The voice of limitation creates the illusion of safety and security through maintaining the status quo. The voice of limitation is also called the ego, the wounded self, or the false self.
Everyone has a voice of limitation. No one is exempt. It’s part of our human hardwiring. In the beginning, it was created to keep us physically safe, to help us survive in our family and culture. As we evolved, the voice evolved as well, only now it keeps us safe by convincing us that we are limited, small, and must not venture beyond its identity.
The voice has many guises that arise from your personal history. But beneath all variations of this voice, the same core belief resides: I am limited.
Here are some examples of how this voice has shown up with my clients recently:
(Note: names and some aspects are changed for confidentiality.)
Claire, who is single and very much wants a relationship, heard this voice and for a short time let it convince her it was true: “I don’t really want a relationship. It’s just too much trouble. I’m happy the way I am.” Of course she is happy, but the purpose of a relationship is not to assuage unhappiness. We looked deeper at this voice and she realized it was a part of her who did not want her life to change one iota! Her wounded self had some false beliefs about intimacy, which were attempting to keep her single. I’m happy to report that she is now dating a wonderful person!
Another client, Kim, who is also single and wants a relationship, heard another voice of limitation. This one said, “If you don’t find your soulmate you will be lonely forever.” This is an ego voice that grasps at external reality, trying to control and change the way things are. As the Buddha taught us, grasping is one of the causes of suffering. As we worked, Kim was able to see that there was a way she did not love herself in the present. Her neediness for relationship arose from this inner abandonment, as is often the case. Self-love must precede a good relationship.
One more example of the ‘voice of limitation’ comes from a client who wants to write a book but doesn’t believe she can. The voices of limitation she was programmed with have been louder than her belief in her Self. This is changing for her and she is beginning to write a truly remarkable book that combines her own life journey with her professional work.
In order to have power with your personal growth and transformation, you need to understand how your ego works. Many people in popular spiritual and self-help culture tend to act as if you can skip over this exploration. Others believe that if you just learn the right technique or be positive enough the ego will go away. Then, there are those who think that if you analyze the ego enough, it will somehow go away. Traditional therapy tends to fall into this category.
None of these approaches is complete.
In my experience, the ego never goes away. It is our relationship to it that creates awareness, power, and transformation beyond it.
What is the solution to having power with this voice of limitation?
1) Know that you will not ever make it go away. It is part of each of us. This is not bad news. It is your relationship to the ego that matters. Many times just when you are on the verge of greater expansion, the ego arises. Knowing this gives you power.
2) Learn and practice a process for healing the inner child who holds the old fear and cultural beliefs. Inner Bonding is one of the best tools for this. Your power comes from understanding your personal voice of limitation. So write down those limiting beliefs. This is the first step in being able to step away from them.
3) Meditation is a key practice in order to achieve the power to move beyond the ego. Meditation opens you to the deeper Ground of Being within you. This aspect of Self has never been affected by any of your earthly challenges. Practice letting go of needing anything to be different than what it is. By feeling this deep place of Spirit within you, you gain the clarity to discern where your choices are coming from: ego or essence.
4) Cultivate awareness of your focus and learn about the power of your vibration. We live in a quantum field. We are vibrational beings. What we focus on expands. Our frequency changes throughout the day. When you are in a lower frequency, you will more than likely feel emotions such as fear, depression and have thoughts that match these emotions. The ego is always a low frequency. Take responsibility for your frequency through self-care, including the thoughts you think!
5) Create a daily spiritual practice.
There’s nothing more exciting that making a commitment to transform your Self. You are an unlimited being. Knowing this truth intellectually is quite different than living it. Commit to the above practices to support yourself. As you evolve and take action to manifest your gifts in the world, the world evolves as well. In other words, your life matters very much, not just to you but also to the whole.
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