I’m not important enough.
I’m not good enough.
This isn’t for me.
I’m supposed to be this size.
Those things don’t happen for small people like me.
I never win these things.
No one will take me seriously.
I’m too old for that.
That’s just my personality.
These are the kinds of thoughts that circle our minds when we want to move forward with something in our hearts but are too afraid. We convince ourselves of these ‘lies’, and we convince others as well.
These thoughts are known as limiting beliefs and they are a MAJOR dream killer.
A belief is a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in something. It is something that is accepted and considered to be true (from Merriam Webster dictionary).
A limiting belief is a belief that prevents a person from pursuing a desire or goal based on false assumptions about themselves, their capabilities, and their opportunities.
As a young, Christian, black, Caribbean woman, there are many limiting beliefs that I deal with daily. Yes, I have parents and friends that constantly affirm me and encourage me, but sometimes the false narrative in my head seems louder than their reassuring voices. The reason is there is another element which nurtures that narrative: FEAR.
Fear of Failure, fear of hurt, fear or embarrassment, fear of rejection, fear of being inadequate. For me, every false belief I have are a brick in a protective wall that I’ve built; a barrier to keep me from experiencing the pain and the humiliation of failure. Limiting beliefs are born from fear. We impress these lies upon ourselves and allow them to take root in our hearts and minds. Once rooted they grow to become thorns that choke the life and possibility out the dreams God has placed within us.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
Fear Is not something God wants us to live in. I’ve read that the phrase ‘Fear not’ is the most repeated phrase in the bible, being mentioned about 365 times in the bible (rickwarren.com). This tells me that God expects that as human beings-people with emotions, moods, feelings that he created-he expects us to end up in ‘fearful’ situations. HE knows that fear is inevitable in our human capacity, but he remindS us that it is not something we have to accept and live with it, because HE is present with us every situation and promises to never forsake us.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NIV
Sometimes limiting beliefs are created from past experiences and cultural norms. The customs and attitudes that many of us have grown up with and witnessed in society, we have somehow internalised in our minds that this is the way things should be. This isn’t always true.
I remember I use to say that I can never swim because my bones are too heavy, and I will most likely sink. It’s not that I never tried to learn to swim. I did try to learn, but I always gave up, because I told myself ‘‘there’s no point, anyway’’. I grew up hearing that ‘most island girls can’t swim’, and I grew up thinking ‘black people can’t swim well because of bone density’. None of which is true of course, but I held onto that and convinced myself that it was. We internalise these cultural beliefs and make them our own, which limits us from moving forward in the ways we may want to.
I tell my daughter all the time that she can be whatever she wants to be. She will say things like, ‘I’ve never seen a brown girl doing that so I can’t do that.’ I remember having the same thoughts when I was younger. As her mum, If I don’t counteract those thoughts with affirmations that reassure her, then they will become false beliefs in her mind as well.
Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:13 that we ‘‘can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.’’ On our own, of our own abilities, some dreams and desires and goals may be out of reach, but with Jesus leading and guiding us, our dreams are ‘in the bag’.
No matter where they originate, limiting beliefs are something that we can eliminate and replace with positive and Godly thinking. In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul confirms that we are always at war in our minds. As children of God, we have the ‘divine power’ to demolish those strongholds that birth negative thinking. HE commands us to ‘to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’ Any thought you or I may have that does not align with or opposes what God says about us is a false thought. False thoughts operate in disobedience to the power of God, because they do not reveal the truth about who God says we are.
Remember if God has placed the dream in your heart, HE has already equipped you to fulfil it.
IF he says ‘YOU ARE’ who are you to say that ‘YOU’RE NOT’?
Today, I want to challenge you, to challenge your thinking. To transform your mind and reset your thoughts to take on the success of the dreams God has given you.
Romans 12: 2 ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is…’
Remember HIS will = Our purpose.
So in my words: do not accept what the world has to say about you or the labels they impress upon you and use to restrict and restrain you. Acquire new thoughts, godly truths and beliefs about yourself and then you will be able to follow God’s purpose for your life and make your dreams a reality.
Today, take the necessary action towards eradicating this dream killer.
Write down all the negative thoughts that enter your mind daily.
Write down your dreams or anything that you’re passionate about.
Then write down the things that are stopping you from working at them. Are these things really in your way, or is it a lie you’ve been telling yourself?
After you’ve detoxed your mind from the negativity and lies, I want you to replace it with the truth of God’s Word. Read God’s Word and what HE promises for His children (Psalms and Proverbs are great for this!)
As believers in Christ and His Power we have a certainty that the Holy Spirit is working through and in us to bring His purpose for our lives into action.
You (and I) have work to do this week:
- Call out your fears.
- Detox your mind
- Transform your thinking by reading, listening to and studying God’s truth and you will ultimately replace those limiting beliefs with life- giving beliefs!
Limiting Beliefs will not slay your dreams in Jesus’ Name!
Hope that this blesses you and empowers you to take hold of those dreams with intention and purpose.
Keep growing with purpose,