Self-Limiting Beliefs

It is quite possible that you’ve had some “self-limiting beliefs” throughout your life. If you believe that you are somehow less intelligent, less talented, less experienced, less good looking, less desirable, or less worthy of success than someone else you’ve had those beliefs. Perhaps you’ve had these beliefs, since you were a child. Or maybe you believe that you are somehow less compassionate, deserve less attention, or that other people are more trustworthy and better drivers than you.

It’s difficult to see any flaws in our own self unless we look at our own behavior. Unfortunately, many of the self-limiting beliefs that we hold about ourselves are actually beliefs held by others. They are not simply personal beliefs. They are attitudes, and unfortunately they are seldom changed once held. But even if they are not changed they can still be harmful.

One of the most common self-limiting beliefs is that we are not competent to control ourselves. This is usually accompanied by a feeling of inadequacy or embarrassment with regards to our abilities. Often this leads to a fear of asking for help, being seen as weak, or even having problems controlling our emotions. In fact, this view can prevent us from trying at all – because we may feel that we can’t do anything right. We may also believe that we aren’t good enough, smart enough, or beautiful enough to attract others.

Another type of self-limiting beliefs is that we don’t deserve love or success. There are people who believe that they deserve only what they can’t attain, and that everyone else is setting them up for failure. This often leads to depression, feelings of lack self-worth, and even feelings of jealousy.

Another form of self-limiting belief is that we have little to offer to others. This generally stems from an attitude that others already have everything that they need, that we don’t need to make ourselves attractive to others, or that they already have the intelligence, skills, talents, and beauty that we ourselves possess. These beliefs often lead to a sense of deprivation and inadequacy, a decreased self-esteem, and eventually, depression. It is important to learn that there is no such thing as being worthless, ugly, or less intelligent than anyone else. Our worth is absolutely independent of outside sources, and if others feel inferior about themselves, we certainly feel superior.

In order to avoid suffering from self-limiting beliefs, it is necessary for each of us to regularly examine how our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and words affect us. When we notice that these thoughts, attitudes, and words are holding us back, we need to make the necessary changes in order to progress. There are no short cuts to success. Every success that we have comes from unselfish actions and thoughtful choices.