To identify your limiting beliefs you need to create your vision. Be specific and very clear about what you want. Where do you want to go in life? What do you want to be? What do you want to do? What do you want to have? What do you really want your life and relationships to look like? Next, and this is a process (so be patient), be über aware of any limiting beliefs that pop up. They will not align with your vision and need to be rooted out.
The best way to recognize limiting beliefs is through your actions or reactions, especially if they are emotionally based. A person who does not believe he or she is worthy of love will do things that might seem odd to an outside observer. Not returning a phone call from someone you met and really liked. Being a no-show at a first date after meeting someone great on-line. Picking a huge fight with someone you’ve been dating, for no apparent reason, and then being able to tell yourself, “I knew it wouldn’t work out.”
These are classic self-sabotaging behaviors and point to strong limiting beliefs. See if you can find yours. Then root them out by rewriting them. Turn, “I am not worthy of love” to “I am loveable and desirable.” Turn “I am not attractive enough to be desired” into “I am a beautiful man/woman who is full of life and love to give.” Turn “I don’t have anything interesting to say because I’m stupid/dull/ordinary” into “I am a unique and special person and people want to hear what I have to say.” Lastly, repeat your vision statements and rewritten beliefs for 30 consecutive days.
Once you have identified them, your limiting beliefs must be challenged every time they rear their heads. This repetitive and continuous challenging will eventually retrain the subconscious mind and eliminate the limiting belief.
Identify your needs
Being aware of your needs in a relationship and knowing that they are legitimate will help you recognize when they are not being met. For example, if your father chose to air grievances at the family dinner table, he may have had an unmet need for your mother’s validation and respect. If you grew up with dinnertime being full of stress and gripes, you may find yourself anxious at meals, nit-picking everyone’s manners. Awareness will help you quickly recognize when and if you are slipping into your old familiar pattern of not expressing your needs, for pleasant conversation during dinner, for example.
Know what you want in a relationship
Though your gut may be guiding you to repeat patterns learned long ago, use your knowledge of yourself to seek a partner with whom you can find exactly what you require in a relationship. What are your deal-breakers? What positive traits of your parents do you seem to be seeking in others? What negative traits of your parents do you seem to be found in others? For example, if your parents handled conflict with an “I am right and you are wrong” type of comment, you may get angry and defensive when criticized. By identifying relationship patterns you perpetuate, you take the first step toward breaking free and having a more satisfying relationship future.
You are responsible for your own happiness, period.
We all have the tendency to act as if our happiness depends on others. And it does—to the extent we allow it. I know that not all choices are easy to make. Leaving a relationship in which unhappy patterns are being repeated is not necessarily a walk in the park. Not only do you feel strangely comfortable within the dysfunctional matrix, but you may well love this person. But if your needs, wants and requirements are not being met, and if unhealthy or abusive patterns are being played out regularly, you have fallen into a trap.