Limiting beliefs are stories and/or thoughts we have about ourselves that limit our growth. Your beliefs are a lens through which you experience life, and if the belief is negative then you’ll view the world as negative. This can hold you back from becoming the person you truly want to become. For example, imagine if you feel you’re NOT good enough at anything or specifically “not funny enough” then your brain will automatically start to look for evidence to support this claim. However, if you feel that your amazing and can conquer anything, then you’ll mind will look for positive reinforcement instead.
Learning to control my limiting beliefs has been one of the most effective techniques in managing bipolar. I believe it’s mind over matter and it’s not the event itself, but the way you interpret it which attracts the negativity. For example, let’s say two different people find themselves in the same situation…right? The outcome will depend on the way each interprets the situation. One might view it as a positive learning experience while the other as a life changing event which spirals their life out of control. So, it’s in your belief or the story you tell yourself about what happened which determines the outcome. Anyways,
The strategy I’ll be going over has helped me control my trigger points and grow over time. It did take some time to learn what my limiting beliefs are and control them from taking my mind over.
1) Out of Body Method
I’ve noticed it’s harder for me to decide when I’m too close to the situation because I don’t see the whole picture and can’t make the right decision. I can’t see the finer points especially those which are existent and those which are not. This is exactly why you start to make up things in your mind and attract the negative energy by creating limiting beliefs. However, asking for a third-persons point of view has always been a great way to understand the whole situation and what course of action you should take. Someone else will view the situation from the outside so have a clearer picture providing you with a more “full” answer. But, I know it can be hard to always ask for a third-persons point of view for two reasons –
a) A number of decisions you make in a day make it harder for you to always have someone around you trust to provide the best advice;
b) Sometimes the decision is based on something sensitive that you don’t want to discuss with anyone else;
Both are great reasons why you should practice and internalize the out-of-body method. I’ve talked about this method before where you “watch” yourself making the decision and the event. You force yourself to step outside of your internal box and view the decision-making process from another point of view. By doing this you disconnect yourself from the situation and move away from it allowing you to remove deep emotions attached to the scenario.
The next time you are stuck with a question or need to decide on something, write it down and when you’re done, try looking at it from a third-persons point of view. Try to observe yourself helping the other person and what advice you would give them in this situation. Because you’ve distant yourself emotionally, your decision-making process will be more thought out instead of emotionally fueled.
2) Question the Belief (For Real)
By this, I don’t mean you should question what’s happening around you once or twice. You should ask yourself several times why you feel the way you do, and if your thoughts are credible or emotionally fueled. I’ve noticed how my limiting beliefs are fueled because of my pride or not my thoughts of not being good enough. I don’t like when something negative happens to me because I feel I’m not good enough. However, whenever I ask myself questions like – why I’m angry? Do I really want what I’m angry about? Would I be happy if I achieved what I wanted? Has what happened held me back in life? Etc. I’ve noticed the limiting belief is caused by my own thinking and it’s fueled by emotion.
I’ve mentioned above how being too close to a situation can alter your decision-making process because you’re too emotionally involved. Questioning the belief you’re having several times will help you determine how your emotions again are getting the best of you. For example, for a long-time, I had this negative belief that everyone was out to take advantage of me, but when I started to question my thoughts credibility, I noticed how this was untrue. My emotions on something which happened recently forced me to think this way. Everyone, I’ve helped always helped me in return and have done things for me which others have never done before. I was truly close with everyone involved in the situation.
The next time you find yourself overthinking about the situation, it’s important to step back and question your thoughts. Ask yourself why you feel the way you do and how credible your feelings are. You’ll learn how much of your limitations are NOT brought on by the situation itself, but the thoughts you’ve associated with it. Understanding your limiting beliefs will allow you to be proactive in finding alternative positive ways of thinking instead of negative. Here’s a question –