The path to creating the life you crave doesn’t require a degree in astrophysics, a doctorate in psychology, or having your therapist or favorite life coach on speed dial. Help from trained professionals can certainly propel you further faster, but the truth is you have the power to achieve massive transformations through mindset work. To truly manifest your deepest desires, you must be prepared to assess your inner beliefs and be open to creating a new foundation upon which your desires are supported. The secret sauce is simple, mastering your mindset is the key to unlocking your best self. So, what is a limiting belief and how can you identify one? Simply put, a limiting belief is an idea about yourself that you hold to be certain or true. Unknowingly, somewhere along the way you compiled a metaphoric autobiography filled with pages of narrative surrounding your existence. The pages in your book are unwittingly founded on beliefs you formulated during childhood and continuing throughout various life experience. The craziest part? You may not recall ever writing your story, sending it to the editor, having it bound in hardcover, and published. But, somewhere along the way it appeared on the shelves. Beware! Your autobiography may be filled with elements of fiction. The chapters were aggregated subconsciously and may contain false conclusions. To distinguish any limiting beliefs, take a moment to reflect on your story and seek out any negative thoughts surrounding what you want to ‘be, do, or have.’ For example, have you always dreamt of traveling the world yet cannot seem to ever find the funds, time, or resources to take that trip? Or perhaps you resist pursuing something you’ve always wanted to do, like run a marathon or sing on stage, because you are stuck comparing yourself to others, believing for example, you are not fit enough to run a race like Elizabeth or brave enough to get on stage like Amber. In this case, the limiting belief you are grasping onto is preventing you from chasing what you truly want to do – travel the world, run a marathon, or belt out your favorite song in front of an audience. The good news is, with mindset work it is truly possible to re-wire a limiting belief. You must first begin by examining your thoughts from a place of curiosity. For example, let’s say you have spent your entire life working an unfulfilling, corporate job when your real dream is to own your own business. Maybe you’ve settled into the familiarity and predictability and believe change is too risky, too hard, or you don’t know where do start. Now, ask yourself, “Why do I believe this to be true? Was it something you absorbed during childhood watching your parents struggle to make ends meet as entrepreneurs or perhaps growing up you were told that the only path to success happens by climbing the corporate ladder? Question the evidence you have found that supports this thought. Then dig deeper, “What do I actually know to be true about entrepreneurs’ ability to be successful?” Surely, you can name a few successful entrepreneurs in your circle, proving your theory false. When questioning your belief, speak to yourself as if you were speaking to a child, coming from a place of support, love, and inquisitiveness rather than criticism or judgement. Probe yourself as if you were a three-year-old child trying to grasp the meaning behind everything, continuously challenging the premise with “…But why?”, “…But why?”, until you get to your truth. Once you have discovered the origin of the limiting belief in question, you can begin to explore new possibilities by becoming acutely aware of what is keeping you stuck from manifesting your dream. Cross-examine your inner biography as if you were a jury deciding on the fate of an accused. You cannot convict a criminal without all the evidence, nor can you manifest the future you desire without an open mindset. For instance, look to friends, peers, mentors, etc. and ask, “What does he/she/they do that makes them successful?” Question everything you believe to be true with genuine interest, eliminating any critique or self-loathing. Look for examples in your own life and the lives of others to prove your limiting belief wrong. Next, make a list of fears and/or excuses that may be hindering you. Perhaps it’s an underlying belief you are unworthy or not good enough. Or maybe it is a matter of circumstances, “I have to remain in this miserable marriage because of my kids.” Is it a fear of failure that is keeping you complacent? Is it a lack of time, knowledge, or resources? Open your mind to all conclusions with interest and take notice of any emotions that arise. Tune into your body and observe if you feel anxious, constricted, or defeated. Do you feel shame around this limiting belief? Notice what feelings appear when analyzing. Your beingness is the ultimate indication of your mental health, happiness, and wellbeing. If the limiting belief you carry causes physical pain or tension in your body, dive deeper into the root causes with the fervor and inquisitiveness. Open your mind to the possibility that a new notion could also be true. Expand your mind to the likelihood that you can truly ‘be, have, or do’ whatever it is you desire. Owning the belief that anything you desire is possible for you is the first breakthrough towards transformation. But you must dig deep to make progress. Why have I created this false narrative? Perhaps you are trying to preserve your sense of belonging or security or keep you safe. Why are you holding onto this belief? Once you’ve deconstructed it, thank yourself for holding onto that limiting belief, which had positive intentions, give gratitude to it, and then release it, making room for a new belief to form. Then, welcome in a new, supportive thought that promotes the life you want to create. For example, “Thank you ‘thought’ for keeping me safe. Though you had positive intentions, you are keeping me stuck in an unfulfilling place. This conclusion is not the only truth. Many people leave a marriage, start over, and find true love and happiness, and I am one of them.” Begin to OWN this new belief that supports your aspirations. Create a mantra around it and practice it daily. Speak this alternative story into existence and align your thoughts, energy, habits, and actions around it – as if whatever you deeply desire is already yours. Embody this new belief as if it was already happening, NOW! Simultaneously, become hyper-aware of your views each day. Are your thoughts supporting the life you crave and the new principle you embrace or are they words from your dated autobiography? When you catch yourself in a thought that does not align with your new belief, re-frame it and replace it with a more supportive notion. Are your habits and actions supporting what you desire or setting you back? If you observe a contradiction, re-assess, and determine what it is you need to get back on track. You can successfully create the life that you crave with an aligned mindset, supportive belief system, and conscious effort. The question is, how badly do you want it and what are you willing to change in your thoughts and identity to allow this into your reality? Follow me on Instagram and visit my website for more info! Leah Bernath, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Leah Bernath, Leader/CEO of Your Best Self, LLC, is a leading mindset coach, helping her clients thrive amidst difficult life transitions, master self-love, and design and live the life of their dreams. As a multidisciplinary expert in health and fitness and interior design, Leah's passionate about helping others feel and function optimally. As single mother of two, a mental health advocate who has overcome anxiety and depression, and a woman who's endured many life changes, her mission is to help others master their mindset, break through roadblocks to fulfillment, and embrace their best self. Her Mission: Find Your Fabulous.