Norah Mahony

Is It Limiting Beliefs, Trauma Or Both? 

Limiting beliefs and trauma are two different concepts that can have a huge impact on a person’s success when striving for their goals. While they are both individual, they can both also be related in certain ways. I want to explore the differences between limiting beliefs and trauma and discuss how trauma can sometimes lead to the development of limiting beliefs.

So, first, what are limiting beliefs?

Well, limiting beliefs are negative beliefs or attitudes that a person holds about themselves or the world around them. These beliefs can be formed based on past experiences, upbringing, cultural or societal influences, and other factors. Limiting beliefs can hold people back from achieving their goals or realising their full potential, as they may cause self-doubt, fear, and other negative emotions. 

Our minds are like sponges in the first few years of life, and so it’s during this time that we take on stories that may not be true. For example, if your father is reading the newspaper and you ask him to look at your drawing, he may put his hand up to ask you to wait, or ignore you, not necessarily on purpose! A young child takes on the fact that Dad doesn’t have time for her. She doesn’t see the logic in the situation.

Examples of limiting beliefs include:

“I’m not good enough.”

“I’ll never be successful.”

“I’m not worthy of love.”

“I’m always going to be poor.”

“I don’t deserve to be happy.”

Some deeply ingrained limiting beliefs can be challenging to overcome, as they are often embedded in a person’s psyche. However, with awareness, support and effort, it is possible to identify and challenge limiting beliefs and replace them with more positive and empowering beliefs (which is what I work on with my clients).

So then, what is trauma?

Trauma refers to an event or experience that is emotionally or psychologically distressing and overwhelming, and that may have long-lasting effects on a person’s well-being. Trauma can be caused by a variety of events, such as abuse, neglect, divorce, bereavement, moving house a lot, accidents, or violent acts and more. What one person perceives as traumatic may not be the same as another person’s experience. For example, a car accident that may seem minor to one person could be a deeply traumatic event for another person. Similarly, a seemingly small incident such as harsh comments from a parent or teacher could be traumatic for a child and have long-lasting effects.

Trauma can impact beliefs and attitudes in a number of ways. When a person experiences a traumatic event, it can shake their sense of safety, security, and trust in the world around them. This can lead to a range of emotional and psychological responses, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Often a person who has trauma in their past feels it deep in their system. Their nervous system can be in constant fight or flight, they may have triggers or flashbacks, they may feel anxious, overwhelmed or fearful. 

How trauma can lead to limiting beliefs

While limiting beliefs and trauma are individual concepts, they can be related in certain ways. Traumatic experiences can sometimes lead to the development of limiting beliefs. For example, a person who has experienced abuse may develop a belief that they are not worthy of love or respect, which can be a limiting belief that affects their relationships and self-esteem. Similarly, a person who has experienced a traumatic event such as a natural disaster may develop a belief that the world is a dangerous and unpredictable place. These beliefs can then hold a person back from pursuing their goals and achieving their full potential.

It’s worth noting that not everyone who experiences trauma will develop limiting beliefs, and not all limiting beliefs are related to trauma. However, it’s important to be aware of the ways in which traumatic experiences can impact our beliefs and attitudes so that you can seek support and healing when needed.

So! Is it limiting beliefs, trauma, or both? To sum it up,  limiting beliefs and trauma are two different concepts that can have a significant impact on a person’s well-being. While they are individual, they can also be related in certain ways. Trauma can sometimes lead to the development of limiting beliefs, but it’s important to remember that not all limiting beliefs are related to trauma, and not everyone who experiences trauma will develop limiting beliefs. So ask yourself some questions and journal about them, to help you notice what is going on in your body. Prompts such as, where does this story come from? Where in my body do I feel it? Do I need to speak with someone about what is going on for me, or can l let go of this story? Be honest with yourself. There is no right answer, it is all exploration, and with the right support, you can let go of anything that is holding you back and reach the goals you are working towards.

 If you would like support to overcome a challenge so you can achieve your goals and thrive in your business, send me a message and let’s chat and get some clarity on your situation.