The What of self-limiting beliefs
"I can't do this."
"It's not possible."
"I'm not [fill in the blank] enough."
"I'm not worthy of [fill in the blank]."
These are false or self-limiting beliefs that you hold about yourself, others, or the world around you. They limit your potential for growth and success. And, they're completely normal.
They come from past experiences, social programming, and fear-based thinking that act as a defense mechanism. Limiting beliefs are often negative beliefs deeply ingrained in the subconscious mind and inform your core beliefs and values. You may not even be aware that they exist. Unconscious beliefs are the scariest!
The beauty of it all? You can become aware if them, and you can change them.
The Why: Limiting Beliefs' Impact on Your Life and Leadership
False or self-limiting beliefs hinder your ability to develop and grow personally and professionally, according to growth mindset research by Carol Dweck. They limit you from taking risks, going after your deepest desires, stepping into your authentic leadership, or forming meaningful, healthy relationships. They fuel fear of failure. They make you small.
They create a self-imposed wall that keeps you from claiming your unique Personal Power.
Wait, unique Personal Power...what?
Personal Power is a state of mind—of being—where you are deeply connected to your Higher Self. The one that is in alignment with who you really are. Your truth. Your intuition. A balance of the masculine and feminine.
When you embody your unique Personal Power, you lead and live with integrity, aligned with your purpose, values, goals, and unique skills. Your Personal Power offers you the ability to:
Feel more fulfillment and meaning in your life;
Experience unshakeable confidence and trust in yourself;
Inspire others and lead by example; and
Take up space. Be assertive, kind, and respectful.
So, how do you change those pesky self-limiting beliefs?
✨ A personal favorite: Farnam Street's article, Carol Dweck: A Summary of Growth Mindset and Fixed Mindsets.
HOW TO CHANGE LIMITING BELIEFS
Time to break free from these self-imposed limitations and cultivate a mindset of growth and abundance. There are a range of techniques to shift out of self-limiting beliefs and into expansive thinking. Here's what I recommend. Ready?
Start with Awareness: Recognize the beliefs that are limiting. Keep a journal and write down any negative thoughts or self-doubts that arise. Notice which ones repeat most often.
Understand and Challenge Your Beliefs: Once you have identified your self-limiting beliefs, question their truth (I love Tara Brach's framework). Ask yourself: ◦ What am I believing? ◦ Is it true or is it a false belief? What evidence do I have to support this belief? ◦ What is it like to live with this belief? ◦ What's keeping me from letting it go? ◦ What would life be like if I didn't believe it?
Replace Your Self-Limiting Belief with a Positive Belief: Choose an alternative belief that supports your growth and success. The more you repeat your new, positive belief, the stronger neural pathways you'll build. Eventually it'll become a fundamental belief in your daily life. ✨ Pro tip: Find evidence from past success to help support your positive belief. For example, what was something you achieved that you had previously thought you wouldn't be able to?
Take Action: Link a goal to your alternative belief. Break it down your goals into simple steps and take consistent action towards them. As you take action, you'll build more evidence that disproves your old self-limiting beliefs.
Practice Self-Compassion: Letting go of limiting beliefs takes time. It's an iterative process throughout our entire life. Dedicate daily time to cultivate self-compassion and stay committed to your Boldly Unbounded beliefs.
Surround Yourself with Empowering People: Nothing can reinforce self-limiting beliefs more than the people that surround you. Seek out positive and supportive people—friends, family, colleagues, mental health professional, or a coach— who can help reinforce your new empowering beliefs and challenge your old limitations.
Alright, that's your cue! Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
P.S. Have you been thinking about lifestyle design to elevate your leadership—leading with calm, clarity, and connection? There has never been a better time to start!
Book a FREE private, 60-minute Clarity Conversation with me. We'll explore what a boldly unbounded life looks like for you, what's limiting you today, and potential ways to move forward.