So many times we limit our own potential with our limiting beliefs about our own abilities. We fill ourselves with doubt and create different scenarios of our future gone awry before we even attempt to try something new.
We all do this but, the difference between people who achieve their goals and those who stay paralyzed in fear is in their approach to their limiting beliefs. It is not that these people are fearless; it is that they know how to make their fears invalid and take the limits away from their belief.
I’ve written on other people holding you back and a beginner’s guide on imposter syndrome but, what if none of those are your problems? What if you are the one holding yourself back? Do you have beliefs that are holding you from fulfilling your dreams? Let’s clear out your limiting beliefs together so, you can accomplish what you want and more.
What are limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are any thoughts that hold us back. They are often related to ourselves and our self-identity. It is something that we believe so deeply that we do not even attempt to disprove these beliefs.
Sounds dramatic, right? It is. But, what makes it the most detrimental to us is that these limiting beliefs can start as small harmless beliefs and eventually build-up into a more disabling belief.
Limiting beliefs usually define our position and determine what you can and cannot do based solely on a belief without evidence. It is like assuming something about yourself and you know what people say about assuming, right.
Why do we have limiting beliefs?
Sometimes, it is a protection mechanism. It prevents us from getting hurt and seeing ourselves fail. We were never taught how to deal with failure in school. Failure has always been a bad thing. We are scared. We are scared of being mocked, criticized and rejected.
We form limiting beliefs as an excuse not to try. It is an excuse not to be good at something when you wanted to succeed. It is an excuse so that we do not ever have to try again.
Self-limiting beliefs are also our way of compartmentalizing our failed experiences. Because I failed at X subject multiple times, I cannot do X subject. Or, I start to make limits. I only do Y Subject. I do not do X subject ever.
Self-limiting beliefs do not always start as a bad thing because, after all, it is important to know your limits. But, when does the limiting start becoming detrimental? This is where you need to dig deeper and think about the limits you have created for yourself. Why are they there? Can you really not do that? Or are you afraid? There is a difference between being afraid to walk and not being able to walk.
Limiting beliefs often start with I can’t or I don’t/do, or I must/mustn’t, or I am/ am not. We cannot change. We are bound by law to social norms. There are certain things that we can and cannot do. I can actually think of a lot of limiting beliefs in my personal life right now.
Part of that comes from the world we live in. Limiting beliefs are a common part of a person’s identity. I am a full-time student. Therefore, I cannot work a full-time job. I mean technically I could. It just would not be healthy or desirable on my part. I don’t even want to think about that scenario.
Let’s try another one. I am a pharmacy student. I cannot blog about other things other than pharmacy because I will not be seen as an expert. There are a whole bunch of assumptions in that statement and it may seem dumb when you read it but, that is exactly how a lot of us think about ourselves.
How to overcome limiting beliefs
Now that you know what limiting beliefs are, how do you combat them?
- Acknowledge the fact that you have these beliefs. Write them down.
- Ask yourself what you want in life. Now, ask yourself what is the real reason you do not go for it?
- Realize that these beliefs are not true. Then, challenge them. Start small and work your way to bigger things.
- Create new beliefs that foster your growth in the direction you want. This is kind of like affirmative statements.
- Take all your new experiences from challenging your limiting beliefs and create a case for reaching new goals. What is something you thought you could not do but, you did? Take that memory and use it as evidence that you can move past your limiting beliefs.
- Realize that no one is perfect at new things in the beginning. Sometimes, it takes practice.
Let’s wrap up!
I hope this post can help you to overcome some of you self-limiting beliefs! Try some of the tips and see what happens. You do not have to try all of them right away but, starting and acknowledging your self-limiting beliefs is a huge step in the right direction. So, stop self-sabotaging and let go of those beliefs. I want us all to be able to find our own version of success. Talk to you all later!
Thank you for reading my rant!
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