- Your limiting decisions have contributed and played a large part in everything you do. They have prevented you from seeing opportunities and maybe even discouraged you from trying at all. Time to bring them out of hiding!
So how to identify those pesky devils? First, what do you say to yourself about that area? For example, if you’re having trouble finding a relationship, maybe you explain it with something like, “Women only want men who have a lot of money” or “Guys are only interested in younger women.” Anything you say to yourself to justify why it isn’t working out for you is a limiting belief.
Will that belief sound true to you? Of course! It will sound perfectly reasonable and valid and you probably can come up with lots of evidence supporting it! But it’s still a belief that is getting in the way of what you want. So unless you’re willing to totally give up on your goals and desires, it’s a limiting decision that you don’t want to keep around.
Sometimes limiting decisions are not that conscious. Maybe you’ve learned to squelch your negative thoughts before they get revved up, and you’ve have gotten good at positive self-talk. So, you don’t hear any limiting beliefs in your head. But you’ll know you’ve still got a limiting decision lurking if your emotions are negative about that area in your life.
For example, if you’re bogged down with financial pressures, how do you feel about it? Anxious? Angry? Hopeless? If you stay with that emotion and acknowledge it for a moment, you’ll find the limiting belief right beneath it. For example, anxiety might be saying, “What will people think of me?” Anger might reflect “Life isn’t fair to people like me.” Underneath hopelessness might be, “I’m just not strong enough or smart enough to figure this out.”
Now that you’ve dragged some of those limiting beliefs out of the closet, what do you do with them? In the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) we have several specific processes to I can’t teach them fully in this article, but here are some steps to get you started:
Step 1: Write the limiting belief down. Play detective and follow your thoughts and emotions to discover the limiting beliefs that hold you back. Put them on paper and stare them in the face! You might note how strong each belief is and what emotions they elicit in you.
Step 2: Acknowledge that these are beliefs, not truths! This is often the hardest step. “But, but, my limitations are real!” Here’s the place where choice comes in. Which are you more interested in defending your limitations to the death or achieving your goals and desires? “When we argue for our limitations, we get to keep them.” You choose.
Step 3: Try on a different belief. Use your imagination and try on a belief that is aligned with what you want. It might be something like, “My financial difficulties in the past have taught me so much that I’m fully prepared to handle them now!” Or, “Now that I’ve been in an unhealthy relationship I’ve learned what to look for in a happy, loving partner!”
The trick is to go beyond just saying it. You want to really step into this new belief and feel how it feels. Done thoroughly, Steps 2 and 3 will go a long way to dismantling your old limiting decision.
Step 4: Take different action. This might feel scary but act as if your new belief is true. In other words, if you really are the kind of man or women to adore, how would you act at parties? Who might you ask out? If you really are capable and have learned a tremendous amount from past financial difficulties, what steps would you take? If you really are the kind of person who eats healthy food, what will you put on your grocery list?
If you avoid taking any steps based on your new belief, you will just feed your old limiting belief. Acting in, even the smallest step, will help solidify your new un-limiting decision. Your first steps don’t have to be perfect, just heading in the right direction. And be sure to acknowledge yourself when you’ve taken that step.
“We learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. Look back on your own life and notice how often you have gone through the same experience.”
Studies have shown clearly that by talking or writing about a negative situation, the negative affect and bad feelings are reduced. We tend to make issues worse in our minds. Have you ever held something you gnawed on it until it felt worse? When you do finally blow and let it out, you often realize that it wasn’t that big a deal.
Here is how to begin. Ask a loved one or friend if you can vent to him or her. Asking permission is preferable to just springing it on someone and possibly making them feel as if they had done something wrong. Ask them for a time where you can vent, let out what is bothering you, and let them know it is about you, and not them. Make sure you do this in a space that is appropriate.
Negativity and Doubt
Our black bags contain not only negative emotions but also the self-imposed limitations of negativity and doubt that come from the mental plane. The mental body listens to your conscious limiting beliefs about who you are and what you can do. So, if you don’t think you can be happy, the mental body ensures that you are correct.
Doubts are limiting decisions and/or limiting beliefs about yourself and your abilities. Self-doubt manifests in words like “I can’t,” “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not smart enough,” or “I am not spiritual enough.” Limiting decisions usually live in the mental body. They have less emotional quality though they may be strongly held. As you light up these doubts in your neurology, the black bags will feel a little bit different. The flavor is more mental than emotional, though some limiting decisions and beliefs have an emotional aspect as well.
Why “Black” Bag?
The color black was used because in life we progress down a path. Whether that path is an aim in life to be healthy or more spiritual, or if the path is a specific goal of creating an amazing relationship or reaching a specific weight, the path to get from the idea of what we desire to the desired goal itself is the path we travel.
When we literally walk down a path, we need one very important thing. you need to have enough light to see where to place your next step. The color black was used for our black bags because black or darkness is the absence of the light.
When you have negative emotions or limiting decisions stored up in your black bags and you attempt to go down a path, the darkness of the bags prevents you from seeing where you need to go or what you need to do. They cloud our judgment and sometimes make us take a misstep. For example, my fear prevented me from starting a weight reduction program for many years. Every time I thought of doing it, I couldn’t even see how to start. Many of us feel like we are stumbling around “in the dark” at some point or other. This is the effect of maintaining those black bags beyond their usefulness. It is the release of these negative emotions that allows the light to shine and illuminate our path.
Begin Your Release Process!
The best advice I can give you is to schedule the time to release now. Call your friend, talk to your partner, ask him or her if you could make a time and space to just let some things out. As an energy exchange, you could give them some time and space to do the same. Schedule it now, while you are thinking about it because you will be more likely to do it if it is on your calendar.
- What are the results you’ve produced in the various areas of your life?
- Where are your results not in alignment with what you really want to be, do or have?
- What area of your life have you really tried to improve but, no matter what, things just didn’t get better?