By Jenny Peterson
(For an audio version of this blog, listen to episode #21 of my podcast)
I’ve tried everything!
There must be something wrong with me.
I simply don’t know how to heal.
My body is different.
Sound like words that you've spoken before?
You are far from alone; these are common among those with chronic illness– but these sorts of thoughts are really impacting your health and healing.
These statements are all limited beliefs, and they can be powerfully helpful or powerfully dangerous when it comes to your healing.
Limiting beliefs are just that– they are thoughts that are limiting you in some way. You believe they're absolutely true, which then holds you back and prevents you from experiencing incredible things in life.
Everyone that comes into the MBR program wants to jump into the goodies right away. They want to get right into the work around their symptoms so they can get well fast. Granted I understand that desire, but as a coach and someone that has experienced healing, I know that there is some prep work that needs to be done before jumping into that work.
There are some mind shifts that need to happen along with a few other foundational things in order for the work around the symptoms to stick. We don’t want to put the cart before the horse.
One of the mind shifts is limited beliefs around healing.
Now if you don’t know what limited beliefs are, I’m going to just give you a short explanation because honestly it doesn’t need a long one.
WHAT ARE LIMITED BELIEFS?
Limited beliefs are simply thoughts that constrain us in some way which we believe to be absolutely true so we don’t challenge them.
A limited belief example might be “I can’t dance”. This limited belief may have been based on the attempt at dancing in a school play when you were 7. Perhaps you didn’t understand the steps, or felt a lack of coordination. A teacher, student or parent may have said to you something after the event that perhaps dancing wasn’t for you and so that belief system stuck.
If we were to go back to that situation with a new attitude it is clear that all the variables in that situation were not explored. What if the child had proper lessons with a patient teacher? What if they would have practiced their moves for weeks before the performance? If the child had tried other options, there is a much higher likelihood of success. The limited beliefs however had prevented that person from ever trying it again.
LIMITED BELIEF VS CORE BELIEF
Now I do want to talk about the difference between a limited belief and a core belief.
Limited beliefs can be about anything. Other people, the world, food, your illness etc. They put a ceiling on your ability to shift your thinking in whatever area they are connected to.
Core beliefs though are much different. Core beliefs are the deepest values and most central ideas you hold about yourself. In fact, they are so deep that most people are vaguely aware of them and definitely don’t share them with anyone else. Core beliefs are developed early on in childhood. As you grew up, you learned these beliefs about yourself and your world and at that time they helped you get through tough situations.
Today I am not covering core beliefs, that's another topic, but I just wanted you to know that there is a difference between the two.
THE EFFECTS OF LIMITED BELIEFS
Limited beliefs create a cloud over our perceptions and as they state, limit our efforts and success.
They keep our minds closed off from possibilities when we choose to not challenge them.
They could keep you from making good choices, taking new opportunities, reaching your highest potential, and yes even healing. Ultimately, limiting beliefs can keep you stuck in a negative state of mind and hinder you from living the life you truly desire.
MOST COMMON BELIEFS AROUND HEALING
So let's talk about the most common limited beliefs that I hear from people when it comes to their healing and I’m going to help debunk them along the way.
#1 My body is broken, there is something wrong with me.
This belief comes from when we have tried so desperately to heal, done all the things, and we don’t get results. So because we have done all this stuff, and haven’t “healed”, we think that our body is broken or simply doesn’t have the ability to heal.
Proof that this isn’t true: Your body was designed for survival. Just because you have symptoms doesn’t mean that you are broken, it means that your body isn’t ready to heal right now because it feels like something is threatening its survival. When you resolve the threat in your mind the body will no longer be getting that signal of feeling under attack, and then it will be able to fully heal.
Another way to prove that your body is not broken is by watching a cut or bruise heal. Seeing the process that your body goes through to heal a cut or bruise is proof that you are not broken! The natural healing ability of your body to heal these things is no different than the healing of any other part of your body.
#2 I have _____ because it's in my family.
This is a belief that often gets passed down in families. You hear it often from when you are little, maybe hearing mom say, just you wait, you are going to have it too, everyone in the family has it. Or you go to the doctor and they ask your family history and imply that because mom had diabetes that you are likely to have it to.
Proof that this isn’t true. This belief was considered fact until the study of epigenetics proved otherwise. Although genes may make you vulnerable to certain conditions, they do not destine you to a specific illness. Unless you are in the five percent of the population with a heritable disease (like sickle cell anemia), your lifestyle and mindset is a much higher predictor of risk than your genes.
What really gets passed down from one generation to another is thinking patterns, beliefs, fears and behaviors. If you want to prevent getting something that is in your family, shifting these areas is a sure way to do it. This puts you in control of whether you truly get passed on something or not.
#3 What I have is incurable.
Another one that stems from the medical world. Type in any disease in google and any medical site will tell you that pretty much every disease is incurable. When you hear this from your doctor or see it on the web, and you decide to believe it, this belief sets you up for feeling hopeless and a victim to your situation.
When your disease is pronounced incurable, you are either sent home to live with it, or to get your affairs in order before your impending death. Incurable means that conventional medicine does not have any more interventions to cure your disease. Therefore you are deemed hopeless.
Just being told that your disease is incurable is enough to cause a conflict within the psyche.
Proof that this isn’t true. Who is the owner of the belief that what you have is incurable? The person that told you that right? There is plenty of proof out there to find those that have healed from what you have. It's those proofs that you want to keep your focus on because it doesn’t support that belief to be 100% true.
Perhaps a more true statement should be, "I don't know how to heal this illness yet but I know that it's possible."
#4 I’ll never get better in the environment that I am in.
I hear this belief from 2 different areas, the world of mold illness and those that are in a home environment that may be triggering them or causing more trauma.
Now the discussion about mold illness is a whole another episode, but I will say this, you can heal despite being around mold. I will explain this simply, when someone has been led to believe that they need to be in fear of mold, they look for it everywhere. That in itself is toxic and keeps the body in the conflict phase. Your body’s response to mold has nothing to do with mold. It has to do with the nervous system. So when you address the subconscious connections to mold, issues with mold stop. So you don’t need to live in a tent or in a brand new apartment to heal.
As far as living in an environment that you experience trauma or triggers regularly, you can still heal, but it will require a lot of discipline and support. In fact your triggers can be your biggest healers. We have had several people heal in a triggering environment while in the MBR program, so I know it's possible.
#5 I don’t need help to heal.
This limiting belief comes from those that typically want to DIY their healing. They may have had bad experiences with practitioners and have given up asking for help. Have other beliefs connected to why they feel they don’t need help like, healing is too expensive or no one can do it like I can. There also may be underlying fears connected to this like the fear of change or fear of addressing past experiences that were painful, or fear of putting all their shit out on the table.
Proof that this isn’t true. While I am all for someone wanting to be their own healer, because ultimately only you can heal yourself, you are limiting your healing by not getting help. First of all, you will spend way too much time and money trying to figure it all out on your own, when there are proven methods that work.
I have been a big fan of coaching for over 15 years because my time is valuable. I don’t want to waste it on trying to figure things out that someone has already learned and can pass on to me. Second, when you don’t have someone that is trained from the outside to help you identify your old patterns and programs, you will miss out on major key factors for your healing. You can’t see your own shit, but a coach can.
You have been YOU for as long as you have been alive. Your patterns are so automatic that you can’t consciously see them. Even though your problems may feel like they are in the present, they really stem from the past. Unraveling “who you are” takes time and requires an outside view to see things you would never see on your own.
I know that this is true not only from my own healing journey but the many students that we have had go through the MBR program. So many people tell us that they have tried healing themselves for years and once we help them identify their patterns and programs, they always say, I would have never found that on my own.
#6 I don't deserve to heal.
Beliefs about health have to do with feelings of deserving and being worthy. They are common and show up in a lot of ways. You may feel unworthy or undeserving of good relationships, enough money, love, health, happiness, etc.. Perhaps you see your illness as some kind of punishment or karma.
Chances are, if you feel that way in one area of your life, it is spilling over into others. Guilt, shame, blame and low self esteem are indicators of this limiting belief.
Regardless of why you consider yourself undeserving, it is possible to develop feelings of worth. Everyone is worthy of healing, no matter what their past looks like.
#7 It is not safe for me to get well.
This limiting belief about health and healing may sound silly, but it is quite widespread. Your subconscious perceives change as a threat to your safety. It takes a lot of self awareness and honesty to figure this programming out. You may have viable reasons to want to hold on to an illness or disability. You may get extra attention, disability checks, a ready excuse to say no, days off, fewer responsibilities - to name a few.
Having to give up these perks in exchange for getting well can feel like a real threat to your subconscious mind as well as the secondary gains you are aware of and don't want to lose. This belief about health and healing can create an internal conflict between your desire to get well and your desire to not give up what you have gained by your condition. With the right work around this belief, moving forward with your healing can feel safe.
#8 I don’t have time for healing work.
On the surface, this belief may seem that it comes from those that have a busy schedule or think that healing takes hours in a day. But it's really about something much deeper than time.
It has everything to do with the belief of “I’m not important.” Those that have this belief are often over achievers, sometimes workaholics. At a young age they learned that achievement was a way to get love or attention. Or if you were taught that your needs were a burden, and you had to deny them in order to survive, then self-care, taking care of you will feel like a threat to your nervous system.
So its not about time. It's about giving yourself permission to love and care for yourself. Anything that matters to you, you find time for, that needs to include you, even if that feels uncomfortable at first.
IDENTIFY YOUR LIMITED BELIEFS
I am sure that you were able to resonate with a couple of these beliefs. If not, that is ok too.
Regardless if the limited beliefs that I just went through are yours or not, you want to identify the beliefs that are getting in the way of your healing. To do that, you just need to answer this statement…..
I can’t heal because……
Write down this question and then just start writing. It doesn’t need to make sense, just put whatever comes to your mind on paper. Write until you have nothing left to write. Then ask yourself the question again. I can’t heal because….. See if more comes up and if so, write it down.
You might be tempted to not put certain things down or when something comes up that you feel isn't true, but those are actually answers from the subconscious and you don’t want to ignore those answers, no matter what silly answers come up.
When done, whatever is on the paper will be your limited beliefs around healing. Then your next step is debunking them.
How do you debunk your limiting beliefs?
The goal is to challenge them and really see that they are not 100% true. It's about recognizing what you are telling yourself is not true. When you start writing down your limited beliefs it can be a real eye-opener. For many people, that’s all it takes for positive changes to take place.
There are some questions that you can ask yourself to help debunk them. Here they are:
Does this belief belong to me or someone else?
This question alone can be a game changer. When you realize that its someone else’s you can immediately make a choice to let it go. Did it come from a doctor, a neighbor, your mom, etc. We take on others' beliefs all the time unknowingly....... but you can always give them back!
Do I think that this belief is true beyond the shadow of a doubt?
Beyond the shadow of doubt... that means 10000% true.
Is this belief the most useful one for me right now?
Is this belief truly helpful to you right now?
What price am I going to pay if I continue to believe this?
How could it change your life if you didn't believe this? Does believing this mean that you will never heal, never be able to stand in your truth, never have trust in your body, etc.
What other belief could I adopt that would be more powerful in helping me attain my healing goals?
Whatever your belief was, then create one that is opposite that isn't limiting. For example: "Something is wrong with my body" >> There's nothing wrong with my body. I am open to understanding why it's doing what's its doing.
Now when that old belief pops up (because it will from time to time), you stop it with your new healthy belief. The more you do that, the less power you give to the old, and the new belief will stick!
Sometimes these questions are enough, other times a belief can be very strong with lots of neuro-connections in the brain and more work is necessary to clean it up. That’s where coaching comes in to find all those connections.
ITS ALL UP TO YOU
So the question is..... Do limited beliefs really affect your ability to get well and stay well?
The resounding answer is "Yes", if those beliefs are part of your subconscious programming.
We have more beliefs about health and every aspect of ourselves, our lives, our world, and others than we could ever imagine. Most beliefs, or subconscious programs, operate below your level of awareness.
Fears and fixed mindset beliefs about health, relationships, finances, and possibilities keep you from manifesting the well-being and life you desire. Until brought to light, you may not even be aware that they are driving your thoughts, choices and actions.
But, regardless of what your particular limiting belief is, the source of its power over you lies in your mind. And thankfully you can change your mind.
Distorted beliefs and misunderstandings can be overcome. Our minds can be mastered, and we can be free. We change our reality when we change our beliefs.
Beliefs are choices.
The kind of life you live will depend on the sort of world you believe it to be.
Once you open yourself to learn about a new reality, you will be able to attract all circumstances to experience this new reality. Remember: Nothing has meaning in life except the meaning you give it.
We get it, you're desperate to have your illness be a thing of the past, not something that defines your days. But trying to heal WITHOUT a custom plan is costing you precious time, money and energy!
You are unique, your symptoms are connected to very specific patterns within your subconscious.
Without a plan unique to you, you will continue struggling and miss out on the life you deserve to be living! To help you get started on your long-lasting healing journey, we would love to provide you with a healing plan that is unique to you. Get your custom healing plan today!
You can also Download my free healing guide, “Why Can’t I Heal” where you will learn the 5 reasons that you haven't healed despite everything you've tried. These are the missing pieces to your healing and the key to resolving your symptoms for good.
Jenny Peterson is the founder and CEO of Mind Body Rewire (MBR). She teaches those that are overwhelmed with trying to heal chronic symptoms how to simplify their healing by focusing on just one place, the subconscious mind. Learn more about MBR here.