HOW TO OVERCOME SELF-LIMITING BELIEFS IN 5 EASY STEPS AND ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS.

self limiting beliefs

TABLE OF CONTENTS

    INTRODUCTION: How to overcome self limiting beliefs.

    If you asked the average person their self-limiting beliefs, they would probably look at you puzzled. However, holding on to self-limiting beliefs can significantly affect your life. It’s the one thing that can stop you from succeeding and attaining your goals. I have lost count of the many clients I have encountered over the years who live their lives stifled by their self-limiting beliefs.

     I lived the earlier part of my own life with self-limiting beliefs. It was not until I reached an age and recognised the harm, they were inflicting on my life that I changed my mindset. My book ‘Travel Light: a Handbook for Mental Health’ will explain in detail where my self-limited beliefs came from.

    This blog post aims to illuminate self-limiting beliefs, helping you to identify and overcome them to live a more fulfilled life.

    So, first of all, 

    SELF LIMITING BELIEFS
    SELF LIMITING BELIEFS

    WHAT IS SELF-LIMITING BELIEF?

    Quite simply, it’s a story that we tell ourselves in our heads.  These beliefs often manifest as negative inner dialogues that frequently play in our minds, rooted in past experiences, societal conditioning, or fear of the unknown. Key signs include self-doubt, procrastination, and feelings of unworthiness.

    So, how can a limiting belief be identified?

    Look at an area of your life that dissatisfied you.  If you don’t feel you can do anything to change it, then this may be an example of you carrying a limiting belief.

    We learn our belief systems as children, and as we grow older, we create different experiences to match our beliefs.

    The following are examples of Self-Limiting Beliefs.

    SELF LIMITING BELIEFS

    I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH 

    This belief can prevent you from trying new things or seizing opportunities. This mindset often originates from past experiences, criticism, or comparisons to others, leading to a deep-seated fear of failure or rejection. For example, someone who harbours this belief might hesitate to apply for a job they’re interested in, fearing they don’t meet every qualification listed. 

    They might also shy away from pursuing a new hobby or joining a community group, worried about not being as skilled or knowledgeable as others.

    WHAT ARE CORE BELIEFS

    I DON’T HAVE WHAT IT TAKES

    Feeling inadequate can stop you from pursuing your goals.  This self-limiting belief prevents people from taking the initial steps toward their goals and affects their overall motivation and self-esteem. It can create an insurmountable barrier, making them feel stuck in their current situation, unable to move forward or take risks. 

    The belief that they don’t have what it takes becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, as they never give themselves the chance to succeed or learn from potential failures.

    SELF LIMITING BELIEFS
    SEL LIMITING BELIEFS

    SUCCESS IS FOR OTHERS, NOT ME.

     The self-limiting belief that “Success is for others, not for me” reflects an individual’s mindset that, regardless of their efforts, achievements and success are destined for others and not themselves. This belief often arises from a deep-seated sense of unworthiness or from internalising past failures or rejections as permanent indicators of one’s future potential.

    For example, one might observe peers or colleagues receiving promotions, starting successful businesses, or achieving personal milestones. Instead of feeling inspired, they feel more alienated and resigned to the idea that such achievements are beyond their reach.

    SELF LIMITING BELIEFS

    I’M TOO OLD OR TOO YOUNG.

    This age-related self-limiting belief can lead to a life not fully lived, with individuals side-lining their passions, ambitions, and potential contributions to society because they feel trapped by age. It stifles personal growth and innovation, as age-diverse perspectives are essential for societal progress. 

    For instance, someone in their 50s may dream of changing careers or starting a new business but hold back because they believe these ventures are reserved for younger individuals. They might fear being judged for starting late or think that they can’t compete with their younger counterparts in the workforce.

    AWARENESS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

    1. Recognising and acknowledging your self limiting beliefs is the first step toward change. Recognising these self-limiting beliefs involves consciously tuning into our internal dialogue, identifying negative thinking patterns, and tracing these thoughts back to their roots. This might mean acknowledging that fear of rejection is based on an experience of not getting a job or that feelings of inadequacy originate from comparing oneself to peers on social media.
    SELF LIMITING BELIEFS

    CHALLENGE AND REPLACE.

    2. Actively challenge these beliefs by questioning their validity and replacing them with positive affirmations. Once a self-limiting belief is challenged and its credibility questioned, the next step is to replace it with a positive affirmation that reflects a more accurate and empowering view of oneself. Positive affirmations are constructive statements that promote self-confidence, belief in one’s abilities, and an optimistic outlook on life’s possibilities. 

    Continuing with the previous example, the belief “I’m not smart enough to succeed in my field” could be replaced with “I am capable and competent, with unique strengths and talents that contribute to my success.” These affirmations are not mere wishful thinking but are based on real attributes and achievements that reflect the individual’s true potential.

    SELF LIMITING BELIEFS

    SET SMALL, ACHIEVABLE GOALS.

    3. Setting small, achievable goals is a powerful strategy for overcoming self-limiting beliefs by fostering a sense of progress and accomplishment. When goals are broken down into smaller, more manageable steps, they become less daunting and more accessible, making the path to success appear clearer and more achievable.

    This approach counters the overwhelm and paralysis often caused by self-limiting beliefs, which typically magnify perceived obstacles and undermine confidence in one’s ability to succeed.

     

    SEEK SUPPORT

    4. Therapists or professional counsellors offer expert support, providing a safe and confidential space to explore the roots of self-limiting beliefs. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can help individuals identify, challenge, and reframe negative thought patterns into more positive, realistic perspectives. Therapy can address not only the symptoms of self-limiting beliefs but also their underlying causes, such as past traumas or deeply ingrained patterns of thinking.

    AFFIRMATIONS ABOUT FEAR

    CELEBRATING PROGRESS,

    5. no matter how small plays a crucial role in overcoming self-limiting beliefs by reinforcing a positive self-perception and boosting motivation. This strategy is based on the understanding that progress is about reaching the final goal and recognising and valuing the steps taken towards that goal. Every small victory is a testament to the individual’s effort, resilience, and capability, directly challenging the negative narratives that fuel self-limiting beliefs.

    CONCLUSION – How to overcome self limiting beliefs.

    Overcoming self-limiting beliefs is not an overnight process, but it is entirely possible with persistence, self-awareness, and the right strategies. Recognising and challenging these harmful beliefs opens the door to limitless possibilities and a life filled with achievement and satisfaction. Remember, the only real limits you face are the ones you place upon yourself. Embrace the journey of self-discovery and personal growth, and watch as you transform your life by breaking free from the chains of self-limiting beliefs.

    DISCLAIMER

    The information on Linda M Cowan’s Blog is only intended for educational and informational purposes.  It is not meant to replace professional psychological or psychiatric advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

    If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, or if you think you may have a medical emergency, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

     

    https://lindamcowan.com/5-life-changing-benefits-of-counselling