March 20, 2015

I Think I Can’t: How to Identify Self-Limiting Beliefs.

anxiety fear

Have you ever considered that the person you talk to the most is yourself?


Have you?

Because it is.

The person you’ll spend the most time with, the person you’ll go to first when you’re sad, happy or indifferent, the person you’ll have the longest conversations with, the greatest friend you’ll ever have—is you.

This is a recent revelation of mine. Or, rather, a recent re-revelation of mine.

As a kid I used to wonder who exactly that “person” up in my head was, if it was normal to talk to yourself, and why there just seemed to be so very much to think and say. I realized then, albeit briefly, that the way

I talked to myself was important. That the things I said mattered and affected my mood, my actions and my habits.

Then apparently I forgot.

For most of my adolescent and early adult life I was my own worst critic; second only perhaps to my mother.

I’m hard on myself. Very. I cut myself very little slack, and when I do, I usually feel guilty about it. I like to be the best me, all the time, no excuses.

This results in some rather interesting internal dialogue, not all of it so great.

In fact, if I talked to my friends the way I talked to myself when I struggle, fail or made mistakes, then, well, I’d probably be friendless.


Luckily, I’ve had some pretty fortunate learning experiences that helped me reset. The universe has thrown a few very special teachers my way, led me to to yoga and written me out my fair share of reality checks over the last few years.

I’m starting to get it.

Self talk is important. The words with which you describe your reality shape it. What you believe to be true about yourself is what you will become.

What you say you are, do, have, know, and want will be that which you project and attract.

Are you a good friend? Would you want to talk to you? Would you want to be friends with yourself?

What are you saying to and about yourself?

When you fail, do you forgive yourself? Do you learn from your mistakes and make adjustments in your life to avoid repeating them or do you verbally beat yourself up and relive old lies, patterns and stories?

What do you believe about your ability to change and grow? How do you communicate that to yourself?

How do you describe your areas of strength and development? Do you acknowledge what you can do? How about things you don’t yet do well? When you struggle with something, do you dismiss or diminish your effort? Do you label yourself?

Do you hold a growth or a fixed mindset? Have you given yourself a real and genuine compliment about your own abilities today?

When you want something, do you give yourself permission to have it? Do you say yes when it shows up? Do you allow yourself the opportunity to soak in the sensation, to imagine and feel what it will be like when it is yours? Or, do you focus on what you don’t have? Do you only notice its absence?

Do you see yourself as rich in life, or poor? What words do you use to describe your wealth?

When a new idea opportunity comes up, do you consider if it’s something to explore further? Do you ponder how it might help you grow? Are you willing to look for the potential benefit it may have in your life before you respond?

Or, do you immediately say no because you “don’t do that?” Do you decline simply because it doesn’t fit in the neatly defined picture of the life to which you believe you are entitled?

Do you push things away because you believe you aren’t allowed to have them? How many “don’ts” are in your daily dialogue?

When faced with a risk, do you believe you can take it? Are you willing to try? Are you willing to sit in discomfort for some time, believing the reward to be great enough to warrant the pain? Do you see it as a catalyst for real and positive change, or are you afraid of it? Do you believe it’s too hard, too long, too complicated, too uncomfortable, or too much work?

Does getting out of your comfort zone scare you? Is your thought response pattern conditioned to say “no?”

Take a few minutes to listen to yourself, and this time, really be the listener. What messages are you transmitting between your own ears? What boxes are you placing yourself in as a result of just a few words?

Where have your beliefs limited your own potential?

The choice of words is yours. Stop. Break the cycle. Cancel, delete, re-route, re-frame, re-do.

Be nice to yourself.

Say good, be good. Speak truth, live truth. Believe big, receive in kind.

What you believe to be true about yourself is your reality.

Therefore, and perhaps ironically, the only standing in the way of our own growth, is us.  Let’s speak wisely.






How to Eliminate Limiting Beliefs in 3 Simple Steps.

Author: Michelle Sweezey

Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: arazas at Flickr 

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