Self-limiting Beliefs: You Don't Have Them

The past 30 years I have been of the opinion that I have self-limiting beliefs. These are beliefs that hold you back, restrict you or stop you from fulfilling some potential or another. They are beliefs that you have about yourself. I spent a long time avoiding trying to find them because I thought it was just too hard or impossible. Then I started looking for them. In the past two or three weeks I have discovered that I have no self-limiting beliefs. But this is rather pompous sounding. What I really mean to say is that self-limiting beliefs is the wrong way to look at it.

Let me explain.

What is a Belief?

When I was in Junior high school I was coerced into going to church every Sunday by my mother. In fact this has been going on for years. She really wanted us all to go to church and be good church-goers. We were all baptised but part of the process is something you call confirmation. That's when you at the age of 12 or 13 or 14, confirm that you want to be a member of the church. Part of that is training every Saturday or Sunday. And we had to learn the creed. In particular the Nicene Creed if I remember correctly. I had to memorise it. That became my idea of what a belief is. It is a statement of positive nature. It states what you believe. As a result of this I felt that a belief is something in my mind that was limiting me. I felt this belief was rather like the Creed beliefs that I had read for church. It was tucked away under some cranny or rock in my mind. If I pulled it out and read it I would recognize it immediately as a self-limiting belief. But it was hidden. It was hiding there acting on me stopping me from fulfilling my potential.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago.

I had a problem with my business. I needed to write better content to attract customers. A business associate pointed me in the right direction, towards two other business associates. One of them was a fellow that I didn't have a lot of respect for. I can't put my finger on it. I can't say this is what caused my feelings towards him but at any rate I didn't have much respect for him and my closed mindedness prevented me from seeing his good features. Of course I could see his good qualities intellectually, objectively, but a deep level I didn't respect him or his abilities. Cut to the chase: he had been presenting really good content on his website that was attracting traffic far more successfully than mine. I decided it was time to reevaluate my opinion of him, my thoughts and my feelings towards him.

The past 3 years of experience with the sweeping breath and checking the feelings of my life has given me the skills necessary for this. I was able to revisit all my experiences with him. Well I couldn’t remember the interactions in a detailed way but I could revisit all my feelings towards him in a quite deep way. By revisiting and re-experiencing those feelings and( you could say reliving them and) bringing them to fore, I was able to accept them. Then those feelings seemed to dissolve. I was able to reevaluate him and see him in a fresh light. I was able to overcome my negative opinions. Then I looked at his blogs and I could see more. I talked with another colleague and I could see even more. Now I have a newfound respect for him.

But Where?

But where are the self-limiting beliefs?

In a sense, that's my point. There is no belief like a Creed hidden in your mind saying “I don't…” or “I can't…” or “I can never…” or “I won't…”. There are however feelings that you have towards people in situations. Those feelings limit you. They limit your actions and behaviour. It was my own closed-mindedness, combined with my arrogance that caused me to pursue what I thought was best although now that the experiment is over I can see that my ideas were wrong.

Big Win

This is not a failure. This is a tremendous win for me. I was able to hit two birds with one stone. My idea was wrong about the blogs and my idea was wrong about him and I was able to - on the third strike - clean those ideas and move beyond them. This was done by refilling those feelings combined with an EMDA-like sweeping of my head and a yoga-like breathing which could help reset all my feelings. I call this my sweeping breath and it has been slowly changing my life. Actually, I am considering calling it a scanning breath because that is sort of what it is like. It is like scanning my body for the feelings, like a hunter scans the horizon for prey.

The Point Is

So the point is we don't have limiting beliefs. We only have feelings. We have feelings that can help us, and feelings that can hold us back. For years and years I was looking for the wrong thing. Now I understand how feelings work and how they can limit me. I understand how to work with the feelings in a non-confrontational way. I understand how to get those feelings to move on their own way without instilling resistance and making the feelings stronger.

And I owe it all to my business colleagues.