November 28, 2022 | Barb Carr

Overcome your Limiting Beliefs & Feel Happier

limiting beliefs

Limiting beliefs have a profound effect on your level of happiness. Of all the things I have researched about the psychology of happiness, this was one of the biggest revelations to me. I’m generally an optimistic person, and I did not think I had any limiting beliefs. But, after really examining some of my beliefs, I was surprised to find how limiting they truly were. Unlocking limited beliefs gave me new energy and a richer, more authentic life. It can do that for you too!

What are Limiting Beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are often developed in childhood, and unless we really develop self-awareness when we are adults, they stay with us throughout our lives. Limiting beliefs are false beliefs that restrict us in some way. They seem very reasonable and practical on the surface so it’s easy to believe them.

Some examples are:

  • You have to pay your dues.
  • Life isn’t always fair.
  • You’re too old to go back to college.

The people (parents, teachers, and coaches) who teach us limiting beliefs in childhood like, “you have to pay your dues” sometimes do so with good intentions, however misguided. They want to protect us from disappointment in some way or teach us valuable character traits. Other times partners, friends, and colleagues can influence us with limiting beliefs because they are making decisions based on their own limited thinking.

Let’s look more closely at the examples of limiting beliefs above.

You have to pay your dues.

That’s a fair statement on the surface. It takes dedication to reach goals. However, it could limit a person’s belief that they have what it takes to get what they want. What if the thing you wanted took someone else five years to obtain? Will it also take you five years to obtain it? What if you don’t have five years to give? And if you find a way to get it in less than five years, do you still feel as accomplished as those who labored for five years? Are you even worthy to get it sooner? If it comes easy for you, you may feel guilty about receiving the reward. (And other people with limiting beliefs may get mad!)

Life isn’t always fair.

Okay, I’m guilty. I’ve said this to my children, and I said it because I wanted to ease their disappointment in doing the right thing and not being rewarded. I still wanted them to do the right thing even if they weren’t recognized. But what I taught them is that you may not get what you deserve and there’s no justice for it. That could create a limiting belief in them that if they worked really hard and did the right things, it might be for nothing. And that creates hopelessness.

You’re too old to go back to college.

Who put an age limit on learning? At the end of your life, will it matter how old you were when you wrapped up that degree? Of course, it won’t matter – you did it because you wanted to live out your life with a higher level of knowledge to navigate life’s challenges. Whether you are 50 or 60 or 70 or 80 – knowledge is power, and it changes things. Always be learning.

Pro Tip: Whenever you hear yourself say, “I shouldn’t” or “I should” – there is a high degree of likelihood that you are contemplating a limiting belief. Someone along the way told you what you “should” or “shouldn’t” do, and you’ve internalized it and made it a belief. If there is something you want (or don’t want) to do and “should” or “shouldn’t” is getting in the way, take a moment to read through the questions below.

How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs

Overcoming limiting beliefs takes a little self-awareness and curiosity. Whenever you hear that voice in your head tell you what you “should” and “shouldn’t” do, what you “can’t” do, or what you “don’t deserve,” ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my belief based on the *facts*.
  • Is my belief rooted in fear? (Especially the fear of what others may think.)
  • Did I make this a belief or did someone else tell me to believe it?
  • Would my life be happier without this belief?
  • What belief could I replace this limiting belief with to live more authentically?

When you make a decision to do something, it is because you think the result of your decision will make you happier. Limiting beliefs influence you to choose based on fear and a false reality. So, when you can identify them and get past them, you will increase your level of happiness by pursuing opportunities without limits.

Join us at the 2023 Global TapRooT® Summit

Another way to increase your level of happiness is to plan to join me and my team for the 2023 Global TapRooT® Summit at the beautiful Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe-Houston, Texas, April 26-28, 2023. Learn more about the psychology of happiness by joining my keynote session.

Quit standing in your own way. Go out there and be great!

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