Many people suffer from low self-esteem because of their limiting beliefs.
Limiting beliefs are blind and unhealthy beliefs that stop and constrain you from achieving success in your life.
They are self-imposed prison walls that you have built to protect yourself from the fear of failure and humiliation.
It is a fake label that you give yourself to lock yourself in a cocoon of safety.
The fear of stepping out of your comfort zone is so intense that you give up at the first hurdle that you come too. They ultimately stop you from going after your dreams. Our beliefs come from two sources, our experiences, and our influences.
From an early age, we are bombarded with opinions and information from our family, society, and the people closest to us. As we grow and form bonds with our classmates and others, our conscious and subconscious minds continue to absorb, filter, and process the information.
All of the interactions we have on a daily basis, influence us to think, act and believe a certain way. Most of this happens subconsciously.
If you grew up in a household that believed that family always comes first, the chances are that you have a close, well- connected family.
If you grew up around people who think the wealthy are lucky and get all the breaks, chances are you believe that your ability to become wealthy is a steep, and impossible climb. If you grew up in a family that believes in a good education, chances are you believe the same and now expect your kids to get a good education as well.
We learn from every experience we encounter in life. Whether you consciously learn from the experience or not, doesn’t matter. Regardless, our minds tend to form beliefs based on single, significant experiences or cumulative experiences of the same nature.
In fact, many of our limiting beliefs are as a result of our experiences. As a kid, if you performed poorly on a science test, you may begin to believe that science is a subject that you will never understand or succeed at.
If you’ve repeatedly been cheated on in your relationships, you may think that there are no good people in the world and that you’ll never find love. If you’ve been passed up for a promotion at work, you may believe that you are unqualified to perform at a higher level.
Both our influences and our experiences work to determine what our beliefs are, and usually form during our childhood. As you begin to understand where your opinions come from, you can start to question them and ultimately change them.
How Limiting Beliefs Keep You from Living Your Life
Throughout your life, you’ve constructed beliefs in yourself and about the world, which can directly contribute to your way of life. What’s surprising is that these beliefs can also have a physical effect on you.
The more reinforced the idea is, the more impact it can have on your body. Whether you know it or not, your body shows the physical and mental manifestation of limiting beliefs that surround your self-image.
Your limiting beliefs will cause you to feel like you will never be able to achieve a goal. This can result in decreasing your self- confidence, ultimately losing your self-esteem in the process.
As your self-esteem falters, you might start avoiding trying new things and going on new adventures because you will believe that the risks and dangers surrounding the experience to be destructive and even fatal.
This will result in you complaining to others and placing blame, without discovering the underlining source of trouble. This can result in you starting to lose the balance you want in life that is necessary to keep it healthy and running.
Limiting beliefs, tend to cause self-judgment that is unhealthy, leading you to feel the need to put up a mask and hide your true self from the world. The fear of not accepting who you are could result in you losing your self-identity without even realizing it.
The limiting beliefs that you hold can result in physical changes to the body as well. This includes continuous and persistent agitation, depression, anxiety, indecision, bad temper, queasiness, and other emotional problems.
This can change who you are and the way you talk to others. The tone of your speech changes and you will tend to be negative. It can cause you to always find ways to complain and blame others for your problems and failures.
Identifying Limiting Beliefs
The first step to overcoming your limiting beliefs is to identify them. Living with your limiting beliefs can lead you to live a mediocre life, one that is significantly different from your potential.
Unfortunately, limiting beliefs can be challenging to identify. Before you can begin to identify your limiting beliefs, you need to learn to keep track of your self-talk and become aware of the judgments that your subconscious is making.
By knowing how to keep track of the way you talk to yourself, you will be able to identify the limiting beliefs that run through your mind during conversations. Getting rid of the bias of your subconscious mind is another vital step in finding your limiting beliefs.
Some of the most common limiting beliefs include:
⦁ I can’t be my real, authentic self because I’ll be judged.
⦁ I can’t fall in love because I’ll get my heart broken.
⦁ I can’t ask for what I want because I’ll get rejected.
⦁ I can’t trust people because they will eventually betray my trust.
⦁ I can’t pursue my dreams because I will most likely fail.
⦁ I don’t need to be successful, so I’m not going to even strive for success.
⦁ It’s too late to pursue my dreams.
⦁ I’m nothing special because I’ve never accomplished anything exceptional.
⦁ I don’t deserve happiness because I’m not good enough.
⦁ I hate the way I look, and there is nothing I can do to change.
⦁ I am too weak and will never be able to find the strength to change.
Overcoming Your Limiting Beliefs
Now that you have identified your limiting beliefs, it is time to work on overcoming them. Unfortunately, most people don’t take the steps necessary to do this because they believe that by having an awareness of their limiting beliefs they will be able to think differently about their circumstances and lives.
While being aware of your limiting beliefs will encourage you to think about them differently, a significant number of your limiting beliefs have a ton of emotional investment behind them, which is ultimately where the problem lies.
Whenever you have a tremendous level of emotion invested in something, it can create a barrier to change. In order to make lasting change, you have to cut your ties. In fact, the deeper the conviction or belief, the more difficult you’ll find the process and the longer it will take.
Lying at the cornerstone of any change that you want to make is the willingness to adapt to the changing conditions and circumstances that surround you. This is especially true when it comes to changing your limiting beliefs.
You Must Choose the Outcome You Desire
The very first step that you have to take to overcome your limiting beliefs is to choose the outcome that you desire. When you choose your desired outcome, you are able to gain more clarity about what it is in your life that you would like to change.
You have to ask yourself some tough questions and thoroughly consider your answers. You need to ask yourself:
⦁ What goals would I like to achieve?
⦁ What’s currently preventing me from achieving my goals?
⦁ What kind of person would I ideally like to become?
⦁ What specifically do I want to change?
⦁ What specific beliefs aren’t working for me?
⦁ What limiting beliefs are preventing me from achieving my desired outcomes?
Once you have become clear about the limiting beliefs that are holding you back, you can start the process of overcoming these limiting beliefs and increasing your self-esteem.
Questioning Your Limiting Beliefs
It is important to remember that your limiting beliefs are only as strong as those references that support them. Often, the limiting beliefs that you hold have a plethora of references that have helped to influence and shift your perspective on reality.
It is important to remember that these references started out as ideas, which turned into opinions, which later became your beliefs. If you want to change your limiting beliefs, you have to change your perspective and opinion about them.
You can start to throw doubt on your limiting beliefs by asking yourself:
⦁ Is the belief accurate?
⦁ Have I always believed this? Why?
⦁ Was there a time that I didn’t believe this? Why?
⦁ Is there evidence that can disprove this limiting belief?
⦁ Are there times when this belief doesn’t make rational sense?
⦁ Will this belief help me get what I want? Will it help me reach my goals?
⦁ What is the exact opposite way of thinking about this belief? How is this helpful?
These questions are designed to help you increase perspective and the possibilities of your situation. They are meant to encourage you to think outside the box, so you can begin to shift how you think about your limiting beliefs.
Consider the Consequences of Your Limiting Beliefs
Now that you have begun to throw some doubt on your limiting beliefs, it’s time for you to consider the possible consequences of holding onto your limiting beliefs. To do this, you need to think long and hard about the following questions.
⦁ What will the consequences be if I’m not able to make this change and eliminate this limiting belief?
⦁ How will not making a change affect me emotionally? Physically? Financially? Spiritually? In my relationships?
⦁ How will not making a change affect my life?
⦁ Are there short-term consequences in not changing my life? What are they?
⦁ Are there long-term consequences?
⦁ What makes making this change now so essential?
The more pain that is associated with holding onto your limiting beliefs, the higher motivation you’ll have to make positive changes in your life. That’s why it is essential to move through each of these questions, one at a time to fully experience the pain. You want to feel the anger, think about the regrets, experience the guilt, and allow yourself to cry.
Choose a New Empowering Belief
In order to move forward after you’ve considered the consequences of holding onto your limiting beliefs, you need to choose a new empowering belief. It is vital that you make sure that this new belief is believable. If it isn’t one that is believable, the chances are high that you will be unable to condition your psyche.
To unlock your new empowering belief, you need to consider the goal that you want to achieve, the person that you want to become, and the core values that you want to maintain.
Once you have considered these, you need to ask yourself the following questions from a third person’s perspective:
⦁ What would this person likely believe while pursuing this goal?
⦁ What would this person believe about themselves?
⦁ What would this person believe about their goal?
⦁ What’s their attitude like? How do they think about the goal?
⦁ How would they think about the obstacles they encounter along the journey?
Now, you need to take some time to consider the advantages of this new empowering belief and how it can improve your life and your circumstances. Ask yourself the following:
⦁ What benefits can I expect from using this new belief?
⦁ How will it help me reach my goals?
⦁ How will it change my life for the better?
⦁ How will it help in both the long-term and short-term?
⦁ How will this new belief make me feel about myself?
⦁ How will this new belief empower me moving forward?
⦁ Why is this important?
The more reasons that you can find, the higher your motivation will be to break your old patterns of behavior and replace them with a new, empowering belief system.
Condition your New Belief
Now that you’ve committed yourself to change your limiting beliefs to new empowering ones, the next step is to begin to condition your new beliefs into your psyche progressively.
One way to do this is through the process of visualization. Spend time every day visualizing yourself, in your imagination, using your new way of thinking in your day-to-day activities. Take particular note of the actions you take, the decisions you are making, how you talk to others, and how you talk to yourself.
Think about your newly formed attitude and how your new beliefs are going to help you manifest the life you want. You are in essence imagining a new you in your minds-eye.
Another process that you can use is the process of anchoring this new belief to condition it into your nervous system. This involves anchoring a sensation that is physical to your body that will allow it to automatically enable you to get into an optimal state of mind that corresponds to your new empowering belief.
It’s not easy to overcome your limiting beliefs, but with a significant amount of work, introspection, and time, you’ll be able to overcome the limiting beliefs that have been holding you back and build your self-confidence.