Limiting beliefs and behaviour are present when we exhibit anxiety, anger, frustration, jealousy. These emotions prevent us from connecting with people in fact they cause a rift, a chasm between ourselves and others. Our reactions to events are learned and deeply ingrained and often make our lives more miserable and unpleasant than they need to be.
Recognising limiting behaviour is a starting point to make changes to thoughts and behaviour that are often futile and cause us pain and misery.
Angry in that traffic jam, annoyed when your plans crumble, jealous when your partner gives attention to somebody else. Worry about your appearance, or losing face. Feeling ignored or slighted, angry because something you suggested is ignored.
Often the real source of your upset/irritation is your idea that something should be different from the way it is and this causes stress, anxiety or anger inside you thus your body reacts in certain ways. If you could reprogramme your reaction, whilst the situation would be the same, your thoughts and reactions would be different.
Taking a moment to reflect on your reaction and what triggered it, may give you a chance to modify your behaviour or your thoughts.
Recently I came off a cruise ship in Southampton,the ship had been forced to dock earlier than planned at a different berth than expected, because of an impending storm. This meant that the cars for all the passengers were in the wrong car park and we had to be taken by bus with our luggage to our cars. Thus causing some delay in leaving the ship to go home.
The gentleman in front of me in the queue was incandescent with rage. As we neared the bus a lady from the car parking Company was giving directions. The man stood inches in front of her and was very aggressive saying. “This is not bloody good enough the cars should have been moved, I paid to have my car at the ship when I docked!” The lady said “I am sorry sir, we didn’t know the ship was berthing here until 4am, this was a situation outside our control we didn’t have time to move the cars.”
The man then said. ” It’s total inefficiency, the cars should have been moved, I think you are totally bloody useless …..”.and lots more as well.
He was red in the face and pop eyed. True his car was not where he expected it, true it meant getting the car was delayed slightly, true he had to queue and get on a bus.
That was a given and yes an annoyance, but instead of looking at the negatives he could have turned the thought on its head and looked at the good job that was done in the circumstances.
1000 cars were impractical to move but the company had laid on buses and people to advise and direct. Then maybe whilst not happy about the situation he might have had a less extreme reaction and felt happier, not angry, and with less stress hormones filling his body. He might have also mentally been in a better to place to get in a car on a wet windy day to drive home.
When limiting behaviours are triggered in your life you need to try to work out the underlying belief that has triggered that reaction. I am too important to be kept waiting, I am being insulted, this is causing me to lose face, etc etc.
What do you think was the underlying belief that triggered the cruise passengers behaviour?
How often is your limiting behaviour triggered and what are the thoughts (maybe unconscious thoughts), that trigger those behaviours in you?
When you assess the impact this belief has had on your life, you might realize that you’ve been sabotaging your ability to enjoy the present moment. Rather life is a red haze, or misery or anxiety that could be modified.
Reducing limiting behaviours is not easy but being aware of your reactions to situations is a great starting place.