Self Limiting Beliefs
The previous experiences we have had in water are a big factor in what we believe we are capable of. Our self beliefs can, if we let them limit what we are truly capable of.
Have you been thinking about learning to swim for some time, but have found reasons to hold off from taking the plunge! Looking to sign up to an event or challenge but can talk yourself out of it?
Self-limiting beliefs are described as:
‘assumptions or perceptions that you’ve got about yourself and about the way the world works. These assumptions are “self-limiting” because in some way they’re holding you back from achieving what you are capable of.’
Beliefs start to develop from an early age, where we begin to form beliefs and start to make associations. These beliefs help us to understand the world around us and keep us safe and are usually based on our early years experiences and are shaped by our parents or other important figures in our lives.
It is important to understand that the core beliefs we form as children can be very powerful, and even when we encounter new information or explanations, we often cling to our old beliefs.
For example, a young boy doesn’t complete his 25m badge at school, he may feel embarrassed, at worse ashamed, he may have found the experience stressful, swallowed water and experienced a degree of panic, he may form the belief: “I’m not as good as everyone else, or that the water is a place I find difficult and feel anxious.”
He may continue his lessons, improve and come to enjoy the water, or he may not have any further experiences, either way that early belief may be so deeply engrained that he continues to hold onto it.
Beliefs aren’t facts, they are assumptions and perceptions, they do however lead to actions and can dictate the way we behave, which is why beliefs can be self-limiting— limiting our horizons and holding us back from doing the things we want to do.
Most limiting beliefs are subconscious, but from experience, adults have very strong memories of any negative experiences they have had related to the water and swimming in their childhood.
Keep in mind that the purpose of a belief is connected to keeping you safe or protecting you from another negative experience. Once you understand that, question them and be bold to inject some humour and not take you or the belief you hold too seriously, they shouldn’t hold any power over you.
Formulate new beliefs, by understanding the science behind swimming and how we move through water, you learn that water wants to support you and help you move, the water is a place to relax and be mindful, not stressed, tense or anxious.
Learn from people who embody the beliefs you’re trying to adopt for yourself. There’s plenty of swimming out there on the web, but keep in mind you’re looking to learn in a way that is specifically tailored to the limiting beliefs you’re dealing with and empowering you to believe you can overcome them.
You are capable of more than you realise.