The Curse of Limiting Beliefs …
In Thailand, it is a common sight to see an elephant completely in control of its mahout (keeper/trainer of the elephants), obeying his commands with no resistance. Why does the strongest land mammal obey a human’s command, when it has all the power to get rid of the annoying little thing?
That elephant mind has been programmed from the beginning to underestimate his potential. It had been tied with a short-chain right from its birth, and being a baby, it could not break the restraints, no matter how much it tried. There comes a time when the elephant begins to believe that it can never get rid of the chain, so he stops trying. This mental impression develops into a limiting belief that the chain is too strong to be broken. Even after growing up, the elephant stops resisting as soon as it feels the tug of the chain, even though it now has the capability to break free!
Humans also adopt some beliefs that stop them from realizing their full potential. These beliefs develop whenever we start to lose faith in our capabilities. Events leading to these beliefs’ development can range from childhood failures to teenage disappointments to professional setbacks. Once a pattern is established, the human mind develops sort of a shortcut, and every time a tough situation arises, their brain steers them towards the path guided by their limiting belief.
“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that dis-empowers them or one that can literally save their lives.” — Tony Robbins
As these views develop, people only see opportunities in line with their limiting beliefs. They would like to stay where they are. They define their capabilities according to these faiths, take relevant actions only and get ordinary results. They stop dreaming and start living a mediocre life. These limiting beliefs are endorsed by other average people, which serves as a validation of their beliefs.
Limiting beliefs have a negative impact on the quality of life. They set a person up for failing backward. Instead of learning from their failures and trying harder, a person with limiting beliefs uses this failure to entirely stop making an effort for fear that he will always fail.
Another way a limiting belief stops people from soaring high is perfectionism. They keep trying to perfect every angle of the plan, wasting time and resources on tweaking every tiny detail instead of getting the basics right and working towards their goal.
Limiting beliefs act as emotional blockers against moving forward. They induce negative emotions, forcing a person to believe they cannot achieve some things in life. The minds fall into psychological procrastination, bringing forward all the failures sustained previously, reinforcing the idea of accepting mediocrity. Thus they block off creative ideas that could help them lead an above-average to a great life.
How do you stop being cursed with limiting beliefs? Stay tuned for part 2.