Step over your own shadow - Limiting beliefs and getting past them


Has it already happened to you that you saw yourself weaker, less clever or beautiful compared to a family member or friend of yours, although it was not the case at all? If yes, then (temporarily) you also fell into the trap of limiting beliefs. How did you manage to get rid of these false thoughts in the end? In today's blog article I am summarizing the most important points to know about this topic.

What is a limiting belief?

A limiting belief is something we believe to be true about ourselves that keeps us from full self-expression, growth, and transformation, or taking action on the things that matter to us. (Pia Beck, 2020).

As Harvard University's psychiatrist professor, John Sharp said in his TEDx talk: "It's the story you've been telling yourself about who you are and how everything always plays out."

For example:

"I am too old or too young for this."

"I will spend my whole life alone."

"I will never find a job that makes me happy. All of them are just necessary evil."

"I will never be able to do this."

"I cannot afford launching my own enterprise."

What restricting behaviours do restricting beliefs lead to?

Example for restricting belief                                         The result: restricting behaviour

I am weak                                                                    You will not stand up for yourself

Anything I say is not worth listening to                       You will not tell your opinion

Everything I do has to be perfect                                 You will try to avoid risks

I am worthless                                                             You will step up defensive

I cannot handle conflict                                               You give in to others.

What types of restricting beliefs are there?

1. Filters:

A good example for filters is the following belief: "This is extremely tough." All of us see things through our own lenses and from our own points of view.

2. Negative self evaluation:

For example when we say ourselves: "I cannot solve this task since I am not clever enough for that." What we think about ourselves is how others see us, that is they will also believe it all about us.

3. The stories we tell about ourselves:

For example: "Peter does not like me since I am not strong enough." These limiting beliefs are rooted in the previous stages of your life and they have guided you through your life path so far. This means that you might need serious efforts to weed them, which is not necessarily the work you enjoy.

Painful lessons, which limiting beliefs teach you (collected by Scott Mautz in 2019):

  • Remember that you are the editor of your own life story
  • Find the point where your story deverges from reality
  • Ask whether your story is really true or the false truth
  • instead of self-depreciation practice self-appreciation
  • Leave your old story behind

And in the end some good news: You can also get past your own limiting beliefs. The famous motivational speaker, Brian Tracy offers the following 5 main steps to this:

1. Identify your limiting step - Eliminate it

2. Develop unshakeable self-confidence - come out of your comfort zone

3. Develop a clear plan of action - major goal + set a deadline for it

4. Make a list of all the things you need to do to achieve that goal

5. Commit to working on that goal every single day

Have you managed to identify your main self limiting belief? Do you already know what steps you will follow to get rid of it? Do you also already know that it is not impossible to get past it?

Friendly regards,

Károly Vizdák

lifestyle change & career coach

motivational advisor

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