Hypnotherapy spends considerable time dispelling “limiting beliefs.” For example:
Therapist: “Why have you come to see me?”
Client: “I have no confidence.”
Therapist: “That’s wrong. You obviously have lots of confidence.”
Client: “How do you mean?”
Therapist: “You are very confident you will fail. Isn’t that true?”
Limiting beliefs take many forms; math phobia, fear of public speaking, stage fright, writer’s block. But most are more pedestrian, “I’m just no good at (fill in the blank).” Over time, excuses are created to support the limiting belief; the excuses being further limiting beliefs themselves.
The common denominator of all limiting beliefs is that, even if they are true at the moment, that doesn’t make them true all the time. In other words, limiting beliefs needn’t define one’s self.
What distinguishes the glass-half-empty folks from the glass-half-full folks is their reliance on limiting beliefs. One who sees the glass as half empty accepts limiting beliefs as their truth. Further, they scoff at the glass-half-full folks for ignoring the objectivity of what should be taken to be universal limiting beliefs; as in, “Nobody could be expected to hope for anything better.” Or “Everybody goes thru that (negativity) at one time or another.”
The good news is that limiting beliefs are malleable. For example, that opening exchange on confidence exposes the fallacy underlying a limiting belief. It then becomes a small step to recognizing subsequent limiting beliefs, examining them objectively, and creating positive alternatives.
Over time the positive alternatives transpose into enabling beliefs. The most basic enabling belief is confidence in success; defining success as anything that contributes best to your continued happiness.
In my own life, there was a time when I saw nothing in the glass at all. When I first became aware that I had something in the glass I could only see it as half empty. With much work on myself, and changing my mind toward a more positive perception of my life, I was eventually able to see the glass as half full. Some years of learning and experiencing the positive results of a half-full life expanded my boundaries.
Today I place no limits on the possibilities and opportunities in my life; there are no boundaries. The life metaphor—what is in the glass—is no longer appropriate for me, for I now see it as the wrong size glass. I can choose any size glass I want, so that it is constantly overflowing. Or I can have no glass at all.
In other words, happiness is a choice! What limiting belief do you need to change?