Limitless Beliefs: healing fear of uncertainty
Updated: Mar 30
I know many people do not feel called or attracted to the word healing when it comes to psychology. Definitely not plenty I wish would take it more seriously. A lot of us want practical answers. Fixing things and getting on with it because we need to reach something else all the time. Sometimes it feels as if anything else would seem dramatic. Funny things is, I guess, healing is necessary to be truly effectively practical. Only catch, though: you have got to recognize what needs to be healed.
As many terms, it can be a broad concept. With everything I will refer to here, you may even call it by different names but since they all seem to be emotionally interlinked, I have them under the umbrella of healing.
Before we go into it, I suppose we want to know what needs to happen for healing to be necessary. Maybe most people first think of trauma. A wound. So, automatically we would associate it with pain, suffering and emotions running high. Then, healing probably is thought of as us crying and suffering for a while until time makes the peaking curve of hardship experienced go down again. After that, we are back to stability. Something like that?
Not really how I see it. Healing to me goes to the extent of being necessary to deal with limiting beliefs, for example, and thats what we will focus on today. This goes beyond the more conventional view of specific reasons for pain. And thats the thing. I think most of us only associate healing with conscious pain. Beware of the word conscious here. For me it goes all the way back to early conditioning and that includes also the way we have been educated; with no or very limited focus on our self-awareness, well-being and physiological potential.
Take a moment and acknowledge every limiting belief over a simply outdated assumption or social norm. ‘I am too old for that’ ‘That would seem to egocentric to do’ ‘no, I have always been the helper, I couldnt do that’ or uff, two very dangerous ones ‘yeah well, thats life’ and ‘love hurts’. Thats a problem. It is something that is so culturally embedded that at some point you have no cue to question it and actively work on it. This is not just holding you back (as they say) but it may genuinely be causing you physiological stress and subconsicous unhappiness. Long-term, this is chronic and not good for your health. It is suppressing a true identity and withholding you from experiencing your full expression. May sound like a bit of woo-woo, but I promise, this ‘be your amazing true self’ is actually true. If you need to keep the (overly)optimistic ‘amazing’ out of it for now, fine.
Limiting beliefs can easily be repressing emotions and reinforcing the feeling of being unheard, unseen and unimportant. Feeling heard, seen and significant are necessary for our emotional stability, no doubt. This is why I consider the process of tackling limiting beliefs a part of healing: it is associated with basic human psychological needs that are not being met and/or being neglected. I hope it becomes clearer why it is pivotal to break them down and not take it as a fact, something light or a cultural joke.
For now, I can say part of healing is (re)assuring co-regulation (relationships and social contact) and emotion-regulation (acknowledge and accepting feelings). Getting back to the ability to stabilize which means stress management. It is recognizing and validating various causes of pain and, more generally, stress. It is restructuring a belief system that goes from validating a self to sustainably reintegrating a self into an environment. Here is the possibly daunting healing aspect: detaching or dissolving a limiting belief can come paired with exposure to feeling fear in response to uncertainty, insecurity and lack of familiarity. The walk-through to successfully and sustainably be loose from it entails identity and role shifting a lot of times. For that, a lot of us need to look deeper into needs that were not met and associations that are dysfunctional. The ones that shaped behaviours and thought repetitions that subsequently recreated patterns that we refer to as ‘yeah, thats always been my life’.
Healing is getting back to an open-mindset, simply put. As neuroscientists would call it ‘a learning brain rather than a brain on survival’. It is when there is more space between a stimulus, sensation or event and a reaction. That ‘what if’ area is increasing so you get space for more good emotions such as joy and love, more in-tune problem-solving, enhanced wonder, visualization and imaginary/abstract play. Most importantly, for the ability to be aware of our feelings and emotions, and mindfully think before acting out on our family, friends and partners if we want to avoid projecting our issues onto them and living in a negative self-fulfilling prophecy.
Scan yourself and check whether these day-to-day thoughts and comments are not coming from a deep-seated fear that is trying to hold on to socially accepted labels in order to create certainty and a safety net. Limitations are safe at first and should not be mistaken with a sense of direction. Figure that too much safety through these limiting beliefs may be sheltering an underlying overdominance of fear (and who knows, neglect of anger?). We need a balance between certainty and uncertainty for proper homeostasis (physiological equilibrium); stability and novelty. That stability comes from a sense of physical and emotional safety which permits calmness and, novelty stimulates learning and excitement. So, allow that neuroplasticity to give you the novelty of new or better developed skills and insurgence of more good emotions that you are naturally capable of producing. Hit that love and joy.
How does the saying go again? ‘No one said it was going to be easy’. Sure, and I hope you dont settle for less than your potential allows for. Meaning, there is no pre-known limitation because potential and neuroplasticity refer to the present continuous. We should always remember that.
Much love and all the best for now,