Does your self-talk limit you from doing things you would like to do?
Do you say things like “I’m not pretty enough” or “I’m not smart enough to get the job”, or “I’m not interesting enough to be noticed”?
Been there, done that and to be honest… sometimes still do. In some areas of my life I still have negative self-talk limiting what I want to do. But that’s for another post…
Anyhow. Self-talk like this is the very definition of self-limiting beliefs (SLBs). You think these thoughts, completely subjectively, no relation to fact. And it stops you from becoming the best version of you.
How does limiting beliefs form?
There are a lot of reasons why people have these self-limiting beliefs:
- It can stem from childhood upbringing. This is a crucial stage in a person’s life because kids are like sponges, they absorb everything they see and hear and perceive it as reality especially when the impulses from their parents or other close adults. This is the stage where self-esteem issues start to rear its ugly head.
- Instances of bullying during childhood or teenage years. They can be those kids who were bullied in school, mentally, emotionally, and/or even physically and were never counseled or were left to their own devices on how to cope but never did.
- Divorce or separation issues. Kids who were products of divorce or separation of parents and were never counseled or the situation was never explained to them properly and were never advised it wasn’t their fault to begin with.
These are some of the more common causes of self-limiting behavior that causes long-term effects of self-esteem issues. It usually manifests during a person’s young adult years and continues onwards. Self-limiting beliefs that lead to self-limiting behavior are very destructive and set the person back whenever they try to move forward. When not treated with proper care and support, it can lead to other issues like depression or even attempts at suicide.
The key here is to recognize the signs early and admitting that these signs that you manifest are self-detrimental and that you need to face them and get help if necessary.
I know there’s some of stigma around getting a coach and even more so around “seeing a shrink” but my take on it is: Asking for help is a sign of strength! Admitting to yourself that you can’t cope alone and need somebody else’s perspective is to be in control!
How to get help with limiting beliefs?
Help can come from different avenues which maybe the following and, in some advanced cases, all of them:
- Family support. Your family is the number one factor that can help you with this self-limiting behavior. Family members need to reinforce positive attitude in you and support you in your times of need. Be careful to not let family reinforce your SLBs. Often couples find attraction and comfort in being similar and this can turn against them if they share the same SLBs.
- Support groups. Find a group of people who are also going through the same things you are. They can relate to you more and you can share best practices with them on how to cope and to beat these self-limiting beliefs. It doesn’t have to be support group focused on SLBs in general or your specific SLB but a support group for people trying to achieve similar things. For example, if you SLB is on public speaking, join your local Toastmasters to get support from other people who have been or still are struggling to believe in their own ability as a speaker.
- Professional coaching. If your SLBs don’t lead to negative self-destructive behaviour but are stopping you from doing the things you want to do then seek the support of an professional coach to help break free.
- Professional counseling. This maybe for the more serious cases that have gone on for a very long time which might have progressed to depression or self-detrimental behavior.
These are just some sources of help that are readily out there, but there are other activities and practices that you can do to crush these beliefs and in turn, finally beat self-esteem issues that haunt you. The mind is a very powerful thing and if you don’t recognize its power and influence on your very life and let negative things affect your thinking, then you might be going downhill instead of living your life to the fullest.
Life is full of unlimited possibilities. Don’t let your mind playing tricks on you hold you back!
In the next post I’ll share a very powerful 5 step method for breaking free from your self-limiting beliefs.