Have you ever dreamt of doing something creative and out of the box? But suddenly, a voice comes into your mind that you don’t have the guts to do so.
Ever thought of taking part in a modeling competition? And then your brain says to you: No, no, look at yourself in the mirror. You have got a dark complexion.
You were to resign from the job because of your nasty boss and start your own entrepreneurship journey, and suddenly, someone inserted into your head that, bro, this isn’t your game?
These are some very common limiting beliefs examples. To elaborate on my purpose of writing, I can quote more. Still, these examples, I guess, would be enough to tell “what are limiting beliefs, what are some common limiting beliefs,” and how they are abstaining almost most of us from the dreams we would love to chase and from the success we would run to gain!
Limiting beliefs are the inner fears that restrict us from trying out new things and stop us from achieving our potential goals.
Definition of Limiting Beliefs:
A limiting belief is a state of mind, conviction, or belief that you think to be true that limits you in some way. (Embodyhealthlondon, Author at Embody Health London – Page 2 of 13, n.d.)
Examples of Limiting Beliefs:
Though there are many limiting belief examples, l a few of them are here.
- I am not ready
- I am not good enough
- I don’t look pretty enough
- I can’t do this
- I am too young or too old to do this
- I am not smart enough
- I will never excel in my studies
- I will not be able to handle a relationship
- I don’t have sufficient money
- I am not experienced enough
- I will never be the best
Causes of Limiting Beliefs:
Limited belief, the thoughts that stop you from your potential creativity and achievements are those that are developed in your childhood.
Since a child’s brain is like a sponge absorbing everything deep within, anything that is taught to it, either by self or someone else, is learned forever.
The safety actions taken against the events that happened in childhood are played out again and again in response to something similar happening at any stage of later life.
The causes of such self limiting beliefs may be:
Studies have found that family, our parents, and siblings, essentially elder ones are the ones that are most responsible for shaping our actions and behaviors.
If a child is continuously discouraged and stopped from doing things he likes, he will certainly develop a limiting belief that he can’t do anything ‘big’ or ‘great.’
Similar is the case with neglected children, who think of themselves as worthless and unwanted, developing a persisting limiting belief of being a misfit and a mismatch in any setting or position they like.
The environment, which includes one’s relatives, peers, teachers, and neighbors, also deeply impacts a child’s brain.
Suppose a boy is bullied at school and stopped from participating in some sports activity or crafting competition only because he is an introvert. In that case, there is a huge chance that he won’t be able to do any despite having good enough talent to play a sport or make some noteworthy craft. It is because he would limit himself by his false limiting belief imposed by his environment.
Also, a girl being told by her friends that she doesn’t have good enough looks would remain behind in any setting where she would think that beauty is prioritized.
How to Identify One’s Limiting Belief:
We often have some beliefs about particular things or circumstances. These beliefs are not always limiting. To find out whether or not our beliefs are putting us back from actions we really want to do, what we can do is make a list of questions about stressful situations. Let me explain this to you by example.
You should ask yourself: “What are my activities other than doing household tasks or looking after children?”
Now the next step is to find out the answer to this question. If your answer is
“There is no such activity although I wanted to be a painter.”
Here is the point, you will be able to identify your limiting beliefs. What you have to do now is to think of those negative and toxic factors that stopped you from doing what you wanted and make a limiting beliefs list of those particular ones. Those limiting beliefs can be:
- If I followed my dream of painting, people would think I don’t care for my kids
- I don’t have extra time to do the business stuff
- I don’t deserve to follow my dream since I have children to look after
- I don’t have time
- I don’t have enough funds
- I don’t have the guts to manage my home and work together
While thinking about these factors and answering them, one must be honest with himself and dive deeply into the reality of the existence of these beliefs beholding him.
One can ponder these points and look back at where they root and whether they genuinely possess a sound basis to be true or are just an implication of society or significant others.
Similarly, one can find his limiting beliefs in any stressful area of his thinking that needs to be addressed.
After successfully identifying all limiting beliefs, the next step is prioritizing them based on the one stressing the most. That one should be addressed earlier as compared to others.
How To Control One’s Limiting Beliefs?
Can you change your beliefs? To help you control your self-limiting beliefs, I have tried listing down a few techniques that may help you in controlling and even eliciting out those beliefs that are limiting you.
Jotting down your limiting beliefs
The very first step to changing your beliefs is to note them down. Also, number them in descending order, the most problematic one being the highest. This not only helps in sorting them out but also relieves stress caused by them. As penning your feelings down, helps them channel out.
Test your limiting belief
Imagine that you are doing an experiment and consider your limiting belief as a test statement. For this, what you have to do is to question yourself every time a limiting belief comes into your mind. E.g., Do you think you can’t do business because you weren’t good at mathematics in high school? Challenge yourself by saying what if I am wrong.
Also, take some time to think about why you have found solace in this limiting belief. E.g., in the above example, you might find it easier to hold onto this limiting belief since you were lazy and didn’t want to put in the required effort and time.
Imagine alternative hypothesis
A crucial self-defense mechanism is nullifying your core negative beliefs and thoughts by thinking of other ways to make yourself feel content. E.g., for the above example, you may calm yourself by saying that being good at mathematics doesn’t matter. I can hire individuals for this. What matters is money. And I have enough of it.
Test Alternative hypothesis
To have a positive impact of good thoughts on yourself, try testing those alternating beliefs. The alternating beliefs are a source of positives in your life by eliminating negatives and obstacles created by your own thought process. E.g., while following what the alternative belief said to you in the above example, you may actually become a very good businessman and get rid of that limiting belief.
Develop a habit of positive thinking
To help out yourself against negative attributes like depression, anxiety e.t.c., develop an attitude of positive thinking in the long term: positive thinking and a sense of self-accomplishment help boost confidence and are keys to success.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Keep yourself motivated
Remember that getting rid of any condition connected to your brain and thought process takes work. You will have to struggle to get out of it. But keep your spirits high and your level of motivation up. You are not alone. Many people are struggling against their limiting beliefs. Also, many have managed to control their limiting beliefs and are now successful in whatever they want to do. You have to take inspiration from their success stories and implement changes in your ways of thinking accordingly!