Are you holding yourself back? I read something recently about self-limiting beliefs and it reminded me how important our thoughts are. I was holding myself back and didn’t even know it! (which is especially bad given what I do for a living!) Let me tell you more . . .
This specific lesson came from a book about weight loss and workouts¹, but the concept applies to every aspect of our lives. So here’s the thing . . . Empowering beliefs drive us to achieve, while self-limiting beliefs cap our success. So, if you tell yourself “I can’t run a marathon.” Well, you won’t try. Or you’ll quit before you reach your goal. Because “once we form a belief, we’ll act as though it’s true and we’ll tend to resist or filter out anything that disagrees with it.” Wow!
Here are some self-limiting beliefs that I’ve seen in my clients . . .
- If I get divorced, no one will want me (and/or my kids).
- I’m over 50 so I can’t . . . (lose weight/attract a new spouse/start a new activity/find a new job/start saving money, etc.)
- I can’t stop drinking, alcohol is too much a part of my life!
- I can’t exercise, I’ll have a heart attack.
- I’m too heavy to run a marathon.
- I can’t go out to dinner by myself.
- My house requires too much work to get it cleaned up so I can have guests.
- I don’t know how to cook.
- I’ll never survive if I get a divorce.
- I can’t get out of debt because my finances are too messed up.
- I’ll never find a decent guy/girl.
- My husband will not want to have sex with me if my body isn’t perfect.
- I’m too lazy.
- I’m horrible at Math.
- I can’t stop myself from overeating/eating bad foods.
- If I don’t make this month’s sales, I’m a loser.
- My spouse won’t change.
- There’s too much damage.
So the point of this article is to help bring to your awareness the ways in which you hold yourself back with thoughts like these. What are your self-limiting beliefs? What facts do you recite to yourself that aren’t necessarily true? How are those thoughts serving you? Are they helping you to grow and achieve the things you want to achieve in life? Or are they holding you back as you have pre-determined what you can be successful at and what you can’t?
The self-limiting beliefs I’m talking about “include any excuse that’s holding you back or any thought preventing you from taking action.” Although I already understood the concept, when I read this, it caused me to pay closer attention to my thoughts and the words I speak. I caught myself several times over the next few days making statements that declared my inability to do something. When I realized it, I challenged myself to see if it was true – and I was surprised by the results!
So now I’m challenging you!! Check your words and thoughts over the next few days and see if you are holding yourself back. And if you are, I encourage you to challenge those thoughts. You might surprise yourself!!
¹ The Body Fat Solution: 5 Principles for Buring Fat, Building Lean Muscle, Ending Emotional Eating, and Maintaining Your Perfect Weight by Tom Venuto