In the book "The Big Leap", Gay Hendricks talks about the four most common limiting beliefs that people have about their lives.
These beliefs affect how people see their goals and situations in their lives and ultimately create upper limits of what is possible for them personally.
It's often called a "glass ceiling" effect based on the old wives tale about how you can put fleas in a jar with a glass cover and after the fleas keep jumping and hitting the top cover, when the cover is removed, the fleas never jump higher than where the cover was before.
There are four major limiting beliefs that create glass ceilings. Typically, most people have at least two of these beliefs impacting their performance. The four limiting beliefs are:
- You feel that you are fundamentally flawed and undeserving.
- You feel that people are disloyal and will easily abandon you.
- You feel that if you get more success, something bad is bound to happen.
- You feel that if you succeed at something, someone close will no longer love you.
The beliefs aren't our fault. They are simply what we picked up from our culture, family, and personal experiences growing up. We may not be able to control where we got these beliefs, but we do have the power to change them.
By having these beliefs ingrained in our minds, our thoughts and feelings will start oscillating in negative ways whenever we are about to achieve something that goes beyond our comfort zone of success, or our "glass ceiling".
It's this "danger zone" of bumping up against an upper limit that causes people to do some self sabotaging activity that usually destroys the opportunity, or simply wastes it.
The mind is trying to get away from the feelings of discomfort and uncertainty, and it takes the easy way out by returning to known territory.
However, there is another way. Instead of turning back, the right path forward is busting through the upper limit to reach the other side. You just have to be willing to face the pain and uncertainty.
Once you're there, your mind will simply adjust and become comfortable again within that new arena.
Chances are that you have done both in life. You've gotten to where you are right now by bursting through limits in the past and have reaped great rewards for doing so.
Unfortunately, most people have turned back much more when hitting their upper limits, leaving huge potential on the table.
Your dreams await you on the other side of every upper limit. Are you willing to bust through to get there? There are several tools like breathing and meditation that can help you face your upper limits.
Here are some actions that you can take to face your limiting beliefs:
- Based on your history, identify which of the four beliefs have shown up in your life. Most people have two or three.
- For 3 examples in your past, identify where you turned back when you encountered an upper limit, how you might of sabotaged yourself, and what action you could of taken instead to bust through the upper limit.
- Evaluate 1 area in your life right now where you might be encountering an upper limit and which limiting belief is causing it. Then identify actions that you can take to work through it.
- Start anticipating on your projects how your limiting beliefs might affect your thoughts and feelings and actively predict ways that your mind will try to self sabotage, based on your past patterns. Then work to neutralize the sabotage.