In the last issue, we discussed Self-Fate and how, because we make choices based on past experiences, we do not control our future. Until we learn to recognize those events or perceptions that have a negative impact on our choices and choose to live “in the now,” we cannot change the direction of our future.We need to learn to make conscious choices, based on the present moment, without allowing the emotional “baggage” we carry to influence us.
Think of that “baggage” as being packed in four kinds of suitcases. These are the “Big 4” energy blocks that we haul around with us. We allow them to dictate how we see the world and hold us back from reaching our unlimited potential.
Suitcase #1 contains your limiting beliefs. Beliefs can either support you or hinder you; limiting beliefs are those that hold you back from success. If you do not believe something is possible, you’re not likely to attempt it … and, even if you do decide to give it a try, you won’t devote much energy to achieving that goal.
Limiting beliefs are general attitudes about the world, your environment and situation, and the people around you. More often than not, you accept a limiting belief as true because you’ve learned it from someone else – a parent, a friend, or from a perceived “authority,” such as a teacher, the media, a book, or a movie. You assume that it’s “just the way it is.”
Here is a classic example of a limiting belief:Prior to 1954, it was commonly held that running a mile in under four minutes was impossible. Moreover, physiologists believed it was extremely dangerous even to attempt it. Yet on May 6 of that year, Roger Bannister of England crossed the finish line in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds, thereby disproving the myth forever.
It’s remarkable that Bannister accomplished his feat. It required that he completely ignore the prevailing, limiting belief and construct an entirely different reality for himself. What others saw as a limitation, he perceived as opportunity. Soon after he disproved the presumed limits of the human body, Australian runner, John Landy, broke Bannister’s record with a mile dash of 3 minutes and 57.9 seconds. And, within just a few years, dozens of runners were leaving the four-minute mark in the dust.
Here are a couple of common limiting beliefs that hold many of us back. Do any sound familiar? "You have to work really hard to achieve success." "Successful people are lucky." "You have to have money to make money."
There are several ways to challenge limiting beliefs. You can explore the effect the belief has had on your life, look for proof of its truth (or lack of it), and then modify the belief, or aspects of it, to better serve you. Simply asking questions such as “How true do I believe that is?” and the rhetorical “Where did I get that idea?” can also work remarkably well. Once you overcome limiting beliefs, they can no longer hold you back.
This month, think about examining the contents of your limiting beliefs suitcase. Unpack it, and see how much lighter you feel.
In the next issue, we’ll continue with the next of the Big 4, the assumptions we make.
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