I’m remembering a time when I used to walk by a yard with a dog that was tied up to a post with a six foot chain. The dog would run in the same circular pattern, limited by the length of his chain. And then one day I noticed that the owners built a large kennel giving the dog free rein to run much farther and in any direction it pleased. Yet, the dog still ran in exactly the same way, in a small circular space.
It got me thinking about the power of limiting beliefs. I mean, they’re just thoughts, right? They don’t actually limit our physical reality but we sure behave as if they do, much like the dog on the invisible chain. We create limiting beliefs in response to circumstances, usually the painful ones. And, even though as human beings we have a remarkable ability to heal, we tend to respond to new experiences through this limited point of view and then our behaviors and experiences never actually change.
So, for example, say you get your heart broken and say to yourself, “I’m unlovable” or “You can’t trust a man (or a woman)” or “There are no good men/women out there.” And then as you go along, you start interpreting events as evidence of your limiting beliefs. In this context, you then tend to ignore all the good people out there and only pay close attention to the jerks that end up coming into your life. And guess what? We human beings are so powerful that more jerks will actually come into your life! So, like the dog in the wide open yard, the world starts to occur in a very limiting way even though in reality there are many more possibilities such as the fact that there are lots of wonderful men and women out there who could be a great partner for you.
To break out of your pattern and become free from the chain to the past, you must do the following: 1) Truly let go of the past painful experiences through forgiveness, emotional releasing therapies, finding the larger meaning and/or being grateful for what the experience taught you and 2) See the future for what it actually is—a wide open space for you to run and play in any direction you please.
If you find yourself thinking the same negative thoughts or having the same negative experiences over and over, check to see if the chain is still there before coming to any conclusions about your actual reality.