I want to talk today about spiders, and also limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are pretty self-explanatory. That’s a belief that we hold that in some way limits us or maybe limits other people. But here is how it relates to spiders…
I have an irrational fear of spiders. They are so tiny, but if there is a spider on the ceiling… I don’t know what I think it’s going to do. Is it going to jump on me? I mean, it’s harmless! But, I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s up there. I will not be able to concentrate until that spider has left the area.
So people in my family have learned to rescue spiders. They come along with a cup and catch the spider, then put a paper underneath it and take it outside.
This is a lot like a limiting belief. Here’s a spider out enjoying all the possibilities of the world. The entire room is open to it. And then all of a sudden, WE limit its space.
This is what we do when we have a limiting belief. We limit ourselves or we limit someone else. It’s just like someone coming along and putting a cup on our possibilities. Instead of seeing all of the options that are out there in the world, we can only see the ones that are inside the box or inside the cup.
Not only that, but we can’t grow beyond that. We can only grow until the point when we hit that belief and then, that’s it.
Sometimes they are small and those are easy to get rid of. We were on the beach one time with our son and he had a football and wanted to play football with somebody. So we said, “Hey, there are some kids over there.” He looked at us and said, “What am I supposed to do? Just go up to them and say ‘Hi, I’m Julian. Do you want to play ball?’” We responded, “Um, yeah. That’s what you should do.” But in his mind, he had limited himself and that wasn’t even a possibility. It was outrageous to him. That’s a small limiting belief and those are kind of easy to unhinge and replace.
I had one that really got in my way when I was deciding what I wanted to do in my next phase of life. I had been a math teacher and I had all the experience, education, graduate degree, and credential. I kept thinking, “How am I going to feel fulfilled and incorporate that?” I was dealing with a limiting belief that because I had all that, I had to go into that box even though I knew in my heart that I wanted to teach other things, the things I’m teaching now. Once I realized that was limiting me, I could replace that belief with something else.
Sometimes they’re really really sticky limiting beliefs like, “I’m not going to be okay without this job, relationship, habit, religion, whatever.” That can really limit us too, and introduce fear and all kinds of other issues.
So we have them all the time, little ones, medium, big ones. What I want to challenge you to do today is try to uncover one. Try to see where you have a limiting belief and ask yourself how it’s limiting you. What do you want to replace it with? What can you change about that belief so that you can expand your options and begin to see all the possibilities and give yourself more room to grow.
That’s your challenge today. Find yourself a limiting belief and blow it out of the water.