Limiting Beliefs About Self-Esteem

A major component of a healthy self-esteem is the ability to know and dispel limiting beliefs. It’s difficult to do this, though, because the first thing you need to do when wanting to improve your self-esteem is to eliminate negative beliefs. But it must be done – or you will never really succeed. So, what are the most common beliefs that we hold about ourselves?

One is the belief that we are not smart enough or capable to do what we want. This is actually a very common belief. We have been brainwashed with this lie throughout our schooling. Even today our teachers, doctors, and government are told this in order to control us.

Another belief we hold is that we are only as good as our last performance. We measure our worthiness by our ability to perform sexually, at our jobs, or in our relationships. Anything less than perfect is considered a failure. This is the reason that so many people fail to set goals for themselves or lose weight. They are only worth as much as their last performance.

A third common belief is that success is only attainable by those who are able to control their fears. We feel if we can’t achieve something then it must be because we don’t have enough self-esteem. This type of limiting belief is very difficult to overcome. We must first accept that we cannot control our fear of failure and that nobody else can either. Only we can try to control our fears if we are going to build our self-esteem.

A fourth belief is that we should only strive for what we can do, not for what we want to do. This means that we should set very small goals that we can achieve. If we fail to do this, we conclude that it must be impossible for us to do. Yet this is exactly what we are doing when we resist making changes in our lives.

One very common belief is that it is better to be safe than sorry. If a person steals then they should be shot dead. Yet most people will not take any action to stop themselves from stealing, even if it means getting shot dead in the process. This kind of thinking is not helpful to anyone. If someone wants to be happy, then they should be happy with their own actions and not what other people might think about them.

One more common negative belief is that there is no such thing as failure. This means that if you fail, then it must be because you are not smart enough, hard enough, or rich enough to succeed. People that hold these kinds of views are usually rich, which explains why they think it is acceptable to blame others for their failures. The first step towards building self-esteem is to learn to let go of the guilt and allow yourself to feel a sense of failure. You are just as worthy as anyone else, and if you are willing to work at making yourself better, then you are going to succeed in life.

As you can see, limiting beliefs are based on false premises and can cause more problems than they solve. One of the best ways to avoid these types of negative self-talk is to learn how to replace them with positive statements. Instead of “I’m not good enough,” say things like “I am amazing.” It’s important to emphasize the words “am” and “instead of” in the statement so that your mind will actually picture something different. For example, instead of saying, “I’m not smart enough to start my own business,” say, “I have had 10 years of experience running my own business, and I’ve managed to turn it into a very profitable business.” By changing the focus from what you think is bad to what is good, you are actually training your mind to think in a different way.