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Letting Go of Limiting Beliefs and Keeping Promises

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Keeping promises. I dread the commitment of making promises. Well maybe not dread, but I am definitely reluctant. I don’t make promises very often; only when I know for near certainty that I can keep my obligation. And then, it’s much easier for me to keep my commitments to others more than to myself. Why do I always put myself on the back burner? Writing this entry is one of my promises to myself that I am keeping.          


In my journey of creating myself and my life, I am beginning to believe in putting myself first more often. I know in my “head” that it’s the right thing to do; but in my “heart” I feel guilty sometimes. Or maybe it’s that I don’t always feel worthy. Which my “head” says is silly, but that “silly” feeling still creeps in sometimes. At least it DID, until recently …


A few weeks ago I had a significant emotional breakthrough at a seminar I attended. Late in the evening on the first day of the seminar, the speaker told the audience we were going to break boards with our bare hands that evening. With his assistant, he demonstrated how it could be done. He also related experiences of how an eight-year-old boy and also a paraplegic man had accomplished it. I’m sure there were many of us in that audience of 500 or more persons who didn’t believe it would be possible. I wanted to be able to, but I really didn’t think I could. 


The speaker went on to talk about how our limiting beliefs were holding us back from being truly successful in all areas of our lives. He then had us close our eyes and imagine that limiting belief we had about ourselves, that in our “heads” we KNEW was not true. Those horrible thoughts that we have about ourselves, down deep in our core person, that we keep so private and torment ourselves with. For some reason we still held on to that belief as if it WERE true. For me, it was that I had no value; I was gross and a failure. I don’t know where that belief came from but I don’t ever remember being without it. As a child, I didn’t know the words, but I had the feelings of worthlessness.


The lights were lowered, and the speaker instructed us to relax as he led us into a meditative state. I would never have believed I could be hypnotized, but I suppose I was along with many others there. The speaker took us a year into the future still holding on to that limiting belief; then five years; then seven years. We were to see ourselves and our circumstances with still holding that belief. As I pictured myself stuck in the same old job, not progressing and growing, still very overweight and possibly without my partner, never achieving or experiencing the things I want to, I could not stop crying. There were several others around me crying also, men and women, young and old as they worked through their own limiting beliefs.


After a few minutes, the speaker brought us back to the present, bringing the lights back to normal. He immediately had us write down our thoughts about where we would be in the future if we kept holding on to that limiting belief. As we did this, markers and small 12 × 9 boards about an inch thick were passed to each person in the audience. He instructed us to write our untrue limiting belief on one side and a good true belief about ourselves on the other side.


Next he brought a young woman from the audience to the stage with her board. He read what she had written (to himself, respecting her privacy), he said to her “You know that’s not true.” He handed her back the board and gave her personal direction on how to walk with purpose to the man who would hold the board for her while she struck out at the board with her hand. Those of us in the audience were cheering her on, giving her our strength and energy to help her. I closed my eyes and visualized her breaking that board, saying “Do it! Do it! Do it!” It took her five tries, and some coaching from the speaker, but she did it! The crowd roared at her success!


Next the speaker sent us into the lobby area with our boards. There were several gentlemen from the audience ready to hold the boards for us. The speaker’s assistants were also there to provide instruction and encouragement for those willing to try to break their boards.


My friend and I watched several people, young and old, women and men, break through their limiting beliefs written on their boards. People were cheering, shouting and crying in joy all around us.


It only took a few minutes and my friend said, “I’m going to do it.” I watched her stride up to man with a big encouraging smile on his face and give him her board with purpose. The woman assisting him instructed my friend how to stand and hold her arms. My friend didn’t make it on her first try, but she was determined. I repeated my earlier mantra for the other young woman saying my friend’s name, “Do it Traci! Do it!” Finally, she broke through her board on her third try and I yelled “YES!” I felt such elation for her!


I strode up next, and put my board in the man’s hands. I was ready. I positioned myself to hit the board, pulling my arm back with my palm flat. I stared at those ugly words that I had written on the board. Those words of my belief had kept me so unhappy, unsatisfied, depressed, lonely, and sad for as long as I can remember. I thought about how I hated those words so much. I thought about how much it had held me back from living the life I’ve dreamed of. How it held me back from loving more fully, trusting more, so many other things I can’t even remember them all now.


It was just a moments, it all rushed so fast, but I pushed my hand right through that board with those wretched words! First time! And I barely felt it! I DID IT! I was breathless! The man holding my board hugged me so hard! My friend Traci ran up to hug me as we were laughing and crying at the same time. She kept saying, “You did it on your first try!” Several others came to hug me as well. I was so happy for us. For myself. And for all the others that followed us. Traci and I joined the crowd to welcome all the others that broke through their old beliefs as well. 


It was an experience I will always remember. I was so proud to show my board to my daughter, my grandson, my boyfriend, and my sons.


And you know what? I really don’t believe that limiting belief any longer. I don’t even think about it much any more. I have the board on my dresser right now, so I can remind myself of the power I have and also to read the good belief that I wrote on the other side. 


It reads: I am free to be the person I am meant to be. Full of light, love, and purpose.

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