When it comes to self-confidence and the ability to think critically, limiting beliefs can hold back your progress. A person’s understanding of his or her true Self may be hindered by previous negative experiences, limiting beliefs, and other impediments. Limiting beliefs aren’t just false beliefs; they are simply mental constructs that have become deeply ingrained in your mind. In order for new actions to really have the greatest impact, you must have as near to perfect beliefs as possible.
One of the most common forms of limiting beliefs is “I’m not smart enough to accomplish anything.” The belief that “if I’m smart enough to do something, then I can achieve it” isn’t just a belief, it’s a dogma. It’s a lie. If you truly believe it, then you are keeping us from seeing the truth about ourselves. You are holding us back, and preventing us from making better decisions for ourselves.
Limiting beliefs like “I’m not smart enough to make a decision,” “I can’t be a good parent,” “I can’t be an artist,” or “my money won’t make me rich,” are just a few examples, but there are so many ways that limiting beliefs affect us on a daily basis that it’s impossible to mention them all in one article. There are too many everyday examples to mention here, but some of the more general beliefs that stop us from achieving our potential are: The belief that “I can’t,” The belief that “I can’t do something,” The belief that “my opinion matters more than others,” The “I don’t deserve to be happy” belief, The “I don’t deserve to be successful” belief and so on. Each of these beliefs, when taken to an extreme, can hold you back in more ways than one.
Of course, there are those limiting beliefs that we consciously use to keep us in good stead. Unfortunately, they are rarely corrected, and in most cases they have no effect on us at all. This is because our brains are so programmed to see and interpret the world the way that we do that they are not challenged by our expanding consciousness. When our limiting beliefs are challenged, our brains automatically know right away that something is wrong and that a change is needed. Because of this, any time we are having a problem or are having a fear, our first instinct is to try to avoid the situation that is causing the fear or the problem – but this only causes us more stress and anxiety, which are one of the most common ways that limiting beliefs are kept in place.
So what are some of the things that we mentally tell ourselves to avoid in order to not cause ourselves more stress and anxiety? We might tell ourselves, “I can’t” or “That thing will never happen to me.” Although these may be legitimate statements, they are ones that cause us more problems than they solve. By perpetuating these limiting beliefs, we are doing the exact opposite of what we want to do – and because our subconscious believes are so strong, we often think that it’s not possible for us to do anything to change them. We feel trapped by our beliefs about ourselves, and that keeps us from doing the things that we want to do.
The fact is that you can achieve whatever you set out to achieve – and if you are living from one limiting belief, you can change it for the better. You don’t have to spend your life trying to prove to yourself that you’re smarter than the rich people who are supposed to be rich and smart enough to own businesses, buy fancy cars, and have big houses. Instead, you should work on changing the way you perceive and look at the world around you. This requires that you look at what you have going on in the world around you, as well as how you’ll react when things go wrong.
For instance, did you ever encounter a moment when you thought, “Gee, this is totally dumb,” or “I’m so stupid,” or something like that? If so, chances are that you’ve had that moment before. We all have those moments where we let negative thoughts and fears consume us, preventing us from doing the things that we wanted to do. As human beings, those types of thoughts are an invisible force that controls what we do and how we act. It can either make us feel good or bad. If you’ve got a negative reaction to something in the world, it’s probably because you’ve held a limiting belief about that thing in the past.
For instance, if you believe that you’re not good enough to own a business, you won’t do it – regardless of what the economy does. If you believe that other people’s fear of failure keeps them from achieving as much as they want to, you’ll act in the same manner. And if you believe that your money is more valuable than the joy of having a family, you will never be able to give them anything more than you do. By changing your limiting beliefs, however, you can change the way you view and act towards the things that cause you pain.