When was the last time you stopped yourself from doing something great because of that negative inner voice? Maybe you didn’t buy that outfit because you told yourself you were too old to wear it. Perhaps you flew to Italy on holiday but didn’t actually try out your Italian because you told yourself no-one would understand you. Or my own personal favourite – there is no point attempting to do that, because it’s already been done and you aren’t adding anything new.
Recognise a self-limiting belief?
It is important to understand that self-limiting beliefs are just that – beliefs. They don’t represent reality and they do hold us back in life. We need to move past our self-limiting beliefs in order to take action, make progress and grow. Think about when you avoided trying something you know you should have or you’ve allowed yourself an excuse like ‘I don’t have enough time’ to be the reason you leave things as they are. You then spend ages wondering why you never achieve your objectives.
Understand why they occur
Self-limiting beliefs are false friends that can appear to play a positive role in our lives by keeping us safe. Inaction often means short-term safety but it can also result in no progress and no growth.
Identify your own particular self-limiting beliefs
Be honest with yourself and work out where the patterns lie in your own thinking. Don’t judge yourself too harshly while you do this – everyone has self-limiting beliefs and they often originate in something that happened to you in the past and they can be rooted in fear.
Overcoming the obstacle
So how can you overcome that negative inner voice telling you not to try something new or to give up on your dream because it will never happen? Once you’ve worked out what your particular self-limiting beliefs are, you can start to turn them around into something positive. Suppose you try something and it doesn’t go to plan – wasn’t it better than not trying at all? What have you learned from it and what might work better next time?
Create some positive affirmations around the goals you want to achieve and relate them back to the new beliefs you want to put in place about yourself.
Retrain and reassure your brain by creating small, safe, steps to get you closer to what you want. This will help you push aside the voice telling you to stop and not to try at all.
Creating new pathways and new habits of thinking will make it easier to deal with those false friends next time they make an appearance. New beliefs will begin to replace the old ones. Don’t allow your old reality to continue to hold you back from achieving what you want.