Breaking Through Limiting Beliefs: Techniques from North Star Thinking

I’ve learned that one of the most formidable barriers we all encounter is the presence of limiting beliefs. These internal narratives shape our reality, influence our actions, and frequently prevent us from realising our full potential. In this blog, I address these invisible barriers, offering practical techniques to identify and transcend these self-imposed limitations. I’ll share with you the transformative strategies that can empower you to shatter these beliefs and embrace a life of limitless possibilities so that you can spend more time doing what you love, and less time doing what you don’t.

What are Limiting Beliefs?

To effectively tackle these constraints, we first need to comprehend what limiting beliefs are and where they originate. Essentially, a limiting belief is a conviction we hold as true that, in reality, restricts us in some way. Often, these beliefs stem from past experiences, societal conditioning, or negative feedback and are rooted in fear, doubt, and frequently a skewed perception of past failures or criticisms.

I emphasise the importance of recognising that these beliefs are not reflections of objective reality but subjective interpretations of events that have been internalised over time. The first step in dismantling these beliefs is to identify them clearly and acknowledge their influence in our lives.

Where do Limiting Beliefs Come From?

Limiting beliefs often come from things we hear when we’re growing up. Maybe a teacher once said I wasn’t good at something, or I saw my friends doing better and started to think I couldn’t match up. These beliefs can stick in our minds, but it’s important to remember that just because someone says something, doesn’t make it true forever. I can always change and prove those old beliefs wrong.

Can limiting beliefs be overcome?

Absolutely, limiting beliefs can be overcome! It’s like learning how to ride a bike; it might seem hard at first, but with practice and patience, you get better at it. I make sure to challenge my negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones, and over time, it really helps me change the way I think and feel about myself and what I can do.

Challenging and Reframing Beliefs

Once a limiting belief is identified, the next step is to challenge its validity. I introduce a systematic approach to questioning how these beliefs serve us and whether they stand up to rational scrutiny. Asking questions like, “What evidence do I have that supports this belief?” or “What might be true instead?” helps in deconstructing the belief and viewing it from new perspectives.

When we talk about limiting beliefs, it’s really important to think about the words we use, especially “always” and “never.” These words can trap us into thinking that things will always be the same and that can stop us from trying to improve. For example, saying “I never have enough money” or “I’m always late” makes us believe this will always be true.

Reframing is a way to change these beliefs into something more positive. For instance, instead of saying “I am not good at managing money,” you might reframe it to say, “I am learning to manage money more effectively.” The words “I am” are two of the most powerful words in the English language, so you should use them in a positive way to really help you. Instead of focusing on what we do wrong, we can say “I am getting better at managing my money” or “I am working on being on time.” This helps us believe we can grow and get better, rather than feeling stuck.

The Power of Self-Awareness

By becoming more attuned to your thoughts, reactions, and daily decisions, you can start to notice patterns that may suggest underlying limiting beliefs. For example, if you consistently avoid opportunities that involve public speaking, you might be harbouring a limiting belief about your ability to effectively speak in front of an audience.

I recommend keeping a journal as a practical method to increase self-awareness. Documenting your thoughts and feelings about specific situations that cause discomfort can reveal common themes or beliefs that may be holding you back.

“The most dangerous belief you can have is the one you don’t see as a belief because it has always been true.”

Visualisation and Affirmations

Visualisation is a technique I highlight for its effectiveness in overcoming limiting beliefs. By visualising yourself successfully overcoming a situation that a limiting belief has held you back from, you can begin to weaken the hold that belief has on your psyche. This technique is grounded in the neurological principle that the brain often does not distinguish between real and vividly imagined experiences; thus, regular visualisation can foster new, empowering beliefs.

Alongside visualisation, affirmations reinforce new belief systems. Repeating positive, empowering statements that directly contradict the limiting beliefs can help to cement new perspectives into your subconscious. For example, affirming “I am capable and confident in my abilities” can gradually replace the limiting belief of inadequacy.

Consistency and Accountability

I want to highlight how important it is to keep using these methods regularly because they really work better that way. Changing beliefs that you’ve had for a long time doesn’t happen overnight; it takes a lot of effort over time. Also, it helps to have a system where someone keeps you on track, like working with a coach or being part of a group that supports each other, to make sure you stick with it and really overcome these beliefs.

Seeking Support from Others

It’s also important to have support from people who believe in you. Whether it’s family, friends, or teachers, having others who encourage you and believe in your potential can make a huge difference. They can offer encouragement when you’re doubting yourself or remind you of your strengths when you forget. Plus, they can celebrate your successes with you, which makes the journey more enjoyable. Remember, you’re not alone in this. Sharing your goals and struggles with supportive people makes it easier to push past your limiting beliefs and work towards your North Star.


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