A limiting belief is a belief about yourself which limits you in some way. It could be about your ability to do something, your likelihood of being loved by somebody or your chances of getting a job you really want. If you’re believing something which puts a limitation on yourself, that’s a limiting beliefs. These beliefs can put constraints on you and your life and make you feel as though you’re less than other people or you won’t accomplish your goals.
Examples of Limiting Beliefs
If you’re starting to think that this sounds familiar and you might have some limiting beliefs, let’s take a look at some common examples.
- “I can’t do it”: This is one of the most common limiting beliefs and can creep in to our lives when we are children. If you hear children saying this, it’s important to correct them with a positive line. This could either be, “You can’t do it…yet!” or you can reinforce the idea that they can do it!
- “I’m not good enough”: Whether it’s our qualifications, our bodies, our minds, our faces or our salaries, not feeling good enough is a common emotion which we are all likely to have experienced at some point. This feeling, however, will be much stronger in your mind than in the mind of anyone else around you, so try to turn this around and stay positive rather than being negative and limiting yourself.
Why are Limiting Beliefs Bad?
You might think you’re being realistic, and there is definitely a lot to be said for realism and maintaining a sensible course of action. However, limiting beliefs are different because they don’t even offer the opportunity to achieve your goals. Rather than reinforcing positive emotions and encouraging yourself to work harder towards a goal, you’re giving up and telling yourself that you can’t do it, you won’t be good enough, or somebody else will do it instead.
Limiting beliefs can stop you from going after what you really want, and in the long run, they can severely damage your self-esteem and confidence. You’ll start to regret letting your limiting beliefs take over, which in turn could create even more limiting beliefs.
In the end, letting go of your limiting beliefs and changing the narrative can help you to understand more about yourself and go for the goals that you thought were out of reach.