushed out of the spotlight; it wants to remain in the leading role. But to save yourself and be the hero in your own story, you need to believe you can do it and invite love in. Like any hero or heroine’s journey – love always conquers fear.

Once this is achieved, and you have reframed how you view the world and yourself, you’ll be able to walk freely towards the horizon, knowing that you don’t need to be fearful any longer. Your story should be full of optimism and infinite possibilities.

Conscious breathing

It’s really important to learn how to breathe consciously. Breathing is something we all do daily. Every cell in our body needs oxygen to function properly, and research has shown that regular practice of controlled breathing can decrease the effects of stress on the body and increase overall physical and mental health. Conscious breathing is essential when trying to quieten the mind as it allows us to connect in the moment with our breath. Inhaling and exhaling gives us a centre point to focus, known as a ‘drishti.’ When focusing attention on our drishti, in this case, the breath, we connect in the moment to what’s happening.

This can help to calm the mind, and after a few minutes of conscious breathing, you begin to find yourself moving from activity into silence. To do this well, you need to practise conscious breathing daily. Once you have mastered this, it is easier to transition into meditation.

Meditation

If you genuinely want to come home to your true self, one of the most important habits that you can form is to learn how to meditate as it allows you to settle into quieter levels of awareness until you experience the pure silence within. It calms your mind, as well as your body and emotions.

Meditation helps you to release accumulated tension, stress, fatigue, and everything that prevents you from experiencing your essential nature – your true self. Over regular practice, you restore the memory of who you really are. In fact, it is one of the most powerful practices for awakening your true self. When in meditation, you go beyond the noisy chatter and chaos into inner quiet and expanded awareness. You begin to see that you are not your thoughts, emotions and the stories you tell yourself. When this happens, you can start to unfold your inner potential.

Meditation allows us to be more effective, more creative, and every time you meditate, you unfold more and more of that potential and connect with who you really are. Instead of being dominated by fear, guilt or judgement, you will find yourself in a quiet, steady state. From this state blossoms a sense of wellbeing and a feeling that you are safe, leaving you to prosper.

About the author

Gillian McMichael is a master transformational coach, meditation teacher, energy healer and founder of Full Circle Global. She is also the author of Coming Home: A Guide to Being Your True Self. In her book, she aims to help readers break free of self-limiting beliefs, the expectations of others, rediscover their passions and pursue becoming the person they really want to be. 

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