Here are the top 10 self limiting beliefs which millions of people use to justify their current situation in life. Our belief system is often the last place we will look when facing life challenges but should be the first! Beliefs can be the main barrier to success, freedom, lifestyle, love and a happy and joyful life. It’s impossible to quantify how many limited beliefs there are. In fact, “all beliefs are lies” as a wise teacher of mine once said.
What You Tell Yourself
We tell ourselves these lies to keep us safe, give ourselves a consistent world view, maintain stability, conform and create security. The negative payoff for having these self limiting beliefs is at the expense of a larger life however. Many of our beliefs stop us from achieving in life, creating joyous relationships, put up barriers around us and keep people away. How many of these can you relate to and what could be the result of holding these beliefs as your identity?
- I’m not good enough
- Things like that don’t happen to me
- I’m too old/fat/thin/ugly etc.
- I can’t afford it
- This is my ‘lot’ in life
- I’m not deserving of it
- I can’t do that
- It’s not possible
- I’ll never be able to do that
- It’s not for me
How You See Yourself
These are just a few of my top 10 self limiting beliefs, some of which I have found limiting my life in various ways. Which of these can you relate to and in what way do you think they will hold you back in life?
Self Limiting Beliefs – Victim
Some self limiting beliefs are much more subtle and we don’t realise that we carry them around with us. The ‘victim’ identity must blame outside circumstances for their ‘lot’ in life and often project their insecurities and limitations on to others. Some examples of this are:
They won’t give me a job
They have let me down
It’s their fault
I would have done it if only…
They are biased against me
It’s not my fault
They don’t like me
If only I could have/would have..
What You Believe About Yourself
Although there may be truth in some of these statements, they all project control to someone else or events out of your control, reducing your part in your ‘story’ as someone who is a passive bystander in their own lives, waiting for permission before you can truly live.
If you catch yourself using these passive statements to pass over responsibility to someone else for events in your life, make a mental note. The more you use this kind of language, the more likely it is that you are not taking responsibility for your life. This makes you a ‘passive’ victim and the more you speak like this the more passive you will become – hiding behind others, excuses and waiting for permission or unlikely circumstances in life to proceed.
Change the statements for more actionable ones which put you in control:
I didn’t get the job (this time), but I will find another.
It didn’t work out this time, but there will be another chance, and I will succeed.
I take responsibility for my part
I’m choosing not to
If they are biased I can’t control that, what I can do is…
I accept responsibility
I don’t like them! Instead I choose to be around someone else/ people who like my company
Better circumstances will present another opportunity which is more suitable/ I will create circumstances for an opportunity.
Maybe you can relate to some of these statements? If you are subtly making yourself a victim by your unconscious speech, try exchanging some of the things you say for more positive, actionable and responsible things which give you control, rather than handing it over.
Beliefs Transpire Into Events
Thoughts become things. Our language plays a significant part in creating the events and eventually the circumstances in our lives, much like our thoughts do. By becoming more aware of the thoughts we permit to hold in our minds and the words we choose to use, we can craft our life in a more conscious way, instead of in an arbitrary fashion by simply speaking without awareness based on our old and inaccurate thoughts and beliefs.
Tell Yourself Another Story
Have a look at the list again and think about ways to subtly change these ideas to allow for change. Strong beliefs don’t simply change overnight and you might not immediately belief the exact opposite belief. However, having an awareness of the power that certain beliefs will have over your life can allow you to consider the possibility that they are lies!
- I’m not good enough – I might be good enough
- Things like that don’t happen to me – but they could happen, it’s a possibility
- I’m too old/fat/thin/ugly etc. – Some people like me manage it, so maybe I’m not too ___
- I can’t afford it – But if I really wanted to I would make it happen
- This is my ‘lot’ in life – But I can re-evaluate what I choose ‘my lot’ to be at any time
- I’m not deserving of it – Am I being fair saying that?
- I can’t do that – Can I ?
- It’s not possible – At the moment
- I’ll never be able to do that – Well, never is a long time
- It’s not for me – Unless I really wanted it
Over time, and by challenging your ideas, you can soften their impact on your life and change your self image accordingly. Ultimately you could change these ideas to their polar opposites. Think about how your life would change as a result of this!
For more information on this topic, check out this article which goes into more depth around overcoming limiting beliefs: https://inlpcenter.org/five-step-process-for-releasing-limiting-beliefs/