Our beliefs can influence how we see ourselves, our support systems, and our relationships. Sometimes these beliefs are helpful and supportive (e.g., “I know I am loved” or “I believe I am supported”), and other times our beliefs can cause us to avoid others or cause doubt, fear, and anxiety which may lead to limited opportunities and increased emotional distress. Limiting beliefs may also prevent or discourage personal and professional growth. Whatever limiting beliefs we experience can impact us on various levels as we may have limited beliefs about ourselves, others, and our worldview.
Limiting beliefs can also impact our emotions and behaviors. What we think (limiting belief of being unworthy) may impact our emotions (feel rejection and shame) which can then influence our behaviors (withdraw and isolate from others).
Here are 2 ways to release limiting beliefs:
Journal: Write out what comes up for your when limiting beliefs show up. You can either do a free expression writing practice or you can use the following prompts (you can download the journal handout):
- Identify the limiting belief: what is the limiting belief that you want to process? (e.g., I am not good enough)
- Describe the experience without assigning judgement about being good/bad: what was the event or situation that prompted the limiting belief? (e.g., I was ignored during a meeting when I tried to share an idea)
- Write a self-compassionate statement: choose a compassionate statement that is also forgiving (e.g., I forgive myself for believing that I am not good enough. I am doing my best when I attend meetings.” You can read more about practicing self-compassion with forgiveness and try the forgiveness meditation.
Practice a RAIN meditation: if you find yourself stuck in limiting beliefs or feeling overwhelmed because of limiting beliefs, you can practice a RAIN meditation
- Recognize what is happening (thoughts, feelings, and behaviors)
- Allow the experience to be there, just as it is in the moment. Allow the thoughts and emotions to be there without trying to fix or change it – just allow it to have it’s space.
- Investigate with interest and care. Now that you have recognized what is happening and you allowed the experience to be there, you can deepen your attention through investigation. You may ask yourself: “what am I believing about this experience?” or “How is this feeling within my body?”
- Nurture yourself with self-compassion. You can send comfort to yourself and say a compassionate statement (e.g., “I am doing my best and I can trust myself”)
Let me know if you try one or both of these practices!