(This is a rehash. I followed the tip of updating a blog post!)
Limiting beliefs lower the drive to write, including how you write content.
A mentor coach gave a discourse about limiting beliefs. I felt smug, thinking that the phrase limiting beliefs is self-explanatory. For me, they are simply beliefs that limit one person.
I was surprised to realize I do not know a thing about limiting beliefs, other than the self-explanation that I have.
With the knowledge and wisdom I got, this post will try to correlate limiting beliefs to the writing process.
Let’s start with your definition of the word belief.
What is belief to you?
Beliefs, for me, are the things a person knows and even practices that he believes work for him and others, and that they cannot just give up or forget.
Google defines belief as a noun that means,
an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists
trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something
From the training, these beliefs are in your subconscious mind. The subconscious mind does not filter the things it receives and instead acquires them. That is why your subconscious mind blocks you at some point while you are trying to do something.
Look at how we process these beliefs:
Belief = Thoughts = Emotions = Actions = Outcome
The outcome becomes a new belief. It is a repetition of occurrences, a cycle.
So, what now are these limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are false beliefs that prevent you from living your potential. You acquire these beliefs from family, relatives, friends, and other people. There are other factors though but we focus on our experiences with people.
Are you aware that you filter some beliefs because of the false beliefs you hold on to?
The mentor coach gave us these examples of limiting beliefs:
- I will only be loved if I am pretty.
- I always make the wrong decisions in life.
- When things start to go well, bad things happen.
- If I do what I want, my partner will be sad.
- I deserve this because of the bad I did in my past life.
- It’s not safe to be successful.
Whoa, limiting beliefs are rub-a-dub-dubbing in your life!
Now, how do these limiting beliefs affect the writing process?
The writing process has four individual steps, namely, prewriting, writing, revising, and editing.
Here’s my take on how limiting beliefs can affect these steps:
This process involves thinking, taking notes, brainstorming, gathering data and information, outlining, etc.
During this phase, a lot goes into the mind, and you get confused about what to write to address your audience right. You start to doubt your ability because of the overwhelming amount of information in your head.
For example, you have to interview people to gather information. Your limiting belief says,
I cannot interact.
You start to waver and think,
Have I done this before? If I had, was I effective?
How would you structure your content effectively if you limit yourself this way?
Writing or Drafting
This process involves initially putting the ideas you gather into sentences and paragraphs.
During this phase, you are now translating your thoughts into words. You start to pen your ideas or tick your keyboard with what you understand about the gathered information.
How can you effectively put your ideas in words if you have a limiting belief that dictates,
I am not good with words.
I am not a good writer.
And this, without even trying your best.
This process involves checking and polishing what you wrote in the initial draft. You will have to add, remove, replace data and information, and re-arrange them to create your content.
Your limiting belief insists that you are ill-equipped to do the tasks, thinking you are not skilled enough.
I do lack skills!
You tell yourself not to try to produce good content.
This process involves the final checking of grammar, spelling, repetition, and punctuation.
During this phase, you refine what you have written. You introduce some changes to create a more accurate piece, just like removing the unnecessary elements in a formula.
Of course, this is a delicate process. Your colleague or boss may suggest sending it to an editor to be sure. Your limiting belief surfaces,
Oh, well, I cannot do it. I am only a writer, and I am not an editor.
It can be crippling, I know. Living life with these limiting beliefs is not easy. But you can do something to correct them!
The mentor coach shares this checklist that you can use to correct these limiting beliefs:
- Identify the thought you are having after identifying your limiting beliefs.
- Acknowledge that you have this thought.
- How does this thought make you feel?
- Where/When did you learn this?
- What would you tell a young child who feels the same?
- Correct your thought with this script below.
- Look for more proof to support your NEW belief.
- Take a small achievable action on the NEW belief.
Or you can use this script as a pledge,
I know you think (thought) and this makes you feel (feelings/emotions).
It makes sense to feel this way.
You learned this from (experience), but I want you to know, OR
but the truth is (wisdom).
So from now on, I will be in charge of (limiting belief), and you do not have to manage this for us anymore.
Also, consider these techniques by Andrew Blackman to overcome these limiting beliefs.
So, are limiting beliefs rub-a-dub-dubbing in your writing process? Not if you have some sort of control over your limiting beliefs to function as a content writer.