How to free yourself from limiting beliefs?
What is an unconscious belief?
An unconscious belief is a thought that is embedded in the unconscious mind.
It is a pattern that controls us, a program that influences our behavior and thoughts.
Example: David has the belief that life is good. He will unconsciously attract situations where life is good.
It is estimated that 95% of our life is controlled by our unconscious beliefs.
This is why children born in wealthy families find it easier to earn money as adults: they have integrated their parents’ beliefs, the right reflexes to succeed financially.
Where do unconscious beliefs come from?
Most of these beliefs are acquired during childhood, particularly before the age of 7.
A majority of the beliefs are copied from the adults around the child:
The unconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between a good and a bad program, it copies without questioning.
Other unconscious thoughts come from our own experience.
Example: Anna falls off the swing. To protect herself, she records the belief “Get an overview is dangerous”.
We also inherit certain beliefs from our parents at birth.
What is a limiting belief?
An unconscious belief that limits us and prevents us from being ourselves is called a limiting belief.
Example: Patrick inherited the belief from his father that you have to work hard to succeed. All his life, he works hard to succeed.
Unconscious limiting programs affect all areas of our lives.
Example: Jane believes that you have to smile to be liked. Her unconscious mind runs with this program in the background. She will often smile, even in uncomfortable situations.
Even beliefs that could be described as positive can be limiting.
Example: Kevin has the unconscious belief that he needs love. One might think that it is better to need love than the opposite, so it is not limiting. However, Kevin’s unconscious will constantly make him look for situations where he needs love.
When the conscious and the unconscious minds have opposing beliefs, it is called self-sabotage.
Example: Mary is convinced that she will get married and be happy. However, following the divorce of her parents at the age of 6, her unconscious mind believes that marriage leads to failure. There is a strong probability that her future marriage will be a failure.
Between a conscious will and an unconscious belief, the unconscious often has the last word.
This is why we often repeat the same habits without being able to change them.
Phobias are limiting beliefs linked to emotions, set up by our unconscious mind to protect us.
Example: Martin almost drowned when he was 2 years old. His subconscious concluded that water was a danger. Since then he has had a phobia of the sea.
How to remove a limiting belief?
There are several options for freeing oneself from one’s beliefs:
- Getting out of your comfort zone.
However, these techniques are not easy.
Example: Paul always wants to have the last word. He unconsciously resonates with “I must be right” because at the age of 8 his father made fun of him for being wrong. Since he became aware of this, Paul has forced himself to listen to others and not to impose his opinion. Thanks to his repeated intentions, he is making some progress, but his old tendencies remain.
There is a much simpler way to break free from a limiting belief: understand the underlying emotion.
Example: When his dad made fun of him, Paul felt sad. By understanding and releasing this sadness, the limiting belief of always being right automatically dissipates itself within a few weeks.
To understand how emotions work, you can read the article How to deal with your emotions?
Human beings are structured during childhood on their limiting beliefs.
It is a question of survival: they allow us to know what behaviour to adopt automatically.
However, in adulthood, many unconscious beliefs become limiting.
The best way to free oneself from them is to do emotional work on oneself.