• Anna Lee Ambrose

Do You Have Limiting Beliefs That Influence Your Decisions In Life?


Have you ever asked yourself this question?

How many of us have limiting beliefs and we aren't even aware of them because they've been indoctrinated into our heads for years now?

When I was growing up in my first generation Chinese family in Southern California, I had many Chinese superstitious beliefs passed on to me. For example, you could not wear anything white in your hair because that symbolized a death in the family, and even if there wasn't one, it could mean you were going to cause one. And on Chinese New Year, there were many of these types of beliefs from wearing red underwear if it was going to be your year (i.e. the year of the dragon) because red underwear will bring you luck for your year or… not washing your hair because it will wash away all your good luck from the previous year to cleaning and sweeping the day before so that you will start the new year with a clean slate (again, having to do with luck but this time you will sweep away all the bad luck instead of keeping the good luck by not washing your hair… huh?).

And then there were other ones for certain occasions like birthdays… you couldn't give someone a watch or clock because that meant you were rushing their living years to death (very bad!), or you couldn't give a gift with a blade of any sort because that meant you were somehow going to hurt that person, or give a gift of shoes because that meant you were somehow going to allow that person to walk out of your life.

OMG, can I just ask had I lived my life implementing all of these beliefs and superstitions each time it had to be done that my life could possibly be very different? I struggled with these beliefs at the beginning because they were still deeply rooted into me. However, as I grew up and lived on my own, and especially after becoming a parent, I learned that these were just that. Superstitions and limiting beliefs. There's a reason why these were superstitions way back in time. Because back in ancient times, people, like today, needed an explanation of why things happened. But with today's knowledge and awareness and studies from all the research that has been done leading up until now, we don't need to continue with these limiting beliefs.

My daughter, perhaps the greatest warrior in our family, since age 6 or 7 has tested these beliefs of mine the very first time she wanted to wear a white ribbon in her hair because it matched the outfit she was wearing. So because I'm a warrior too, I gave it some thought and said 'Sure, why not?' Let's just see what happens if you do. Bring it on. Guess what? Death did not happen. I remember another time in my 20's when I got a pair of Nikes from a boyfriend and a few months after that I broke up with him. My mom said, 'See? That's what he gets for giving you a pair of shoes… you walk away from him'. What my mom didn't know was that I had been contemplating breaking up with him for some time already, and that the shoes he gave me were not fast enough! With the amount of time it took for me to convince him that we were not good for each other, you would think he got me a pair of really high heels (because that's how long it took for me to walk away!).

I'm not putting down or making fun of traditions and cultural beliefs here. There was definitely a place and a time for them, and I can completely understand the history of them. And maybe if it's convenient for me, meaning I happen to have a pair of clean red underwear in my drawer on the eve before my new Year of the Snake, I will wear them. But if it means I have to take time out of my busy day and possibly add more stress to search kingdom come for a pair of red underwear (which is not easy to find by the way), do I do it? Nope.

We have so many opportunities in life. The greatest ones are those that keep us connected with other people and allow us to be our authentic selves. But if you have limiting beliefs, sometimes you miss those opportunities.

So whether it be cultural or religious or any other form of belief that have been with you for a long time (examples are 'I could never do that', 'I don't have time for that', 'I'm too dumb', 'I'm too smart'.. you get the picture?), next time ask yourself "Do I allow my limiting beliefs to influence my decisions and choices I make in my life?"


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