Not far ago I started a cycle of articles about limiting beliefs. You already know that they often have payoffs. However, have you ever made a balance sheet to eliminate them?
Pain And Pleasure
Firstly, learn some facts about motivation by pleasure and pain.
The pain-pleasure principle, developed by Sigmund Freud, suggests that people make choices to avoid or decrease pain or make choices that create or increase pleasure. The pain-pleasure principle is the core of all the decisions we make. We seek pleasure to reward ourselves with immediate gratification. The pain-pleasure principle suggests that while seeking pleasure, people will also seek to avoid pain. For those individuals where conflict is painful, theyMotivating By pain and Pleasure Principle
will do anything to avoid conflict. Allowing a negative situation to continue might be unhealthy and painful, but the thought of dealing with the conflict is far more painful.
Here are the conclusions coming from the aforementioned quote;
- we can be motivated by pain or/and pleasure,
- we avoid pain more than seek pleasure
- thinking about something painful brings more pain that facing the painful situation
You have already noticed that avoiding pain can cause that you stick to a given belief. Therefore, you would rather stay in an abusive relationship or toxic job than risk the pain of the breakup and facing the unknown.
Therefore, payoffs of negative and limiting beliefs are so strong. However, does it mean they are unbreakable and worth trouble? of course not.
Create a Leverage
There is one efficient way to eliminate the payoffs and any other benefits of limiting beliefs: finding leverage. It is the only way to break the negative belief. It may be not enough just to question the pay-offs as we did in the last post. You need to associate as much pain as possible with the negative belief and its payoff to abandon them.
Choose the Biggest Pay-Off Of Your Limiting Beliefs
Let’s look at an example. If you believe that people will make fun of you when you show them the truth about yourself, the greatest pay-off is to avoid the pain of criticism and humiliation. The consequences may be severe. You will attract such behaviour from other people and become paranoid. You will also lose some opportunities to meet decent people as you assume that they will hurt you.
If you are not sure how to find your leverage, answer the question:
What is one, nastiest thing in my life which I avoid as it brings me pain?
Here is an example list, which does not exhaust all the cases:
- fear of being hurt emotionally, having your ego bruised by criticism, humiliation, shame,
- death or being murdered,
- vulnerability and being dependent on other people (because then you risk abuse and taking disadvantage),
- chronic illness (because of vulnerability),
- disability (as above),
- any kind of violence.
What Will You Lose?
Now take your pay-off and imagine what will happen if you continue using the self-limiting belief to the end of your life. Assume that you will never talk to new people, stay with your abusive spouse to his (or maybe yours?) death, being humiliated, rejected and hurt in many other ways. Would you like that kind of life?
Let me help you. Here are some negative consequences of holding onto the payoffs, also the spiritual ones:
- Missing opportunities to create a happy, healthy and wealthy life, full of love and fulfilment,
- Having to do the homework as long as you learn the lesson, e.g. having abusive partners until you learn self-love and how to stand up for yourself,
- You will be “charged” for losing opportunities during this life on the other side (i.e. after death).
- You do not show your strength to other beings. A disability may be a physical impairment, but if you are spiritually and mentally strong, helpful, decent people will surround you.
In the shortest, sticking to the payoffs of your limiting beliefs will mean that you lose opportunities to improve your life, to show your strength and light within. And all the above creates karma for yourself. We do not escape our life lessons, but they not necessarily have to be painful forever.
The Benefits Of Pay-Offs
Of course, you may question the negative consequences of your payoffs.
- no need to make an effort to improve your life,
- excuses, complaining and other forms of giving up responsibility for your life.
If you dread people, then you may end as isolated, with no hope to find help in case of an accident or financial trouble. Many single people with social anxiety do not realise that having no friends is dangerous and may even worsen their fears.
Weighting the arguments for and against your payoffs of negative beliefs is a very important step for transformation. List them like the examples below and then rate each argument from 1 to 10 (where 10 means “very important”). Here are three example costs and benefits of payoffs supporting your limiting beliefs:
|Costs of a Payoff||Benefits of a Payoff|
| – Missing opportunities for creating |
wealth, health, showing your strength 10 points
– The necessity to repeat the painful life lesson 8 points
– Regret at the end of life 10 points
| – No need to make an effort 10 points|
– No stress 9 points
– In some cases – avoiding short-term pain 7 points
Here is the total for both pros and cons plus the conclusion
- how important the costs of your payoff are = 28 points
- how important the benefits of your payoffs are = 26 points
- balance +2 for costs.
It means that the payoff/payoffs cause more pain than give you benefits which suggest the elimination of the negative belief supported by these payoffs/this payoff.
However, the difference is not big. You need to ask again the following question:
What is better in the long run – temporary pain and later pleasure because of taking some action or chronic pain because of doing nothing?
In a Nutshell
Today you have learnt how to weigh the payoffs of your limiting beliefs. List them in a table and mark how important each item is for you. Then add up the points in each group (i.e. pros and cons) and see the balance. Usually, the costs of your payoffs will be more painful. Good luck with eliminating your limiting beliefs and their payoffs.