This question came from one of our readers, and I think it is a really significant question to be asking. Limiting beliefs are often hidden from our view, so how are you supposed to do something about them if you don’t know what they are and how to find them.
Before you go looking for your limiting beliefs, let’s consider why they exist in the first place. In order to experience life on earth, we have to do so within limits. Without limits, you wouldn’t know if you are a human or a tree. There are great mystical experiences in which you can transcend those limits, remembering that we are one with everything. While those mystical moments are wonderful, so are the experiences of our limits.
Limits create definition so that we can interact with each other. That can be great fun. For example it feels really good to kiss someone. It can also be painful. It can really hurt when you bump into someone. Limits in and of themselves aren’t good or bad. They are simply necessary for experiencing life on earth. In fact, limits can help you to feel safe and that is how many limits are created.
For example, when you were a child you were probably taught that when you cross major intersections on foot, you should do so with the lights. That limit was set so that you would be safe, and it is probably ingrained in your conscious and subconscious mind.
Now let’s say that your daughter or granddaughter just ran out into the street against traffic. I would bet that you aren’t going to think very hard about whether or not you should run out into the street to get her. You might run out to get her without stopping, looking for cars, or even thinking about it. You might very well break through your own limit of restraint and cross against the lights in order to protect her.
However, except in an emergency, you might find that your conditioning to cross with the lights is so strong that you have to consciously break that childhood limit. Let’s say the street is blocked off so you can cross at any time, with or against the lights. You might find it challenging to “break the law that is in your mind.”
When we get stuck because of a limit, some part of us knows we are going to have to go against what may have been keeping us safe in some way. Now the limit creates more danger than safety and we have to recondition ourselves. There can be a lot of internal resistance to that new conditioning, so a part of our subconscious mind keeps the belief hidden.
If you really want to get to those limiting beliefs to set them free, here are some of my suggestions:
1) Know that the limits were once set for a reason and it may have been a very good one—even a way to protect you;
2) Be willing to dive into your subconscious realms where those beliefs live;
3) Be willing to acknowledge that the belief might still serve you in the right time and places; and
4) Know that changing old beliefs requires risk, and consider if you are willing to give new (reframed) beliefs a real chance.
In my book, The Root of All Healing, I talk about some different ways to help you get to your deepest beliefs, feelings and truths—where those limits live. If you don’t have a copy, you can get one here.
I recommend reading Chapter One where you learn how to become a deeper observer of your own life. You’ll discover how to look at your reactions from a broader perspective. You’ll also read some stories about how quieting your mind can help you uncover your subconscious motivators and limiting beliefs.
In Chapter Three, we explore creativity. Creative activity helps your subconscious perspectives rise to the surface where they can be noticed and interpreted in terms of your life, motivators and choices.
Chapter Five focuses on getting to those deeper truths by learning how to ask questions that will get you there. I especially recommend pages 78-79, where I specifically address limiting beliefs and the problems with over-riding them rather than address them.
In Chapter Four on pages 48-50 I share a personal story in which I used my feelings as a doorway to greater self-understanding. Like me, your feelings are doorways to your subconscious mind and deserve your respect in your healing process.
In Chapter Two on page 24-25, I talk about how trance states can play a significant role in helping you accept new beliefs about your healing. What I don’t mention in the book that is also true is that trance states can also help you get to what you really believe and recognize the limits that may be causing you harm now.
In addition to the book, I recommend downloading a copy of my free report: Beating the Odds: 10 Beliefs That Can Short-Circuit Your Healing. Something there just might trigger an insight for you.
You can bring your limiting beliefs into view. If you are willing to meet them with your compassion and understanding, they are more likely to rise to the surface of your consciousness and allow you to reframe them in ways that will be more helpful to you in your self-healing journey.