It is estimated that you have over 65,000 thoughts per day. How many of those are negative? Your mind is like a soundtrack. It constantly plays thoughts as you go through your day. You might have thought things like, “I’m not smart enough to do this.” “My podcast is going to flop.” “I can’t write compelling copy like other online business owners.” “I’m not successful enough to attend that seminar/training.”
If you’ve ever had thoughts like the ones above, then you’ve dealt with self-limiting beliefs. Self-limiting beliefs are the thoughts that hold you back from going after your personal and business goals and prevent you from creating a life you love.
But don’t think you have to give into these thoughts. Your thoughts are under your control. When you take the time to understand how self-limiting beliefs develop, you can gain insight and learn how to change your mental soundtrack.
Unkind Remarks Can Result in Self-Limiting Beliefs
Self-limiting beliefs can stem from unkind remarks from other people. It may have been the teacher that told you that you were a terrible writer, the verbally abusive parent who called you worthless as a child, or a friend who envies your life.
Many people make the mistake of believing that what they’re told about themselves is true. They don’t examine the belief when the words are said. This can cause you to carry around statements about your abilities that simply aren’t true.
Self-Doubt Can Lead to Self-Limiting Beliefs
Everyone is insecure and doubts their own abilities at some point in their life. Maybe you weren’t picked to work on a web design project you really wanted so you assumed that your designs were terrible. Maybe you applied to be a speaker at an upcoming conference and weren’t chosen.
During times of self-doubt, it’s important to remember that other people’s decisions are not a reflection of you. There are many reasons you may have missed out on the opportunity to work on a project or speak at a seminar that have nothing to do with you. Maybe you weren’t meant to work on that project because a better project is waiting for you. Maybe you weren’t chosen to speak because you’d be in an auto accident when you were traveling.
Your Perception of Others Can Cause Self-Limiting Beliefs
Imagine this: you’re at an event. You spot someone you slightly know in the crowd and you walk toward them. Before you can reach them, they turn away. You assume they don’t want to talk to you. You might think things like, “I’m a boring conversationalist. No one’s interested in me. Maybe they can tell I don’t belong.”
Your perception of this person keeps you from reaching out. So, you stick to talking just with people you already know, and you miss out on the chance to build some great personal or professional relationships.
Learning how to change your mental soundtrack is essential if you want to reach the next level in your business. When you hear self-limiting beliefs, take a moment to consider if they’re really true or if they are simply lies that you’ve accepted as truth.
Journal Your Thoughts
1. List as many self-limiting beliefs from childhood you’re holding onto as you can.
2. Pick the most powerful or influential beliefs that you are holding onto and take time to examine them.
3. It’s hard to let go of self-limiting beliefs until you understand where they came from. Take the time to examine each belief. When did you first hear it?
4. Pick one self-limiting belief from question #3. What would happen if you let that belief go?
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