limiting beliefs

Is What You Believe About Yourself True?

Everyone has a recurring thought… or two… or thousands.  Similar thoughts bind together after being laid one on top of the other over the years to form a strong belief system.  The incredible thing about belief systems is that they serve as a map to interpret the world around us, including our place in the world, and have the incredible power to shape our decisions in life.  The power of a strongly held belief has exponential implications for the life of an individual and a community. Take Vera for example.  She is in her late twenties and has come to believe that… “I’m just not that smart.”  Why does she believe this?  Why does she choose to see herself this way?  If you asked her she would tell you that it’s mere fact.  She never excelled in academics and was always in the middle to lower end of her class in terms of performance.  She would tell you that there are certain books she just shouldn’t waste her time reading because there are some concepts that are ‘beyond’ her scope.  With this belief entrenched in Vera’s mind, emotions and body, she limits her potential career opportunities, relationship dynamics, and possibility for growth in almost every area of her life.  Exponential implications.

But if you press the question ‘why do you believe this’, there are all sorts of alternative possibilities to the opinion that she holds to so firmly.

Is it possible that Vera had an incredibly negative experience with an educator at an early age and always associated emotionally negative feelings with school, in turn tainting her desire to study or learn in that environment?  Is it possible that one or both of her parents sent her the message that ‘no one in our family is all that smart and that’s just fine with us because no one likes a know-it-all.’  Could it be that different people learn and grow intellectually in various ways and the particular methods in which Vera is challenged intellectually were never afforded her along her educational path?  Is it possible that the structure of western education is so focused on conformity to specific methods of education that often those who don’t conform as well to these methods are improperly labeled or mistakenly diagnosed with a disability?  How many times would a young, impressionable mind have to be told this by an authority figure before they owned it as truth?

There are so many variations of these restricting views of ourselves that we tend to accept as fact, when in all likelihood, they are just opinions formed over time.  Thoughts that we bought into enough times that they grew into a belief system, which we now whole-heartedly subscribe to.

I’m no good at math.

I can’t write to save my life.

I just can’t stop myself from eating.

I am not very coordinated.

My brother is the creative one.

I’m incapable of getting organized.

I can’t follow through on things.

I don’t have what it takes.

I’m not a good communicator.

I’m terrible at relationships and always will be.

Today I just want to call to your attention that there may be some beliefs you hold as truth about yourself and they are limiting you.  Further, these beliefs aren’t based on reality, but are based on the collection of some data you’ve incorrectly extrapolated from some recurring experiences in your past.  I would like you to list 3 beliefs you’ve held onto for almost as long as you can remember that you know limit you.  And ask this question about each of of the beliefs you’ve listed… “Is it possible that it isn’t true?”

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____________________________________________________________________________ "Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives."

"What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are." - Anthony Robbins

"Truth lives, in fact, for the most part on a credit system. Our thoughts and beliefs pass, so long as nothing challenges them, just as bank-notes pass so long as nobody refuses them." - William James

“Never limit your view of life by any past experience” - Ernest Holmes

One Day Self-Love Challenge

Yes, I do believe that one of the single most effective and powerful things we can do to participate in the Divine’s transformation of our own lives is to learn to love ourselves more.  Time and time again, as I work with people, when we get to the core of the problem, be it limiting belief, addiction, etc., it is a lack of self-love.  The thing that’s behind the thing that’s behind the thing is that they have placed a very low value on their life and don’t believe they deserve to be happy.    It is the most messed up thing of all and most people are barely aware of it. I genuinely think people want to be happy.  Yet deep down in places they haven’t explored often, they don’t believe they deserve to be happy or are worth it.  It’s the most devious trick in humanity.  Somewhere in our life we were told that we aren’t worth it.  We either were treated that way by those who were supposed to love and protect us when we were young and vulnerable, or because of decisions we made in the past, mistakes, we buy into the lie that we don’t have value and we aren’t worth being loved.  And yet we can spend our whole lives trying to prove that we are worth being loved and go to incredible lengths to try to show everyone that we are of value.

But you don’t have to prove anything.  Let me say it again.  You have nothing to prove.  The fact that God created you is enough.  That oxygen flows in and out of your lungs, bringing life to your blood cells, is enough.  What if instead of constantly trying to prove ourselves to ourselves and everyone around us, we just acknowledged that because we are alive and loved by the Divine, that we are enough.

Tomorrow is the one day self-love challenge.  Now if you just read that sentence and rolled your eyes a little, I understand.  I used to respond in the same manner.  And then I realized that being a control freak and a perfectionist, and being harder on myself than anyone else hadn’t really gotten me the things in life I want… peace, happiness, self-control, etc.  Has the way you’ve been living your life taken you to the heights of your dreams?  So why not take one day and commit to loving yourself?  Why not take one day to be completely and utterly gracious with yourself?  Why not take one day and instead of criticizing yourself for making a mistake, simply affirm that you love yourself anyways, just the way you are?  Here are a few places to start...

1.  Make the commitment to love yourself for 1 day:  Make the commitment and choose love for yourself.  Do it now.  If love is the greatest gift we have to give, what could be possibly wrong with loving yourself for one day in all your thoughts and actions?  Go ahead and literally write it out right now or type it in an email to yourself or send it as a text to yourself.  "Tomorrow I will commit my entire day to practicing self love."

2.  Affirm yourself verbally throughout the day:  Think of the most loving thing you could say to yourself, and repeat regularly throughout the day.  Get up and repeat it OUT LOUD to yourself first thing.  Write it on a post it note and stick it on your bathroom mirror before you go to bed tonight.  If you are having trouble coming up with something loving to say to yourself, try starting here.

3.  Forgive yourself immediately after any intentional or unintentional mistake:  So you just screwed up and maybe no one else knows it, but you do.  Immediately forgive yourself.  If it helps, you can allow yourself to feel your remorse and then say... "I totally and completely forgive myself for ____________________ and I release myself of all my anger and all my disappointment."  Try it.  Forgiveness is incredibly powerful and it is the one of the most freeing things to experience.  In fact, maybe you want to start your day by forgiving yourself for everything you've done that you have yet to forgive yourself for.

4.  Give yourself a gift:  Choose one thing to do for yourself that you know brings you life and you know cares for your soul and heart.  Maybe you love going for a run but haven't had time lately.  Maybe there is a good book you just haven't allowed yourself to read lately because you haven't had time.  Read it.  Maybe there is a friend that always brings you life that you haven't spent time with or talk to lately.  Ask them to hang out or simply call them and just talk.

Taking the one day self-love challenge is a gift that you can give to yourself with no strings attached.  It's only one day.  How bad could it possibly be?  A better question and motivation is, how incredible might it be?  What if you discover some things about yourself?  Wouldn't it be worth it?

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me via the website and I will be glad to get back to you before you wake up tomorrow.  What do you say?  ARE YOU WORTH IT?


“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”  - C.G. Jung

"Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion. "- Margo Anand

"Well-ordered self-love is right and natural." - Thomas Aquinas

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When 'They' won't Love you Back

Recently I was helping a client work through some limiting beliefs and behavior. He did not realize that his beliefs were limiting him, but it couldn’t be more obvious to the intentional observer. He was explaining to me about a woman whom he is friends with but he wanted more from the relationship. His world revolved around her acceptance and response to him. His days become judged by whether or not she paid the kind of attention to him that he desired. He had confessed his love to her several times over. Every time he did, she would respond by telling him that while she appreciates his friendship, she didn’t have those same feelings of romantic love towards him. Time and time again he would try to win her over and time and time again she would turn him down. According to him, she couldn’t be clearer about not wanting a deeper romantic relationship. She was not leading him on.

And yet one of the reasons he came to me was to ask me to help him figure out a way to win her over. Interestingly enough, that’s not what I do. I help people recognize their own limiting beliefs and behavior patterns, and help them break those limits and choose healthier and more loving beliefs and behaviors. Anyway, he wanted to be with her more than anything and this pointed to one of his biggest limiting beliefs… “My value comes from other people’s acceptance and love.” So I asked him, “why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you?” Without a thought he responded immediately, “because I love her.” So I asked him again, “but why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you? And this time, for the sake of argument, you can’t respond that you love her.” Silence. Through a couple simple exercises we quickly got to the core problem. He had determined that he was not going to be valued unless a woman that he desired ascribed a value to him. It was that simple.

This brings us to one simple truth. Our value and worth is not based on who loves us and cares for us. It is not based on how many people love us or care for us. Our value is based on the Divine’s love for us, and subsequently, our love for ourselves. Stop. Go back and read those italics sentences one more time. We cannot find our value in the love we receive from other people. Because our value does not lie in other people. It lies in the Divine and the Divine within ourselves. And once we realize this, and choose to believe it at the core of who we are, we are free to actually love others without stings attached.

Now don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that community isn’t valuable and necessary. I’m not saying we weren’t made to love and be loved. What I’m saying is that no person can ever give us our worth, identity, and purpose. So I’ll ask you. Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you? It’s one thing to share love with someone in service who may or may not want that love. But there are a whole new set of strings attached when we tie our worth and value to receiving love back from them. My friend has come to realize this. I would venture to say that he already realized this but never put it to words. His road forward is not impossible, but it will take some time to break those limiting beliefs and affirm truth. But it can be done. I know. I’ve done it.

Where does your value and worth come from? How many people respond to your status update? How many people read your blog? The amount of numbers attached to your paycheck? How your kids respond to you? We both realize that I could go on and on with these questions, but I won’t. I’ll end by asking this. Does your value come from the love of the Divine and your love for yourself? If not, email me. I’d love to help.

________________________________________________________________________________________ “There's nothing like rejection to make you do an inventory of yourself” ~James Lee Burke

“Rejection, though--it could make the loss of someone you weren't even that crazy about feel gut wrenching and world ending.” ~Deb Caletti

"I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection.” ~ Billy Joel

Breaking through Limiting Beliefs

For the longest time in my life I had lived with limiting beliefs.  Beliefs like, I don’t have enough money.  I don’t know how to handle money if I did have enough.  I could never sustain success.  I don’t deserve great things.  I’m not very smart.  I’m not very capable.  I don’t have what it takes.  I will fail at everything.  Other people succeed because they are born with something that I just don’t have. Etc. It feels embarrassing even to write those limiting beliefs out and share them with others.  But its true.  These are some of the paradigms I lived in for such a long time.  The wild part is that I can’t even tell you where all of these limiting beliefs orginated in my life.  Some of them I can see clearly where and how they developed, but others, I have no idea.

Do you know the problem with limiting beliefs?  As long as you have them, you will NEVER get past them.  You can’t sustainably ignore a belief that is continually running in your head, like a looped song.

The other interesting part is that these things aren’t based in any truth.  We tell ourselves these lies everyday and most of the time we aren’t aware that we’re lying to ourselves.  “I’m just not disciplined enough to eat right and exercise.”  “I’ve never been good at connecting with people.”  “I’m not lucky enough to get a break.”  These lies are based in our heads.  That’s where beliefs reside. So how do we move forward?  How do we begin to destroy or limiting beliefs?  How do we begin to dismantle the many ways that we limit ourselves?  By asking questions that begin to smash the foundation of these beliefs.

For example, If your limiting belief is that you don’t have enough money, you could simply ask yourself… Have other people not had enough money and then found a way to make more money?

If your limiting belief is that you couldn’t sustain success, you could ask yourself… Have other people learned how to sustain success and been happy about it?

If your limiting belief is that you don’t deserve great things, you could ask yourself… Have great things happened to other people who didn’t deserve it?

If your limiting belief is that you aren’t smart  enough, you could ask yourself… Have other people who weren’t brilliant succeeded?

The answers to these questions not only chip away at the foundation of limiting beliefs, but often can completely change the lenses with which we see the world.  Have you identified and recognized your limiting beliefs?  How long have you been living with them?  In what ways have they effected you?  Finally, what questions could you ask that would begin to destroy the limiting beliefs in your life?


Today I will be aware of my beliefs and point out any that may be limiting.  I will actively state the limiting beliefs that I have found and I will ask the right questions to begin dismantling them.