How to Overcome Fear and Limiting Beliefs
By Noreen Sumpter
Fear is an emotional response to an impending threat or danger. It is one of our most basic responses. Most of the fears that we experience today in our society are imagined. We experience the fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of success. All kinds of fears - many of which are attached to our belief systems.
I used to have a fear of going to the movies by myself. While I longed to go to the movies, I refused to go alone. I had a fear of being molested by a man wearing a beige raincoat that was cinched at the waist. This was something that I had heard as a child and added to my belief system. How ridiculous! However, as I grew older I realized that I had this fear of going alone, but I could not remember why. It wasn't until I accepted that I was afraid that I was able to see what my fear was, where it came from, and how it came to be. My older brother used to take me to the movies when I was younger and in order to keep us in line he would tell us about the old man in the beige coat that would take us away and do awful things to us. What I realized was that I had internalized a lot of that story and it followed me for years. I was 30 years old when I finally went to the movies by myself. Yep, 30 years old. Some people might say that's crazy. However, in my mind I was still young and very afraid. Consequently, that was what my limiting belief looked like. It was an old condition that kept me from succeeding and going to the movies by myself.
Limiting beliefs interfere with many aspects of our lives. There are all kinds of limiting beliefs that stop us from succeeding. Fear of Failure is a huge limiting belief. I recently had the opportunity to meet a woman who was raised middle class, but because of her experience attending a school with children who were not middle class, she developed the limiting belief of not deserving. Because her friends did not have, she stopped asking her parents for the things she wanted. She did not want to feel like a show off because of her nice clothes and her toys and gadgets. If she did get something she used it at home and refused to wear clothes that were better than her peers.
Fast forward into adulthood. Her limiting belief manifested into not having made enough money to live on. She always squeaked by with just enough money for her basic needs, but never enough for extras. As a result of her limiting belief, she has never developed the confidence to ask for the salary that she wanted and conditioned herself to not have any idea about the amount money she wants to make. So she lives in a world of not enough and not deserving.
Limiting beliefs can show up in lots of different ways and if the limiting belief is something that you developed as a child, it grows up with you into an adult-sized limiting belief system. In order to succeed and clear your limiting beliefs, you have to submerge and focus your mind with positive thoughts. You have to starting creating the reality you want. You cannot for one moment allow old limiting beliefs to enter your mind and re-root themselves. It takes effort, courage and knowing in your gut that limiting beliefs can be overcome.