Success Blog Post

Limiting Beliefs, Limited Freedom

George Grombacher March 6, 2023

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Limiting Beliefs, Limited Freedom

According to Wikipedia, beliefs are, “A subjective attitude that something or proposition is true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term “belief” to refer to attitudes about the world which can be either true or false.”


So, beliefs are what you hold to be true. 


As thoughts run through our heads, we use our beliefs as filters to make decisions and determine our course of action. Our beliefs come in many forms. We have beliefs about love, money, diet, exercise, politics, how society should be structured, etc. You do things because you believe them to be good or worthwhile uses of your time, attention and money.


We trust our beliefs and thought processes; because, why wouldn’t we? 


But what if our beliefs were wrong? That would mean the filter we use to run our thoughts through and make decisions was flawed. And that could mean we’re making bad, or sub-optimal, decisions. If we’re making bad decisions, we’re not going to get great outcomes. 


That sucks. But the scary part of it is, we don’t realize we’re doing it. 


I’m going to talk about how to start recognizing your limiting beliefs, and what you can do about them should you discover you have some. 


Here’s what we’ll cover:


  • The illusion of freedom: Conscious limiting beliefs

  • The glass ceiling: Unconscious limiting beliefs

  • Where our beliefs come from

  • How to tell if you have limiting beliefs

  • Overcoming limiting beliefs


Let’s get started.


The illusion of freedom: unconscious limiting beliefs


Have you ever seen one of those clear, plastic hamster balls? People put their pet hamsters in them because they’re fun and it’s a good way for the hamster to get exercise, and I imagine the hamster feels like it has freedom and agency. But of course, it doesn’t really. 


While not a physical ball, many of us live in glass cages as well. Ours are limiting beliefs. 


Modern living has given us the ability to buy and do shit that makes us feel free. But we’re not really. More often than not, we’re satiating ourselves. We’re trapping ourselves in glass cages. 


As we find success in life, we get more creature comforts. We acquire and enjoy things like streaming services, fantasy football, gaming, online gambling, food delivery, the list goes on and on. We associate comfort with freedom; that’s a trap.. While these things may saitate us, they have no value, and are in direct violation of our prime directive. 


The association of comfort with freedom is a negative and limiting belief. Everytime we decide to do one thing (watch TV), we’re deciding to not do everything else. 


And I hear what you’re saying, “Take it easy, George. Watching Netflix isn’t that big of a deal.” And it may not be. I don’t know how you’re spending your time, attention, or money. Only you do.


Regardless, we’ve got bigger fish to fry. 


The glass ceiling: Unconscious limiting beliefs


The worst beliefs to become aware of are our unconscious, core beliefs. These are the one’s you’re unaware of. And these are the most dangerous, damaging, and limiting. 


Have you ever questioned why you do certain things? Questions like, “Why do I keep screwing myself over again and again and again?” It’s probably because you have limiting core beliefs. 


Just like your smartphone, you have an operating system conversation which is constantly running in the background. It’s constantly evaluating the information you’re taking in and  making decisions on your behalf. Theoretically, this is a good thing. 


But, your operating system could be hurting you. It could be preventing you from getting what you want. When it comes to our core beliefs, the glass cage analogy becomes a glass ceiling. 

When you think about it, it’s pretty terrifying. Where could you be screwing yourself over without even knowing it? What limiting beliefs do you have? 


Where our beliefs come from


The majority of our core beliefs are developed from birth to 7 years old. We get them from our parents, family, teachers, friends, and others we come into contact with. 


Long story short, you can thank or blame your parents for your beliefs; which odds are, you were already doing. 


How to tell if you have limiting beliefs


“How do I know if I have any limiting beliefs? Look for resistance and triggers. 


Where you experience the greatest resistance is probably a sign that you have a limiting belief. When you find yourself repeating the same mistake over and over again, you probably have a limiting belief. 


What triggers you is also a pretty good indicator of a limiting belief. If you’re triggered by wealth, you have a limiting belief about money. If a certain kind of person really grinds your gears, that’s probably a sign you have a limiting belief.  


Overcoming limiting beliefs


Play detective. 


For example, if you keep making the same mistakes with romantic partners, retrace your steps. Think about your parents’ relationship? What did you observe and take in, what could you have internalized?


Once you figure out the source of any limiting belief, I have good news- you can rewire them. Our brains have something called neuroplasticity; which simply means we can change them. When you catch yourself being triggered by something, shift your thinking immediately to the way you’d like to think about the situation. 


For example, every time you catch yourself thinking, “There’s no way that person would ever date me,” think, I’m perfectly worthy of having a relationship with someone like that. 


Keep in mind changing your beliefs won’t happen overnight. It will take some time. But it’s work worth doing.

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