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Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

February 2017 by Tanja Mitton

Limiting beliefs are something we all suffer from. A limiting belief develops over time when we think we can’t do something, that we aren’t good enough to achieve a goal or that we think everyone is better than we are.

Limiting beliefs can be crippling when we let them take over or they can become empowering when we use them as fuel for self-development. 

Let’s look closer at how limiting beliefs develop and the reason we hold onto them.

Where do they come from? 

Most limiting beliefs start out as a harmless comment, a misunderstood suggestion or a one-off bad experience that affects us. 

We all go through stages when things go well for us and then, all of a sudden, things fall apart. This is part of the universal balance of life. When we go up, we also have to come down; when things go well, something else goes pear-shaped.

So, what do we need to do to overcome the feeling of failure?

First, we need to change our focus. 

Look for the good experiences, the great outcomes and the successful rides. Don’t just push them aside but, instead, acknowledge them and be proud of them.  

Move on

We can all remember a riding lesson when we had high expectations of ourselves, only to find that in the actual lesson everything was falling apart and it looked like we had gone back, rather then improved, since our last lesson. 

It is those moments, when most people start to doubt, rather then to see it for what it is - one bad experience that will pass.

Learn from what went wrong and move on, don’t get stuck there. 

Remember your good rides and focus on what they felt like, rather than re-live the bad ride and talk about it for weeks! This simply won’t help.

Remember, what you focus on magnifies and you get more of those experiences. Start to focus on your good rides and magnify those. 

A new start

We live in a society where it is very acceptable to put yourself down and where talking about what you can’t do makes you seem humble. But, this is a dangerous spiral that leads nowhere. 

So, let’s take action and make a new start. Developing empowering beliefs is what we need to focus on. 

You can start by remembering all your good rides, your great experiences and how awesome you are. Feels uncomfortable? That’s okay, learn to do it anyway!

Remember, if you had one bad ride, it doesn’t mean you can’t ride, it simply means it just didn’t come together for you today. Be more encouraging towards yourself and remind yourself of how far you have come already. 

Focusing on the good things is just a habit and one very important part of overcoming limiting beliefs. So, whenever you catch yourself getting negative and down, pause for a moment and ask yourself: When did you have the last good experience?

What did it feel like? What did you do different and what did you say to yourself at that moment?

Change the focus away from what isn’t working to what it feels like when it is working. Make sure that after every ride you find at least three good things that happened and three things you have improved in. 

Focusing on what you are good at is a habit and habits need to be practised constantly to become so.

Happy riding everyone!