We all limit ourselves in some way, and where and how is based on our life to date. The village that raised you, including the school you went to, parents and other adult influences, and the environment you grew up in, has shaped what you believe to be true about yourself. These beliefs get fine-tuned by your experiences.
We tend to limit what we think is possible based on our financial circumstance, the responsibilities we currently have, where we live, and what we believe about ourselves. As children, we dream without limits until well-meaning adults teach us not to. Babies expect to have their needs served, never for a moment thinking they do not deserve this. As we grow, we begin to form beliefs that we need to meet certain benchmarks to get what we desire, when the opposite is true. There is nothing we need to achieve or conform to in order to have that which we desire.
Nothing in our past needs to determine what we allow for ourselves in the present and future. Perhaps you ventured down a certain path, ignoring the voices around you, and this resulted in a bad experience. You may have taken a leap of faith, believing in your abilities despite the external voices discouraging you, and then it didn’t go as planned. Instead of forming the belief that you cannot trust your own judgement, rather ask, “What was the lesson from the experience, and how can I change the outcome in the future?”
You may be looking at your current circumstance and thinking within the scope of what is, instead of what can be. Thinking about what is keeps us stuck. Thinking beyond that, without limiting ourselves, opens us up to possibilities that always existed, even though we didn’t see them before.
Release your limitations and open yourself up to what you want.
- Let go: Decide that whatever happened in the past is no longer relevant. The only thing that matters is what you decide from this moment on. Keep the wisdom gained and release any blame, shame, guilt and fear. Today is a new day. Now is a new moment for you to begin again and follow your dreams.
- Gift yourself time in a comfortable, quiet space without reminders of your daily responsibilities. Breathe deeply for a few minutes to center yourself. Ask yourself in what ways you are limiting yourself. What do you perceive as the thing that stopped you from going after your dreams or living a life that brings you joy? Write this down, for example, “I work long hours.” Next, write the beliefs you hold about that limit, such as, “I need to provide for my family and I won’t get something better.” Now ask yourself if you really believe that or if it is something you heard so often that it has become true for you. Can you find examples of people you know in similar circumstances who have overcome this limit? This is a reminder that while we may have current limitations, they need not hold true for the future.
- Open yourself to possibility: Knowing how limiting beliefs have held you back from what calls to you, relook at your dream and your ideal life – ask: “What, in this situation, is true right now?”
Turning our mindset from fighting for our limitations to freeing ourselves and exploring life to the fullest, is not easy, yet it is worth the effort. The shift in perspective opens doors and brings us closer to the life we desire. Shedding limits releases weight we were not aware we were carrying, and allows us to bring in the new.
What limits are you letting go of today?