I’ve never wanted kids.
I’m 30 years old, living in Bali as an entrepreneur and have absolutely no desire to give birth to new life.
I don’t have any remorse about my choice, but I do have some uncomfortable stories going on about what’s going to happen to me as a result.
However, this article isn’t about my decision to not have kids, it’s about belief systems.
What do my deepest, darkest, ugliest limiting beliefs and stories tell me about myself — and what do yours say about you?
I’m comfortable with my choice not to have kids, but inside there’s a shadowy and pesky belief that goes something like this: “If I don’t have kids and give my parents the happiness of grandchildren, I’ll be punished somewhere else in my life.”
Or, “I won’t be able to have love because I’ve ‘deprived’ my parents of theirs by choosing to live on the other side of the world and not create grandchildren for them.”
When I discovered that one running around in the background of my life, I yanked back the curtain and pulled it out on stage.
I confessed it to a friend while slumped over the brunch table one tropical morning in Ubud, my eyes peering through my fingers as if to say, “Can you believe part of me actually believes that?”
Smiling, she clawed at the air in front of me and threw a handful of my inner crap over her shoulder saying, “Well that’s a really good one! Good find! Let’s just take that one and burn it, shall we?”
The Result Of Discovering A Limiting Belief Is Freedom
When we discover our limiting beliefs we attain freedom from something that’s running our life from under the surface and creating our reality in response to it.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a bunch of rubbish I don’t even know is there running the show — puppeteering my life to match it.
That’s why I do the inner work — with myself and my clients.
Because it’s in the subconscious where we can begin to liberate ourselves from social conditioning, childhood trauma, and other people’s voices masquerading as our own — writing our stories for us!
Here are 5 of the most powerful ways to discover what limiting beliefs of your own you may be carrying around unannounced to you — except of course for the havoc they’re secretly causing your wallet, relationships, or health.
- Is There An Incongruence?
- Ask Yourself A Few Questions About Your Parents
- Take A Fear You Have About Someone Else And Flip It Around
- Speak It Out And Share With A Friend
- Look At What You Don’t Like About Your Life
1. Is There An Incongruence?
Notice when there’s an incongruence between what’s actually happening and what you feel.
This happened to me when I first encountered the idea of an upper limiting belief.
My life was getting better and better (business taking off, new relationship going really well, living comfortably in paradise), but instead of feeling joyful and at ease, I was terrified.
Why was I feeling fear when nothing around me would indicate anything to be afraid of?
Red alert! Belief system malfunction.
By paying attention to my inner experience of my outside world, I discovered a big (upper) limiting belief: “This can only get so good before something terrible happens. I’m only allowed so much success before something comes in to clock me over the head.”
If you notice your emotional experience of life outside doesn’t compute, it may be because a limiting belief in the mind is creating pain that otherwise doesn’t exist.
It may be because there’s an incongruence.
2. Ask Yourself A Few Questions About Your Parents
Whether you like it or not, you’ve inherited fears and beliefs from your parents.
It’s one of the most liberating moments when you realize a problem you’ve been having in your life is actually the result of hearing your parents say something to you, or around you, a long time ago. Something that you absorbed when you were an innocent, delicate little sponge.
- What fears did your mom/dad have when you were growing up?
- Did you hear your mom/dad say something about men or women, money, marriage, and other families?
- What were you praised for by your parents as a kid? What were you judged for?
- How have you modified your behavior to get more praise? How did you cope when criticized?
Practice listening to yourself and thinking, “Is that voice mom or dad?”
If it is, just as you chose to pick it up at some point, you can also choose to drop it. And once you do you can also choose to keep listening, until you hear yourself again.
3. Take A Fear You Have About Someone Else And Flip It Around
I discovered my fear of being abandoned by men wasn’t what I thought it was when one day I asked myself, “Am I afraid of my partner leaving me or am I really afraid of me leaving my partner?”
My stomach dropped in the second half of that self-induced truth bomb.
I was more afraid of the part of me that was the runner, that was ready to bail on a guy at any moment.
The part of me that would abandon my partner if he made a misstep or showed a part of himself to me I didn’t like. I was the one who had one foot out the door!
When I got honest about this, I was able to work with the shadowy parts of me that were self-sabotaging the best intimacy I’ve ever had.
I saw the reality was that my partner had both feet in the door and I had been projecting my own stuff onto him.
Ask yourself: Is there truth (and perhaps more truth) in the opposite of my fear?
4. Speak It Out And Share With A Friend
I’ve had many breakthroughs simply by hearing other incredibly self-aware people say their stuff out loud.
Get yourself a friend or a group of friends you can be vulnerable with and practice naming your limiting beliefs and findings of your inner work.
Someone might say something that isn’t true for you, but it may open a door in your mind that leads to something that is true for you and you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Here are some of my other demonic limiting beliefs that may ring true for you or help you find your own:
- Relationships only get worse over time
- If I make a mistake and choose the wrong man, my life is over
- I enjoy the struggle to make money and being stuck in “figure it out” mode
- All men will lose interest in me and leave me eventually
- People think I’m boring and don’t want to hear what I have to say
5. Look At What You Don’t Like About Your Life
If you’re still drawing a blank on your own limiting beliefs, simply look at your life.
Your beliefs create your reality, so if there’s something you desire and it’s not showing up or there’s a pattern you’re in and you want to change it, you can be sure a belief is lurking around behind the curtain.
I discovered the “All men will lose interest in me and leave me eventually” belief because that’s what was happening! No wonder I believed it.
I changed my reality by doing intentional healing work on the belief, which shapeshifted my reality and gradually helped reinforce a new belief.
What’s the most shocking limiting belief you’ve discovered about yourself and how did you overcome it? Share your stories with us in the comments below!