“The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.” -Pema Chodron
Most people have areas where they’re willing to accept new information and others where they just won’t budge.
An overweight friend of mine used to believe she needed a relationship to be happy, but that no one could love someone her size. She also believed she was too mentally weak to stick to a diet. The sum of her beliefs: She was stuck in a situation she couldn’t change, and, therefore, would always be alone–and as a consequence, unhappy.
Because she believed all those things were facts, she never tried to make any of the positive changes she really wanted. She just accepted that they weren’t possible.
I suspect we do this to ourselves all the time. I know I have. For a long time, I believed that I needed to hide my flaws or people wouldn’t respect me. As a result, I failed to give anyone the chance–and in the process, made it really difficult to respect myself.
Our beliefs can often limit us, sometimes in small ways, and other times on a much larger scale. Religious beliefs have vastly limited our ability to connect with, hear, and learn from others who happen to see things differently. They’ve even led us to harm them.
Oftentimes, we’d rather cling to what we think is right and cut off 95% of the possibilities available to us than admit we could be wrong. We could always be wrong.
Very little in life is immutable, least of all your limiting beliefs about who you are and what you can become.
Today when you come up against a belief that limits you or the people around you, ask yourself: What possibilities would I open up if I accepted that this might not be true?
This is an updated version of a post from September, 2009. Photo by The Fayj.