What are limiting beliefs? This is a term used a lot in the self-help community to describe fear of failure. In this post we’ll explore what they are. Also we’ll be exploring how to overcome limiting beliefs?
This post is a follow up to, “Tips For Improving Self-Perception”.
Limiting beliefs are a reflection of how you perceive or see yourself.
When you see yourself in a healthy way you’re more aware of who you are. As a result you’re more aware of your strengths, weaknesses, talents as well as potential. Also you’re taking responsibility for your thoughts and actions.
However, when you see yourself in an unhealthy way you’re more likely to be unsure of yourself or your abilities. As a result it manifests itself as a toxic belief system that inhibits your growth as a person.
What Are Limiting Beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are assumptions or perceptions about ourselves as well as the world around us. They tend to constrain us in some way.
We’re unaware that we end up depriving our lives when we follow these beliefs. As a result they can keep us from making good decisions, taking advantage of new opportunities as well as reaching our full potential.
Limiting beliefs leave you stuck in a negative state of mind. As a result they prevent you from living the life you want out of fear.
Have you wondered where these beliefs come from?
Where Do They Come From?
Different things that happen in our lives shape what we believe about the world as well as ourselves.
Things that shape our beliefs include the following:
- Past Trauma: Something traumatic that happens to you as a child can remain stuck in your psyche. When this happens it’s like a record that skips and stops you in the same place over and over.
- Your Family’s Belief System: The belief system of your family plays a role in how you view and interact with the world. For example if you’re from a family that values playing it safe in life you might be convinced that you’re not good enough to any other path.
- Expectations From Family: You’re raised with certain expectations. For example you’re expected to go to college and get a 9 to 5 after graduation because it’s a safe option. However, you’re more interested in starting your own business, but underlying guilt about meeting expectations and fear of judgement from family can leave you feeling stuck.
- Relationships With Friends and Significant Others: Limiting beliefs can impact how you view the world. For example if you were bullied as a child in school or betrayed by a friend. Also if you were cheated on by a significant other. As a result it causes you to see all people as untrustworthy.
What Are Some Types?
According to Inc.com there are 3 types of limiting beliefs.
- Negative Beliefs About Yourself: You’ll conclude that you’re a failure that won’t amount to anything in life. As a result this belief will prevent you from being your best self.
- Unhealthy Beliefs About Others: There are limiting beliefs about everyone being out to get you. As a result you think everyone is untrustworthy or manipulative, which makes it impossible to develop relationships.
- Negative Beliefs About The World: You might believe that you can’t succeed, because the world is unfair and scary. As a result it will take a toll on you and make you feel stuck.
How To Overcome Limiting Beliefs?
In order to overcome limiting beliefs you first need to know how they’re shaped.
Identifying The Limiting Belief
My limiting beliefs were the result of trauma from my childhood. They were the result of years of bullying as well as betrayal.
Being bullied led to PTSD. As a result it led to a wide range of emotions. These included feeling angry, bitterness, vulnerable, helplessness, frustrated, lonely as well as being isolated from your peers.
The longer you’re bullied the odds of being depressed and anxious increases. According to verywellfamily.com, it causes you to develop self-esteem issues and triggers social anxiety.
The first step toward getting better was to identify the limiting belief, “I can’t be my real self or I’ll be judged”. This was the result of being bullied for years.
In a related post we talked about, “How To Overcome Social Anxiety”?, explores social anxiety and the fear of being judged by others.
Challenging My Toxic Belief
The next step was to challenge my limiting belief. I started to become aware that it was not factual, I just believed it was factual. For example I believed that a friendship would fall apart just like when I was in school.
I examined the so-called facts and found that I blew them out of proportion. I also shaped them to form a false narrative.
When this happened I started to overcoming my limiting belief by questioning that false narrative.
Replacing My Limiting Belief
The next step is to replace your old limiting belief with a new one.
I’m using my own experience as an example. I identified and challenged my belief, “I can’t be my self or I’ll be judged”. Then replaced it with, “It isn’t my job to please other people”.
By doing this I felt like a different person, however it’s vital to strengthen your new belief.
How To Strengthen A New Empowering Belief?
Our beliefs shape our identities as well as our behaviors. Also, our habits as well.
When you’re transitioning into your new belief you may feel fear and resistance. This may trigger an automatic urge to do an old habit.
For example, if the transition is hard you may find yourself stuck. As a result you’ll start engaging in negative self-talk such as “This is impossible” or “What’s the point” and then give up.
It’s interesting to note that giving up is not a habit. However, you may not be aware that you’re giving up because of habits such as fear of failure, underestimating yourself or others, procrastination or laziness.
When you become aware of these habits it’s important to identify them, challenge them and replace them.
For example if you’re underestimating yourself it’s best to look into why you see yourself in that way. Then take action toward changing this habit by assessing your strengths, weaknesses and talents that make you more aware of your abilities or skill up your abilities.
Here is a related post, “Habits That Lead To Success”.
It’s important to identify, challenge as well as replace a limiting belief. Also, change the bad habits that get in the way of your new empowering belief.
How Do You Handle Limiting Beliefs?
Please Like And Comment!
Don’t Forget To Follow Me!!
Please subscribe today and get a free copy of “10 Coping Strategies For Bipolar Disorder”! click here.