“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” – Stephen King
Can you imagine what it would feel like to have no fear? To really feel that you can do anything or be anyone you strive to be? When we watch people accomplish the seemingly impossible, we find ourselves in a state of awe and confusion. We ask ourselves, “How did they have the resolve to do that?” Knowing what I know now, I am not surprised at anyone accomplishing ‘impossible’ tasks. In fact, the impossible is within reach for every one of us. We, too, can have deeply satisfying relationships. We can start a business, We can even climb Mount Everest if we want to. We can achieve anything if we use mindfulness to liberate ourselves from limiting beliefs.
See, the difference between fearless people and the rest of us is that they are liberated from a previously held limiting beliefs. A limiting belief system can develop over the span of a lifetime, or it can happen in an instant in response to a perceived failure or traumatic event. Somehow, we are taught through negative life experiences, parents, friends, or society at large that we have certain limitations that we cannot break through. For example, someone may be encouraged to care for others over and above themselves. A limiting belief might develop that it is wrong to prioritize their own goals and desires. This limits their own dreams of what they can accomplish for themselves and instead, they focus on helping others to achieve their own. Another person may be encouraged not to cry or be emotional. This individual may develop a limiting belief that emotions are scary, thus limiting the emotional depth and connection they can develop with other people. The possibilities for limiting beliefs are endless and vary from person to person based on individual experiences, but the united factor among them is that they prevent us from achieving everything we desire.
Limiting belief systems are hard to identify because it feels like a natural extension of ourselves. They present themselves as unquestionable truths and become a welcomed guest in our thought processes. However, we can identify them with using a consistent practice of mindfulness. Using mindfulness, we turn off the ‘automatic mode’ of our minds and become increasingly aware of every thought, belief, and emotional sensation that arises for us. This level of mindfulness brings awareness to ways we are limiting ourselves.
Let’s return to the individual that is encouraged to care for others over and above themselves. With consistent mindfulness practice, she may start to recognize that she feels guilty and experiences negative self-talk when she attempts to follow her own goals or when she engages in self-care. Over time, this would present as a pattern for her, and she could finally recognize this as a limiting belief. With commitment to the process, she can challenge and reduce the presence of the limiting belief with mindful awareness and thus, free herself to focus on her own goals and desires.
Here is a breakdown on how to use mindfulness to liberate yourself from limiting beliefs:
- Adopt a consistent practice of mindfulness.
- With mindfulness, switch your mind from ‘automatic mode’ to full awareness of thoughts, feelings, sensations and desires.
- Look and listen deeply to your mind and soul. Look for themes that arise in varying situations.
- Identify thoughts and sensations that are potentially limiting. Is there repetition or a pattern?
- When a pattern is identified, challenge it. Identify it as an illusion whose only existence occurs in your own mind.
- When a limiting belief occurs in your day to day life, acknowledge it and make a conscious effort to bring yourself fully to the here and now. In the present moment, the limiting belief has no power over you.
Mindfulness is not only the pathway to peace in the here and now, it is also an avenue to identify shackles of past limiting beliefs you are subscribing to. With consistency and effort, you can find what limits you in any way, to liberate yourself and achieve the seemingly impossible. Using mindfulness this way, we are able to realize true inner peace and satisfaction.
Author Bio – Diane Webb is a transpersonal psychotherapist and seeks to heal the mind, body, and spirit in treatment. Diane Webb specializes in trauma and provides individual and group counselling for trauma survivors in her private practice in upstate New York. To learn more about Diane Webb and her services please follow her on Twitter or on Facebook at Diane Webb LMHC.