Do you ever feel like you’re just not “meant” to have some of the things you want in life – things like money, love or happiness? If you’re constantly struggling to achieve in a particular area of your life, only to be disappointed just when you seem to be getting your way, you may not just be unlucky. You may be dealing with a limiting belief -= a negative belief about your abilities or about what you deserve that interferes with your success.
Some self-help gurus advocate replacing limiting beliefs with positive affirmations. For example, if you believe that “I’ll never be wealthy,” you should tell yourself, “I deserve a lot of money and I will get it.” However, if you tell yourself something you don’t really believe, your affirmation will sound hollow, so you won’t be inclined to act on it. In addition, affirmations need to contain more than the opposite of your current thought process in order to be effective. They must be specific, empowering and contain language that resonates with you.
The Action Approach
I find it to be much more effective to use an action approach. Instead of creating an affirmation as soon as you discover a negative thought, ask yourself how you would act if you believed you were capable of achieving your goal. You may want to make a list of your answers so that you can begin forming a new action plan.
When you’ve finished writing your list, read it over and choose one action to try. It’s important to make changes one at a time so you don’t overwhelm or frighten yourself. Choose an action that you are especially drawn to for your first experiment.
Bringing Beliefs to The Surface
At first, taking action feels really good. You should get a jolt of excitement and positive energy just from taking a step toward your goal.
Soon, though, you may begin to feel anxious or insecure. You may wonder who you think you are or get scared that what you’re doing isn’t going to work. It’s important to pay attention to these feelings because they are manifestations of your limiting beliefs.
Turning Negative Thoughts Inside Out
Express your limiting belief in words. Write one sentence describing what you are afraid of. For example, you may write, “It’s not a good idea to want too much because I’ll be disappointed.”
Once you’ve written out your belief, you can turn it inside out by creating a positive affirmation that reflects how you want to feel. Since you’ve done this inner work, you should be able to create an affirmation that feels genuine to you. Then return to focusing on your actions. Every time you state your new affirmation to yourself, look for an action you can take to reinforce it so that you can replace your limiting belief with your new outlook and achieve that dream that keeps slipping out of your grasp.