Have you ever had a repeated thought process that causes you suffering?
This is a pretty good indication that you are stuck holding an irrational or limiting belief.
A question I hear all the time is, “How can you tell if a belief is limiting or not?” Good question.
Let’s take a look at some commonly held beliefs. I invite you to go ahead and see if any of these are beliefs you hold currently or have held in the past to any degree. Ask yourself, “Do I ever think this?” You can give it a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, or apply a rating scale – ‘never’, ‘occasionally’, ‘sometimes’, ‘frequently’ or ‘always’.
Life is a struggle. I have to work really hard to make ends meet. My problems would be solved if I had more money. Money is hard to get. Rich people are snobs. If I don’t do it myself, it won’t get done correctly. I’m not a good enough _________. If someone doesn’t talk to me, they must be mad at me. Other people’s needs are more important than mine. Having everything I desire is impossible. I need someone to care about me to feel loved. Relationships never last. It matters what other people think. If I take care of myself first, it means I’m selfish. It’s my job to make other people happy. I have to prove my worth.
Each and every one of these ideas is based in fear and is completely irrational. On the spiral of consciousness, each of these beliefs resides at the small, narrow base of the spiral, which is why every one of these beliefs causes a feeling of tightness, restriction, lack or other painful feeling response internally if you believe it to be true to any degree. The vibration created by each of these beliefs is on the low end of the spectrum, so none of these beliefs is going to create a positive, supportive result in your life.
Take a look at your responses. If your response was ‘no’ or ‘never’, I would say that belief does not apply to you. If you said ‘yes’, ‘sometimes’, ‘frequently’ or ‘always’ to any of these ideas, I highly encourage you to update those beliefs to new ideas that will better support you. This list is just a starting point to give you an idea of what irrational beliefs look like and sound like in your own thought process.
Irrationality stems from fear, is limiting, judgmental, restricting and disempowering. Rationality is based in Loving, is expansive, accepting, open and empowering.
It is common for people – even highly intelligent people – to confuse rational thought with irrational thought, saying things like, ‘you have to be realistic’ or ‘it’s only common sense that ______.’ Understand that many people – most people, in fact – are so steeped in fear-based thinking that they wouldn’t be able to spot an irrational thought if it bit them on the nose. What most people call ‘rationalizing’ is usually irrationalizing.
Have you ever heard anyone attempting to reason using fear-based, irrational beliefs?
Mothers discourage their children from trying new things, “That’s too dangerous.” Teachers discourage children from following their dreams, “That is not a well-paying field. You’d be better off becoming a nurse.” Fathers discourage their kids from taking risks, “That company is an unknown; you’d be better off sticking with the tried and true.” And even the most well-meaning friends can attempt to support with limited thinking, “Are you sure you want to try that? What if it doesn’t work out?”
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of any of that type of irrational reasoning, you can see how unsupportive it actually is to the recipient. And, if you’ve ever used irrational, fear-based thinking to try to reason with someone, apply tremendous compassion inside. Then begin to identify any old, irrational beliefs that you may be still holding that are limiting you in any way.
The way to tell if a thought or belief is irrational is pretty simple: if it makes you feel bad, angry, tight, small, limited, restricted, put down, held back, incapable or any other negative feeling, it’s irrational.
Claim that you now know how to spot a limiting and irrational belief. Say, “I can now identify an irrational thought. Irrationality comes from fear and feels small, tight, narrow-minded, restricting and holds me back.”
Many Blessings of Joy and Vibrant Freedom
Action Step ~ Let go of irrationalizing and learn to identify your old, irrational beliefs that have been keeping you small. Move into authentic reason based on rational thinking.
Declaration: “I now identify my irrational thoughts and beliefs with ease. Irrationality stems from fear, is limiting, judgmental, restricting and disempowering. Rationality is based in Loving, is expansive, accepting, open and empowering.”
Additional support: Listen to this 9-minute closed-eye process on identifying irrational beliefs, choosing rational beliefs and moving into authentic reason; please refrain from driving while listening.