I remember very well when I was still a child, I would jump when the clock struck midnight symbolizing the end of the year and the start of a new year. I jumped because I was made to believe at that young age that doing so would help me grow taller. Having heard such advice from people whom I considered much more knowledgeable and full of wisdom than me, I blindly accepted and followed it even until I grew older. Strangely enough, learning about superstitious beliefs and logic in school did not stop me from believing it. Although this belief does not harm me as a person, my way of accepting it represents my tendency to accept and follow all other beliefs – including limiting beliefs – that were ingrained in my head while growing up. This is where the problem comes in.
There are pieces of advice that were given to us by our parents and other adult authorities in our lives, which now turn into beliefs that limit us from growing or having better lives.
- “Having a lot of money makes people bad.” I often hear this statement as far back as I can remember until today. I heard it from the adults around me and was supported by how it was presented on TV shows and the like. It made me fear wanting to have more money. It felt like committing a grave sin to desire it. Unfortunately, this belief led me to lessen my determination to earn for fear of becoming a person hungry for money or being seen as one by other people. This should not be the case. The truth is money does not make a person turn evil. What makes some people bad is their love for money.
- “It is not good to get your hopes up.” I think this belief is the result of the disappointment of not getting or achieving what was wished or hoped for. The intention of the adults who said this might be to protect a child from disappointment, it led to the development of negative thinking and pessimism. I remembered thinking of getting low scores in the exams even though I wanted the opposite. I did not know that I was attracting what I declared through my thoughts and words. Later on, I learned that I should declare good things to happen. Words have power therefore we must always speak life.
- “To be successful, you have to go to a well-known school.” It is hard to succeed when your school is not known. This is one of the thoughts that greatly affected my motivation in life. When I failed to maintain my education in a famous university, I almost gave up on my dream of being a successful person. Yet, in reality, obtaining success is a decision that we have to make. Graduating from a prestigious school is not enough assurance that a person will succeed in his or her chosen career.
- “It is selfish to want more.” They said that I should not want more when my needs are already met because I would seem to be ungrateful. It made me think then that it’s bad to have more because it feels like I am greedy. However, I now realized that when I have more, I will also be able to help more people who need help and support. As they say, “we cannot give what we do not have”.
- “Only rich people can have their own business.” This belief leads to the advice that one should study hard to obtain a stable job in the future. There is nothing wrong with being an employee or working for other people. Although not everyone is meant to be a business owner or a boss, this position is also not for rich people only – anyone can.
Without us noticing, we have regulated our actions so as not to go against the beliefs, or offend the people who taught them to us. It’s like we are afraid of disproving long-existing notions set by previous generations. Indeed, there’s no harm in trying some beliefs like jumping on New Year’s eve to become taller. However, there are beliefs that we need to throw away for us to achieve our full potential and be successful in whatever we want to do. We have to identify those limiting beliefs that are hindering us from becoming the person we aim to be, then let them go.
How about you? What limiting beliefs hindered you to achieve your dream? What limiting beliefs are still holding you down until now?