Sometime during our childhood, we make decisions about our possibilities and our limitations instead of enhance them. It’s only when we’re adults that we hopefully realize that we generally get what we argue for in life and we get what we truly want in our lives. 

Before I go on, I found this great video by Ester Hicks on the power of our beliefs and knowing what we want. 

As a parent, your job is to empower your children; teach them to sing, and fly and take care of themselves in all ways. Yet, for whatever reason, we don’t always succeed at this task. Probably because most of us didn’t take ‘Child Empowerment 101” in high school or college!

To understand how we talk about ourselves, you need to listen to yourself, and your children talk. Have you ever heard yourself, or your children say,

  • I’m not that type of person.
  • I could never do that.
  • I don’t understand those types of things.
  • I never have the energy for that activity.
  • I can never figure that out.
  • I can’t do that because—” fill in the blank.

If you have, you’re not alone. The questions are: Why are you limiting yourself? Where did you learn to do this? and, Are you teaching your children to do this to themselves as well?

There’s a saying that goes like this… “If you argue for your limitations, they are yours!”

The fact is, we all have ‘beliefs’ about who we are, what we can do, what skills and talents we have or don’t have, what we think we should or shouldn’t be doing. Most often, the beliefs people have about their own limitations aren’t even theirs. They took them on from someone else: parents, relatives, friends, neighbors, teachers, the media. And the younger they were when they took on the belief, the deeper in their subconscious the belief resides and the more of an autopilot type the belief is for that person.

This is why ‘change’ for most people is so difficult. The change has to happen at the unconscious, belief level and our minds keep us hidden from the face that they are just beliefs in the first place. Many human beings not only don’t understand this concept but have no idea where to look for the beliefs that are holding them back.

The most important aspects of limiting beliefs is simply to recognize that:

1) We all have them.
2) They are rarely true or backed up by substantial evidence.

If you really want to change something in your life, you must first uncover the beliefs that are controlling the behavior you want to change. And if you want to make sure your children grow up thinking and knowing they can achieve anything they wish in life, you must instill that belief in them from a very young age.

One of the simplest ways to recognize you are operating under a deeply instilled belief is to watch how others respond to you when you speak or do things. If they look at you with that, “Why are they doing (or not doing) that?” you may have just discovered a belief about yourself or life that others don’t necessarily agree with. It’s not that you are wrong and they are right; it’s that this behavior is an indicator that an unconscious belief may be working you in a way you might want to examine.

Once you discover a limiting belief, how do you change it? First, you must develop that awareness that you have them and second, you have to recognize them as what they are: beliefs and not reality. Recognizing them is both easy and hard.

We’re all so used to just saying the same old statements about ourselves, out loud and inside our head, that we don’t really ‘hear’ what we’re saying. And yet, if you just take a moment to set an intention of listening to the things you say about yourself for a day, you may start to ‘hear’ those limiting beliefs come out of your mouth. Hopefully they will surprise you!

Once you, or your children, start to have an awareness of some limiting belief, you can go through these questions to help determine if they have you on autopilot, are limiting your potential or controlling you in some other way. I do suggest writing both the questions and your answers down on paper:

  1. Is it really true?
  2. Who said it was true?
  3. What would I do if it wasn’t true?
  4. Did the answer to number 3 bring up any fears that you didn’t realize you had?

When you’re done answering these four questions, you will probably realize that, first, the belief really isn’t yours and second, if you developed a different belief about that particular aspect of yourself or your life, you might be able to do the most amazingly powerful things in and with your life; things you never dreamed you could do.

OK, you have your assignment. Listen to your words for a day and see where you and your children are limiting yourself. Remember, we are only limited by our own limitations. Convince yourself you have them and you will. Decide you don’t and you won’t. Just imagine the possibilities!