Self-limiting beliefs are awful.
They hinder our ability to reach our goals—and they are powerful.
Most limiting beliefs stem from our childhood, the past experiences we’ve been through, and the way we were raised, so most of them are deeply rooted. This makes them hard to find, especially because we believe them to be truths, and have lived with them for so long.
I look at it as an invisible barrier that literally stops me from achieving what I want in life. Thing is, they’re not true. Each and every one of us is able to achieve anything we want in life. We just have to let go of our self-limitations. Ha! Just, right?
If you stop and think about it, I bet a lot of people have what you believe you can’t have. Why is that? Why is it that you can’t seem to get what you want? Hint: Your limiting beliefs are stopping you.
Limiting beliefs can be attached to our ideas about money, relationships, career choices, etc. They can sound in our subconscious minds like, I will never find the right person for me because I am not pretty enough, I will never have my dream job because I am not smart enough, I am too old to change career paths, or I don’t deserve to be happy.
Since these thoughts are in our subconscious minds, they can be hard to identify. Here are a few ways you can find them:
1. Challenge yourself.
Think about doing something you normally wouldn’t do, like asking someone on a date at the bar, or quit that job you just don’t like. Do any thoughts or fears come into your head as to why you shouldn’t go ask them or why you shouldn’t quit your job? If you are not happy with that job but you keep telling yourself you won’t find anything better, that’s your limiting belief.
Write down everything. Your goals, passions, thoughts, feelings—everything! What do you really want out of life? What do you want five or ten years from now? Do you want to start a business? Start a blog? Change jobs? Go to college? Write down everything, even if your goals seem too big to reach right now.
3. Realize what you are justifying.
If you are justifying why you can’t have something, that is your limiting belief. If there is something you truly want in life, but you are always justifying why you can’t have it, your thoughts are stemming from your limiting beliefs. If your heart is telling you to do it, just do it (with some responsible consideration). Listen to your heart, not your limiting beliefs.
It’s one thing to identify our limiting beliefs. But how do we change them?
1. Become aware of them.
For a week straight, carry around a notebook and write down any limiting belief that pops into your head. It doesn’t matter what the subject is. If you find yourself doubting or questioning anything, write it down.
2. Figure out what and why.
Why are you having these beliefs? What do they stem from? What thoughts or past experiences are fueling them? Dig deep. Figure out when in your life you started to believe this. Was it your childhood? Something traumatic that happened? Something your friends or family led you to believe?
3. Rewrite them.
That list I told you to make in step one? I want you to rewrite every single one of your limiting beliefs into a positive one. Try using affirmations. “I will never find the right person for me because I am not pretty enough,” becomes, “I am worthy of love because I am gorgeous and perfect just the way I am,” or some other statement that you can really get behind and truly believe. Not that you want to believe. Find any way you can to truly believe that you can achieve anything you want.
Limiting beliefs are hard and can take some time to get rid of, but if you take the time to truly understand what has led you to believe you can’t achieve something, you will be so much happier and in-tune with yourself. Remember, as cliché as it sounds, life is what you make it, and your mindset is important.
“Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all, other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.” ~ Jeffrey Gitomer