Beliefs about who you are can limit every facet of your life: physical, emotional, financial, intellectual, and spiritual. Having a low opinion of yourself traps you in false perceptions that keep you down. It can be exhausting!
Here are 7 common beliefs that can affect your thoughts and actions and cripple your success and happiness.
Limiting Belief # 1: I Am Not Worthy of Good Things
If you usually find it hard to accept compliments because you don’t feel you deserve them, you may be a member of the I-am-not-worthy club.
The dues you pay to belong? You fail to follow up on opportunities because you don’t think you’re good enough or smart enough. When you succeed, for example, by landing a high-salary job doing work you like, you feel like an impostor.
It’s a self-sabotaging way to live.
Feeling undeserving and worthless, you can’t see your strengths. You don’t give yourself credit for—perhaps don’t even notice—what you’re good at. Your low self-worth keeps you down.
Limiting Belief # 2: I Am Not Loveable
Do you describe yourself with self-deprecating humor? For example, “Mine is a face only a mother could love.” Joking aside, if you believe you are somehow unlovable, you limit yourself, big time.
Faulty perceptions, like believing that love is dependent on success or wealth or that your looks don’t make the grade can lead you to conclude that no one will ever love you.
Because of your limiting belief, you don’t just fear rejection, you expect it. And, guess what? You get what you expect.
Low self-worth means depending on the opinions of others rather than ourselves to feel loveable.
When, as often happens, a relationship fails, we feel inadequate and un-loveable. Instead of moving forward, we get stuck. We withdraw from relationships or avoid them altogether because we fear being hurt. The result? Loneliness and even lower self-worth.
Changing your belief begins with you. When you love yourself, you’re open to being loved by someone else.
Limiting Belief # 3: I Can’t Be My Real Self
It’s nearly impossible to relax and just be if you believe that others will judge you for being your authentic self. When you’re desperate to fit in, everything you do feels wrong.
Worrying about what others think of you sets you up for failure. Pleasing everybody is impossible and you lose yourself in the process.
Recognizing your uniqueness gives you the strength to value it. There will never be anyone else precisely like you. Your job is not to please others. It’s to live a fulfilling life. Figure out who you really are and be yourself.
Limiting Belief # 4: I Can’t Pursue My Dreams Because I Might Fail
We all experience failure early. As toddlers, we fall many times before we learn to walk. But we get up and try again, and eventually, we’re walking.
Early experiences may trap you in a fear-of-failure mindset. You resist trying new things. Ironically, not trying makes you feel even more incapable and inadequate than trying and failing.
We learn by failing. Focusing on how to do better next time takes the sting out of failure. Real failure is abandoning your dreams.
Limiting Belief # 5: Money and Success Are Unworthy Goals
Being in financial trouble plays havoc with your self-esteem. One way to deal with this situation is to decide that success, especially financial success, is an unworthy goal. “Filthy lucre,” we call it. We’re above all that.
Well maybe so, but chances are you’re kidding yourself. And while it’s true that money doesn’t buy happiness, it can certainly provide you with better choices. Refusing to apply yourself and giving up is probably just an excuse to give in to your fear and remain stuck.
Your inner resources—energy, willpower, passion— can be harnessed to help achieve money and success. Then you have what you need to support the higher goals that you’re passionate about.
Limiting Belief # 6: It’s Too Late to Change
When life throws you a curve, anxiety and depression may keep you from seeing any good in the situation, now or in the future. But losing hope will keep you stuck.
Sometimes we set unrealistic goals. “I’ll have a rewarding career, a partner and 2 children by the time I’m 37.” Setting an arbitrary timeline can trap you. Believing it’s too late to change prevents your looking for solutions. Hopelessness keeps you from realizing your potential.
Age is not what limits you. What limits you is your belief that it’s too late to pursue your dream.
To change, you must act now. Start with baby steps. Believe your goal is possible. Then you’re free to achieve it.
Limiting Belief # 7: I Can’t Trust People, Because They Might Betray Me
Sometimes people do betray us, and it never feels good. But when we react by cutting ourselves off we not only live in fear, we miss out on meeting amazing people. A loveless life is safe, yet empty.
Without trust, there’s no way we’ll find a meaningful relationship.
Yes, be smart about avoiding toxic people. But the only way to connect is to be vulnerable.
If you distrust everyone on principle, try to shift your belief. Everybody deserves trust unless they prove they don’t. If you keep trying, you’ll find the right people to connect with.
Putting Our Limiting Beliefs in Perspective
If you find that you fall sway to any of the limiting beliefs mentioned above, it’ll be hard for you to believe you are lovable and worthy of good things. It’ll be hard to believe that you will survive if you show your true self. But I want you to try. Affirm the opposite of your limiting beliefs. Even if it means pretending you believe in yourself – try it on, like a new dress you’ve always wanted but couldn’t imagine wearing. Eventually, it’ll come to fit just fine and even feel right.
Pursue your dreams without judgment. Know it’s never too late to change. And best of all, overcome betrayal by learning to trust again.
Don’t let those limiting beliefs keep you down – the INLP Center has some great suggestions for releasing your limiting beliefs. Or feel free to contact me for a phone consultation to learn how therapy can help open your mind.