Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.
-Richard Bach, Illusions

Growing up, we all receive comments on our self-worth and abilities. We also have experiences that leave us with beliefs about ourselves and every area of life- relationships, health, success, prosperity, and our own value as a person. These comments and experiences, whether positive or negative, shape our beliefs about what is possible for us in life. Do any of the following sound familiar?
- You’re a good girl (or boy.)
- You can’t draw.
- You’re good in sports.
- You sing off key- just mouth the words.
- You’ll never amount to anything.
- Relationships are difficult
- There’s never enough money.
- You certainly have a gift with words.
- What makes you think you could be successful?

So now you’re an adult, and you want to follow and achieve your dreams. But all the old limiting experiences still exist inside, telling you all the reasons why you can’t do what you want. You may also have other limitations, like being too aware of other’s opinions, not trusting yourself and Spirit for guidance, or being more concerned with security in life than passion in living. Most of you have probably discovered that “instant transformation” in a week-end doesn’t often happen. The process of understanding and working with those apparent limitations takes time and patience. Imagine that you are weeding the inner garden of yourself, lovingly and patiently releasing the old to plant the new seeds. Step by step, you CAN recognize the beliefs that limit you and change them.

How often have you said things to yourself or out loud such as:
- I’m stuck.
- I’ll never get past this one.
- It’s hard to change.

So- guess what- what you claim is what you get! When you say words like this out loud or to yourself, you are continuing to claim your limitations. The words say that you don’t believe change is possible or that you’re actually not willing to change! Pay attention to your words, and start by changing the way you talk to yourself. Tell yourself you are willing to change and grow. Affirm that you are guided to any help you need in releasing the past. Go to the mirror and tell yourself all the positive, encouraging messages you wish you’d received in childhood. Talk to your Inner Child in a loving way. Be committed to choosing thoughts that build you up and nurture you rather than criticizing.

I call this “clearing the old menu items.” Clear the past and create new items for the Menu of Life!
Use some of these affirmations to assist you:

-I have clear insights that assist me in releasing the past.
-I am willing to believe that I deserve a wonderful life.
-I begin my new life in this moment.
-I am willing to open my arms and claim the wonderful, fulfilling life I deserve.
-I choose to believe it is easy to clear the menu items I no longer want.
-Any resource I need for my emotional and spiritual healing comes to me quickly and easily.

Ironically, even positive messages can be limitations. As I child, I was quiet and shy, and also a good student, especially in math and science. I was verbally praised for being “good” and told repeatedly that I had a talent for science and “should” become a medical doctor. So I (unconsciously) tried to live out others’ ideas and spent 4 years in college as a science major and started graduate school in a chemistry program. Boring!! In the middle of the first semester of graduate school, I realized that my passion was in working with people to improve their lives. So, much to the chagrin of my parents, I quit graduate school, became a social worker, and returned to undergraduate school for a psychology major. Ultimately, I did become a doctor- of psychology! And yet it still took many years to arrive at my greatest passion- leading workshops.

Be patient with yourself as you focus on the changes you want to make. Resist the temptation to “should” on yourself and create more stress! Take time to journal and meditate and visualize the changes you want. Give yourself lots of support and praise for the changes you do make, however small.

Author's Bio: 

-Patricia Crane, Ph.D., is the author of Ordering from the Cosmic Kitchen: The Essential Guide to Powerful, Nourishing Affirmations. It is available on amazon.com or her website, www.heartinspired.com, or through local bookstores. Patricia also trains workshop leaders. Go to www.hylteachers.com for details or call 800-969-4584.