Few things are more crippling to self-improvement efforts than a nasty set of self-limiting beliefs. They can hold you back, knock you down, and keep you from achieving things you know would improve your life. Although they are rarely true, the cold grip they have on our confidence can be hard to overcome. Here are 7 steps to help you finally beat down the self-deprecating beast and become the very best version of yourself. 

What Are Self-Limiting Beliefs?

Self-limiting beliefs are harmful and often inaccurate thoughts we have about ourselves, our talents, and our abilities. They can stifle our potential, hold us back from achieving goals and fulfilling our dreams, and hinder personal growth. 

These confusing thoughts are often based on your past experiences, cultural or societal expectations, or negative feedback from people you have encountered in your life.  

self-limiting beliefs

Examples of self-limiting beliefs include "I'm not worthy," "I'm too old/young to do that," "I'm not smart enough," "No one likes me," "I'm not pretty enough," and "I'm not successful." This list could go on and on, but the most important thing to remember about these negative thoughts is that they are UNTRUE.

Self-limiting beliefs can be deeply ingrained and can often become a self-fulfilling prophecy if you are not doing the mental health work to counter them. Overcoming self-limiting beliefs requires identifying them, challenging them, and replacing them with positive, empowering beliefs that are grounded in reality. By doing these steps, you can break free from these thoughts and achieve your full potential.

Steps to Overcome Self-Limiting Beliefs

Overcoming self-limiting beliefs and negative thoughts can be a challenging process, but it is completely possible with persistence and consistent effort. Here are some strategies you can use to help you change your thought patterns and start believing in yourself. 

  1. Identify the limiting belief: The first step in overcoming self-limiting beliefs and negative thoughts is to identify them. Write down the ideas that are holding you back and examine them closely. Ask yourself if they are really true and where they came from.
  2. Challenge the belief: Once you have identified the negative thought or self-limiting belief, challenge it. Look for evidence that contradicts it, and ask yourself if there is a different way to interpret the situation or a new perspective you could adopt. 
  3. Practice positive self-talk: Use positive self-talk to counteract negative thoughts. Tell yourself things like "I am cable of doing this" or "I will be successful." Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations to help build your confidence.
  4. Surround yourself with positive people: Surround yourself with lots of uplifting people who support and believe in you. Being around positive people can help you see the world in a more positive light.
  5. Set realistic goals: Set realistic goals for yourself and work towards achieving them in small, realistic steps. Celebrate your successes along the way and use them as evidence that you are capable of achieving what you set out to do.
  6. Take action: Take action to overcome your self-limiting beliefs and intrusive thoughts. Do something that challenges your beliefs and shows you that you are capable of achieving more than you thought.
  7. Seek professional help: If your self-limiting beliefs are causing significant distress or impacting your daily life, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor who can help you work through these issues.

Don’t be caught in the cycle of allowing these negative limiting beliefs to affect your ability to thrive. You are 100% capable of overcoming these negative thoughts and building more confidence and resilience to fulfill your dreams.  

February 14, 2023 — Wendy Parker