Defining Core Values and Limiting Beliefs
"Who are you?" This is a question I have struggled with over the years. Oftentimes, when one is faced with this seemingly simple question we answer with our job title, or perhaps a relationship title - wife, mother, friend. But who are we on a spiritual level? I have had times in my life where I felt like a stranger to myself. I would unconsciously go through the motions of life with a sort of disconnection to my very being. We all have incredible potential and are only limited by our own limiting beliefs and fears.
When starting down the path of self discovery and really getting to know ourselves, it's important to first identify our core values. Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person. They can serve as a guide, especially when we are forced to face difficult situations, and they can also help to guide us past our limiting beliefs. Some examples of core values are dependability, open-mindedness, creativity, respectfulness, inspiring, loving and courageous. What values propel you forward and influence your decision making? These personal values can help you determine your priorities and keep your life in line with your values. I would encourage you to find your top 5 most important core values. It's easy to identify with many, many more than that but by narrowing it down, you can really focus on what rings true in your heart!
Once you identify your core values, start figuring out what your limiting beliefs are and realize how they are holding you back from reaching your potential or keeping you stuck in circumstances that you are not happy with or that do not align with your core values. By believing in limiting beliefs, we hold our selves back and potentially sabotage our future by never taking action due to fear. Examples of these are fear of failure, fear of not being accepted, and fear of upsetting other people. These are just a few examples. So many people lack faith in themselves and stay in jobs and relationships they hate because they believe that they will not be successful if they leave that situation. An example of a limiting belief is that you don't want to show horses because you will be too nervous. I'm sure many of you can relate to that one! So, if you let that limiting belief take power, you will stay in your comfort zone, safely riding at home and never facing criticism or failure. Unfortunately, you lose an opportunity for wonderful growth and learning (and I'm not even referring to your education as a rider). You miss the feeling of achievement and success that comes from stepping out of your comfort zone. It's in this place of discomfort that we can face our fears and begin to grow! Another example of a limiting belief is that "I'm never going to buy another horse, because I had a bad experience with the last one". You could be missing out on a great opportunity to create a meaningful relationship with a new equine partner. You could miss out on educational opportunities that can be gained by riding a new horse.
Of course, we can have limiting beliefs about anything...horse related, work related, relationship related, etc... Try to identify them as they occur. What situations make you uncomfortable? Step back and try to track the source of the discomfort. Why does it make you so nervous to get out and show? Why are you fearful about people watching your ride? Are you afraid that they will think poorly of you if you don't do well? Usually limiting beliefs are formed early on in our lives and often stem from relationships and experiences we had as children. They can also be formed from traumatic experiences and by traumatic it can be something as seemingly small as some public humiliation in elementary school that puts the idea in your mind that you are not good in public situations and you may carry this idea with you for years.
One of my favorite movies is Inception and one of my favorite lines in the movie is when Leonardo DiCaprio's character says, "An idea. Resilient, highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain, it's almost impossible to eradicate. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. It can grow to define or destroy you." Limiting beliefs do have the power to destroy you and hold you back. However, they can be changed! You can start to reprogram your mind by not allowing those limiting beliefs to define your actions. Get outside of your comfort zone. This is the only place to find growth and fulfillment! Surround yourself with like minded people, people that lift you up and support you on your path of personal growth. On the flip side of the limiting belief coin is an idea that inspires you, gives you direction and fulfillment. This is the idea to put your energy behind!
There are a few more questions you can ask yourself when working on self discovery. If failure were not an option, what would you do? What would you become? The fear of failure restricts so many people from following their dreams. Really think about it...what would your life look like if failure were not an option? What do your dreams look like? Also, ask yourself what makes you truly and genuinely happy? What values, dreams and ideas fire you up? What brings fulfillment to your life OR what do you need to do in order to be fulfilled?
You are LIMITLESS!