Limiting decisions are unconscious decisions made in early childhood, such as “I’m not lovable,” “I’m a failure,” or “People can’t be trusted.” They are always some form of deciding that life doesn’t work and, usually, that there is something inherently wrong with you.
Limiting decisions are at the root of whatever isn’t working well in your life. They are what hold in place negative patterns you have, such as getting into dysfunctional relationships, chronic financial difficulties, self-esteem problems, depression, anxiety, addictions, or eating disorders.
How Limiting Decisions Are Formed
They are usually formed before the age of 6 or 7, and sometimes in adolescence. They get formed when something very intense and traumatic occurs in your life. On the basis of what you had experienced up until that point in your life, and the stage of development you were at, you had nothing with which to make sense of this.
As a result, your whole sense of reality was shaken. This is very destabilizing. You go into a state of shock, your conscious mind stops functioning and your unconscious mind takes over. This creates a state of trance, which is a hypnotic state.
In this impressionable state, you interpret what you just saw, heard and felt, based on your limited experience and development. Your interpretation becomes a limiting decision. Your unconscious mind then locks that decision into your breathing patterns, muscle contractions and neuro-networks.
How Limiting Decisions Are Held in Place
Your unconscious mind is very invested in proving the limiting decision is true. That is because, even though the limiting decision is negative, it makes you feel more stable. It gives you a way to define what is real.
In order prove the decision is true on an ongoing basis, your unconscious mind functions like a background computer program, always looking for ways to prove the limiting decision is true. It filters in information that proves it and filters out anything that might disprove it. Your unconscious investment in proving the limiting decision is true influences how you interpret experiences that occur, as well as the kinds of people and situations you attract to yourself and are attracted to.
The Result of Making Limiting Decisions
The limiting decision is made in a split moment. Immediately afterward, your conscious mind comes back into your awareness, not realizing your unconscious mind has made a decision. You think your interpretation of this event is reality, even though limiting decisions are never actually true. This distorts your experience of reality and is what causes your life to not work.
For example, if you made a limiting decision that you are not good enough, you may have very little confidence in whatever you try to accomplish in your life. You may give up easily. Or you may easily get offended if someone says something mildly critical to you or makes a suggestion about how you could do something better. This makes it hard for you to learn and grow, and it causes conflict in your relationships.
Or, if you made a limiting decision that “people can’t be trusted,” you may not be able to distinguish people who can be trusted from those who can’t. That is because you believe everyone can’t be trusted. As a result you may put up walls and do everything on your own, as much as possible. And when you have to trust someone, you may jump in with your eyes closed and generally end up being taken advantage of.
Or, if you have a limiting decision that there isn’t enough, you would probably always be struggling to make ends meet. That is because you may not notice, or take advantage of, opportunities and resources that are actually available to you.
Fortunately, limiting decisions can be cleared, and with them, the dysfunctional patterns they have been holding in place in your life. You don’t have to keep finding yourself in dysfunctional relationships, or sinking under the weight of low self-esteem, or struggling financially.
The Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) process called TimeLine is a very effective process for untangling the limiting decisions holding in place what isn’t working and clearing them.
To find out more about this powerful process, click here.