Somewhere along the way, I heard the phrase, “Limiting Beliefs.” As I understand this phrase, it means beliefs that stop you from doing something or beliefs that limit your willingness to test yourself in any new areas of life.
• If your mother said you had a lousy singing voice, you probably stopped singing. When Dad said you are too lazy to ever succeed in life, you probably did not succeed. These two limiting beliefs became the “truth” for you because your parents said so.
• Families decide, early on, which kid is clumsy and which one will be a good dancer. Families also label kids as “mature” or a “rascal.” These labels are powerful, especially when other family members and children buy into the script labels. These labels become limiting beliefs for the kids.
• The child labeled “mature” is often the oldest child who becomes very responsible and misses out on a lot of childhood fun.
• The child labeled “rascal” often acts out, gets into more trouble and has problems at school or takes a very long time to overcome the limiting belief before he finally graduates from college. The “mature” child graduated right on time.
• So what are your limiting beliefs about yourself? Are you a lousy dancer, lazy, immature, or afraid to go to college because of a limiting belief that you are not smart? No matter what your age is, you can forsake old script labels, and you can dump limiting beliefs.
• It’s perfectly OK to do something you always wanted to do but didn’t have the nerve to do. I am giving you permission and encouragement to experiment with life, take chances and discover a new you. Just say, out loud, “I am tired of fulfilling old scripts and am overdue for new insights and new adventures.” It’s OK and important to proclaim, “I will not live their life anymore. From now on I live my life without limiting beliefs.”
• Optimistic people have a much better chance of changing their lives and forsaking old, negative-limiting beliefs. Optimists enjoy the present and look forward to the future. They are not afraid of occasional failure, and they learn a lot from negative experiences.
• Doomsday people accept their lot in life and are not surprised that life is hard and then you die. They seem to like the “old days” more and are pessimistic about the present and the future. Pessimists are not great believers that they can change anything, because they believe that outside sources control their destiny and there is nothing they can do about it.
• Doomsday advocates recommend that you expect the worse to happen, and then you will not be hurt too badly when it happens.
• “Ain’t life awful” people fear surprises because they can’t control them or avoid them. Every time something negative occurs, they quickly say, “I’m not surprised” or “I told you so.”
• When you constantly believe something bad will happen, it becomes your reality. When you enter the restaurant expecting bad food or terrible service, it will find you. If you have a limited belief that marriage will become a boring, passionless experience, that will become your reality. You will have a marriage full of polite indifference.
• Perhaps your family taught you that you can’t expect affection or tender love from men. You have to be careful that you don’t select that type of man and marry him. If you were taught that men can’t be trusted to love only you, you may be in for a long, unfulfilled life, full of weeds, instead of roses.
• Limiting beliefs are deadly. They can kill emotions, creativity, and any sense of adventure you may have. Kill the old scripts and limiting beliefs. You are worthy, deserving of love and respect.
Bob Billingsley is an El Dorado Hills resident and bi-weekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat.