The current episode of my podcast, Navigation Points, is about limiting beliefs and the impact of horrible events. Limiting beliefs are those things we tell ourselves that constrain our ability to achieve what we want in life or stop us from even trying to find joy. These negative ideas that we carry around as true are often about what is wrong with us, sometimes about others, and can even reflect a negative restricting view of the world. Limiting beliefs hold you back from being who you are meant to be.
It can be hard to recognize our own limiting beliefs without the help of a therapist or coach trained in these concepts, but it is possible. It is worth the effort.
A great way to figure out what your limiting beliefs might be is to keep a journal. After a while you will see certain themes start to emerge. Those themes which are statements around what is wrong with others or yourself, those statements that restrict thinking with absolutes that prevent desire from being fulfilled, those are your limiting beliefs.
Examples might be:
My degree doesn’t matter, all I can get are minimum wage jobs.
All men are pigs.
All women are manipulators
I am not pretty enough to be loved
I will never get out of debt.

When you are trying to discover what beliefs you currently hold try answering these questions.
1. What is a problem or limitation that has held you back for a while?
2. What is it you would like to do/have, except something is stopping you from getting it or doing it?
3. What is it that is REALLY stopping you from getting what you want?
4. This is a problem because?
These and other self-discovery questions can be found at in my blog for February 2019.
5. And this means?
6. What must you believe that makes this problem even exist?
7. What is it you believe about YOURSELF that has made this a problem?
8. What do you believe about the WORLD that has made this a problem?
9. What is this problem an example of?
10. When did you decide that your problem was a problem (roughly)?
11. At what point in your life did you buy into this concept?
12. What decision did you make that caused this problem to be born?
13. What does this problem mean to you?
14. What will life be like when you don't have this problem

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself when trying to discover if a belief is limiting or empowering.
1) What is the evidence that supports this belief? If I look objectively at all my life experiences. what is the evidence that this belief is true?
2) Is this belief always true for me?
3) Does this belief consider the whole picture? Does it take into consideration both the positive and negative ramifications?
4) Does this belief encourage my own peace of mind and well-being?
5) Did I choose this belief, or has it developed from the influence of my family/friends as I was growing up?
One way to transform your limiting beliefs after discovering what they are is to create a counter belief statement for each one, making it positive. For example, if one of your limiting beliefs is “I am powerless. I am a victim of outside circumstances.” Try to reframe it to “I am responsible for myself. and I'm in control of my life. I can't determine the circumstances, but I can determine my attitude toward them.”
If you spend even 15 minutes thinking about the above questions and writing down your answers, you will have come a long way toward changing at least one limiting belief, which in turn might change the course of your life for the better.
Is that outcome worth 15 minutes?
To learn more listen to the February 2019 episode of Navigation Points!

Author's Bio: 

Caryl Hallberg, Strategic Life Coach specializing in Emotional Intelligence, CBT Practitioner, ULC Minister, owner of DogWatch Navigation is the author of Rich Board, Poor Board; and Your Diet Success Plan: Lower Your Weight and Elevate your Health and Happiness, and of the forthcoming book Navigating to Joy: 11 Steps Mapping Your Personal Path to Fulfillment. She offers a monthly podcast on living your best possible life, Navigation Points.