What are limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are a set of ideas that you hold about yourself or the world, these beliefs stop you from achieving your full potential. These are beliefs that hold us back from achieving our goals or keep us from trying new things. Common limiting beliefs include negative self-talk like “I’m not good enough,” or “I can’t do this.”. Discover the top 10 Self Limiting Beliefs that are holding you back.
Where do limiting beliefs come from?
Have you ever wondered what causes us to have limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs have a deep root and are stored in our subconscious mind. They generally come from different sources, mostly from your own parents and our past experiences, which now have an influence on who we are today.
Family, Friends, and Society
Our family is the people we spend the most time with during our childhood, therefore your family beliefs get ingrained in your mind and impact how you view and interact with the world.
When growing up we all lived in societies with different values and beliefs. Our parents instilled certain morals into us. There were certain expectations they had from us in terms of career and relationships.
If you grew up in a household where having a lot of money was a bad thing. Then you might think that “having money is selfish”.
Similarly, the society you grew up in and your friends have an impact on your belief system. For example in our society when you cross a certain age you can’t get married or find a life partner. Therefore for the longest time, I didn’t try to meet new people because I thought I would be rejected because of my age.
Our own experiences
These are created based on how we interpret situations in life.
If you grew up with parents who were always fighting then chances are you may have thought to yourself “this is just how things go” or “I don’t want to be like mom and dad.” and therefore I will never get married.
For example, I got poor grades in Art once when I was in school. After that I just took that to face value and decided I was a failure and terrible at painting and drawing, therefore I decided that I should never try it again.
Our own experiences and insecurities cause us to have these self-limiting beliefs about ourselves. In reality, there is no truth to these limiting beliefs.
How do limiting beliefs affect us?
“The only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself.”—Tony Robbins
This quote basically sums up how limiting beliefs impact us and our behavior. What we keep repeating to our subconscious mind is what we start believing is real and that is what limits us.
If you have negative beliefs about yourself and the world, and you keep repeating that story to yourself. No matter what happens you will keep believing that you are not deserving of good things. Therefore even the universe will work against giving you the fulfilling life you dreamed of.
Let’s look at how these self-limiting beliefs can impact us.
Limiting beliefs can keep you from trying new things or taking risks.
As a child, I used to think I was a good swimmer. When it came time for the school swimming competition I didn’t get selected.The one time I had taken a risk I had failed. Instead of learning from my mistakes and working on making my swimming better, I took this personally. This is I was because afraid of trying anything new.
One Failure in life can stop you from taking risks and trying new things. This is why a number of people stick to their comfort zone.
They can hold you back from achieving your goals or dreams.
I had performed terribly in school all my life and was even put on prohibition in the first year of university.
I successfully graduated out of college, but when it came to going to university after I found myself making excuses.
The truth was that my past failures had brought my self-confidence down. I didn’t believe I was good enough to go to university and fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher.
The reality is that it was my negative thoughts and limiting beliefs that stopped me from fulfilling my dreams.
They can hold you back from finding love and a relationship.
During my school years, all my friends around me had a boyfriend. I never dated, in fact, all the boys in school made fun of me.
These past experiences resulted in me having low confidence. I never believed that someone would love me or even fall in love with me.
These limiting beliefs stop you from trying to get into relationships because you don’t think it will work. If in case your efforts are successful, the negative thoughts in mind tell you “this won’t work” and “you don’t deserve this”.
Top 10 common self-limiting beliefs which hold you back
I’m not good enough
This is a limiting belief we all have at some point in our life.
This happens especially when we are asked to step out of our comfort zones or we face something challenging.
You don’t apply for the job because you think you are not good enough.
You think that you can’t take part in some new task because you aren’t good enough.
This is just you trying to protect yourself.
The reality is that all this is negative self-talk that you engage in every day. You have to be more positive and try anyway. What if you give it your best shot? You might be surprised at what you can achieve if you don’t doubt yourself and give it you’re all.
2. I just can’t lose weight.
This is a self-limiting belief I had for the longest time. I wanted to lose weight, but I kept telling myself I just can’t lose weight. So whenever it came to dieting and exercise I would give up.
If you limit yourself and tell yourself “I just can’t do this” then it is very unlikely that you will ever succeed.
3. I am just unlucky.
This belief keeps you from even trying because why even try if luck is not on your side? This is also one of the limiting beliefs everyone experiences from time to time.
You blame your failures on bad luck and think that you can’t succeed because of that.
4. I am not as pretty as them
This limiting belief is usually faced when you compare yourself to others. You notice a girl somewhere and begin comparing yourself with her. You tell yourself “I am not as pretty as her”.
You then begin to lose your confidence and don’t recognize your self-worth.
5. I don’t deserve this.
You keep pushing yourself back and telling yourself that you don’t deserve this. You don’t even believe in your own abilities and feel like no one deserves this.
You have to believe that you deserve what you want and trust yourself that if you try, you will succeed.
6. I don’t have time
This statement is a universal excuse for everything. The reality is that everyone has the same amount of hours available in the day.
If a person really wants something or wants to accomplish something they will make time for it. However, when you keep repeatedly telling yourself the same thing it becomes a reality and you never find time to achieve your goal.
This limiting belief can keep you stuck for many years. It is important to work on changing your belief and thinking process and you will realize that time was just an excuse.
7. I am not creative enough
You are creative, but something blocks you from being creative. We all have moments where we lack creativity and this is a self-limiting belief that is holding us back.
8. I can’t finish what I started because it will be too hard or challenging.
We start new projects or new ventures but then quit halfway because it is too challenging.
So instead of facing the challenge and even trying, we tend to give up.
9. No one will help me.
Another self-limiting belief that holds you back is believing no one will help you. You believe that if you ask others for help, they will not want to give you a hand.
We are our biggest obstacles and if we let go of this belief, everyone can succeed.
10. I will never have a successful relationship.
This is a self-limiting belief that prevents you from even trying to find love or have a relationship. You assume that no one will ever love you and so why even try?
These are the 10 self-limiting beliefs that hold you back and stop you from achieving your dreams.
Your mind works in overdrive when it comes to protecting yourself, so whatever keeps you in a safe zone is what your brain thinks is best for you.
So instead of thinking about all the reasons why you can’t do it, think of reasons why you can. It is okay to be afraid, but don’t let that fear hold you back from trying new things or achieving your goals.
Believe in yourself and start believing that anything is possible!
How to overcome a limiting belief you have about yourself
To free yourself from self-limiting beliefs you need to first identify them. Most of the time we are not aware that we have them or what they truly are.
One way to do this is by writing down your thoughts and feelings, especially those which make you feel bad. This will help you see patterns in your thinking.
Next, ask yourself “what do these beliefs mean and where did they come from?”
See if you can trace them back to your experiences, are these a result of your experiences as a child.
Once you have identified your limiting beliefs, it’s time to challenge them. Ask yourself “why am I certain that this belief is true?” And “is it actually true?”
Ask yourself if there is a more positive way to see the situation. “Do I have evidence that this belief is 100% correct?”
It’s helpful to do this with a friend or someone you trust, who can help you challenge your belief and give their opinion on the situation.
Final thoughts on Self Limiting Beliefs
It is hard to overcome limiting beliefs that are holding you back from success. There are many things that can lead to these limiting beliefs, but the main thing is that they are based on lies. If you are tired of being stuck in a rut and you want to start moving forward, it is time to break these self-limiting beliefs.
A lot of people have these limiting beliefs and it is just a matter of time before you start to overcome them. Remember you deserve success and you deserve happiness. You deserve to be in control and you are enough. It is time to take control of your life and to take action instead of waiting for things to change. Changing your life is a process and you have to take the first step.