Updated: Aug 27, 2022
Security is an essential human need. The house we live in makes us feel secured, we lock our doors, have guards, install cctv cameras and other state of art security arrangements. We have our favourite humans who give us a sense of security and support. Importance of financial security can't be denied.
Likewise, we can also find security in our beliefs. Though not tangible but they form a crucial aspect of human life. Like, I have a belief that to navigate our human life, we rely upon a set of beliefs. I also have a belief that it is possible to choose what we want to believe in and we can also change our beliefs if they are not serving the purpose of human growth, health, and life satisfaction.
A belief is neither good nor bad. But a belief may be conducive to one’s survival, health and wellbeing or can limit it, and sometimes may even work against it.
At times, a belief can also come with what I can call as a shelf life, being conducive to one’s growth in a certain phase of life and beyond that it might be limiting.
A limiting belief is any belief — thought, idea, concept, opinion, even principles, convictions, and values held, which are in some way, hindering our growth and diminishing our sense of fulfilment in life.
We are not born with beliefs; we acquire/learn them as we grow. Our immediate family environment, our school, education, social connections, society, culture, country all influence our beliefs. For e.g.: ‘Men don’t cry’,or ‘Women’s duty is to keep man and family happy’. ‘Honesty is the best policy’, this is another treasured virtue for many like me. Yes, this is also a belief. We may also form our beliefs based on our experiences. For e.g. some one who got betrayed by someone they loved can form a belief ‘Love hurts’. (Check in the video below how we can use EFT to work on limiting beliefs).
Using EFT for limiting beliefs. Here, I am sharing a video in which I am working on a limiting belief, which is often covered under the cloak of being nice/dutiful/caring person. Yes, we hold responsibility for each other in a family, but HYPER-RESPONSIBILITY can create friction within ourselves and even with other members of the family. Tap until you feel comfortable letting go of the thought.
We may argue if some belief is limiting, why will anyone hold on to it?
Such beliefs are often not in our conscious awareness, and they might operate subtly in various aspects and areas of our lives. For e.g., a serious fight with a spouse over the amount of money spent on fun holidays might be an aspect of the underlying belief 'Fun and vacations are waste of time and money'. Obviously, if one spouse has a firm belief about fun and holidays, anyone, especially their spouse spending money on fun holidays, will be a big issue/trigger.
Any belief can be a limiting depending on context and person.
Honesty is the best policy is a virtue for many. Of course, many of us heard it from our teachers at school, from our parents, many children’s book teach such values through stories etc. Undoubtedly, it seems like a virtue to live by. However, it may surprise you that even such a virtue can be a limiting belief when we start passing judgements on others or even ourselves while operating under this belief. Strongly held judgements, whether on ourselves or on others, may limit our experience of life.
You will be surprised to know many of our decisions, choices, preferences, things we do/things we avoid, people we meet/people we avoid might be deeply influenced by the beliefs that we carry. Let's take an example. Growing up, I somehow held a belief that dark-skinned girls don’t look good in white clothes, so post school life, my wardrobe was full of blacks, blue greys, browns which were (still are) my favourite colours. I also picked another belief - I dirty my whites immediately. It was actually a statement often said by mum as I was not really a polished 'girly' girl and would easily sit on the floor, play around and often spill food/things on myself. It was true to the core statement for me growing up and to some extent even now. Now that I have started wearing whites, it is so interesting to see that most of the times when I am in whites, I invariably end up spilling something just minutes after wearing it. Though, I am getting better at saving myself from the spillage now, just saying..
We often bond and feel connected with people with similar belief system even if it wasn’t deliberate intention. People bond over political beliefs, religious beliefs, health beliefs, etc. Facebook and twitter wars over sharing publicly one’s belief in a particular political party is something we all are aware of. It can get so intense that even good friends can stop talking to each other.
Groups of people connect based on who supports a certain belief and who opposes. I am sure some of us must have heard the term 'Mutual admiration society', 'My tribe', 'Like minded'. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not saying this is wrong or right, just showing how beliefs are underplaying here as well. Finding people who share the same thought process is great, but how do you feel about the one's who don't. Social media companies, advertising firms etc are well aware of this and use this for their expansion. (Check the documentary movie "The social dilemma" if this made you curious).
While love, connection, friendship may appear to be the basis of our human relations and bondings, but even those connections might also have an underlying play of beliefs.
As we might have seen, often one of the reason of friction, fights and even disconnection might be disagreements over strongly held beliefs. And why not? Our beliefs provide us with a sense of security, any attack on that security can be regarded as a threat and then we are simply a human being defending/fighting for our survival.
Obviously, relationships/connections which can still acknowledge love, mutual acceptance and can look beyond beliefs, appreciating humanity in each other are the ones that thrive.