Ah, the lure of self-limiting beliefs. Those niggling doubts that, if repeated often enough, keep us in our place. Afraid to push forward, to fail, or maybe even succeed. The things we tell ourselves that keep us stuck.
You know the drill. I’m not smart enough to go for this job. I’m not accomplished enough to ask for this raise. Experienced enough to lead this group. Pretty enough to even want to stand out. Worthy enough to take up space. Demand equal treatment. Be loved on my terms.
Self-limiting beliefs are the fake news of the soul. And nothing breaks through fatal deception like a healthy dose of self-awareness. When you feel your perceptions are at odds with reality, ask yourself these questions:
1. Is it true? Familiarity breeds, well, more familiarity. If you’re used to perceiving things (yourself, a situation) a certain way, it can be difficult to adjust to a new reality. Break the habit and old think by approaching yourself with a child’s mind—open to seeing things as they are, not as you wish or, worse, fear they may be.
2. How does it make me feel? We all have stories we tell ourselves or that others have told us about ourselves. True or not, they leave a mark, which no amount of denial can cover up. Own your reaction (sadness, anger, regret), acknowledge it and, if you can, let it go or find a way to channel the emotion into something positive (advocacy, action, self-compassion).
3. How do I want to feel? If you could free yourself from this belief, what would your life look like? How would you feel in your body and mind? Think big, write it down and figure out how you can make it happen.
See those limiting beliefs for what they are--barriers to becoming your best, most fulfilled self. Then break free.