Once you’ve identified your limiting belief, the next step is to assess whether it’s true or not. Maybe you really are bad at managing money. Maybe you really do weigh more than is healthy. But maybe not. Maybe you aren’t lazy, or undisciplined, or hopeless at relationships.
The first step is to ask: “Is this true?”
Your first response may be “Of course it is!” And then you’ll be tempted to list all the evidence that supports this limiting belief.
Take me and pancakes. At first, I say, yes, of course I can’t make pancakes. I mean, I see my underdone and burned pancakes all the time. And then I was forced to confront my beliefs when we needed someone to make pancakes at Love Wins Community Engagement Center where I volunteer. I decided to step up and make the effort. At first, yes, my pancakes were a bit underdone. But as I went on, making literally dozens of pancakes, I got better. Not only did practice help, but I also had a griddle instead of a saute pan, and it turns out that really made a difference. Now I’m the designated pancake chef every Monday!
Part of my success comes from practice and proper tools. I had to make dozens of pancakes, and I had a griddle instead of a saute pan. But part of it comes from my ability to put limiting beliefs behind me. Instead of simply accepting that I can’t make pancakes, I was open to the possibility that my limiting belief wasn’t true. Maybe I really could make pancakes!
This is why it’s essential to ask “Is my limiting belief true?” You will never be able to overcome your limiting belief if you don’t first address the truth or lie behind it.
This question is often complicated by the generalized or subjective language that we use in limiting beliefs. If you have a specific belief, like “I can’t make pancakes,” it’s pretty easy. But if your belief is “I’m fat,” or “I’m terrible at budgeting,” it gets more challenging to answer whether this is true or not.
The key here is to get really specific. Instead of “I’m fat,” state how many pounds over your ideal weight you are. Instead of “I can’t wear dresses,” say “I’ve never found a dress that looks good on me.” Once you’ve refined the limiting belief into a specific statement, then assess if it’s objectively true.
Maybe your limiting belief is “I’m just not a girly girl.” When you start to analyze that, other limiting beliefs will spill out. Beliefs like: “I don’t have pretty hair,” “My boobs are too small,” “I don’t like other women,” “Women’s clothes are stupid and constricting,” “I’m not a helpless princess.”
You can see how this one simple question begins to open up a host of related and connected concerns. And once you’ve identified and written them all down, go back and ask “Is it true” for each statement.
Next week we’ll learn about what to do next to powerfully deal with your limiting belief, whether it’s true or not!