The Long List of Limiting Beliefs

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Pro Tip: Take a Peek “Under” Your Emotions!

Say what? Well, if you listened to our latest podcast featuring Julie Bear Don’t Walk, you’ll recall that Julie talked about the signals that our body gives us. It’s all signals. Pain. Emotions. Bloating. Fatigue. Fogginess. We should greet these signals with the C word. (Compassion.) And the other C word (Curiosity.)

These days I tend to get complimented on my “energy,” warmth, and shiny eyes. Recently I came home to my apartment complex to find that someone had parked in my assigned spot. I became instantly furious and enraged. It was so different from my usual state of being that I had to stop for a second and assess.

It’s kinda cool how you can be SO MAD and yet witnessing it all from a level beneath like “Whoa, I haven’t seen rage in YEARS. What is going on here?” In that case I deemed that I must’ve triggered whichever of the 7 “Emotional Systems” tapped into territorial rage (spoiler alert: it’s the RAGE system)…

So here was the primal RAGE system from way down in the bellows of my brain appearing for me in full on freak out mode. I decided that I liked my loving yogi, shiny-eyed self better. I liked her so much better that, even though the leasing office wanted to tow the offensive vehicle I took another lap around and noticed a note tucked under the windshield of a different car. I called the number on the note, and no one answered. The leasing lady had tow trucks in her eyes (the way that cartoons get dollar signs in their eyes). I left a message. Then I left a text. A little while later I got the most apologetic call ever. The woman who accidentally parked in my spot offered to buy Lyft for me. (How would that help? I have no idea. But it was sweet.) I told her not to worry about it, I am sure I accidentally parked in someone’s spot and that she should think no more of it and go on to enjoy her weekend. She was floored by my kindness and expressed as much.

In this case, when I “peeked” under my emotion, I found that I had tripped a tripwire in a very primal circuit. RAGE!!!!! Other times when we look “beneath” an emotion, we may be peeking at a belief. Typically these are called “limiting beliefs,” as they are limiting us from be awesome sauce. The beliefs may be conscious or subconscious. I’ll add a long list of limiting beliefs here (see below).

As you scan through you might be thinking “Nope, no, no, ahhhhhh, a-ha… maybe…” This is one way to find limiting beliefs — read them off and see which ones resonate with you, and then address those. But when you are playing “peek-a-boo” under an emotion, different emotions typically point to different families of beliefs: the beliefs you find under a “dread” rock are likely different than the ones you’ll find under an “angry” rock. Keep that in mind when you play peek-a-boo. There can also be a belief under the belief. For example:

Belief =  I don’t know what I want, What I want is embarrassing, I shouldn’t want what I want, I will be judged

Belief “under” that belief = I am afraid to put myself out there and grow, and saying “I don’t know what I want” lets me play it safe (albeit stagnant and unfulfilled)

Below I have compiled a long list of limiting beliefs. You can see which ones resonate with you. You can listen to the audio, or read through the list (or do both). See which ones spark a little twitch in your gut, a thought of agreement, etc.

So what do you do when you find a limiting belief? Say I realized that my subconscious belief was “I’m not worthy.” In order to see this helper off (yes, “helper” — because all of our beliefs came about because our minds thought they would be helpful to us), I need to adopt a shiny new belief. I need to say it. I need to feel it. I need to try it on for size, and just as a shoe molds to my foot, this belief needs to mold to my soul. Finding evidence against my old lack-based belief and finding evidence that supports my new, healthier belief will help this to stick. And I need to make some moves that are in line with this new belief. And soon I’ll have a better “obvious truth” to tap into. And sometimes the first new belief is along the lines of “I am in the process of believing…” For example “I am in the process of believing that I can find love.” In the end, beliefs are thoughts that we think are true… so much so, that we disconnect from their thoughtiness and slap a sash on them that reads: “Obvious Truth.” And with this sash comes power. We let the belief have power over us… sometimes without knowing. Conside this: Many of our beliefs were formed when we were wee lil tots. Eeek. Now we know that these beliefs formed as lil “helpers” but sheesh, maybe I don’t want beliefs from Jessika’s two-year-old brain running the show up in there, do you know what I’m saying? It’s good to take inventory of these and rewrite some of the programming that we find.

For every “limiting belief” you find, come up with a “counter medicinal shiny belief” (as the awesome Jeff Hsu calls them). 

For example:

“I’m not worthy” => “I’ve been brainwashed into thinking I am not worthy. But this is wrong and I am worthy of love, success, and happiness.”

Side note: When I mentioned to Jeff that I was transitioning out of the wellness 4 humans space and into my endeavor called The Barker Apts, he wrote me:

you are the human embodiment of “Be the person your dogs think you are”!! 🙂

How f*ing great is that belief?

Okay… so the long list… Are you ready?

Long List of Limiting Beliefs:

  • Life isn’t fair
  • You made me do it
  • I’m not ___ enough (talented, good, special, smart, thin, healthy, athletic, etc)
  • I need to struggle to succeed
  • I can’t because I didn’t have ____ (a good role model, a good childhood, enough education, enough time, etc)
  • I’m too shy / not brave
  • I’m not worthy / deserving
  • There’s not enough to go around
  • It’s not safe to change
  • My parents didn’t do enough for me, or provide correctly
  • I’m stuck
  • Nothing ever changes
  • This won’t work out because ___ didn’t work out
  • No one appreciates me
  • Success comes with the cost of losing ___ (my values, my friends, etc)
  • You can’t have it all
  • I won’t be able to become who I desire to be / I’m not capable
  • The success of others diminishes me / my success
  • I don’t have (enough) time
  • I don’t have the right skills or education
  • There’s something wrong with me
  • I don’t belong
  • I don’t have the power / I’m powerless
  • I need to do ___ to be worthy / loved
  • I’m not good at ___
  • I’ll always have to struggle
  • The shoe will drop
  • I don’t matter / I’m not special or unique
  • I can’t/won’t ask for help
  • No one would want to help me
  • You’re lazy if you’re not going hard at work
  • Work is supposed to be something you hate
  • Working at a place I hate shows my family how much I love them / what a good supporter I am
  • It’s my parents’ fault
  • Everybody hates or dislikes me
  • I am not seen / heard / cared about
  • You have to suffer / struggle to get ahead
  • You have to pay your dues
  • The way I ___ is the way other people need to ___ (paid my dues, got hazed, overworked, etc)
  • Money doesn’t grow on trees
  • I can’t afford it
  • I need __ before I can ___
  • I won’t be good enough
  • I’ll fail
  • I can’t stop eating
  • I can’t stop myself
  • I can’t trust myself
  • Success is for others, not for me
  • It is not possible for me to heal
  • I don’t deserve to heal
  • I have this affliction/etc because I deserve it
  • I’m not a good ____ (business woman, etc)
  • I’m not cut out to be a ___ (dad, businessman, etc)

I hope you find this post helpful. This writing is geared at self-betterment… self-development… personal development. What I find interesting is that in the business world, you will also be taught to heed “assumed constraints.”

“An assumed constraint is a belief you have, based on past experience, that limits your current and future experiences.” – Ken Blanchard

I mention this because you may feel comfortable talking to your friends about “limiting beliefs” and helping them to uncover their own. However, it may feel weird to talk about this in the workplace. Hence, you bring up Blanchard’s book Self Leadership and the One Minute Manager: Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Self Leadership, and strike a conversation about assumed constraints.

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