limiting beliefsEvery self-empowerment guru from Tony Robbins to Oprah Winfrey has made very clear the biggest obstacle to anyone’s personal happiness. Do you know what it is?

Fear? Yes
Insecurity? Yes
Uncertainty? Yes
Unworthiness? Yes

But what all of these things have in common is YOU. Yes, you are the biggest obstacle to your personal happiness and success. But how do you get past yourself to live the life you’ve always wanted? Release the limiting beliefs that hold you back!

Not sure where to start? Here are five steps to get you started.

Five Steps to Releasing Limiting Beliefs

1) Get to the root of your fear

When you take a moment to think about it, ask yourself, “What am I really afraid of?” After all, you are your first line of defense on your road to happiness. You are the gatekeeper to any future you choose. Every time you think of what you want to do or wish you could have, you are the one who ultimately decides the next step. You decide if you move forward with your dream or let it fall by the wayside.

Often when you choose not to pursue a dream, it’s important to determine what is holding you back. Consider the thoughts occupying your mind as you make the final decision. For example, if you wanted to record a piece of your music to share with the world, is your first thought, “There’s no way I can make that happen.” Or maybe you’re thinking, “No one will like it.” In the first example, what might be the root of your fear? Perhaps financial constraints? Technology challenges? Or in the second example, where the fear is all about possible failure.

Once you identify the root of your fear, then you can begin examining alternatives. After all, you don’t want to throw away a dream because you haven’t taken the time to think about all the ways in which you could make it a reality.

2. Take the opposing argument (What if I could?)

So let’s say you’ve identified the fear of failure as the root factor in deciding not to record your music. Each time you allow fear to determine the next steps, you are sabotaging your dreams. What to do instead? Acknowledge your fear and insecurity and then turn the statement into an opportunity to explore. Given the music example, the inner dialog might go like this.

Okay, so I’m nervous about making this a reality. Not only that, I’m terrified no one will like my music. On the other hand, what if I find an easy and inexpensive way to produce my music. And what if people really love it? Wouldn’t that be great? That would be just the affirmation I’m looking for. I’ve got to do this for myself, or I will never know. My next step will be to buy a mic so I can record the music myself. I’ve listened to some great music on the Internet that was recording in home studios. If they can do it, I can too!

See how you can choose to talk yourself into doing what you really want to do all along? It’s really about choosing how you want to feel about yourself. If you want to love and respect your dreams, then you can lovingly and supportively explore making them a reality. But it all starts with that inner dialog!

3) Visualize the outcome you want

Take a few moments to close your eyes and visualize yourself doing what you want to do. Imagine yourself recording your music, upload it to Youtube, and watch the number of Likes increase every day. Imagine yourself reading the comments and feeling great about the feedback you are receiving.

In your mind, your brain is saying, “Hey! Being an indie musician feels pretty good!”

That’s exactly where you want your mind to be — in the “can do” side of things and not the “never gonna happen” side! Make it a practice to visualize the outcome you want, and allow yourself to truly feel the happiness and joy of the moment.

4) Look for ways to praise yourself and everyone else

If you are always looking for what’s right instead what’s wrong, you’re going to find a lot of opportunities for praise. So you’ve researched the best microphones for recording music and found one at a great price. You’ve recorded your first song, uploaded it, and have received lots of positive comments. Take credit for doing this on your own! Blog about it! Share it on your social media venues. Let others know that, in spite of your fears, you chose to believe in yourself. Talk about what you are most proud of. Comment on the most creative aspect of making your dream a reality. No need to be obnoxious or brash, but praising yourself — especially when you’ve moved past your limiting beliefs — not only helps you but encourages others to do the same.

Speaking of others, make it a habit to acknowledge your biggest supporters. The first person to give you a thumbs up or leave a glowing comment. Talk about the technical elements (software, hardware, YouTube videos) that helped you achieve your dream. When you can acknowledge the good in those around you, especially those who support you, then everyone wins.

5) Just do it

To borrow from the famous Nike tagline, at some point you’re just going to have to strap on your favorite sports shoes and jump in with both feet. You’re going to have to trust that, when you follow your passion, only good can come of it. That doesn’t mean there won’t be challenging moments. What it does mean is that, in hindsight, you will be glad that you didn’t allow your limiting beliefs to stand in your way.

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