Get the Relationship You Want by Exploring Your Limiting Beliefs
When things aren’t going the way you want in your relationship, it’s easy to feel powerless. Things just keep happening (or not happening) the same way, and nothing ever changes. If you are dreaming of a happier, healthier relationship, here’s the first step: explore your limiting beliefs. Because the truth of the matter is that getting the relationship you want is entirely in your control.
I always ask my clients, do you want to be surviving in this relationship (and in your life), or thriving? The answer invariably is the latter, while their behavior to this point has been about the former: surviving. And it’s limiting beliefs that are to blame for this discrepancy.
The Reason For Limiting Beliefs
Limiting beliefs are thoughts and opinions that one believes to be the absolute truth. The belief starts as an idea or thought, and then due to circumstances, external messaging, and other references, the belief is upheld. So, you come to believe it as truth. Some examples could be “partners should not be trusted”, or “loving someone means I’ll get hurt”.
These beliefs are often created in our childhood, (though they can be created at any time), and become part of our identity. We create stories about people and the world around us to keep us safe, and to avoid getting hurt. So in one sense, the belief is in service to us. Until… it isn’t anymore.
While our limiting beliefs may have formed to protect us and serve a function at some point, they cost us greatly in our lives and relationships. These beliefs have a negative impact because they are stopping you from moving forward and growing.
Limiting Beliefs Are Holding You Back
How do you know if limiting beliefs are holding you back? One red flag is that you’re blaming your partner for the way things are in the relationship, or you’re blaming someone else for the way things are going in your life.
The blame stems from another natural self-defense mechanism. When we sense a threat (are triggered), we react. The fight or flight response kicks in, and we defend ourselves. It’s survival! Yet again, this “natural reaction” only serves us well for so long. And when our reaction is no longer serving us in the way we want, it’s time to change things.
Our choices and actions are formed by our beliefs. Thus, if our beliefs are limited, so will the options we think we have. But you have the power to change this! You can create new options in your relationship and your life. This is a much more empowering, positive feeling than one of feeling stuck, hopeless, or helpless.
How to Explore the Limiting Beliefs That May Be Holding You Back
If you feel like you are not growing or your relationship is stuck, start by looking at what beliefs you have that are contributing to the situation. What is the story you are telling about your partner, the relationship, and yourself?
You may be telling a story about the way things are, holding it as truth, and thus limiting the relationship (and your life). Changing this story is the most important thing you can do to get closer to the relationship you actually desire.
To make a change for the positive, begin by looking at your beliefs and where they might be holding you back. Here are some steps to move you through this process:
Write down the belief you have about the situation. Do you say things like: I am doing everything. They don’t care. They can’t share themself with me. It’s always like this. Nothing will change until they change.
Next, ask yourself “What is the opposite of this belief?” And follow up your answer with questions like: If that were true what would that mean? What would be different? How would I act differently or do life differently if this was the truth?
Going back to the original limiting belief(s), explore the benefits of it: How has holding onto this belief served you? See the service in this story and put your hand on your heart. Close your eyes and give thanks to the belief for serving you as long as it has.
Now explore what it has cost you to hold onto this story: What has it cost your life? Your health? Your relationship with your partner(s)? Relationships in general? Your career/work/business?
Create a new, empowering belief that is in alignment with the relationship and life you want? Write that down.
Next to that belief, write down one new action you can take today that will move you toward the relationship you want to create with your partner.
This exercise shows that you have the power to change how things are going, and decide where you want them to go instead. You aren’t responsible for changing your partner, but you are responsible for changing yourself. And in doing so, you are being responsible to your relationship by creating a higher standard for yourself.
When you quit those tired-out and limiting beliefs, you are taking a step toward the life (and relationships) that you want. You get to choose to show up and be the person you want to be, not limited, but free.
Are you ready to change your story to one that supports the life and relationships you desire?