In part 1, we established what Self-limiting Beliefs are, what causes them and how to identify your own, because we all have them. In this post, I will be focusing on the most common self-limiting beliefs and how to start tackling them in your life.
It is extremely easy to let our self-limiting beliefs take over our lives or at least keep us from fulfilling our potential, especially when we’re going through a challenging period at work or in our relationships or if we’re feeling a little run-down, or all three!
Some people, who let their self-limiting beliefs take over their thinking for prolonged periods of time, can be significantly impacted by them and in some cases may even lead to mental health issues. Many people aren’t even aware that these beliefs exist, never mind that they can do anything about them; they believe that it’s just the way they are and therefore can’t find a way out. I’ve listed some of the most common self-limiting beliefs below. Do any of these sound familiar to you?
Not being good enough ~ at something to everything
Most of us at some time or another have felt that we weren’t good enough. You need to believe that perfection simply doesn’t exist. There will always be someone who is faster, stronger, bigger, richer, younger, older than you. Stop comparing yourself to others. You never compare how much better you are, you look at how well THEY are doing. Focus on being the best you can be. Put all that energy you spend focussing on others on improving YOU.
By releasing yourself from the stress of perfection, you will be able to perform at the top of your skills.
Not being loved
Many people go through life trying to be who they think other people want them to be in order to win love and acceptance.
The most important person, however, is ourselves. It is far more important to totally love and accept ourselves exactly as we are. Once we can do that, we attract to us people who also love and accept themselves and they can then love and accept us exactly as we are. We don’t have to pretend to be something we are not to love ourselves and to be loved by others.
Fear of rejection
I love this quote by Bo Bennett and he articulates rejection much better than me – ‘It is not rejection itself that people fear, it is the possible consequences of rejection. Preparing to accept those consequences and viewing rejection as a learning experience that will bring you closer to success, will not only help you to conquer the fear of rejection, but help you to appreciate rejection itself. ‘
Fear of failure
Failure is often seen as unacceptable. We are encouraged to innovate but avoid “wasting” time or money. When we fail, we may be threatened or even punished by employers, spouses and parents. This negative experience can lead to a fear of failure, especially if this has been built up over many years. A low-level of fear can be inspiring, but a higher level of fear can become a full-blown phobia, limiting your potential. If you missed Six of the Best …. Failures take a look at some really big failures!
Feelings of being unattractive
These issues plague even the most admired, sought-after people in our society. Just because you feel ugly doesn’t mean you are or that others perceive you that way. They are just another self-limiting belief that plagues thousands of people every day.
The list above is in no way exhaustive. They all do relate to self-esteem in one way or another however. So how do we start to address self-limiting beliefs.
Tackling your Self-Limiting Beliefs
If you have read part 1 and tried out the steps of understanding what your self-limiting beliefs are, hopefully you will have begun to understand some areas for you to work on. If you haven’t, don’t worry, it may take some time to get to the root cause of some of your unhelpful beliefs. Some of the following steps will still help you along the way.
So, 3 easy ABC steps, well, easy to remember, a little bit harder to practice:
1 . AWARENESS – Catch yourself when your inner dialogue is being unhelpful, hindering or downright horrible to you. Which of your self-limiting beliefs is your inner dialogue addressing?
2. BELIEF – You are good enough, you’re not a loser, you can lose weight if you want to, you can be a good public speaker, you can find a way around the problem. You just need to believe that you can. I’ll try to illustrate this with a well publicised example:
On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister was the first man in history to run a sub four-minute mile, 3:59.6 to be precise. At the time it was said that the human heart/lung capacity combined with our muscular skeletal system made it an impossibility. Some said he might even die trying. Roger Bannister believed the four-minute barrier could be broken. He believed he could do it, even though he had never run a mile in under four minutes. The fact that he proved it could be done, started to have a major impact on the self-limiting beliefs of others. Six weeks later, an Australian runner broke Bannister’s record. Within a year more than 20 people had run sub four-minute miles. Today it is not uncommon for high school athletes and people in their 40’s to run the mile in under four minutes with the record over 15 seconds quicker than in 1954! Belief has a BIG impact on the art of the possible.
So you need to have that belief that you can change your subconscious, your inner dialogue, before you move to the next step.
3. CHALLENGE – Really challenge your self-doubt. Find an example when you have been a success, felt attractive, did feel loved. With self-limiting beliefs we have a habit of filtering these moments out of our memories and therefore lives. If you can’t find an example, don’t worry. Challenge your inner dialogue by changing the internal words to something different. So for example:
From: Well you really messed that up! – To: What have I learnt from that and how can I do better next time?
From: You’ll never get that promotion! – To: What’s the next way that I can really prove that I’m up for a challenge?
From: I can’t speak in front of these people! – To: I really know and am passionate about my topic, I’m going to rehearse it every day before it happens, and I’m going to be confident!
If you challenge your negative inner dialogue quickly, and replace it with something more positive, you will start to feel better about yourself or the situation. Persevere! It does take practice, but it does help. Within a matter of weeks you will begin to notice a difference. Don’t forget that many of your limiting beliefs have been with you for years and you won’t fix them over night!
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite poems, given to me by my late father on my 21st birthday. I just wish that I’d understood it fully at the time!
If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will.
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But soon or late the man who wins,
Is the man who thinks he can.
~ C. W. Longenecker ~
If you enjoyed the post or have any feedback, I’d love to hear from you! Until next time…