Limiting Beliefs

A boy drops a glass of water and his mother yells, “You are always so clumsy!”
The husband works for hours, on a special dinner for his wife, and the response is, “I don’t know why you even bother cooking.”
The little girl hears, “I just gave you a rosary last week. How could you not get a 100 on this religion test?”
The employee stays late all week to finish a project, far behind the scope of her position, and is told, “I can’t believe you know nothing about making an intelligent presentation.”

Sometimes those sentences can be brushed off easily. Often, however, they’re taken on, and taken in, and absorbed as truth.

You are a victim of limiting beliefs if:
what you believe is based not in reality,
but rather on what you’ve been led to believe is your truth.

These beliefs inhibit us and close the door to other realities; realities that are consistent with who we really are.

We often keep repeating the messages of our youth, good or bad.

When they’re positive affirmations—
“You’re perfect.”
“I can’t believe how lucky I am that you’re my child.”
“You are destined for greatness!”
“You’re a wonderful student.”—
we carry them with us, and they positively color the way we view life.

But, when those messages of our youth are negative—
“You’re such a mess.”
“I wish you were never born.”
“You’ll never amount to anything!”
“I don’t know why I waste my time on you.”—
our lives typically play out very differently.

After hearing those messages enough, our inner critic stands at attention with a strong voice shouting, “This is who you are”. And, we may live out all of our days hearing the dismal tape recording that constantly played in the background of our childhood. If we don’t move through that, we can end up feeling perpetually “less than”, and the cutting, damaging, or downright abusive words have won.

But remember,
there is no authenticity in there….
there are only limiting beliefs.

Sometimes (maybe often) we have to “detach to reattach”.

an exercise to exorcize the demons of your youth:
Put a clean sheet of paper in front of you, or open a new page on your laptop or desktop. Imagine that you’re writing on a giant blackboard. I’m asking you to think “big picture” (hence the giant chalk board)—to be able to step back and really see where you may need to do some re-creation—creating a story that is a more accurate portrayal of you. 

1. Put this heading on your page:
These are the things I’ve been told about me.
2. Draw a line down the center of the rest of the page.
3. Write down everything you’ve been told about you (especially while you were growing up) into one of these two columns:
the great things
the not so great things
4. Notice what emotion each statement stirs up in you.
5. Be aware of the inconsistencies between your two columns.
6. Acknowledge that the right column has very likely created limiting beliefs—suppositions based on a skewed reality.
7. Have a conversation with God about what you should be crossing off that list.

Even if you were the child, who became the adult, who everyone thought was
P E R F E C T,
you can be a victim of limiting beliefs. In this case, the limiting beliefs create a completely different, skewed reality— one where we truly think that we’re more than, and better than, everyone else. And, in a worst-case scenario this may lead us to believe that we’re above reproach—perfect, unable to fail, flawless.

We are so often repeating the messages of our youth—even when no one’s saying them anymore—but we can choose to move on and move forward.

In my more aware moments, I have a deep knowing that God keeps whispering, “You are okay just where you are, but you have to believe it my child.” I pray that’s a message you hear too.

(ps. the little girl with the rosary….that was me in second grade, and I did move through that!)

Twitter: @kaymclane
Instagram: @peace_full_home

If you enjoy reading peace full home,
please pass it along. That is the highest
compliment I could receive.
Thank you,


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