When it comes to achieving success in business and life, there is nothing that has more of a negative impact than limiting beliefs. In fact, many people actually find themselves utterly paralyzed and held back by the blocks that were programmed into them as early as childhood. Fortunately, there are those who have already made the climb paving the way.
Julia Cha is an executive coach and rapid transformational therapist who works with accomplished executives and entrepreneurs to stretch beyond their realm of possibility and success. She has found great results in her work by focusing on helping her clients resolve their limiting beliefs.
“The most powerful, life-controlling subliminal beliefs are instilled in us between the ages of 0-7, and certainly, most of our patterns, habits, and self-identity are already formed by the age of 10,” Julia says, “they were shaped by family dynamics, parenting, peer and school experience, culture, society, and socioeconomic dynamics. These beliefs run deep, because we’ve been programmed, even before we knew what conditioning meant. Before we have any awareness, these acquired beliefs become a norm and a standard to us.”
For this article, Julia shares with us her three-step process to tackle limiting beliefs. She uses this to guide her clients in developing an awareness of their limiting beliefs by providing them with three eye-opening observations.
Notice a pattern
“Person’s beliefs are the one thing that controls all of their life’s outcomes,” Julia says, “limiting beliefs are outdated beliefs that no longer serve us. However, our brain does not perceive it as such because of subconscious programming. Our brain tricks us to believe that these outdated beliefs are true. This holds people back in life.”
This subconscious programming is built on old beliefs that no longer work for the person, and their attempt at protecting these beliefs creates problems. Essentially, the program which once helped the person survive, no longer helps them get the results they want.
Because of this, Julia asks people to discover when they have recurring and persisting problems that work like a cycle. Most people will see these recurring issues surrounding money, career growth, intimacy, weight, and parenting stress.
Julia also adds, “subliminal limiting beliefs contradict conscious desires and lead people to feeling frozen, stuck, and struggling in important aspects of their life and career. In fact, the more subliminal the belief is, the more she feels it controls a person. The hardest part is noticing a pattern. But when you do, this whole process of shifting limiting beliefs becomes easier.”
Pay attention to how you judge others
There have been many studies such as those reported in Psychology Today that show why people judge each other; however, Julia goes beyond personality or situational attributions of judgment. She explains that judgment has to do with our brain’s wiring.
“The act of judging someone is a great indicator of where limiting beliefs are, “Julia teaches, “for example, there are people that judge those with money. The likelihood is that the one who judges is terrified of their personal money situation and finances. The ones who judge ones without money are also suffering from the opposite side of the coin.”
Our brains are naturally wired to compare ourselves to external environments. This causes us to measure our own value to external metrics and factors. Although this can serve as a motivation, it also causes a sense of self-inadequacy for many. This creates limiting beliefs about their worth being tied to a specific type of success.
Julia also adds, “those who need to prove something are comparing themselves to others. These beliefs hurt you because when you peg your worth to an external achievement, you compare yourself to an impossible standard, and you’ll never be enough. When you don’t feel enough, you contract, you fear failure so you feel frozen, and don’t end up achieving what you want. So pay attention to when you judge others!”
Listen to your excuses
Identifying limiting beliefs is only half the battle. After identification, it’s time to reframe the limiting beliefs and change them. Julia tells people to listen to their excuses. These excuses are usually a sign of a lack of self-trust, uncertainty, and internal undermining.
In order to start doing that, Julia tells people to start noticing what negative thoughts automatically come up in their mind when they’re faced with an issue that generates a strong emotion or opinion. Then, they need to think about their desired outcome and ask themselves a few questions, such as “How does this thought help me,” “Does it have to be true,” “Who would I be without this thought,” and “What thought will help me instead (to have the outcome)?”.
“Pervasive limiting beliefs are subliminal, and the root cause is never what you think it is at the conscious level, but asking these questions will help to start working through them,” says Julia.
How to put this together
Julia shares a case study as to how she used this process with one of her clients.
Situation: One of Julia’s clients was a very successful female executive who struggled with toxic workplace dynamics and toxic men that took more than they gave.
Limiting Belief and Pattern: She couldn’t imagine being in a healthier environment, with a higher salary that met her terms, or being in a relationship with an emotionally available man. She always felt that she had to prove herself to be loved and appreciated, and support was only available when she makes great sacrifices to earn it. The beliefs always made sure that she ended up in a career environment where she had to be forceful to be seen and heard, and she was struggling similarly in her intimate relationships.
Discovery: By asking the question, “Does this have to be true?”, “How does this perspective help me?”, as well as the other questions, she realized that she only sought out what she believed was possible for her based on her past experiences and conditioning that began in her youth.
“Using this process, she was able to reframe her thoughts not just in her career and began making healthy choices in her life. What she used to consider as “impossible” became a true possibility under a new perspective. This is a process that can help in all areas of life!” Julia says, “by discovering your programming, asking questions, and reframing the beliefs, you can knock down the things that have been holding you back. You’ll be amazed at how fast things change.”
Identifying and breaking down these limiting beliefs is essential for building a successful life and career. Although being free of limiting beliefs may seem as difficult as climbing Mount Everest, have no fear! Use these processes every single time to tackle any negative thoughts.