They hold us back and keep us stuck where we are repeating the same habits over and over.
This is powerful subject and must be addressed in any fitness or wellness program.
Limiting beliefs are subconscious thoughts and beliefs that can have a major impact on your life, and even hold you back from reaching your dreams!
And the saddest thing about this is you might not even know you have limiting beliefs … or that they are getting in your way.
Over that past 20+ years as a personal trainer and during the almost 10 years running my boot camp program programs, I've seen clients struggle constantly with limiting beliefs. Heck, I’ve battled them myself. I don’t think anybody grows up without at least a few of them.
A limiting belief is basically a subconscious thought that frames how you see the world.
Have you ever caught yourself thinking things like:
I never follow through, I’m not good enough, I could never do that, I always procrastinate, I don’t know enough, I’m not motivated enough, I’m too shy, I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t deserve it … and the list goes ON AND ON!
These are all forms of limiting beliefs.
In many cases, we end up with these beliefs because when we were kids, our parents, teachers or loved ones wanted to keep us safe.
But children are smart, and sometimes their active minds can internalize a warning about a real danger as a flaw within themselves.
They can think they aren’t worthy of something, or not capable of achieving certain goals.
On a very basic level, a common-sense warning like, “Don’t play in the street,” can become, “The world is dangerous and I could get hurt if I go too far from home.”
And in time, you might cut back on your adventurousness … and then it just becomes a fact of your life.
Here are some more examples.
If you heard, “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” it could make you think you’re not worthy of abundance … or capable of earning a substantial income. So why even try?
If you struggled with learning new skills, or had older brothers or sisters who liked to tease you when you tried new things, you might believe you aren’t “coordinated.” So you avoid anything new that makes you feel that way.
Now, these examples are not to cast blame at ALL. Like I said, we all have limiting beliefs. Every single one of us!
But as an adult, it’s up to us to shed them. You definitely owe that to yourself! And you totally can do it.
Here’s one way to look at limiting beliefs that puts them in perspective, and can help you shut them down.
Have you ever been using your computer, and noticed it’s getting really slow and bogged down … and it makes it hard to get anything done? So frustrating!!!
But then you realize you’ve got way too many browser tabs or programs open, you haven’t restarted your computer in a while, and you haven’t updated those apps you’ve been meaning to update.
Think of your mind as the computer, and your limiting beliefs are the things bogging you down and holding you back. It’s kind of the same idea!
It’s time to reboot your thinking to shut down those limiting thoughts that are robbing you from reaching your potential!
Now … the trickiest part is recognizing what your limiting beliefs are, especially if they are deeply ingrained.
You could be accepting them as basic facts of life. (most people do)
You could believe you aren’t athletic, or aren’t attractive, or aren’t loveable. You might believe you aren’t smart, or aren’t talented, that you never finish anything, that you can’t remember anyone’s name, don’t have any willpower, and the list goes on and on.
And the truth is, you might have even spent YEARS proving those facts to yourself, just because it’s something you started to believe many years ago, when you were young.
I’m guessing that right now, you can think of at least one limiting belief you have.
I encourage you to spend a little time reflecting on what these may be for YOU.
Once you’ve identified the biggest limiting belief holding you back, it’s time to get to work to shut it down!
First of all, every time you feel yourself slipping into that thought pattern, stop yourself. That’s an old program you don’t need any more. It’s time to delete it.
But it’s important to acknowledge the thought, recognize it as false, and move on. You can even laugh about it if you want.
Like, Ha! Caught you! This totally takes away its power.
Author and self-development expert Jack Canfield recommends that you come up with a turnaround phrase that’s the opposite of your limiting belief … and you repeat it regularly.
For example, if you think, “I can’t do anything right, so why even try?” …
…. instead, you could list for yourself all of the things you actually HAVE done right, and the successes you’ve achieved.
But the most important thing is actually recognizing those beliefs in the first place, because that will help you start to take away their power over you!
I hope this helps you start to think about your limiting beliefs, and overcoming them! They can play such a huge role in your wellness & fitness … and in the quality of your life!
Just a quick note, I’ve got if you need a wellness program and accountability to stick with it, I have a few spots open in my Online Personal Training program. Check out the details and apply here!