Overcoming Our Limiting Beliefs

By Engr. Carlos Cornejo

A limiting belief is a personal belief that hinders us from our growth in the area of faith, family, marriage, finances and health.  It is akin to a superstitious belief.   By the way, for us Catholics superstitions is against the first commandment.  All power belongs to God and superstition is giving power to some event or things that don’t have it.  Some of these beliefs are Friday the 13th, horoscopes, palm reading, etc.  In the Philippines common superstitions are those related  to funerals. If we want more details on this teaching, we can refer to the Catechism of the Catholic Church point number 2110.

Some examples of limiting beliefs that we might have could be in the area of faith.  You might personally know of a parish priest who you’ve looked up to because of his inspiring homilies and seem to be living an exemplary life but later on you’ve found out is having a love affair with one of the parishioners.  You’ve stopped going to church because you think all priests are like this hypocrite.   You forget that Christ never said the Church members are sinless.  It is the Church as a whole, its teachings and sacraments that is sinless and holy. The members are sinners trying to be good and holy including the priests.  Besides its absurd to say the entire organization is corrupt just because one officer of the organization is corrupt.  In fact, the right thing to do is report that priest to higher Church authorities so that he can be corrected, and arrest the public scandal.

Or it could be in marriage.  You don’t believe in marriage because your parents got separated and you grew up witnessing how they fought often bitterly until they parted ways.   It was a traumatic experience for you and you don’t want that to happen to yourself so you’ve decided not to get married in the Church as well.  You concluded that co-habitation (or live-in) is better because no formal ties would be broken in case you break up with your partner.

Or it could be with money.  You don’t want to get rich because having lots of money would be a messy thing to manage or more of a moral problem than a luxury.  As a consequence, you won’t strive to get promoted in the workplace although you have the capability. There is nothing immoral in being rich as long as we don’t get attached to riches and would try to share it to others especially to the least fortunate ones.

It could also be in the area of health.  Your father died at the age of 52 due to hypertension, and your mother at the age of 53 because of diabetes, so you along with your siblings, who don’t have the lucky genes expect yourself to die at around that age too.  Perhaps you can extend your age a bit with some form of diet but there’s not much hope if that is your destiny.  The truth is we can beat any so-called not so lucky genes by discipline and due diligence with our health.

Limiting beliefs is lack of knowledge.  It’s like condemning a person without a trial or hearing his side of the story.  We ought to do some research first so as not to fall for an isolated event in our life and make it our personal truth.  There is a real or objective truth.  We ought to find it out through books and research.  Otherwise, we are stifled, stunted and enslaved.  Thus, we could not move forward in life because of these unverified beliefs.  We should know the truth because the “truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)