When we think about the factors which hold us back, several things can come to mind. From financial limitations to personal responsibilities and limited opportunities, the list of things which may prevent us from achieving our goals can go on and on but something which we always choose to or forget to include is our own self. The one thing which has the power to hold us back is our own belief. If you think that you are incapable of achieving a certain goal, chances are, you might actually never reach your goal.
What is a self-limiting belief?
Our thoughts and beliefs are what ultimately rule our behavior. A self-limiting belief is one which is restrictive in nature. This means that owing to this belief, we are prevented from doing or believing in a certain thing.
This could apply to practically anything with some most used examples of such types of belief being: “I will never be rich” or “I don’t have enough money to do this”. Unfortunately, our financial status plays one of the biggest roles in our lives. Therefore, it is only natural that most of our limiting beliefs are about money.
However, a person has self-limiting beliefs about other aspects of their life such as how they look: “I’m not thin enough to wear this dress” or “I’m not qualified enough to apply for my dream job.” Some of our beliefs have been inculcated since we were children. This could be due to what society or our parents have told us but could also be due to our circumstances. Other beliefs are those which we have acquired with time but are still as harmful as those which were there from before.
The thing about a self-limiting belief is that once you start believing in limitations, your actions are affected as well. The belief takes over the rational side of your mind and makes you think as if you can actually never have enough money to live a comfortable life or your body type doesn’t allow you to wear a certain dress. Once this happens, you are no longer living life to the fullest as you have restricted your own self. Furthermore, it restricts you from achieving the goals that you have set out to achieve.
Fortunately, self-limiting beliefs don’t have to stay with you forever and there are some ways by which you can eliminate them from your life.
Figure out which self-limiting beliefs you harbor
When trying to make any changes, the first thing is to always identify where you think you went wrong. In this case, you need to pinpoint which self-limiting beliefs you keep in your mind.
Doing this might take some time as sometimes, these beliefs are so deeply ingrained that they have become a normal part of a person’s life. If we start thinking about which of our thoughts can constitute as self-limiting you might be surprised at the number and the different sorts of beliefs, you harbor.
An effective method by which you can make sure that all of your self-limiting beliefs are being addressed is by writing them down. Making a note on your phone or in some notepad every time you identify a self-limiting belief can go a long way.
Addressing these beliefs
Another important step to take whenever making a positive change is thinking or talking about the problem. Once you have identified your self-limiting belief, it becomes much easier to change this belief into one which enables you.
The first thing to address is where the belief came from. Again, this could have been due to societal norms, parents or other experiences. Once you get down to where this belief was instilled, you can then ask yourself if it makes sense. On rare occasions, a self-limiting belief is actually needed to stop you from undertaking an unreasonable activity. However, mostly, our self-limiting beliefs are about things which need to be changed. Let us talk about this in the form of an example.
When we talk about the financial restraints we put on ourselves by believing we can never reach the monetary status we wish to achieve, you can ask yourself why this isnt possible. If you have a source of income which meets your needs, chances are you will grow in your profession with time, thus managing to eventually reach a point where you are in a much better financial position than before.
Sometimes, our self-limiting beliefs can be about things going wrong such as: “If I speak up in the meeting now, everyone will laugh at me”. When this happens, try to think of when this happened before. Mostly, these beliefs are irrational and need to be addressed as such.
Make new beliefs
When you are kicking out several beliefs from your mind, there is now room for more to come in. It is up to you to ensure that these new beliefs aren’t as self-limiting as the previous ones.
The easiest way of doing this is by believing in something which is the opposite from what the original self-limiting belief was. This way, you will now have a belief which is going to be positive while the previous one was negative, thus bringing you down. Once you have created this belief, rationalize this belief and make a supporting argument for why this is the belief you need to harbor and not the previous self-limiting one.
Another thing to remember is that working on eliminating your self-limiting beliefs can be difficult as they can come back. It takes time for the older beliefs to be removed completely and for the new ones to take root in your mind. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to imagine how your life would be life if you believed in the positive and encouraging belief, compared to the previous restrictive one.
This way, over time the mind starts accepting the new belief as the one which makes more sense., thus ensuring that you live a fuller and more satisfactory life.