Self-limiting beliefs. Ugh. I have a few and sadly, they still rear their ugly heads and sometimes stand in the way of happiness. I can be having the best day and suddenly a trigger will take me back to that young girl that came to believe she was not good enough and didn’t deserve to be loved. 55 years old and yet my self-limiting beliefs still sometimes control my entire world.
Most people have self-limiting beliefs and in truth, the self-limiting belief of “I am not good enough” is one that continues to haunt me. It is just a few words but coupled with additional negative thoughts it holds great power over me. Believing that I am not good enough has stolen joy and hijacked my dreams. In addition, my beliefs have at times led to bad choices that did nothing but sabotage my life and in the end made things worse.
How about you? Do you struggle with self-limiting beliefs that repeatedly sabotage your life and seem to steal your happiness or get in the way of your success?
If so, you are NOT alone. Most human beings suffer from the debilitating brain fog caused by negative self-limiting beliefs. And – if left unchecked, the consequences can be huge.
Sadly, negativity and self-defeating thoughts run wild in our brains and at times, tend to run the show. Our thoughts hold great power and unfortunately, the cost of the negative and self-limiting ones are high.
I love to write and I have always dreamed of writing a best-selling book. Self-limiting beliefs sometimes flood my brain and consequently, continue to stand in the way. The belief that I am not good enough, the fear of judgement and concerns that I am too old have kept me stuck in a place I no longer want to be. Sound familiar?
Anna is a beautiful 24-year-old woman. She graduated from college, has dreams of finding a job and the man of her dreams. But – she is trapped in a prison filled with self-limiting beliefs. Anna believes that she is not good enough, that she will never find a guy that will love her and that she can’t do the things she needs to do to feel better about herself. In essence, her beliefs are preventing her from making the commitment and doing whatever it takes to achieve her goals. Low self-worth, negative thoughts and self-sabotaging behaviors are standing in the way of Anna’s happiness and sadly, she cannot seem to get out of her own way.
Anna’s plight is not unusual and quite honestly, I have struggled with the same beliefs at different times of my life. So – how can Anna and so many others (myself included) fight back, shift their thoughts and reclaim their joy?
There are no easy answers and like most things that are worth it in life, the changes we need to make the most are often times hard. Similarly changing the way we think is equally as hard.
With that being said, it is possible!! You can change and as Wayne Dyer says, “change your thoughts change your life.”
The journey of change is ongoing and shifting our thinking is a process. Here are a few tips to help in your journey:
Pay attention to your thoughts.
It is impossible to change something if you do not know it exists and sadly, negative thoughts can easily become a part of who you are. The National Science Foundation published an article regarding research about human thoughts. The average person has approximately 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day and in fact 80 percent of those thoughts are negative. Think about that for a moment. The human brain is filled with thousands of thoughts every day and again the majority of those thoughts are negative. Most people would be surprised at how many negative thoughts are buzzing around in their heads. Spend a day and truly focus on your thoughts. Pay attention to what you are thinking. Once you are aware you can start to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
What are your self-limiting beliefs?
Take a few minutes and think about what negative themes are repeatedly showing up. Additionally, think about your beliefs and how they are impacting your life. Write your self-limiting beliefs down and keeping these beliefs in mind, ask yourself what these thoughts are costing you? For example, my self-limiting belief of not being good enough has stood in the way of writing my book and in essence robbed me of a lifelong dream. Mel Robbins talks about the importance of identifying and addressing your self-limiting beliefs in her Mindset Reset program. It is critical to your well-being and likewise to your future success.
Shift your perspective and mindset.
I have found from observing and talking to others that much of one’s ability to change or achieve life goals is in part due to having the right mindset. It is possible to shift your mindset but again, it is important that you identify your personal self-limiting beliefs and more importantly the why behind them. Once you understand the why behind them, the better equipped you will be to fight against them. If you do not like the message coming out of your beliefs, challenge yourself and decide what you want to believe about yourself instead. This is important and in time your perspective and mindset will shift in the right direction. It takes practice but it can be done.
Self-limiting beliefs are personal.
It is important to remember that self-limiting beliefs are ideas we have about ourselves and not necessarily in line with what others see. In most cases, the beliefs are not true but we believe them to be true. Self-limiting beliefs show up and surface in a number of ways. They often start in childhood and develop over time. Life experiences and interactions with others influence and shape our view of the world and eventually ourselves. Often the outside world has no idea how another person feels. People become very good at hiding self-limiting beliefs to others but inside they feel like a failure and a hot mess. What you believe to be true may very well be one of many lies you have been telling yourself for years. Dig deeper and discover your self-worth and the truth.
Live with intention.
If you want to change your view of yourself and shift your negative thinking it is important to set goals with intention. Be deliberate in your plan to change and to achieve your goals. You must be all in and believe that you have the courage and power to decide what happens next. Your self-limiting beliefs cannot win unless you allow them to. You are in charge and the choice to live a happier life is up to you.
Focus on the future and stop living in the past. It is easy to beat ourselves up and sadly, most people waste far too much energy dwelling on past mistakes. Living in regret and focusing on the past leads to toxic emotions and negative thinking. This only supports our self-limiting beliefs and in truth, it is like pouring gasoline on a fire that is already burning out of control. Forgive yourself and let it go. Focus on what lies in front of you and stop looking in the rear-view mirror. You can get to your destination and find the happiness you want and deserve.
Love ALL of who you are.
If you are struggling with loving yourself it will be a long up-hill battle to live your best life and achieve your dreams. You matter and you deserve to be loved and to be happy. Stop setting your standards low and stop settling for less than what you want and deserve. Changing the way you think about yourself and learning to love yourself will in fact open up a whole new world of possibilities. Remove the barriers and the negative thinking that has kept you stuck far too long. Break free of those self-limiting beliefs and find your joy. It is there and you DO have the strength and the tools to change and make your dreams come true. You CAN get there. Love yourself enough to try and above all else believe that you can.
The mind is a powerful thing and sadly, the self-limiting thoughts we come to believe can stand in the way of living true to the person we so badly want to be. Don’t fall prey to those things anymore. Be courageous, fight back and stand up for yourself. You don’t have to listen to the nasty, negative voices in your head anymore. Rise up and as a result take back your life. Your happiness is waiting for you.
My wish for each and every one of you is that you can shift your thinking and change your thoughts. Remember – change your thoughts and you will change your life. It is time.
In Love and Peace-
Please share some of your self-limiting beliefs and ideas on how you can overcome them! I would love to hear from you!