Updated: Jun 21
What is a limiting belief?
In order to understand what a limiting belief is, we need to understand what a belief is. Oxford Languages definition – Belief - an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists. Okay, so let’s break that down - why would we accept a statement to be true or that it exists? Simple. Because it is a thought we have had more than once so our brain recognizes or registers it as familiar.
Familiar is comfortable. A Rule of the Mind - Our brains gravitate towards what is familiar. Often times, beliefs are also reiterated by the people we surround ourselves with. So our brains feel even more familiarity and comfort with the thought.
So, a limiting belief is when we have a thought that comes around again and again, that subconsciously we believe, however, it is no longer helpful or relevant and therefore gets in our way. Where do limiting beliefs come from? Limiting beliefs can come from many different sources. For instance, if we were in a traumatic situation, the initial way our brain reacts to that trauma is the subconscious way our brain links onto to deal with it. Surprisingly, trauma does not have to be a horrific accident or abuse. Our brains
Here is an example.
Let’s say you are a nine-year-old kid with a fairly stable upbringing. One day you are at a family gathering or party. Let’s say an uncle, or a good friend of the family shows up and he’s frustrated with something that’s happening in his world. He brazenly says the words “all rich people are assholes!”
You think “oh, really? I didn’t know that. Well, I don’t want to be an asshole.” If we are in a certain mindset at that moment, especially if this is a new and different thought, our brain may subconsciously latch into this new thought “all rich people are assholes“ and it will react accordingly. This reaction is actually exactly like a traumatic response in your brain. Meaning, when you get older this thought will subconsciously get in the way of you becoming rich. Because your mind still believes that if you are rich will be an asshole. No one wants to be an asshole.
The mind will do everything it can to avoid that becoming your reality.
So therefore, the subconscious thought of “rich people are assholes” is a limiting belief. Making it hard for that person to move forward and become a successful, wealthy person.
The mind will get in the way, or self-sabotage, when we start to get close to “being rich” because it associates a negative or hurtful belief with being rich.
The mind is still reacting the same way it did when it heard those words when it was nine. The mind gravitates to what is familiar.