Why You Should Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs
Are there things in your life you would like to do but you are to afraid to try? Do you want more friends but you are worried about putting yourself out there? Do you want to change your job, start your own business but you are too scared to fail? Maybe you always wanted to go travelling but you don’t know how. Whenever you are feeling down, depressed, unmotivated and stuck with your life, you need to overcome limiting beliefs.
Where Do Limiting Beliefs Come From?
When we are babies, we don’t experience limiting beliefs. We explore the world completely in the moment, uninfluenced by other peoples perceptions of what everything means. As we get older, people around us implant their experiences of the world onto us.
Maybe your parents/school told you that you won’t get a “real job” without a college degree or your peers told you what was cool and not cool. My Dad used to laugh when I told him I wanted to be a musician or an archaeologist, telling me that I would not be successful if I attempted it. The only way to be successful in his eyes was to do exactly what he does; unfortunately, I did not find much joy in software engineering.
Individuals and society have their own limiting beliefs; They are used to explain the way things are. From a young age, these beliefs filled your subconscious, despite having nothing to do with who you are and how your life could be.
“The world is dangerous”, “You shouldn’t dress this way”, “men are tough”, “women are fragile”, “Being busy means you are successful”, “Starting your own business is impossible”. Sometimes beliefs are designed to protect us and guide us through this crazy world, a lot of the time they just limit us to what we are capable of.
Become Your Best Self
If you’re wondering what is stopping you living your best life, it is you. We waste so much time ruminating on whether we are pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough or talented enough. We need to recognise where these thoughts are coming from because they certainly are not true.
These beliefs are stored in your subconscious. It will take some internal work to figure out where they are coming from in order to change them. The subconscious is the non-analytical part of our brain that stores everything and anything. It can’t decide what information is true and not true but it is stored there in that big old brain of yours.
Remember that time someone gave you a weird look after you said something funny? It’s there in your brain. They might have just been having allergies, or thinking about something else and pulled a face. Maybe your brain interpreted this as: speaking my mind means people won’t like me -> speaking my mind means I will be lonely forever.
Identifying Limiting Beliefs
Here are some old examples of mine to get you going, maybe they will resonate with you:
Goal: I wish I was good at public speaking
Subconscious Mind: People think you are stupid and they can see that you are nervous when you publicly speak.
Conclusion: Being nervous and stumbling over my words
Goal: I want to start my own business
Subconscious mind: You do not have the time or money, you are not interesting enough, your content is not beautiful enough
Conclusion: Stuck in same 9-5 job
Goal: I wish I had more friends
Subconscious mind: You are not interesting, other people like louder more extroverted people more, everyone loses touch in the end.
Goal: I want to exercise more and eat better
Subconscious: I am not disciplined enough, being healthy means never eating anything I enjoy
Conclusion: Low self-esteem, no motivation
- I want you to use the template below (download here) to write down as many of these goas you have as possible. Figure out what limiting beliefs are stopping you from achieving your goals. Write the outcome of continuing these limiting beliefs.
- Look at your list, what is scary about these goals? Are you worried you won’t succeed? That people will make fun of you? I can tell you what is scarier, never trying and not living a life that you actually enjoy. You have one life and only you can make it how you want it. I can 100% guarantee that there have been times in your life where you have done something terrifying. When you look back at it now, does it seem that scary? For that reason, I am sure you have done this process before without being aware of it. Now that you are, you will only get better and better at achieving your goals.
- On the final column, I want you to write down evidence against your limiting beliefs. Here is one of my examples:
Goal: I wish I had more friends
Subconscious mind: You are not interesting, other people like louder more extroverted people more.
Evidence Against this Limiting Belief: I have some close friends, I can talk to anyone, I am kind, strangers will often have long conversations with me, I have made lots of friends throughout my life and are capable of making more.
If you want to overcome limiting beliefs, it isn’t going to change you overnight. This is something you will need to be continuously working on. However, now that you know how to be aware of them, you have to tools to practice and live your best life. The only thing that is stopping you, is you.