Overcome Limiting Beliefs
February 28, 2023
Note From Rochelle
When we put off working on important projects, we might beat up on ourselves for being undisciplined or having poor time-management skills.
But the truth is, we put off projects that scare us. To understand more about why we procrastinate and to learn how to work through your feelings, come to our two-session class on Overcoming Procrastination. I’ll be teaching it with my good friend Liesel Teversham, who is an expert in EFT Therapy. Together, we’ll help you overcome your emotional and intellectual blocks and write. Here’s the link to sign up: OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION.
Today’s post will help you deal with limiting beliefs.
Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
Overcome Limiting Beliefs
By Rochelle Melander
Like that news ticker that runs at the bottom of every television report, my inner critic unleashes negative thoughts throughout the day. (Anne Lamott gave this inner critic the clever name, radio station KFKD.)
Our inner critic often pulls content from our own past (negative things people have said to us) and our limiting beliefs to attack us.
What are Limiting Beliefs?
Limiting beliefs often fall into these categories:
- I do/I don’t. (I’m a nonfiction writer. I don’t do fiction.)
- I can’t. (I can’t dance. I can’t write dialogue. I can’t speak in public.)
- I must/mustn’t or should/shouldn’t. (I should clean the house before writing.)
- I am/am not. (I’m not good enough.)
I often hear limiting beliefs phrased like this:
- I want, but. (I want to write, but I’m feeling overwhelmed.)
- I would, but (I would write, but I need more training.)
- I tried, but (I tried to get published, but it’s too hard.)
When limiting beliefs threaten to stop our writing, we need help—and fast. And I’ve got it: Wonder Woman’s Lasso of truth.
You Need the Lasso of Truth
Wonder Woman used the Lasso of Truth to trap her enemies and force them to tell the truth. You can use this tool to find the truth behind the lies you tell yourself about writing.
Name the obstacles.
+Make a list of the thoughts that have become obstacles for you. These are the ideas that keep you from achieving your goals—writing the book, sending off the query, telling the truth about your life. Examples might be,
“I’m not a good enough writer to get published.”
“I’m too busy to write.”
“I’m not disciplined enough to write a book.”
+If there are additional limiting beliefs that support these thoughts, record those, too. So, let’s say your limiting thought is, “I’m not disciplined enough to write a book.” Behind the thought might be beliefs like, “I can’t stick to an exercise program, how can I write a book?” or “I’ve never written anything that long.” or “I would try, but I’m pretty sure I’d fail.”
Lasso and question!
You now have a big old list of limiting thoughts and beliefs that you can challenge.
+Take out your Lasso of Truth and question those thoughts. Yup, that’s right. Don’t let those beliefs sit there, looking all smug on the page. Challenge them.
Byron Katie is known for challenging the stories that limit us. Use her questions to challenge your beliefs (See #2 on http://thework.com/en/do-work)
- Is that true?
- Can you absolutely know it’s true?
- How do you react or what happens when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without that thought?
Reverse it and post it.
+Once you’ve run through your list of questions for the thoughts, try reversing your limiting belief. So, “I’m not disciplined enough to write a book.” Becomes “I have the discipline necessary to write a book.” And, “I am not strong enough to write a book.” becomes, “I’m too strong to write a book, perhaps I should present a speaking series!”
If you find that you like some of these reversals, jot them on an index card and post them!
You’ve Got This!
Once you’ve taken those limiting beliefs, questioned the truth out of them and reversed them, it’s time to get writing. Don’t let the obstacles hold you back from achieving your dream! You’ve got this, writers!