Limiting beliefs are where I find the jackpot with most clients. Most of us, and I was no exception, have many reasons not to heal. This is because our challenge may actually benefit us in some way, or we believe deep down that it does. I know that might sound a bit ridiculous, but by the end of this you’ll understand it very well.
In this article, you’ll first become familiar with what limiting beliefs are and how they might be showing up in your life. Toward the end, I’ll teach you two techniques to help you clear those harmful beliefs that are blocking you: The Sweep and Chakra Tapping.
While doing the work to uncover these beliefs can be painful, if you add some humor and curiosity to the process, it can actually become entertaining. I consider myself a limiting beliefs detective now, and soon, you will become one too.
Do you have a pattern of feeling worse the more you try to feel better? Have you tried everything and it feels like nothing is working? Do you begin to improve and then suddenly have a flare-up of your emotional or physical symptoms? Do you struggle with a pattern of self-sabotage, even finding it difficult to help yourself when you know you need to?
If this describes you, I can almost guarantee that your limiting beliefs are getting in your the way of overcoming whatever your challenge is. I know this may be hard to swallow. Just stick with me and I promise this will be the best truth you ever entertained the possibility of.
Your subconscious mind might be blocking you from not only your treatment efforts but also your healing ability through those limiting beliefs. One reason this happens is because, at some level, you actually have an inner conflict about healing. This type of inner conflict occurs when one part of us wants to change, but the other part (often the subconscious) does not want to change because it believes the change is not good for us. Simply put, it’s a resistance to your goal, which sabotages your efforts.
Even though your conscious mind is doing everything it can think of to heal, your subconscious mind may be holding what it thinks are very good reasons not to heal or overcome your challenge in the form of strong limiting beliefs. Part of you may see the challenge or illness as an upside or benefit, which is better in some way than being well. This means you perceive there is a benefit to your challenge.
Exploring harmful beliefs was the single most important action I took in my own healing journey. It has proven over and over again in client sessions to be essential to the healing process for others, too. In the same way you unsubscribe to emails that don’t feel good, create stress in your life, or have views you don’t want to be connected with, you can begin changing beliefs.
As you learn about limiting beliefs, the most important thing to remember is not to judge yourself for them. We make meanings from the world around us; those interpretations and perceptions are recorded by the subconscious mind and then become the beliefs or rules by which we live—often without us being aware we are doing so. The problem arises when we carry these beliefs into our adulthood.
Many of the limiting beliefs that are blocking you won’t make logical sense, at least at first. In fact, some could probably be categorized as shocking. All of this is awesome news, though. As with my own healing, you’ll be discovering blocks you never thought of. This will give you the opportunity to work on things you never knew existed, taking new directions and getting results you’ve never gotten. The big-picture idea here is to slowly release all the subconscious reasons that your body, mind, and spirit have to not heal. There will probably be a lot of reasons, and that’s okay. We’ll get through them, one by one.
Illness or emotional challenges often arise after we’ve been living in a way that’s not true to who we are. This would include being in a relationship we know is not healthy, “dimming our light” or softening our personality for others, or doing a job we feel is unethical or not in line with our true selves. A lot of times we are living in this way because there are limiting beliefs driving our train.
Early childhood experiences are the first way we get ideas or beliefs about life and ourselves. Beliefs are not fact. Beliefs are based solely on our generalizations from the past, experiences, other people’s messages about us, and the meaning we make from those experiences. Unfortunately, we don’t consciously decide what we believe—which means a lot of B.S. limiting beliefs are stuck in those brains of ours.
until you overcome your limiting beliefs it can often feel like you are endlessly treading in deep water, repeating the same patterns over and over again. photo: tim marshall
Let me show you how this works. Let’s say you are four years old and you draw something you are very proud of. You arrive at home excited from preschool and show your mom, who is busy trying to finish her own stuff and take care of your baby sister. She smiles and abruptly tells you to go put it away and get ready for dinner. This type of scenario plays out in a few different scenarios that week because your dad is out of town for work and your mom is preoccupied with all her responsibilities. You may feel rejected and perceive not that your mom is simply busy, but that you are a terrible artist. You then start looking for evidence of this as you grow up. Your subconscious mind takes in that new rule you’ve made: I am terrible at art. Then you go through life with that perspective, directing your behavior according to that limiting belief. This experience might translate to you being closed off to your creativity, feeling ashamed to express yourself, and more. Healing is, in part, about unlearning or unbelieving anything that doesn’t help you feel good. Your younger self saw things in one way, but now you’re older. Unless you would allow a four-year-old to run your life (oh my!), it’s probably time to update your mental records.
The subconscious mind is not critical or judgmental; it does not analyze or reason. It simply gathers data and then acts according to the conditioning, programming, instructions, and messages it receives. Thousands of these interpretations of experiences from when we’re young become limiting beliefs that then become rules for our lives. Our subconscious mind uses these rules to direct our behavior. As we keep going back to those memories, experiences, and interpretations of the past, we create new cells along those neural pathways reinforcing that old belief and response pattern. These harmful beliefs are one of the largest impediments to healing. The good news is that overcoming beliefs like these can help create new, healthy patterns.
Limiting beliefs work like this:
1. They create a tainted lens through which we start to see our lives and ourselves, skewing our perceptions.
2. This lens keeps us stuck in life-limiting thoughts and patterns.
3. Believing these limits, we continue to live within the confines of them, further fulfilling that limiting belief, which helps create our reality.
4. The limiting beliefs then create a pattern of self-sabotage.
Let me give you an example of this phenomenon. Joe was a new client who was also new to energy work. He’d been married to the love of his life for ten years, but had been experiencing some anxiety and severe digestive issues. His wife sounded really fun, and he described her as the “life of the party,” often stealing the show in any group setting. This was something he really loved about her, as he tended toward the shy side. However, as Joe and I got talking, he admitted that he became shy after an experience at a school dance when he was young which caused him to develop certain limiting beliefs. All the other kids were in groups, and no one invited Joe to join them. He spent the entire dance hanging out around the food table alone, going to the bathroom, and even tying and re-tying his shoes just to look busy.
I have heard various forms of this story from many, many clients, and I think most of us can relate to it. Ever since then, Joe had been uncomfortable in social situations and terrified of being excluded. He felt like it was time to get back to being his true self and not being the “dud” at parties. We worked on releasing the unprocessed experience of the school dance in our first session. This experience could have created a limiting belief such as “I’ll be abandoned at parties.” I muscle-tested to check a few beliefs, including that one, and we got a “no” for everything I could think of. So then we came up with some other ideas that were not related to that specific dance.
As we explored, we worked with one limiting belief that I see often: “If I am my true self, it will threaten a relationship.” We found out that Joe was linking this fear to his wife. He was actually blocked from moving past this because deep down he believed that if he was his true outgoing self, it would threaten his wife and her big personality. He believed at a subconscious level that they couldn’t both be the “fun ones.” He told me that he could have perceived this from his own parents’ relationship, where his mom was the “talker” and his dad was the one who stood by quietly. When his dad would speak up, his mother would berate him in front of others. Whether this turned out to be an actual issue in his own marriage or not, it was extremely stressful to Joe’s body to be suppressing his own personality for the sake of his wife.
Clearing the unprocessed experience of the dance using Thymus Test and Tap and Emotional Freedom Technique (which I teach in my book How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can) was a great start. We then cleared two other experiences he remembered about his mom embarrassing his dad for speaking up and trying to participate in conversations. We chose one by picking the earliest and strongest memory, and the other by using muscle testing to narrow it down. Next, we worked on the limiting belief “If I am my true self, it will threaten my relationship with my wife,” using techniques you’ll learn shortly. This helped Joe feel much more comfortable in social situations.
I’ll share this interesting side note: The digestive issues Joe was experiencing were very specific to this situation. Although the digestive system is greatly impacted by stress reactions of all kinds, Joe’s digestive system was also acting up as a protection mechanism, as it prevented him from going to places where he might have to wait in line for a bathroom. This was very convenient, in a way, as it helped him avoid situations that triggered his social fears. Can you see now how closely unprocessed experiences, limiting beliefs, and physical symptoms are connected? We are just complex puzzles that need to be lovingly solved.
The subconscious mind can have programming that is making us believe that a challenge, symptom, disease, or problem is actually better for us than being free from it. Joe’s fear in social situations and digestive problems were manifesting in an effort to protect his marriage.
I want you to see just how important it is to spend time on empowering and limiting beliefs, as if your life and health depend on it. In fact, they do.
One of the most convincing stories of the power of empowering and limiting belief I’ve heard comes from the story of Sam Londe, who was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. In 1974, this type of cancer was considered fatal. A few weeks after his diagnosis, Sam died. When the autopsy was done, it was revealed that Sam had very little cancer in his body, at least not enough to kill him. There were a few spots scattered around his body, but no cancer at all on his esophagus. Dr. Clifton Meador, his physician, stated, “I thought he had cancer. He thought he had cancer. Everyone around him thought he had cancer…had I removed hope in some way?” In 2014, the New England Journal of Medicine published a trial showing that mimicking surgery can be as effective as the real thing. In this study, patients were candidates for knee surgery, with a torn meniscus and debilitating pain. When they arrived in the operating room, study surgeons in Finland performed either a meticulous repair of the torn cartilage or make-believe surgery. Incisions were made, and closed, with no other intervention. In case anesthetized patients could hear or understand, the doctors and nurses passed instruments making the typical sounds you’d expect, and pretended to do surgery for as long as the procedure would normally take. Patients who underwent real surgeries and patients whose surgeries were faked had equal improvement.
In Bruce Lipton’s book The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, and Miracles, he tells a story that demonstrates the absolute power of empowering belief. Interior designer Janis Schonfeld took part in a clinical trial to test the efficacy of an anti-depressant drug. The pills relieved her thirty-year experience with depression, and the brain scans confirmed that the activity of the frontal precortex of her brain was greatly enhanced. Only at the end of the trial did Janis find out she had been taking a placebo and not the real drug. Her belief about what the drug would do for her was responsible for her improvement.
There are endless findings now that demonstrate that our empowering or limiting beliefs actually create our reality. Dr. Lipton’s groundbreaking research is perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring examples, proving that your mind will change the biology of your body according to your subconscious beliefs. Your body’s chemistry looks to that dominant part of your brain for direction. Do you see why it’s so essential that the beliefs you hold are good for you?
Clearing harmful beliefs so you can be in total alignment with healing is your newest tool to freedom. Now, are you ready to start?
We’ll learn to clear limiting beliefs at the end of this article, but first we need to figure out what’s behind your beliefs. As you work on discovering blocks, I recommend that you keep a notebook to use as your own I-can’t-believe-that’s-in-my-brain journal. Jotting them down as you think of them will help you start the flow of ideas and also create a list to work from as you clear.
Limiting beliefs that block healing, due to the subconscious not being in alignment with healing, are typically built around some main concepts.
Safety (It’s unsafe to heal) — If part of us doesn’t feel safe to heal at a core level, it can act as a monster-size block. This is the limiting belief I see most often. I know this one seems illogical, as illness or emotional challenge typically makes us feel very unsafe. However, there are definitely ways that we perceive it does keep us safe, too. These types of issues often keep us out of the big, bad world and home in our safe zone, help us say no to things we otherwise might not, and more.
Willingness (I’m unwilling to heal) — This covers the idea that we aren’t willing to do what it takes to heal, energy-wise, financially, or otherwise. This limiting belief has to do primarily with the “work” involved in healing. This is not a belief based on laziness, but often comes from being drained of gusto after a long dance with our challenge.
Deserving (I’m undeserving of healing) — This limiting belief is all about believing that we don’t deserve to heal or be happy and that we are not worthy of it. This is often centered on our not feeling good enough.
Readiness (I’m not ready to heal) — Not feeling ready to heal can play a part when we feel like things would change too fast, or there is more we need to do before we are ready to get back to life.
Ability (I’m unable to heal) — This limiting belief is centered on believing you don’t have it in you or don’t have what it takes to heal; that you aren’t able to heal because you don’t have either the internal or the external resources to do so. This block is linked to the thought or belief that “others can heal, but I can’t.” Possibility (It’s impossible to heal)—Feeling like it’s not possible to heal is a harmful belief that comes many times from the medical professionals who are trying to help you. Hearing things like you have the “most severe case” of something or that your issue is “incurable” will give ammunition to these types of beliefs. This block is built around feeling like your circumstances are just too bad.
Wanting (I don’t want to heal) — Not wanting to heal usually results from having an upside to your challenge. Everything that we perceive as negative in our lives (such as illness) also has a positive aspect (a benefit). Sometimes, even if only at a subconscious level, the benefit we gain from the challenge prevents us from wanting to overcome the challenge.
The important thing to know here is that there may be a ton of limiting beliefs to work on. I mean, like mountains of them. Changing beliefs is a marathon, not a sprint. You can only clear as fast as the beliefs reveal themselves to you. You won’t have to conquer every last one in order to heal. You just need to make a good dent in the pile.
Let’s say you have an overarching limiting belief that it’s “unsafe to heal.” You may need to explore lots of sub-beliefs, or whys, to your one overarching belief. In other words, there may be several reasons why your body feels like it’s unsafe to heal. Examples include things like “Someone I know will be negatively affected by it,” “I will have to find a new job,” and “I won’t get as much support from Mom and Dad.” Do you see how these are all common beliefs, but some could also be considered benefits or upsides to your challenge? You’re always looking for both.
The following example list will open your eyes to the vast number of possible limiting beliefs that could be making it difficult to heal. Remember, they will likely fall into one of the major categories (safety, willingness, deserving, readiness, ability, possibility, or wanting), but the reasons behind them can be plentiful, and varied. I’m going to start you with a list here so you can brainstorm from it. Also feel free to use each belief as a suggestion and change some of the words to those that would be more fitting for you. You don’t have to clear or release all of your beliefs to heal. I certainly could still find some hidden ones for myself if I tried. Don’t let this process overwhelm you. Just start somewhere.
Here are some examples of limiting beliefs that block healing:
+ I’ll only be loved if I’m sick.
+ I’ll only be loved if I’m perfect.
+ I’m unlovable.
+ I am undeserving of love.
+ I don’t matter.
+ I am worthless.
+ I always make the wrong decision.
+ When things start to go well, something bad happens.
+ If I do what I want, other people will be unhappy.
+ Being healthy and happy at the same time is impossible.
+ I need this challenge or illness to have my needs met.
+ I need to be sick to feel safe.
+ I deserve to be sick/unhappy because of something bad I did in the past.
+ Being sick/unhappy is my punishment for doing something bad in the past.
+ I’ll end up alone if I heal (people only stick around because I’m sick).
+ If I heal, it will just come back.
+ It is unsafe to relax.
+ It is unsafe to be happy.
+ If I do something good for myself, someone else will be upset.
+ I’ll want to leave my relationship if I heal.
+ I can only heal with more support.
+ I’m only worthy when _______ (I’m perfect, I am doing things for others, etc.).
+ I can only heal with more money.
+ If I get well and still can’t find a partner, I’ll have no excuse.
+ Healing would prove this was my fault in the first place.
+ I will be too vulnerable if I heal.
+ I’ll have nothing to do anyway if I heal.
+ There’s no point to healing (I have no purpose worth healing for).
Are you starting to see that nothing is off-limits as far as limiting beliefs go? Good. That’s going to help you big time during this process.
Now that you have a good solid start, see what comes up for you when you ask yourself the following questions, which are designed to trigger ideas for limiting beliefs. If an idea pops into your mind, go with it—it means something. If an answer comes that seems ridiculous, go with it too—it’s your subconscious mind trying to push clues forward to you. When a memory or belief pops up, write it down. We’ll learn about clearing them away in the next step.
+ Why could part of me believe I need this illness/injury/situation/challenge?
+ If I give this up, who won’t be punished anymore that I think should be?
+ Who would it hurt if I got over this issue?
+ Do I feel more powerful in some ways with this problem?
+ Does letting go of this mean I am forgetting something, or forgiving someone?
+ What would I lose without this “story”? What is the downside?
+ What do I think I have to do to make this situation go away? Is there a downside to that?
During my own healing process, I would often ask myself, “If my brain had some crazy idea of why I shouldn’t heal, what would it be?” You’d be surprised what answers might come to you.
Hopefully you now have a head full of possible limiting beliefs swirling around. The subconscious mind usually has lots of “great” (or so it thinks!) ideas on why we shouldn’t overcome our challenges.
We’re going to talk about exactly what to do with these limiting beliefs now.
Like most energetic imbalances, limiting beliefs can create big blocks, but they usually aren’t all that difficult to release. There are just a few parts to successful reprogramming:
Acknowledgment. Are you seeing a pattern here? We need to acknowledge that we have this limiting belief and that it’s not working for us anymore. Sometimes we need to acknowledge the origin of this belief—whether it be a specific event in our lives, something someone said to us, or another source.
Trust. Talk to your subconscious mind like a trusted, compassionate, kind companion. We need the subconscious mind to feel safe enough to relax and accept these directions to change limiting beliefs.
Replacement. Find a new or empowering belief you want to install or replace for the subconscious mind to use instead. We want to offer it another, more fulfilling option instead of leaving it void.
You are going to learn two very effective ways to clear limiting beliefs: The Sweep and Chakra Tapping. This will give you wonderful options to use. These techniques can be used independently or, if needed, as a powerful combination.
The Sweep is a simple technique that clears limiting beliefs by gently sweeping them right on out of the subconscious mind. The subconscious and conscious minds are designed to work together, like a buddy system. As you know, the subconscious mind’s programming originated in experiences, thoughts, and messages. In other words, it’s open to influence from the conscious mind and our perceptions, directions, and more. We get to use the very same thing that got us in this place to get us out.
With The Sweep, we’re going to be sending directions to the subconscious mind that ask it to challenge those limiting beliefs that aren’t working for us. You can equate this to a focused meditation where we ask your subconscious mind to let old ideas be gently guided out and a new idea to be gently guided in. We’re going to use specific verbiage to do this.
The Sweep is not a form of hypnosis, but it does use words that will relax the body and brain enough to allow us to change its programming. The phrase “I am now free,” which appears in almost every sentence, is key to the process. Freedom is a natural human desire, and it is counter-intuitive, as humans, to resist it in any way. Since the subconscious mind resists so much, we are speaking the body’s language here so that it works with us.
You might want to record this verbiage on your phone or other recording device so you can listen along to it and relax deeply while going through this process.
Just take it slow, really trying to sink into the words. If your mind wanders, it’s okay. That can happen sometimes with this technique. Additionally, your wandering mind may be a sign that there are energies associated with those limiting beliefs trying to clear. Just let go and allow the process to unfold.
Yawning, sighing, getting the chills, feeling emotional, burping, or stomach gurgling are all good signs of release. Just slow down to let your body process these limiting beliefs if you need to at any point. There is no need to hurry.
Step 1: Connect with Your Inner Being or Higher Power — I usually have clients place their hands over their heart to connect to their inner being or higher self. However, if you feel called to place your hands somewhere else, perhaps over an area that needs healing, feel free to do that instead.
Step 2: Repeat The Sweep Verbiage — Simply repeat the following script slowly, taking breaks if you feel like you need time to process (yawn, take a deep breath, etc.). Make sure you do not rush through this, as you need to do it in a way that feels inviting and safe to the subconscious mind.
+ Even though I have this (state the belief), I acknowledge it’s no longer working for me.
+ I give my subconscious full permission to help me clear it, from all of my cells in all of my body, permanently and completely.
+ I am now free to thank it for serving me in the past. I am now free to release all resistances to letting it go.
+ I am now free to release all ideas that I need this in order to stay safe.
+ I am now free to release all ideas that I need it for any reason.
+ I am now free to release all feelings that I don’t deserve to release it.
+ I am now free to release all conscious and subconscious causes for this belief.
+ I am now free to release all conscious and subconscious reasons for holding on to it.
+ I am now free to release all harmful patterns, emotions, and memories connected to it.
+ I am now free to release all generational or past-life energies keeping it stuck.
+ All of my being is healing and clearing this energy now, including any stress response stored in my cells.
+ Healing, healing, healing.
+ Clearing, clearing, clearing.
It is now time to install (insert a belief that is the opposite of whatever you just released; for example, if the belief was “I am too damaged to heal,” you could install “I am perfectly able to heal.”) Installing, installing, installing. Installing, installing, installing. And so it is done.
When you are finished, take a few big, deep breaths.
Step 3: Check In — It’s a good idea to use your muscle testing to confirm that you cleared the limiting belief completely. Simply state the belief again, in its original form, and see whether your body still resonates with it (and needs a little more work) or it’s no longer true for you (wahoo!).
If, for some reason, the limiting belief didn’t clear completely, don’t be alarmed. You can just repeat The Sweep again and retest. This process can take a few times of slow, deliberate intention and focus. Alternatively, you can move on to use Chakra Tapping, which you’ll learn next. This will help you continue clearing the layers. Each belief will be different and will clear differently, too.
Tip: The Sweep can also be used effectively for clearing layers of energy contributing to symptoms. You might want to experiment with this. Instead of inserting a limiting belief into the verbiage, you might use something like this: Even though I have this (insert symptom, fear, emotion, or anything else), I acknowledge it’s no longer working for me. Then revise the wording to fit your specific focus. I use this technique to clear pretty much everything, whether it be a certain emotion I’m feeling strongly in the moment or a thought that feels stuck in my head.
Chakras, the spinning energy centers in the body, hold old stories and experiences in their energies. Their energies are directly tied to early childhood programming and conditioning, which makes them a great access point into limiting beliefs.
During my own healing, I started off using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to challenge limiting beliefs. This worked quite well. However, as I discovered more about the chakras and how they hold our energetic history within them, I began to explore using them to clear beliefs. Remember, beliefs are really just old stories, usually from earlier in our lives.
With this connection between beliefs and the chakra system in mind, I wondered if it might make sense to tap directly on the chakras instead of using EFT tapping points, which are associated with the meridian system. I tried it, and voilà! I fell in love. I felt like I often got a deeper clearing than with EFT while also giving those ever-so-important chakras some attention too. We’re going to use a very similar process to what you learned for EFT, but we’ll tap on chakra points to address the chakra system instead. Easy!
Though you may be familiar with the chakras, I’ll briefly review them as a reminder of how old stories might have found energetic homes in various places in your body. For each chakra that we review here, I’ve also added its tapping point so you’ll know exactly where to tap for this technique in order to remove a limiting belief.
Crown (Seventh) Chakra — Located on the top of the head, the crown chakra symbolizes spirituality and your connection to a higher power. It is tied to the energy of knowing you can trust life, that you are being taken care of and guided. The focus of the crown chakra is to help you connect with your purpose in life and your connection to a higher source. Tapping Point: top of the head.
Third Eye or Brow (Sixth) Chakra — This chakra is located directly between the eyebrows. It represents intuition, imagination, reflection, and the ability to see things for what or how they are (interpretation). Its focus is vision and inner guidance. Tapping Point: in between the eyebrows (be extra gentle with this point).
Throat (Fifth) Chakra — Located in the center of the throat, this chakra is about expression, communication, and truth. Its focus is communication and expression. Tapping Point: front of the throat.
Heart (Fourth) Chakra — The heart chakra is located in the center of your chest. It is linked to love, intimacy, forgiveness, and the ability to send and receive love. It’s also responsible for your heart’s desires and helping you manifest those desires. Its focus is love, relationships, and inner healing. Tapping Point: in the middle of the chest, at your heart’s center.
Solar Plexus (Third) Chakra — The solar plexus chakra, located just below the sternum, governs your sense of personal power, including your personal choices and actions in the world. Its energy is tied to self-confidence, self-esteem, and a feeling of being in control of your life. It stores your judgments and opinions about the world and yourself. Its focus is personal power and a positive mentality. Tapping Point: right under the sternum at your solar plexus.
Sacral (Second) Chakra — The sacral chakra, also referred to as the womb chakra, is located in the pelvis behind the navel. It relates to your creativity and feelings and is also linked to childlike joy. It represents sexuality and is tied closely to your stories and conditioning from childhood. Its focus is feelings, creativity, and joy. Tapping Point: just below the belly button.
Root (First) Chakra — The root chakra is located at the base of the spine. It represents your feelings of safety and survival. It’s connected to early childhood limiting beliefs, money, and identity. It deals with issues of abandonment, unworthiness, and insecurity. Its focus is safety, security, and survival. Tapping Point: lower sacrum or top of your thighs. (Using flat hands to gently slap your thighs, pretend you are continuously motioning for a puppy to come sit on your lap.) After creating and using a set-up statement, which I’ll walk you through, you’re going to tap through all of the previous points. Starting at the top of your head, you’re going to tap and talk about the belief in as much detail as possible.
As you go through this process, just pretend you’re telling me, or your best friend, about the limiting belief. Tell us how the belief makes you feel, memories you recall that may be connected to it, where you feel it in your body, and whatever else comes to mind. This will be familiar to you from the process of Emotional Freedom Technique that you may have already learned.
Note: If this is a generational limiting belief, talk about where you think it came from, how it makes you feel, and any other details that spontaneously come up. Guessing and pondering out loud will work quite well for this process.
Step 1: Create a Set-Up Statement — Just as with Emotional Freedom Technique, we’re going to start by creating a set-up statement. Remember, the set-up statement has two parts.
+ Even though __ (state the experience)__, I (insert a positive idea).
For the first part, you will simply insert the limiting belief. For the second part, you will insert any positive statement to balance the set-up. You are essentially telling yourself that even though something bad happened (first part), there is a positive, too (second part).
+ First part of statement: Even though (state the limiting belief),
+ Second part of statement: I (insert a positive idea).
As a reminder, here are some positive ideas you could use for the second part of the set-up statement:
+ I completely love and accept myself.
+ I can relax now.
+ I am okay anyway.
+ I choose to release it.
+ I give my subconscious permission to let it go now.
Here’s an example limiting belief that I took from that long list earlier: I’ll end up alone if I heal (people only stick around because I’m sick). The full set-up statement for this belief could be: Even though I’ll end up alone if I heal, I choose to release it anyway.
Step 2: Use Your Set-Up Statement While Tapping the Karate Chop Point—Now you’ll continuously tap on the karate chop point (the outside of your hand, about halfway between the bottom of your pinky and your wrist) while saying the full set-up statement three times.
Step 3: Tap Through the Rest of the Points—Next, you’re going to simply tap through the rest of the chakra points and talk about the limiting belief. You can use a mix of stating the belief, talking about how you feel about it, wondering aloud how you might have gotten it, and more. This is essentially a bit of improv!
The simple goal is to focus on this limiting belief so we can bring up the energy and clear it. It’s okay to temporarily focus on the belief; it will not get embedded in your system just by acknowledging it. In fact, this is essential to releasing it. The words you use are not at all important for this first round. You just need to talk about it and bring it up.
To show you how this could go, let’s use the example limiting belief of I’ll end up alone if I heal. Here is what that might look like:
Top of head: I might end up alone.
Third eye: I haven’t taken care of myself in so long, I don’t remember how!
Throat: If no one helps me, I’ll just get sick again.
Heart: It reminds me of when I turned eighteen and Mom said, “You’re on your own!”
Solar plexus: I’m so frustrated that this is keeping me from healing.
Belly button: But I believe that if I get better, people will just ditch me
Top of thighs: Part of me really believes I can’t take care of myself.
Rounds 2, 3 & 4
Now you are going to repeat what you did in round 1 for several more rounds. It’s okay, and sometimes even beneficial, not to use the same exact words and phrases from the first round. Just go with whatever comes up naturally.
Step 4: Break — Take a tapping break and a few deep breaths. Yawn or sigh if you need to. This little bit of time will help your body process the energy and release it fully.
Step 5: Last (5th) Round — Finally, you want to tap through the points one more time while stating a positive affirmation that you’d like to take in. This should ideally oppose the energy of what you just cleared. Example: It’s safe to heal now. Alternatively, you can use the phrase healing at each tapping point.
Step 6: Check In — You may very well have overcome the limiting belief by now. If you know muscle testing, a technique that helps identify subconscious blocks, simply state the belief again in its original form, and see whether your body still resonates with it (meaning it’s still there) or if it’s no longer true for you (meaning it’s cleared). If you do not use muscle testing, tune into your intuition to find out if it’s clear.
If it is clear, then you can high-five yourself now. If not, that’s okay too, as it often takes some persistence. You can repeat the chakra-tapping process a few more times. If you’re comfortable with muscle testing, you can make it easy for yourself and ask your body what technique would be best to repeat for full clearing, The Sweep or Chakra Tapping. Once I got confident with muscle testing, this became an essential part of my process for overcoming limiting beliefs: asking my body just what technique would be most beneficial for me instead of guessing. I do that in client sessions now, too.
You can tap on chakras to move any type of stagnant energy. Just use gentle tapping for several minutes on any chakra that you feel might be blocked.
While we’ve been focusing on clearing limiting beliefs that directly oppose your healing goals, there is another type of belief I’d like to point out. This type of belief, while maybe not in direct opposition to your healing, can cause enough of a stress reaction in your body that it is hindering it. That means your stressful relationship with or reaction to this type of belief is not beneficial for you.
Here are some examples of these types of limiting beliefs:
+ Mom loves my brother more than me.
+ I’ll always be behind with my career.
+ I’m stupid.
+ I’ll always be alone.
+ Everyone always excludes me.
+ I am damaged.
+ I am always left behind.
+ I am always last.
+ If I feel my feelings, I’ll die.
+ If I feel my feelings, I’ll never be happy again.
+ I’m only safe when others are happy.
+ I need permission to be who I really am.
+ Something bad will happen if I express my feelings.
Do you see how believing these things wouldn’t be conducive to creating a healing environment? These types of limiting beliefs may not create the same type of healing self-sabotage that we’ve been focusing on so far, but they are definitely not beneficial. Even if the belief is actually factual at the moment, such as “I don’t make enough money,” using the technique to clear the stress reaction around that harmful belief will do wonders for you.
Remember, your reality is directly linked to your beliefs, so it can seem like a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg scenario as to what came first—but changing one can change the other! We are in a constant energy dance with the universe, always co-creating. Our empowering beliefs are an incredible part of that dance. A great exercise in finding non-beneficial beliefs is to take a hard look at your reality. Because our reality is a reflection of our beliefs, we can easily find what we believe just by looking at our lives. If your reality is that you don’t have enough money or love, you might have a belief that “there isn’t enough to go around” or “I’ll always be poor.” If it feels like nothing goes right for you, you may have the limiting belief that “good things happen to everyone except me.” In other words, if you see a certain pattern show up in your reality, you may have the belief to match it.
About The Author
Amy B. Scher is a leading voice in the field of mind-body-spirit healing and the Los Angeles-based author of How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 8, 2016). As an energy therapist, Amy uses energy therapy techniques to help those experiencing illness and those in need of emotional healing. She has been featured on healthcare blogs, CNN, Curve, Elephant Journal, Cosmopolitan, OM Times, and the San Francisco Book Review. Most importantly, Amy lives by her self-created motto: “When life kicks your ass, kick back.” Visit her website: amybscher.com