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You’re a smart, capable person. You’d never want to limit yourself, right? You wouldn’t self-impose limits on your happiness, success, or fulfillment, right?
Of course not.
And yet, people do this all the time! Intelligent, driven, on-top-of it people. (Maybe even you!)
The official term for this is self-limiting beliefs and most of us have them. What do self-limiting beliefs sound like?
“That’s not for people like me.”
“Must be nice to be that lucky. Stuff like that never happens to me.”
“It’s great that my friend got _______________. I can’t get _____________ because _____________.”
“I know that works for other people, but it wouldn’t work for me because _______________.”
Has one of those self-limiting beliefs ever ran through your head? Often, our limiting beliefs aren’t even conscious; they’re the background chatter we don’t even notice. But if you tuned into those little whispers, you’d probably hear something along those lines.
How do you stop self-limiting beliefs?
Two ways: 1. Visualize changing your inner dialogue2. Use The Law of Attraction
How to stop self-limiting beliefs
Start by visualizing your thoughts as an old-school cassette tape. There, on black plastic, are all the thoughts you have - “I could never make money doing __________,” “I’m not good enough for _____________,” “I know they did it, but there’s no way I could do it.”
Next time you hear a limiting belief playing on that internal tape deck, imagine yourself stopping the stereo, removing the tape, flipping it over, and putting it back in. The same way you skipped that song you didn’t like on your Smashing Pumpkins tape, you can skip the limiting narrative that doesn’t serve you.
Just to reiterate: silencing self-limiting beliefs starts with noticing them and making an active decision to stop them before they play out.
How to use The Law of Attraction to end self-limiting beliefs
Once you start flipping the tape on your self-limiting beliefs, you can begin to reframe them. You can start to use The Law of Attraction to see all the ways your wishes can come true.
Instead of watching your friend get a book deal and thinking, “I’m so happy for her! Something like that would never happen to me,” you’ll see her success as evidence that book deals are possible.
When you begin to focus on what’s possible, you’ll be amazed by the little clues that appear in your life. When you allow yourself to want + believe that you can get a book deal, you’re more likely to notice Instagram posts about your favorite blogger getting signed to Chronicle. You’ll notice a newspaper article about your favorite novel being turned into a movie. You’ll happen upon a super helpful blog post about how to find the right literary agent.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re fixated on something, it starts to appear in your life? Let’s say you’re interested in a new car. You’ve got your eye on a certain make and model, and suddenly you see this car everywhere! What you focus on starts to become the narrative of your life.
What I’m describing - these ‘coincidental’ encounters with things that support your goal or wish - is the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction—which is a law, like the Law of Gravity—states that whatever we focus on, we attract.
So if you find yourself focused on the negative - like the idea that you can never get on top of things - that feeling, that reality, shows up over and over again.
This is the principle behind vision boards; it’s the principle behind positive affirmations. It’s the idea behind Wishbeads!
When you train your mind to stay positive, you start to see positive people, activities, and coincidences in front of you. It’s an active choice; a muscle you can develop. Without exaggeration, this can change your life.
Here’s an example from my own life:
For years, I struggled with the self-limiting belief that I didn’t have enough time to do everything I wanted to do.
Between my businesses, motherhood, my husband, my friends, there are a million things going on at any given time! For ages, I embraced the narrative “I do not have enough time to accomplish everything.”
And because I felt that way, when I tried to complete one of the many tasks I had on my plate, I had a low grade anxiety that I wouldn’t be able to finish it … which zapped my energy and focus.
When I became aware of that limiting thought, I made a choice to change it. I said to myself, “I’ve got all the time in the world.” Now even if I didn’t believe that at the moment, I still said it, because that statement calmed me down.
My energy changed, my breath changed, my focus changed. I felt hopeful and optimistic, which made me more productive.
When you understand how your thoughts affect your reality, you can take a moment to pause that narrative and change it. You can flip the tape. You can re-write the song to one you like better!
So I invite you to think of one limiting idea that has been draining you. Write that negative statement down and then find an opposite, positive statement.
And even if you don’t believe it right now, make that your new way of being. Make that what you focus on instead. And see how that changes the way you feel.
If you change your feelings, you can change your actions. You can change what you attract. You can change your story, which will change your life.
A few weeks ago, I witnessed my grandmother take her last breath. She held on, remarkably, until her youngest daughter arrived, defying medical explanation given the weakness of her vital organs. It was her last selfless act as a mother. She left on her terms, after 99 years of grace, wit, charm and a healthy dose of sarcasm.
At the funeral, the celebrant referenced a poem entitled “The Dash”, which referred to the small horizontal line between the year of one’s birth and the year of one’s death.
Everything in my life is timed via the cosmos. I’ve been doing this ever since I discovered astrology, back at the tender age of 15. At that time, I was simply trying to understand who I was.
Over time, I began to see that I was part of the Universe and when I learned to work with the energy, my life became magical. Instead of swimming upstream, I moved with the flow. Sometimes that meant taking bold action. Other times, I needed to sit still and wait.