How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs (Experience Safety and Regain Agency)

by Aug 15, 2019

If you’ve experienced trauma, you’ve been thrown off balance. Feeling threatened, instinctively you try to hide. Where possible, you run away – even if only in your mind. But you have the power to learn how to overcome limiting beliefs that immobilize you in your desire for safety. There is a better way. Let’s talk about it.

The Hawk

The other morning as I was praying behind our house, there was a loud racket in the brush about 5 feet away. It sounded like something was falling, then a flash of brown landed in thin tall grass. Frozen to the spot, I watched as the creature shook itself to its feet. Before me rested a beautiful hawk. 

I was stunned. I’ve never been so close to a hawk in the wild. It moved towards me into an open spot, stopped and gazed – unblinkingly – at me. Being me, I talked to it. As he remained immobile, I thought, “He can’t fly; he’s injured.”

Sure enough, as he clumsily turned himself around, one wing flopped uselessly to the side, throwing his whole body off balance.

Again he turned and sat watching me. His beautiful eyes seemed to ask for help. I made a slight move to pick it up; then felt a check in my spirit. I meant no harm and wanted to take it to where it could get help. But he didn’t know my heart. His bill and talons are sharp. After all he’s a predator, used to raw meat, not a little bird that eats seeds and insects. 

I had the joy of being with the hawk for a few minutes as the bird rested and watched me. Finally he struggled to his feet and began to slowly move forward into the brush. Once there was grass between us, he rested, then suddenly moved jerkingly towards thicker foliage.

With the joy and wonder, I also experienced grief. I longed to help the wounded bird. If he could have understood I was a friend and wouldn’t hurt him, he could have found healing and recovered his ability to fly. 

As he struggled to hide, I knew he would face suffering he could have avoided. Because his sightedness was greatly handicapped by his lowly position on the ground, he would struggle to find food. He’d also face danger from other predators. Sadly, he won’t ever soar through the skies or be the bold and incredible creature God created him to be.

How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs

Sometimes, we are like that hawk. In our desire to avoid danger, we seem to plummet ourselves further into difficulty. Desperate to self-protect, we actually engage in self-sabotage because we believe lies our brain tells us.

The Lord gave you a wonderful mind and an amazing brain. They are good gifts for you to exercise and use. But if you’ve experienced trauma, your brain has been programmed to believe lies. 

In the past we believed the brain couldn’t change; so we thought whatever impacted the brain was like writing on stone. You just had to make do and hope for the best. I’ve heard countless people say, “Oh, that’s just the way I am. There’s nothing I can do about it.”

But that is not true! God is good; He has made a way of escape for you to overcome lies caused by the trauma. You can be set free from limiting beliefs. Read on for how to overcome limiting beliefs.

Dendrites and the Changing Brain

Science has found your brain has the wonderful ability to adapt, to learn, to grow, to change, and to heal.

God gave you the choice to choose what you believe. As an adult, no one makes you do anything. What you do is the result of how you think and what you choose to believe.

Let me explain.

There are dendrites in your brain. A dendrite carries information and looks like a little tree. If you have been traumatized, the dendrites formed look like scraggly, stunted thorn bushes. When a negative thought ripples through your forest of dendrites – it  stimulates the thorns to secrete harmful chemicals and hormones that flow through your body. Those harmful trees are strengthened by trauma and negative thoughts . They are poisonous and further lock you into negative thinking, limiting beliefs, and self-destructive behavior.

But when you choose to direct your gaze onto the Lord Jesus, spend time memorizing the Word, singing hymns, and being thankful, something wonderful happen. A healing wind blows through the dendrites of your mind.

The Holy Spirit is the wind that brings life. The poisonous trees begin to wither, the lies and limiting beliefs are brought into the light where you can replace them with the truth. To think and speak life over yourself is the secret to overcome limiting beliefs. 

Dear Heart, 

You can become part of a miracle, the miracle of transformation.

As you give thanks and learn to be grateful, healthy dendrites (trees) begin to grow, flourish, and bear the fruit of life. The byproduct of healthy dendrites are healthy emotions. What you say you believe begins to become a reality in your life. 

As truth flows down the healthy neuronal pathways of your brain, it is communicated to your heart, and you experience harmony. When that happens, deep inner healing begins and the trauma and abuse begin to lose their power to retraumatize you.

Rather than being like the wounded hawk who hid, you may allow the Lord Jesus to come alongside of you. Let Him pick you and hold you close to His heart. If you do, He will carry you to safety, nurture you, and set you free from the past. 

For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Dear one. Choose life.

Choose to allow the Lord to have His perfect way in your life. It’s true! It will be uncomfortable at first. But you are already uncomfortable! The places you run to hide don’t offer true safety but set you up to be preyed on by the enemy of your soul.

The Take Away

  1. Trauma causes wounds that create imbalance in your life.
  2. Survival mentality allows you to be triggered and locks you into the limiting beliefs of reactivity.
  3. Hiding makes you more vulnerable.
  4. God gave you power to choose what you want out of life.
  5. You have authority to grow healthy dendrites, trees of life in your brain!
  6. Negative thoughts are poisonous. Reject them. 
  7. Look at Jesus, think about His beautiful promises, and give thanks.
  8. Daily choose Jesus to be LORD and look for things to be thankful for.
  9. In His hands, Jesus will heal your broken heart, bring harmony into your life, and set you free to soar.

If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

John 8:36

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