How to break through limiting beliefs and start believing in yourself

“I don’t know how to break through my limiting beliefs”

I was listening to my client talk. We had been discussing limiting beliefs, you know, those things that you believe about yourself that are a) not true and/or b) not helpful. Here were some of mine before I did the work to dispel them:

  • I have no sense of direction and always get lost
  • If I am myself, people will think I am weird
  • I am not a leader
  • I will never be able to run a marathon

You get the idea. What I have learned about limiting beliefs is that they often come from our childhood or other experiences and they are almost always down to perspective. Limiting beliefs are things that we believe/assume about ourselves that stop us progressing to the next step.

I had listened whilst my client had worked out her limiting beliefs. The number one belief she held was that she needed to be perfect to be successful. 

Breaking your limiting beliefs

We had the limiting belief. The next step was to examine it in more detail and this I break down into 5 steps:

Step 1: Write it down – on a piece of paper….it makes a difference.

Step 2: Notice how you feel about the statement once you have written it out. Does it feel true? helpful? ridiculous? wrong? unhelpful?

Step 3:  What are you going to do with the limiting belief? Keep it? Discard it? Or modify it?

Step 4: Ask yourself the question:

If I believed that I was [the opposite of the limiting belief], how would that make a difference to the way I act? 

Step 5: Test your assumptions and create some action that puts the conclusion to the test e.g. I am going to tell someone my opinion and stay open-minded to what their reaction might be.

How to believe in yourself

The key to believing in yourself is to manage your own expectations and understand that you are enough. You are going to fail at things, you are going to upset people (hopefully unintentionally) and you are going to make mistakes – that’s all OK. It’s how we learn and grow.

Here are some actions you can take to help yourself:

  • Grow your comfort zone and get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable
  • Understand that not everyone will like/accept you and that’s OK
  • Stick to a habit, ignoring any negative self-talk that normally holds you back
  • Go into situations not knowing, and learn to be OK with that
  • Learn through repeated attempts that it’s OK to fail, that you can be OK in failure
  • Know that you are stronger than you think, that you are more capable and more tolerant of discomfort than you think

 

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