What Are Self Limiting Beliefs?

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What are limiting beliefs?

Sometimes there are external factors that get in our way of achieving things, and other times, we are the ones to blame. A self limiting belief could be the thing holding you back without you even realizing it, but thankfully, it doesn’t have to be.

A self limiting belief is an idea or perception that you have about yourself or something else that could be preventing you from reaching your potential. Assuming one thing that’s different from reality will usually hold you back from doing certain things and it can lead to negative thought patterns.

If you suspect that you’re your own worst enemy when it comes to self limiting beliefs, there is a way through it. This guide can teach you what they’re all about, the most common ones that people have, and most importantly, how you can overcome them and be the best version of yourself possible, without limitations.

What Is a Self Limiting Belief?

A self limiting belief is an idea or perception that someone has that might be limiting them from living to their full potential. These beliefs might have to do with how they feel about their own skills or abilities, or it could be an idea they have about the world around them, with the common theme being that they limit you in some way.

These beliefs can be formed in many ways, whether it was something that happened during childhood or a feeling you had when you were an adult. Once you start to repeat that thought or belief in your head it can be hard to get rid of it.

Self limiting beliefs are common among many people regardless of their background or walk of life, and you might not even realize you’re having them when they occur. These thoughts can be powerful enough to impact us deeply and they normally form part of a narrative that we have believed to be true our whole lives, so overcoming them can be a hugely positive shift.

The Most Common Self Limiting Beliefs 

If you’re not sure whether you’ve had a self limiting belief, it can help to see what some of the more common ones are that others experience. Consider whether you’ve had these thoughts before and how they might have impacted your life.

1. I am not good enough

Most of us feel like we’re not good enough at some time or another in life, but if you find these thoughts stop you from even trying, they need to be squashed.

2. I can’t do this

Giving up before you even attempt is something many of us are guilty of and it’s all because of a self limiting belief. Telling yourself that you can’t do it is a quick and easy way to give up without trying.

3. I don’t have time

This self limiting belief is often used to avoid a better way of life, whether it’s cooking healthier meals or starting to exercise. There is almost always a way to carve out time for things that are important, like our health, so don’t let that statement determine your life.

4. That won’t work

Nobody ever achieved anything without trying, and just because something fails it doesn’t mean it was a waste of time. Don’t assume that whatever it is you want to do won’t work before you give it a shot, and even if it doesn’t work, you’ve learned a valuable lesson.

5. There’s no point in trying

This one is perfect for staying in a lazy state of mind and never going beyond what you have now. You’re limiting yourself to never changing or growing when you tell yourself there’s no point, and it can be incredibly damaging.

6. They’re better than me

Comparing yourself to others is a common practice for people and it’s a self limiting belief that will put you out of the race before it’s even begun.

How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs

As many of us have lived with these self limiting beliefs for most of our lives, it’s easy to see why they’re hard to overcome. Once you’ve pinpointed some of these thoughts that you have, work your way through these steps to start getting rid of them.

Ask why you have them

Your mind is usually thinking these things for a reason, and it could be to protect you from getting hurt feelings or because you believe that everything you do needs to be perfect. Think about the purpose of the self limiting belief and whether it’s factual or something you need to work on.

Find out if they’re valid

There might be times where your mind tells you not to do something because it’s dangerous or irresponsible, and this wouldn’t be a self limiting belief. Assess your thoughts when they occur to see if they’re valid for the situation or if it sounds like self-sabotage.

Make light of them

Sometimes it makes it easier to laugh at the thoughts you’re having rather than take them seriously. Have an internal dialogue where you can laugh off these negative and limiting beliefs rather than trying to block them completely, and see if that helps.

Start forming new beliefs

Every time you notice one of these self limiting beliefs happening in your mind, try to adjust the wording of it and turn it into something positive. Once you’ve done this for long enough, it’ll become second nature, and your usual habit of doubting yourself will be gone.

Change your brain

It takes lots of work and daily practice to retrain your brain but the results are worth it. Start doing things that involve meditation, affirmations, and gratitude on a daily basis and your brain will be more likely to disregard self limiting beliefs when they pop up. Not only is this good for these types of negative thoughts, but feeling happier and healthier mentally overall.

Live Without Limits

It’s true that we’re sometimes our own worst enemies, and one of the most detrimental ways we do this is with self limiting beliefs. By learning how to identify them and overcome them, there’ll be nothing you can do to stop yourself from going as far as possible in life.

Related Questions

A self limiting belief is a negative feeling we have about ourselves, our worth, and our abilities. Although common, these thoughts do nothing worthwhile, and we need to learn to overcome them. To find out more about changing your way of thinking, read on 

What Is Negative Thinking?

Negative thinking is a pattern of thoughts that happen automatically in your mind that may be hard to stop, and sometimes the only solution for them is seeking help from a trained mental health professional. This type of thinking can be repetitive and lead to stress and depression, among other symptoms, and is not to be confused with everyday bad thoughts that one might have when something goes wrong.

How Do Affirmations Work?

Affirmations are sentences or phrases that can be spoken verbally or mentally, to challenge or overcome negative thoughts. The process of repeating these statements is done so that the brain can eventually realize them as fact, and they should be practiced daily for a few weeks to see a noticeable effect.