Thank you limiting beliefs. I’m going to go ahead anyway

Limiting beliefs keep us locked in place. But they don't have to.
November 8, 2020

Imagine you were having a debate with a friend and they said “Turtles that wear AirMax Jordans run faster than turtles that don’t!”

To decide who’s right you might do two tests:

  • Turtle with NO AirMax Jordans runs 20 metres. Time how fast it takes the turtle to run the distance.
  • Turtle WITH AirMax Jordans runs 20 metres. Time how fast it takes the turtle to run the distance.

The turtle that runs the fastest tells us whether “Turtles that wear AirMax Jordans run faster than turtles that don’t!” is true or not.

Now this is a silly example and the point I’m making is a good way to test what’s true or not is to run experiments.

When it comes to limiting beliefs, there’s the inner voice in our head that’s like our friend saying ridiculous things. They’re loud, they’re assertive and if you don’t have much confidence in yourself or your capacity to speak up you might just accept it and move on.

But your friend is wrong. And more often than not so are your limiting beliefs.

Unfortunately the default is to let our limiting beliefs run the show. We go through life getting frustrated when we want things that are outside our realm of belief when the limiting beliefs are in place.

For example you might want to run a marathon, but your limiting belief says “Nah you can’t run a marathon. You’ll become skinny and lose muscle mass if you do”. So you go through life with the lingering desire to run a marathon, but the limiting belief in your mind guarantees you won’t and years, decades or a lifetime can go by.

For many years I had limiting beliefs around my writing. Here are a few of them.

  • You haven’t “succeeded” so why are you writing?
  • No one will read your stuff.
  • You don’t have anything valuable or useful to share.
  • Video is where it’s at. Don’t write, that’s old media.
  • You’re not original.
  • You’re only twenty something. Why would anyone read what you have to share? (belief I held in my twenties)
  • You’ve got no right or authority to share what you’re writing. Keep it inside.
  • Mate, you need to make money. Writing isn’t going to make you money. Get back to work.

These limiting beliefs ran that show and were very effective at stopping me from writing. My higher self wanted to share in public, my lower self ensured I didn’t. These beliefs were like concrete reinforced with steel and they kept my dreams locked in place for over a decade.

Then something magical happened. The beliefs began to crack.

People I identified with were sharing their writing in public. They were sharing insights that I had years ago. They were sharing gems of wisdom I’d already internalised and implemented. And they were blowing up on the internet! Getting praise, recognition and financial rewards!

Woah!

What I saw invalidated all of my beliefs and it was inspiring and energising. It was like being given a second shot at life. No longer doomed to stay within my concrete walls I saw others flying free above lush landscapes and their example made me feel I could too.

These days I’m writing more than I have before. The limiting beliefs are still there, but the volume is much much lower. If they get a little too loud I tell myself that I’ve had a decade of living life with the limiting beliefs. I’ve given them a solid go (and frankly the results have been disappointing). “Thank you limiting beliefs. I’m going to go ahead anyway.” I tell myself.

Now it’s time to experiment with other ways of being and see what that gives me.

I invite you to do that too 🙂

David Pita is an artist and writer and consults as a web designer and conversion copywriter. His writing explores how to thrive and succeed as a human and his art is an expression of vibrant joy.

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