5 Ways to Heal Limiting Beliefs (Or The Well-Intentioned Medicine Ball) | The BridgeMaker

5 Ways to Heal Limiting Beliefs

By on Aug 05, 2012


When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. – Dr. Wayne Dyer

We’ve each felt the thrust of a verbal assault. Someone speaks one word or two with the power to knock the wind out of you and bring you to your knees. This is what I call the well-intentioned medicine ball.

As you stumble to your feet, gasping for air, the intensity of your emotion is visceral. Usually, self-preservation kicks in and an alter attack ensues. But I didn’t realize the teaching and healing power for me in such an experience, until recently.

The well-intentioned medicine ball

I should probably explain my relationship with my friend. I am three years older than she and we basically grew up together since she spent a lot of time at my house. We annoyed each other, taunted each other and loved each other to death.

In looking back, even though I was older and bigger than she, I felt overpowered when we got “into things.” She’d needle me into frustration and when my bother heard me (because I was often louder than she), I would be reprimanded because I was older and I should know better.

Whether it was physical or verbal, she just seemed to have an edge over me. You could say I wasn’t quite as quick on my feet as she.

Fast forward about 40 years. We are both married now with families of our own and have left our childhood antics behind. Or so I thought.

Just the other day, we were talking on the phone and admittedly I make a pretty silly comment. She started laughing and said, “Oh, you’re such a jerk.” Instant, presto! The medicine ball went flying into the gut.

Now, I know she didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, but this sent me back. Suddenly, I was a child again, feeling small and worthless, struggling for my power. I told her I didn’t appreciate her comment and that was that.

I said what I said, she didn’t apologize and we finished our conversation. But I just couldn’t shake it. That entire night, I was revisiting different childhood memories. It was like watching a slide show in which I starred. Once that medicine ball hit, the flow of air became restricted with every scene that unfolded in my mind’s eye.

Wanting to be saved

I thought of the times I willingly played the role of the not-so-bright, slightly irresponsible and reckless. It was a place I became comfortable with at certain times in my life, especially as I related to my family.

You see what I really wanted was to be saved. I now realize I wanted someone or something to prove to me that I was worthy. Being slightly hair-brained and daring was an attempt to be redeemed by the Universe. It was a way of getting attention and the attention (good or bad) made me feel important – like I was worth caring about.

What I learned…..
  • As with everything that manifests in our lives, it is there to teach us and further our growth in becoming our fullest selves. Even the well-intentioned medicine ball presented itself to me because I needed to continue to heal dormant beliefs.
  • This situation caught me by surprise as I thought I’d already “worked” on these issues, but I suppose it’s like the dust that keeps appearing on your dresser. You can do a really good job dusting, but it resurfaces. Our beliefs, formed by past experiences, behave similarly. And unless you live in a dust-free world, you are likely to catch a glimmer of old beliefs from time to time.
  • But, don’t panic. This doesn’t mean you will never heal a limiting belief. It means that it may simply appear differently. And this is a gift to you from the Universe. Perhaps the emotional charge is an invitation to explore the next layer of dust and move forward on your life’s journey. Or, perhaps rather than experiencing the limiting belief, you simply acknowledge and recognize it and in this case, you become the teacher sharing a healing message.
5 ways to heal limiting beliefs:
  1. Compassion. First and foremost, realize that limiting beliefs have taken a lifetime to form. Be kind and gentle with yourself as you explore your own beliefs.
  2. Ask. When you have a strong reaction to something or someone, ask yourself “what is this really about?” If you get hints of experiences from your past, then you know it is a limiting belief.
  3. Acknowledge. Your first inkling may be to want to push it away; or to feel guilty or ashamed of still holding on to this feeling. Anytime you try to force away a thought or a feeling, it is like adding fuel to the flame. Sit with it silently. Acknowledgement doesn’t mean you have to like it. It merely means you are raising your awareness. And that is always good.
  4. Tap. Meridian tapping or EFT is like acupuncture without the needles. Tapping on specific energy centers, or meridian points on the body, is a gentle and empowering way to release limiting beliefs.
  5. Ask. Again. You are not alone. Seek support from a practitioner, therapist or adviser.

Paula G. Rosario is the founder of On The Edge of Greatness Coaching & Consulting: “It is my joy to support others as they find what Oprah has forever dubbed the "AHA" moment. This is the place where I want to be...this is the place where I thrive!” – Paula Rosario

  • Raquelleegalford

    I never really thought about the things I have said like why can’t you do this or why cant you get it right.  I will be much more careful with my words.  Thanks for sharing

    • Paula

       Hello!  Thank you for your comments!  I’m so glad that my words have inspired you!  All the best, Paula

  • Hi Paula, I think your five tips are really great. Do you have a recommendation for a site to learn more about self-practice of EFT?

    I’m so glad you listed compassion as your first step or idea. It’s essential for all of us that we are kind to ourselves as we dust off yet another layer.

  • What a beautiful post, Paula. What you said here is something every one can identify with, having experienced it one time or other. There are certain things that never appear to go away – probably because we don’t acknowledge them, preferring to  ignore them, hoping they will magically go away. Oh yes, but all it takes is that one trigger. We had someone in our family, (may his soul rest in peace) who would manage to completely undermine the confidence of people he spoke to by simply saying in a particular tone, “Don’t you know even this?” or “Can’t you do even this” – like he was speaking to the meanest intelligence. You know, the funny thing was – he did not do it intentionally. Just that his tone came out that way – and people in the family would try and avoid talking to him about anything.

    I like your five tips – I think the acknowledgment is the most important. Not even facing up to it seems like never giving it a chance to go away.

    I’ve heard about tapping. I wonder how effective it is.

    Thanks for a great read, Paula. Thanks, Alex! 🙂 

    • Paula

       Hi Vidya,  Thanks for your response!  I can relate to your story and definitely agree that acknowledgment is key.  Many times this one step alone can shift energy and allow for healing to take place.  As far as tapping, I can tell you that it is highly effective!  Whether it’s old emotions, anxiety, or you name it, tapping can be used to bust through things we’ve held on to for a long time.  I have a tutorial and tapping resources on my website if you’d like to learn more:  http://www.paulagrosario.com

      Thank you again for your kind words!  All the best, Paula

      • Thank you, Paula – I am enjoying your site. I am keen to know about tapping. I watched a webinar where Carol Look demonstrated a couple of tapping exercises – it piqued my curiosity. What a wonderful way to feel better! 🙂 Thanks again! I am happy to connect with you!

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