You are smart, beautiful, and hilarious. You have tasted some successes in life already… at least that’s what your relatives and friends say. So how is it possible you don’t always feel that way?
Instead of feeling satisfaction, with every smaller or bigger achievement you’re filled with anxiety that you will be unmasked as an incompetent fraud…
I have worked with people from many walks of life. They were educators, students, managers, sales agents, marketing officers, executives; the list can go on…
What they share in common is a deep desire to understand why, in the face of often overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we continue to doubt ourselves, our competence, and our abilities.
Is it the past that can explain some of ‘why’s’? Is it lack of self-acceptance? Or is it too many self-limiting beliefs?
Have you ever wonder why it’s so hard to break old habits and patterns of thinking?
The scientific answer could be that neural pathways of your brain have formed around a particular belief for years and are not easily removed. Think of the years of conditioning like a full-blown tree with strong deep roots into the ground.
“I’m horrible sales representative.” “Me? Cook? Impossible!”
“Visiting new countries is just not my thing – I prefer to stay at home.”
We don’t just become who we are. he outcome is very much influenced by decisions we have made along the way, people we’ve observed and seeds that have been planted personally or by others about our abilities, limitations, preferences, values and principles. Are these statements actually true or have these beliefs been shaped inaccurately, limiting your ability to break from an artificial mold?
A limiting belief is a false idea that a person acquires as a result of making an incorrect conclusion about something in life. he biggest problem about these beliefs is that they force you to live below your potential. So if there’s a rock that weighs 5kg but you believed that it weighs 50kg you might not ever try to move it because you whole heartedly think you can’t. his belief and the rock as a metaphor for challenges in your life will remain on your path, not because it belongs there, but because you don’t believe in your ability to move it.
Science gives a body of evidence that lack of self-confidence is the effect of internal factors such as perception and negative, self-limiting thinking. Such thinking leads to behaving in one or few of the following ways:
Can’t handle criticism Talking down to yourself Constant worrying
Blaming yourself and others Making excuses
Depending on others No boundaries Pessimistic attitude Isolating yourself
Running away from change and new experiences
How many of those behaviors do you ‘cultivate ‘without knowing? I used to cultivate three from the list, and it wasn’t conscious. Since I have realized what it was, then I consciously started to learn new ways of dealing with the situation. For example, whenever I felt down and my self-confidence was close to none, I used to isolate myself from the world, my friends, and my colleagues for a long days. The outcome of it was that my self-confidence lowered even more. Now whenever I catch myself on doing it again I push my comfort zone and dial the number to my best friend and talk. It is my way which now helps me greatly; you can find best suited way which works best for you. But first, it is important to identify what are those behaviors and more importantly what are the self-limiting beliefs standing behind them.
Types of Limiting Beliefs
Limiting beliefs come in a variety of forms. Here are some of the most common.
- If I start a new job, I will fail, and that would be humiliatin
- If I speak with my boss about raise, it will get rejected.
- If I succeed in a big way, my friends won’t like me as
- Employees in corporations are inherently selfi
- Children always misbeha
- Money is the root of all
Personal and Self-Esteem Beliefs
- I’m not good
- I don’t matter.
- I’m contantly ignored.
Beating a monster – undressing self-limiting beliefs and finding ways to dissolve them
Have you held back because you’re afraid of what might happen if you try and don’t quite succeed? Or did you avoid action because you were afraid of what other people might think or say? Whatever it was you were thinking, you have a few basic options for dealing with limiting beliefs.
You can begin by asking yourself a series of probing questions to unhinge you from the beliefs holding you back and train your brain to see yourself in a different light. Go grab a pen and paper, and write down the answers to the following questions:
1. What is your most limiting belief?
We all have many limiting beliefs, but isolate one that really interferes with your growth or impacts your ability to take action. You don’t feel good enough at work? You don’t make enough money? You’re not smart enough? You aren’t noticed by your colleagues?
1. Why do you have this limiting belief?
This is a question you should ask until you run out of answers. Write down every reason you can think of, starting with the main one that probably occurred when you were small. Write these reasons down so you don’t forget them.
2. What evidence do you have that undermines your limiting belief?
You might feel a certain way about yourself, but that doesn’t make it true. And even if there were truth in the original belief and feelings, you have lived a lot of life since then. here are hundreds of reasons why you are smart, lovable, attractive, etc. Write those down too.
3. In what ways are you not fully alive and engaged in life and work?
How has your limiting belief held you back from the fullness and joy of life? Write down all of the possible situations you can think of.
4. How does it make you feel to have missed engaging in life and work in the ways you listed above?
Pay attention to the feelings you have knowing what life and work should be like for you and the ways your belief has prevented you from experiencing it fully. Write down your feelings.
5. What would you do with your life if you no longer had this limiting belief?
Imagine the belief disappeared instantly. How would this change your perceptions of what you can do and how you can change your life? What goals would you set for yourself?
6. How is your limiting belief impacting your relationships now or in the past?
Often we compromise our relationships when we remain stuck in a false belief. Can you see how any of your close relationships have been impacted?
7. Would you be willing to write down your limiting belief on a small piece of paper and seal it in an envelope for a week?
Could you operate in your life by putting this belief “on hold” for a week and act “as if ” it didn’t exist? Write it down on a piece of paper and assign a number to it between 1–10, with 10 being “extremely limiting” and 1 being “not very limiting” based on how you feel about the belief now.
8. What is the most pressing or compelling goal you listed in your answer to question 6?
Of all of the things you’ve wanted to achieve but avoided due to your limiting belief, which one stands out as the irst you’d like to work toward?
9. What are 3–5 small, manageable actions you could take on your goal this week while your limiting belief is sealed in an envelope?
Acting “as if ” you have no limiting belief around your goal, please create a few actions you will commit to take in the direction of your goal and write them on a calendar.
Now that your limiting belief is isolated, undermined, and locked in an envelope, use this time of freedom from the belief to take action. Commit to the actions you outlined and mark them on your calendar.
You will likely see how taking action further loosens the grip of this belief. How has it changed for you?
Consider extending the envelope isolation time for your belief for another week of two, until the power of the belief is almost totally diminished. Or go through this exercise for another limiting belief.
Continue working through your limiting beliefs this way, addressing and undermining them and taking forward action in the direction of your goals and dreams.
Self-limiting beliefs have stopped you from reaching the success you truly want and deserve. hey stop you and keep you from trying new things – and from succeeding at them.
As humans, it’s our natural instinct to stay in our comfort zones. But change occurs only when we step into new territory, expanding our thinking and acting.
So how do you ensure you’re able to take a step – and then subsequent steps – into new territory? You develop self-serving beliefs to feed your self-confidence. OK, you can say, but how?
Well, for example you can look at people like Richard Branson, Soichiro Honda or Thomas Edison!
Even the fifth richest person in the U.K., Richard Branson, didn’t get to where he is now without a few failures along the way. Along with his famous Virgin Records and Virgin Airlines, he also developed Virgin Cola and Virgin Vodka. he fact that you don’t recognize them says it all.
Honda initially applied for a job at Toyota as an engineer, but was turned down. Being jobless, he started making scooters at home, which he sold to neighbors. With the support of his family, he founded Honda, the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer and one of the most profitable automakers.
Edison, one of the most prolific inventors in history, holding over 1000 U.S. patents, was told as a boy by his teacher that he was too stupid to learn anything and suggested he go into a field that did not require intelligence. He tried more than 9,000 experiments before he created the first successful light bulb.
Could they be so great without a self-confidence or belief that ‘they can’?! Could they find fame and fortune without experiencing a failure before?
They believed they can and they were halfway there. They also showed: perseverance, determination, action.
Most successful people have incredible levels of self-confidence. They seem unstoppable. They have accomplished great levels of success and happiness in their lives thank to a goal, determination, discipline, practice, and openness to get support from others.
When you develop self-confidence, you, too, can become unstoppable. Everyone is capable of being self-confident, you too!
Please check the following tips on taking action and developing self-confidence to bring you things you want in your life.
Five ways to take action and boost your self-confidence
Confidence is not a black and white issue. However some of us think it’s either you have it, or you don’t. I like to think of confidence as a skill; it comes from practicing certain mental and behavioral habits.
There is no guarantee the confidence will stay after reaching it. It’s like a marriage. It’s a lifestyle choice where you constantly tweak and shit yourself and your life, beliefs and values in order to consistently build that confidence. It is lifelong commitment.
Key ingredients you need before trying tips below:
- Few grams of Self-worth
- Few grams of Self-Love
- 1 Kilo of Motivation
- 1 Ton of Practice
1. Learn from confident and successful people and then get of your ass
Confident people share similar characteristics, have a certain body posture, use certain words and vocal modulation. Learn from them.
Confident people feel the confidence from accomplishing something. They aim for that. They strive to get things done so that they can feel good about themselves for the rest of the day. Get things done. One thing at the time!
2. Learn from failure
Failure is a way of learning and growing as a human being. When you fail or are wrong, view it as a learning experience instead of something catastrophic. Sometimes we can learn from the mistakes of others, but often we have to fail on our own to gain experience. When you fail, you discover the world is not going to end. By failing, you at least have taken a chance.
3. Face your fears
Come to grips with your fear just like confident people do. Fear can hinder you from taking action. However, there usually is no basis to what we fear. Face your fear and do what you want anyway!
Fear is often described as false evidence appearing real. Discover precisely what you are afraid of and take action to discard your worry. Feeling of anxiety and discomfort can be sign that you’re heading in the right direction. You feel it when you are expending your comfort zone and when you grow.
4. Run Achievement Diary
Make a log of the ways in which you have been successful. List your achievements, such as writing a poem, recognition for your hard work, graduating with a degree, a special task you performed well or even a great meal that you have prepared for team potluck lunch.
Inspect your ‘Achievement Log’. To enrich it add a list of your strengths. If it is difficult then think about what your friends would consider as your strengths.
Look at this log often, letting yourself enjoy these successes and strengths a few minutes every week.
1. Have goals
Work on accomplishing something, just like Thomas Edison did. However do not take whatever you are going to embark on too seriously or you will feel overwhelmed. Relax and focus on your task with a lighter state of mind. Start with a small goal. Don’t start of too ďig or you will get disĐouraged.
Establish a goal you know you can accomplish, and then set out to go for it. You’ll gain more confidence achieving a small goal first. Once you have accomplished many small goals, you can set larger ones. Always make sure your goals are realistic and achievable. Please check the chart below for goal setting guidelines.