ingrained beliefsWhat are ingrained beliefs?  The definition of ‘ingrained’ in terms of beliefs, according to Cambridge Dictionary is, “so established that they are difficult to change.” Difficult to change, but not impossible.  We begin to learn ingrained beliefs at a very early age.  Some may not be as formal lessons, but in the words and actions we absorb through others in our environment.

The ‘others’ can be family members, friends, and school teachers, as well as communications through the media.  Some people communicate in a variety of compelling ways.  We as humans have the faculty of free-will.  Through free-will we get to determine how we think and act.

As we go through our childhood years, our brains do not fully develop until we are in our mid-twenties. During our developmental years, we are susceptible to learning ingrained beliefs.  The ingrained beliefs that we learn, can be good, or not so much.  We have a tendency to carry them, good or bad, into our adult years without realizing that’s what we are doing.

In adulthood, or maybe before, there are situations that occur that can challenge an ingrained belief. The way you’ve been thinking about something, may no longer serve you well.  It can limit you in terms of the approach you take to solving an issue.  This ingrained belief turns into a ‘limiting belief’.

Some examples of limiting beliefs are shown below.

  • I have to have money to make money
  • I procrastinate too much
  • I don’t have enough time
  • I’m not smart enough to get a college degree
  • I can’t get organized

In the words of innovator Henry Ford, “If you think you can do a thing, or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” It’s all in the way we think!  As mentioned earlier in this post, we all have free-will.  We all have the ability to change the way we think.  I’m not saying it’s easy, but if the way you think about something is not serving you well, why not change the way you think about it?

Mindfulness is the first step to changing the way you think.  Being aware of your limiting beliefs can challenge you to take action to change those limiting, or not-so-good ingrained beliefs.   Just because you or someone else decided a long time ago, that you can’t do something for some reason, doesn’t make it so.

Are you aware of your ingrained beliefs?  If so, how do you deal with those that no longer serve you?