Have you ever had an inner dialogue within you while dealing with a life situation or trying on some new job opportunity, or even meeting someone new? You might not even talk to your own self but, without any explicable reason, tend to behave in a specific, predictable way. Later on, you keep ruminating,’ Why did I do that? Why did I skip this opportunity or hesitate? In reality, your limiting beliefs set you back. These thoughts or actions can be your own, like, “I am not good enough for this task or someone.”
Sometimes your colleagues, friends or family unknowingly keep you down with such restrictive patterns, like, “You are not the type to take a risk.” The fun part is we usually do not even realize we are acting out of some innate wrong beliefs or holding ourselves back. It takes real observation, self-analysis or some outside source to push us to consider our personal hindering false beliefs about ourselves or the world and its core reasons. Once you acknowledge this fact, overcoming limiting beliefs will become a practical reality.
What are Limiting Beliefs?
When you talk about beliefs that limit you, you talk about a thought pattern or mindset that you believe is the true reality. This state or thought stops you from doing particular things. Remember, you don’t have to just believe about yourself, either. These limiting considerations can be about how you interact with people, the world and different concepts, new or old.
Generally, such limiting thoughts or actions bring a negative change in your life. What your subconscious does is use your limiting beliefs as defense mechanisms. In other words, these are the psychological coping strategies your mind uses to protect you from stress or experiencing challenging or uncomfortable feelings.
What Is The Root Cause of Limiting Beliefs?
The root cause of limiting emotions or thoughts can be traced to many factors, but the main reason is your brain’s desire to protect you from pain in the future. We want to stay in our comfort zones, and our mind helps us in this endeavor, mostly to our loss. The triggers generally include fear, past experiences, traumatic situations or other unforeseen factors.
Where Do Limiting Beliefs Come From?
Acknowledging your restrictive tendencies is not enough. You should consider the origins of such inhibiting thoughts or states of mind for overcoming limiting beliefs. What sets the boundaries of your inner alarms, the subconscious ones?
Your innate thought patterns develop with what you learn or experience at school and college. Also, your mentors, colleagues or friends contribute immensely to building the safe inner alarms that stop you from venturing outside your comfort zone.
Your Family Beliefs
Your parents or even grandparents transmit their beliefs and values to you, consciously or unconsciously. We pick these beliefs as our core ones, along with establishing our own from early childhood. For instance, our mothers try to instill the concept that “hard work always pays off.”
Your experiences primarily establish your inhibiting beliefs and thoughts, especially those that end negatively. They may originate in your childhood or personal life or be work-related.
Your Closed Mindset
Your inherent biases or a closed mindset keep you down from an early age. You adopt these restrictive patterns in your personality slowly, and they stop you from venturing far into new territories, whether your personal or professional lives.
What Are The Most Common Limiting Beliefs?
You might not even know you are thinking or acting in a limiting way unless you know what to look for. Let us give some real-life examples, so you can easily identify your restrictive tendencies, whether it is an opportunity or a new phase of life.
13 Common Examples of Limiting Beliefs
- I can’t do this. You put yourself down without realizing you have a choice to learn and can do anything.
- I don’t have time. Thinking this will keep you stuck in one place, and you won’t go after what you want.
- I am not good enough. This false belief comes when you get criticized or compared to someone in life that you are not skilled or talented enough.
- It’s too late. A wrong presumption that blossoms with time and low self-respect that it’s too late to pursue your dreams or even wear something vibrant.
- I can do it myself. There is no harm or shame in asking for help because it is an imperfect mentality that ‘I don’t need help.’
- I don’t know what I need or want. A really lame excuse to not take action or responsibility as deep, deep down, you surely know what you want or need.
- I have to be perfect. Get it in your head, “Perfection doesn’t exist.” It is acceptable for you to make mistakes and not stress about each aspect of life.
- I Don’t Deserve. Your low self-value wrongly holds you back, and you start thinking, “I don’t deserve this as much as my colleague.”
- There’s Someone Better. You put yourself down with the thinking, “Surely someone out there is more suitable for this opportunity that came my way than me.”
- I am a failure. This limiting thought emerges when you try something, fail, and stop trying due to fear of failure. Hey! Trying is something; it gives you the experience you otherwise wouldn’t have gained.
- It’s not possible for me. This belief wrongly takes root; what is possible for others is not for you. But the question is, Why not for you?
- My [Loved One] Says I’m… You wrongly let others’ opinions about you and your talents get the better of you. Like, “My mother says I always try to avoid taking risks, being afraid.”
- I’m struggling. This negative self-talk leaves you weak and dishearten, so much so that coping with hardships starts feeling like a daunting task.
How Do I Start Believing In Myself?
Promoting a greater self-belief is vital for your personality and mental health. Nobody can serve you this improvement on a dish. You will have to alter your whole point of view and approach toward life to let go of your limiting attitudes for greater success and happiness. Below, we offer you 7 basic strategies to ease your path to this positively changing journey and overcoming limiting beliefs.
7 Strategies That Will Help You Believe In Yourself
1. Identify your limiting thought or belief patterns.
Identifying your restrictive state of mind or thought patterns helps you reduce them over time. The trick is to start with your largest limiting thought or belief and repeat this step with each negative one till you recognize each and every harmful belief.
2. Accept that your beliefs are mere thoughts, not reality.
You should recognize that your beliefs are merely beliefs, not true facts. They may easily be founded on baseless assumptions.
3. Recognize the negative consequences of retaining your restrictive ideas/ emotions.
Admitting the consequences of holding on to your inhibiting beliefs lends you that much-needed courage to really turn your perspective around for the better. Because otherwise, you will continue in your life of monotony with no positive success or change coming your way.
4. Leave sure paths to venture on new ones.
Certainty in life is overrated. Only by leaving your sure paths can you explore new thought and belief patterns, though they may feel shaky or unclear to you as yet.
5. Adopt a growth mindset and new beliefs.
It is easy to stay with comforting approaches and beliefs, whether in your job or personal life. But to adopt a growth mindset and some positive new beliefs means letting go of your previous conservative approaches or thoughts.
6. Alter your self-talk for the better.
A crucial point that many people miss is having constant negative self-talk with their own selves. Believe me! This alone dampens your spirits badly. Alter your self-talk to be always positive and encouraging.
7. Practice your new beliefs.
You should take action by practically implementing your new beliefs. Testing them in the real world supports your new positive self-beliefs.
How Do I Get Rid of Negative Self Beliefs?
You need all the help you can get to change your negative self-beliefs to positive ones, as it’s not easy to alter your innate defense mechanisms. For example, avoiding new changes or underestimating yourself and your capabilities. These 5 tips are extra support to nudge you on the right path of overcoming limiting beliefs.
5 Tips for Changing Negative Self Beliefs
- Identify your negative self-beliefs and how they impact you.
- Question and challenge your negative self-beliefs.
- Take responsibility, stop blaming outside factors for inhibiting self-beliefs, and write your fate yourself.
- Reframe those negative self-beliefs to positive ones with gradual practice.
- Never give up and stick to your newfound positive self-beliefs and growth mindset.
Limiting beliefs are a bitter reality as they stop us from achieving our true potential. Whether we realize it or not, we all gain unconscious beliefs about what we can and cannot do in our lives.
These beliefs truly diminish the amount of happiness or success you can expect from life. Moreover, they stop you from chasing your dreams or even building new, healthy relationships with people. Just remember that it is never too late to rewrite your beliefs, altering them from negative to positive ones.
How long does it take to overcome limiting beliefs?
Ans It may take from a few minutes as less as 20 minutes to even a few years to overcome a single restrictive belief or thought, as it depends upon your action plan and your commitment to positively alter yourself.
How to identify limiting beliefs?
Ans: Such restrictive or negative beliefs are not easy to identify. But you can quickly pinpoint them by finding the why situation. Think about what you would like to achieve but aren’t working towards. Then look for the reason for not doing said thing. You will get there.
How to overcome self-limiting beliefs?
Ans: You can overcome self-limiting thoughts or emotions by following the above-mentioned 7 strategies and further 5 tips
How do I know my beliefs?
To know your beliefs, first think a thought. Like, “Why am I so scared to try new things?” then trace it back to its core reason. You will find all your core beliefs one by one with this technique.
What are harmful limiting beliefs?
Harmful limiting thoughts/ emotions are like mental barriers that inhibit us from achieving our true potential. These may affect both our personal and professional lives in the long run. An example is when you think, “I am too young to be a manager.”