I am my own worst enemy at times. This is true for many of us, though. Our minds are telling us we can’t, when in reality we’re capable of much more than we think.
Since I was a child have I always been plagued with feelings of inadequacy, of not being good enough, and have thus subconsciously downplayed every good thing I did, or skill I possess. People often tell me that I got a talent with languages, that I’m a bit of a word-smith and I need to continue nurture that. Deep down I know they are right. Still, starting up this blog was extremely difficult for me. I doubted my ability to write good content, of my skills to successfully deliver what I wanted to say in ways people understand and find it interesting. I’m not a native English speaker and the idea of people who are natives, and therefore better at English than me, reading this is terribly intimidating. To the point I’ve yet to properly promote my blog.
This has been a re-current pattern throughout my life. Sometimes it’s almost as if I’ve purposefully downplay myself in times of self-doubt as I’d rather positively surprise people than disappoint them. It’s come to be a big hinderance in my life, though. Finding a job has been next to impossible as I constantly limit myself in my mind telling myself I’d be wasting a potential employer’s time with nonsense. I’m not contributing with anything new, everybody can do what I do. I am not wanted.
It’s very much a self-fulfilling prophecy. Allowing my mind to control me ultimately limits my life in all facets of it as I keep “proving” to myself I was right, but only because I didn’t try in the first place. I’m battling with my mind every day to not give in to any limiting beliefs of mine. I know I need to embrace the talents I got and to continue working on my fears to ensure they aren’t limiting me when it comes to what I want to do and eventually, who I want to become. The only person holding me back is me.
The most challenging aspect is that these beliefs are usually imbedded deep within our subconscious. Its hidden nature hinders us from noticing it’s presence, and to see just much how it affect us. One of my most self-harming beliefs throughout the years has been that as an introvert in a world made for extroverts I’m doomed. The knowledge I got, the things I’m good at and actually enjoy doing aren’t things I could make a living out of. Therefore I never even tried. Almost every job ad I’ve looked at had me thinking I’m not cut out for it so I never even bothered applying. There’s definitely a dangerous pattern to see there. I wanted to start this blog, but thought I’m not original enough. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of other blogs just like mine. I’ll just look foolish for trying. I almost didn’t start.
Almost is the keyword.
I did it.
Most, if not all of us got beliefs that limit us in some way, to a certain extent. Some of the most common beliefs that get in the way of our daily lives are:
- I can’t trust people because I’ve been betrayed before…
- It would be better to stick with what is the easiest rather than to challenge myself at work.
- I can’t pursue my dreams because I don’t know what I’d do if I fail…
- I can’t do X because of Y…
- I’m not very smart (or pretty, or interesting, or funny).
- My brother (or sister) is the successful one.
- I am not worthy of being loved
- Not being good enough
- I’m not cut out for that job.
- That activity is really more of a guy thing (or a girl thing).
- Men (or women) are liars and they will always be unfaithful to me.
- Relationships always end in heartbreak.
In order to find any limiting beliefs of yours you’ll need to pay close attention to the less-than-desirable patterns. Is there anything you’ve seen repeating in your life? Something that have kept you feeling stuck, small, and lonely. Limiting beliefs can indeed create those miserable realities we’re all hoping to avoid.
The first step is to acknowledge you got them, and that’s a big feat in itself. It means you can choose to change what it is that is limiting you. You got control of this. Maybe it doesn’t feel that way, and yes, it’s hard to change something that is in your subconscious but it’s not impossible. Replace those limiting, negative beliefs with new ones that strengthen and empowers you. What many people don’t realize is that most of the beliefs we got about the world aren’t true “out there”. They are true because we decided they are. They are formed through repeated thoughts and the only reason why they carry such heavy weight is because you’ve decided to agree that it is that way. Turn it around. You can do it.
1. Firstly, stop identifying with the beliefs. If we identify with them we allow ourselves to be defined by them, too. If you view yourself as uncreative, you will see yourself as somebody who wasn’t born with the ability to create. You’ll stop yourself from even trying to be creative because you assume you simply can’t do it. It’s very easy to get caught up in our beliefs and allow them to define us, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Stop identifying with, or define yourself based upon what you perceive to be true.
2. Get rid of your conclusions. You may think you know something to be a certain way but chances are that things aren’t as fixed as you may think. The requirements are likely more negotiable and if you look closer at any problem you will usually find a solution in the end. Question all the conclusions you’ve previously had about what you believe to be true, whether fixed or possible.
3. Put the assumptions you got to the test. Just questioning these assumptions isn’t going to be enough. You’ll need to push boundaries and put them to the test. You’ll need to do something to break the pattern of your limiting beliefs, take action to make sure you’re moving forward and isn’t just staying in your head about it. If you’ve previously thought yourself too anti-social to go an event with colleagues after work, put it to the test. Challenge it.
It may sound easy at first glance, but you’ll need to take time to really cultivate it and make sure you’re not falling back in your old ways of thinking.
Now what are some of the limiting beliefs you are struggling with? Do leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you.