Thursday, July 15, 2010

Limiting Beliefs – How are they formed?

Have you ever wondered where your perceptions on life come from? Why do certain situations make us uncomfortable and why do we like and dislike different things in ourselves?

If your anything like me, you may have a definite idea of who you are, what your good at and what your faults are. However, have you ever questioned these obvious traits that you identify with and wondered if they were true or not?

From the time we are born we are relative sponges, soaking up the world and people that surround us. We thrive on the feedback and learnings we receive between birth and around 6yrs old and this is when a child's mind is at its most vulnerable.

So where do our Beliefs come from exactly?

Our beliefs are based on repetitive exposure to situations, people and words from every source we come into contact with. In most cases our parents or care givers play the biggest role in how we perceive the world and ourselves.

Its important to note here that any beliefs that you may have, positive or negative, are a reflection of your primary care givers beliefs, just as your children's core belief systems will be based on your core belief system. I don't want to offend anyone with the above statement, its just a fact that what we perceive is based on what we have been shown.

A lot of the beliefs we grow up with are necessary to keep us safe, facts that ensure that we aren't putting ourselves into situations that may be physically harmful to us. These beliefs, such as fire burns or what goes up must come down become, are burnt into our subconscious to the point where we automatically know that this is the case.

Some of our beliefs, our limiting beliefs in particular, can also be protective, yet in their very existence they limit us.

If our parents were particular to indulging in the media a lot, watching the news, reading news papers, they may have been a little over protective in their actions. They may have repetitively told you that you need to be careful because there are bad people out there who want to hurt you. This of course is true, but it can also cause the child to grow up with trust issues and impact them to the point where they attach fear to every new person they meet.

We may have been told that if we work hard at school we will be able to get a good job. Yet if we weren't all that great at school no mater how hard we tried, we may start to think that we wont be able to get a good job and in the long run this could hinder our choice of occupation.

There are many examples of different situations in our lives that may stem from our Limiting Beliefs. Failure could be devastating for some and cause them to give up, yet others strive for success no mater how many times they fail.

The keys to how our Limiting Beliefs are formed are not only based on the influences and experiences in our lives, but also the emotions we have attached to them.

In many cases, our Limiting Beliefs may stem from our own ideas of what the actions of others meant yet there was never the intent of the other person. If your parents didn't let you out as often as you would like, you may see it as them not trusting you, yet the reason may have been that they didn't trust the outside world and were attempting to keep you safe.

If you were told that you did things wrong all the time, it may have made you feel like a failure, yet, it may just have been that you didn't do it the way they would have liked, but you now have a constant Limiting Belief that no matter what you do it always seems to be wrong or we may avoid certain situations all together in an attempt to not feel like a failure.

In conclusion, Limiting Beliefs are an accumulation of repetition, emotional attachment and subconscious behaviours that manifest into self sabotaging behaviours.

*Learn more about how Limiting Beliefs are formed here.

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