You probably aren’t aware of it, but you likely have limiting beliefs. I know I do, as does my partner. The reason you’re probably not aware of it is that you don’t know what these kinds of beliefs are. This article hopes to change that.
What Are Limiting Beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are self-imposed mental barriers that individuals create for themselves. Thus, such beliefs can ruin our quality of life. These beliefs often emerge because of past experiences, societal conditioning, and negative self-talk, and can create a sense of fear, self-doubt, and negativity. They take the form of negative thought patterns that convince us that we’re incapable, unworthy, or inadequate.
Examples of limiting beliefs include: “I’m not good enough”, “I’ll never succeed”, “I’m not smart enough”, “I don’t deserve happiness”, and “I’ll always be alone”. These beliefs can become deeply ingrained in our thinking patterns and can be difficult to overcome without intentional effort. So much so that these limiting beliefs can become our core beliefs.
Core beliefs are what our long-held beliefs become, which exist to help us understand how the world works. However, these core beliefs can become negative if our limiting beliefs are left unchecked. I’ve struggled with such beliefs becoming my core beliefs since childhood. They almost caused me to never start my blog and they’ve come close to causing me to quit blogging as well.
Understanding Limiting Beliefs
In our journey of personal development and growth, one of the most significant obstacles that we can encounter is limiting beliefs. These negative thought patterns act as barriers, hindering progress and preventing us from reaching our full potential. These beliefs can be deeply ingrained and can have a profound impact on various aspects of our lives, from career goals to personal relationships.
Negative experiences or failures in the past can lead to the formation of limiting beliefs. For example, a past failure might lead us to believe we are destined to fail in similar situations. For me, that was that nothing ever worked out for me, so I’d also fail at blogging. After all, I have dyslexia and blogging requires a lot of reading and writing.
Societal norms, expectations, and comparisons with others can contribute to the development of limiting beliefs. Constant comparison to others may lead to feelings of inadequacy or the perception that you will never measure up. Because of my childhood, comparisons have always been a massive part of my life, because if I had been born White, my life would have been trauma-free.
Fear of failure
Fear of failure often fuels limiting beliefs. People may avoid taking risks or pursuing their goals due to a belief that they will inevitably fail. When you think failure is something bad, this can be extra hard to overcome. Failing is a part of life. It’s not a bad thing.
The Impact Of Limiting Beliefs
A study by Susaeta, Babinger, and Muñoz (2020) found that the internalisation of limiting beliefs has a direct relationship with people’s negativity and fear. Therefore, limiting beliefs can have a significant impact on various areas of our lives. But mostly on how we see ourselves and the world around us.
People may shy away from career advancements or new opportunities due to a belief that they are not capable of succeeding in higher roles. It can also stop people from seeking pay raises, which isn’t good when in the middle of a cost of greed crisis.
Limiting beliefs can affect personal relationships by causing people to doubt their worthiness of love and connection. Something that gets worse as our mental health declines.
These types of beliefs erode our self-esteem and self-confidence, leading to a constant cycle of self-doubt. It can also cause us to focus on external validation instead of internal validation, which isn’t healthy.
How To Overcome Limiting Beliefs
To overcome limiting beliefs, it’s important to identify and challenge them. This can involve reflecting on the origin of the belief, examining the evidence for and against it, and reframing the belief in a more positive and empowering way. It can also involve seeking support from a therapist or a loved one to help challenge negative thinking patterns and build a more positive mindset.
Practising self-compassion and cultivating a growth mindset can help overcome limiting beliefs. By acknowledging our struggles and setbacks with kindness and curiosity, and focusing on learning and growth rather than perfection, we can build resilience and confidence in ourselves. After all, perfection is not only impossible, it can be harmful.
The first step is recognising and acknowledging that we have limiting beliefs. As I said at the start of the article, most of us have them, we’re just not always aware that we have them. Identifying our negative thought patterns enables us to challenge and reframe them. And hopefully, overcome them.
Challenge negative thoughts
Analyse the evidence for and against the beliefs that are limiting your life. Often, people realise that there is no substantial proof of these beliefs, which helps to weaken the hold they have over us.
Visualising success and positive outcomes can help reshape beliefs and instil a sense of possibility, again by helping us develop a positive mindset. One way to help with this is to start by looking at your past achievements.
Often limiting beliefs, especially those that have become core beliefs, can be stubborn to overcome. Thus, talking to a counsellor can be beneficial in providing the guidance we need to overcome these beliefs. From my personal experience, it’s a common problem often brought up in therapy sessions.
Limiting beliefs are insidious obstacles that hinder personal growth and success. Recognising their presence and actively working to overcome them is essential for unlocking our true potential. By challenging negative thought patterns and adopting a positive growth mindset, we can break free from the shackles of limiting beliefs and pave the way for a more fulfilling and empowered life. We all deserve to live the best quality of life that we can.
Remember that overcoming limiting beliefs is a process, and it takes time and effort to break free from negative thinking patterns. By taking small steps to challenge negative beliefs and building a more positive mindset, we can create a more fulfilling and satisfying life.
As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, please share your experiences with limiting beliefs in the comments section below as well. Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.
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Unwanted Life readers.
Susaeta, L., Babinger, F., & Muñoz, N. (2020). Influence of limiting beliefs in soft employability skills: An analysis for the hospitality sector. Tourism: An International Interdisciplinary Journal, 68(2), 207-220. Retrieved from https://hrcak.srce.hr/file/346713 and https://hrcak.srce.hr/clanak/346713.