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Sober Up by Overcoming Self-Limiting Beliefs

Do you worry that you just don't have it in you to build a good life away from addiction? If the answer to this is yes then it is likely to be because you have developed some self-limiting beliefs. This can mean that you feel powerless and may even believe that addiction is the best you can hope for in life. Once you are able to abandon these self-limiting beliefs, it will be possible for you to begin building a much better future. One of the benefits of entering a rehab programme is it means you will have plenty of time to work with a therapist on the negative ways of thinking that have been holding you back.

What is a Self-Limiting Belief

A self-limiting belief is any idea you have about the world that is holding you back. The classic example of this would be 'I can't do that'. If you believe you cannot do something, you create a self-fulfilling prophecy that ensures you will not be able to do it; for example, the fact that you already assume you are going to fail means that you don't put in sufficient effort to succeed. Self-limiting beliefs can also involve descriptions of yourself such as, 'I'm stupid' or 'I'm unlovable'. If you believe bad things about yourself, it will have a negative impact on your behaviour.

What Causes Self-Limiting Beliefs

Children never have self-limiting beliefs, so these powerful ideas are things that people learn as they grow older. It could be that a teacher was in a bad mood one day and shouted at a student that he were stupid; this child could then carry this belief around for the rest of his or her life. Individuals also develop self-limiting beliefs because of addiction as this type of behaviour lowers self-esteem and could lead to great shame and guilt. If you have tried to quit alcohol or drugs a few times but failed, you may develop the belief that you can never escape. The fact that you actually believe this is enough to keep you trapped.

How to Deal with Self-Limiting Beliefs

The most important thing to understand when dealing with self-limiting thoughts are that beliefs are not facts. Even the most educated and sensible human will hold on to at least some beliefs that are wrong. The reason why there is so much conflict in the world is because there are so many competing belief systems - most people treat their beliefs as facts even though this cannot be the case (not everyone can be right). Once you understand that beliefs are just stories, it will make it much easier to let go of the self-limiting ones.

One of the first things you can do to overcome a self-limiting belief that has been holding you back is to write it down on a piece of paper. Once you have done this, you need to look at this belief to determine how you know this is a fact. If you believe that others hate you then you are going to have to be a mind reader - if you are not a mind reader, you cannot know this as a fact. Once you have dissected your self-limiting belief to see that it is based on your imagination, you can next decide to replace it with a more positive belief; for example, you could use the principle of charity and assume that most people like you. You can tackle all of your self-limiting beliefs this way until eventually you are free to enjoy the life you deserve.

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