I’ve realized that I have a strong belief in commitment, loyalty, and the long term. I stick with choices I make. I stick with people. I buy things for the long term. I’ve recently become aware that this belief has both good and bad consequences. My recent work on self-limiting beliefs has taught me that when any belief starts to limit me, it’s time to think about releasing it or at least shifting it.
In the area of self-limiting beliefs, the first step (from my Release Workbook) is: Understand how the belief came into being and how it manifests itself in your life. How does it help and support your life? How does it hurt and impede your life? I’m finding that most of my self-limiting beliefs have aspects of both supporting and impeding.
I came by this belief (commitment, loyalty, and the long term) early in life. I lived in the same house from birth to 18 years of age when I left for college. We never bought something new unless the old item completely wore out. I think we might have had the same car (a blue Ford station wagon) for most of my childhood. My parent’s were married for 45 years (when my dad passed away) and only sold my childhood home when work relocated my mom. Dad was disabled by then and mom getting another well-paid job at her age was going to be challenge – so they moved. My mom stuck with her company as it grew, and as it morphed.
I wasn’t the smartest kid in the class, but smart enough, and I was encouraged to stick to my classwork and work though the challenges. My parents taught me that you don’t quit something you’ve chosen to do just because it’s hard. I stuck with piano lessons, even when I didn’t really like the teacher. I stuck to engineering in college although partially in, I felt it wasn’t the right choice. I believe in sticking to the choices I make.
I stick. I worked for the same company for 32 years. There were a few times I considered leaving for “greener pastures”, but in the end, my belief in commitment kept me there. In this case, my stick-to-it allowed me to retire early with financial security.
I stick. I’ve been with the same financial planner for 29 years. Even as others have tried to lure our business away as we’ve retired, I’m loyal to the person who helped us get to early retirement.
I stick. I’ve been married for 27 years and yes, I will stick with him even if he drives me crazy with his hoarding as I try and simplify.
I’ve been a subscriber to our local playhouse for 30 years. I gave to the United Way campaign for 32 years and the Fine Arts Campaign for 25 years. I stick with magazine subscriptions for way too long – even after I’m not finding the material still relevant!
I buy things for the long term. When I buy a car, I keep it till it needs more repair work than it’s worth. I don’t upgrade anything until the previous thing wears out. (Yes, I’ve had people laugh at my old cell phones a few times through the years.) I’ve never been a buyer of the latest fad or trendy fashion.
When I buy a house, I also believe it’s for the long run. This has become the challenge – where it has turned into a limiting belief. We bought our current house in Ohio with a long -term vision – I even called it our “10 year house”. Now, 2.5 years in, we’re looking to relocate and sell this house. Selling this house feels like a betrayal – I haven’t utilized it to the fullest. I’m wasting the investment. I’m not being committed to the choice I made. These are all very negative emotions!
I’ve realized that all these negative feelings are rooted in my belief in commitment, loyalty, and the long term. That belief in commitment is generally good, but in this instance it’s become a self-limiting belief, causing me to feel bad about myself and stopping me from moving forward.
I’m not sure how to resolve these feelings, but awareness is always the first step.
Is there a usually positive belief you’ve identified that’s become self-limiting, keeping you from moving forward with positivity?
Picture: spring walk photo by me