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The ABCs to Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

Mar 17, 2023

Awareness | Beliefs | Challenge

“OW!!!”, I screamed, as I felt the sharp pain in my left shoulder and lay there on the mat.

My jiu-jitsu instructor came over to see me lie there for a moment in shock. I then popped my dislocated shoulder back into place. I told everyone I was okay and went back to class.

It had been about 10 years since the last time it had popped out. It popped out a couple of times since the injury first occurred during a skydiving experience in my early 20s. I had started jiu-jitsu 3 years ago and proceeded to dislocate my shoulder a few times in the first 6 months whenever I applied strength and power at awkward angles when I didn’t need to. Being stubborn, I had not sought any medical help in the twenty-five years since I had initially dislocated my shoulder. I finally decided it was time to do something about it, since I was scaring the people in my class, and I wanted to continue jiu-jitsu without hurting myself. It was in my 40s that I started learning several healing modalities. I decided that this weak shoulder was a condition that I no longer had the patience to tolerate. I decided that with all that I had learned, it was time to restore the wellbeing of my shoulder. What was once a condition that I accepted as something I would have to live with for the rest of my life, became a limiting belief to overcome. I was motivated and set off to apply the various techniques I had learned to restore the wellbeing of my shoulder. I also sought the help of a chiropractor, a physical therapist, and a massage therapist. Within 6 months, my shoulder felt stronger and I was able to continue my jiu-jitsu journey with confidence. This experience of recognizing a limiting belief and overcoming it can be summarized in the form of ABCs.

First, the ABCs of recognizing limiting beliefs:

A ‒ Awareness The first step is being aware that a limiting belief exists. Then observe your STATE (focus, physiology, language) with this limiting belief. In the example, I was focused on a weak shoulder. My chiropractor informed me that my upper ribs were protruding, which was not helping, so my posture was off-balance. My language was limiting me to accept the condition.

What is your limiting belief? What is your STATE (focus, physiology, language) when you hold a limiting belief?

B ‒ Beliefs The next step is to understand the why and the opportunity by asking the 5 W’s (What, Why, Where, When, Who) and 1 H (How). While we may not have all the answers to the questions we ask, the act of asking questions starts the process of letting go of the perceived permanence of the limiting belief. Some powerful questions to ask include: Can I articulate what the limiting belief is? Why do I have this belief? Where did it start? When did it start? Who else suffers from my limiting belief? How has this limiting belief protected me? What are the secondary benefits of holding on to the limiting belief? In my example, I had realized that I had prided myself on being tough and there was some significance in being recognized as such.

C ‒ Challenge The final step in recognizing the limiting belief and transitioning to overcoming the limiting belief is to ask even more powerful questions to transform our thinking. What am I willing to do about this? Are there physical, mental, emotional, cultural, spiritual, or other blockages I need to overcome? What programming do I need to upgrade? Am I ready to let go of that which no longer serves me? Am I ready to expand my comfort zone? I believe that every challenge is an opportunity in disguise. In my example, it was an opportunity to engage with wellness practitioners and also apply the various modalities I had learned to restore the wellbeing of my shoulder. Can you define the opportunity to the challenge you face?

Now the ABCs for overcoming limiting beliefs:

A ‒ Awareness The first step in overcoming limiting beliefs is awareness. What is my STATE (focus, language, physiology) without the limiting belief? To restore my shoulder’s wellbeing, I focused on taking action and engaging in activities to build up its strength. I was committed and convinced that it would heal. I ensured I was healing in full alignment with visits to the chiropractor.

B ‒ Beliefs The next step in overcoming limiting beliefs is to ask powerful questions about the desired outcome. Start with the 5 W’s (What, Why, Where, When, Who) and 1 H (How). What do I want instead? Why let it go? Where and when can I let it go? Who else benefits? How would I feel when I overcome the limiting belief? For my shoulder, I decided that pursuing my jiu-jitsu journey with a healthy shoulder would bring more joy into my life. Giving up on jiu-jitsu was not an option for me, as I had noticed my self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-love were increasing exponentially since I had started my jiu-jitsu journey. I also recognized that accepting help from others would help accelerate my results. Can you transform your beliefs to see how the gains, whether, physical, mental or emotional, would far outweigh holding onto the limiting beliefs?

C ‒ Challenge The final step in overcoming limiting beliefs is to challenge oneself to take action and follow through. We can transform any fear-based emotions into love-based emotions by tapping into heart, mind, and body intelligence. It is through love-based emotions that propel us to ignite and unleash the Creator within.

I created my team (chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapist, chi kung instructor, meditation facilitator), and also applied several modalities that I had learned, to restore the wellbeing of my shoulder. Massive action that addressed heart, mind, and body wellbeing, accelerated my results.

It is also important to practice self-compassion on the journey. The “shoulda, woulda, coulda did it earlier” may creep in. Instead of beating ourselves up (we would truly need SELF-defense!), we can pat ourselves on the back for taking baby steps for self-transformation.

In summary, the ABCs for recognizing and overcoming limiting beliefs are Awareness, Beliefs, Challenge.

Step 1 - Awareness of the current STATE (focus, language, physiology) and the desired STATE

Step 2 - Questioning our beliefs with and without the limiting beliefs

Step 3 - Challenge is recognizing the opportunity, taking actions, and following through

There are several methods, techniques, and modalities to overcome limiting beliefs. The key is to tap into heart, mind, and body intelligence to determine what resonates with you the most.

When this happens, the Creator within is unleashed, along with the potential for accelerated results.

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