“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
This is part-2 of the two-part series on limiting beliefs. Here is part-1.
Let us do a brief recap of part-1:
1. I am not Good Enough, I am not Significant, and I Feel Small
2. I am not Worthy of Love
3. I am not Beautiful Enough
4. I am not Intelligent Enough
5. I am not Wealthy Enough
Please note: Dear LYG list members, if you received a post on relationships last Thursday that you received before, it was a mistake. I recently changed my hosting service and that resulted in the deletion of a post that I had to reinstate. Unfortunately, the email service sent that post again to you last week. I apologize for any inconvenience caused.
“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.”― Marianne Williamson
6. I Do Not Deserve Success
“Action is the foundational key to all success.”– Pablo Picasso
This is a powerful limiting belief that keeps you within the zone of comfort. Dr. Gay Hendricks of the Big Leap calls it the upper limit problem.
The way it goes is that we get scared of both the lower end and the upper end of the spectrum of success.
You can imagine success to be a thermostat whose settings you have established over the years. Imagine the knob of the thermostat is broken. Whenever you experience great success, your self-concept goes beyond the thermostat settings. This results in actions that sabotage that success.
An example would be to not recognizing and taking the opportunities that come our way.
The idea that few deserve success and there are parameters that define it forms the basis for this limiting belief.
The problem is that you always feel left out of the niche of successful people. And no matter what you do, things seem to be the same and sometimes even become worse.
1. Ask yourself what does success mean to you?
2. Do you have a realistic and internal definition of success?
3. Engage the power of past experiences and social proof to drive home the idea that you too have been and can be successful.
4. The choices and actions that you take on a daily basis will define success that comes in the future.
5. Remember that success depends on habits and structures.
Success depends on the diligent following of success principles. It is not some magical recipe known to a few people. If others can be successful, so can you. Yes, hard to believe but true.
6: New Belief: It is all right for me to succeed. I am a success if I have lived an exciting life pursuing the dreams and goals of my choosing. I will allow success and excellence to be enjoyable today. I will count my blessings and move forward excitedly towards my goals.
“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”– Mae Jemison
7. It is Impossible to Find Happiness, and I am not Happy Enough
“Be happy with who you are and what you do, and you can do anything you want.”― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
One sneaky but strong limiting belief is the one on happiness. We have all kinds of ideas and limiting beliefs around the concept of happiness:
- I will be happy when I am successful.
- I will be happy with the right significant other.
- I will be happy when I get material acquisitions.
- I will be happy when others approve of me.
- It is impossible for me to find lasting happiness.
- All the others are having all the fun and I feel miserable.
- Joy and happiness always elude me. I repel happiness.
No wonder we have problems coming to terms with happiness.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”- Mahatma Gandhi
1. Be happy for other happy people. By being sad for other happy people, you are effectively repelling happiness.
2. Keep happiness in perspective. You only see the happy sides of others’ lives as updates on social media.
3. Be happy now, not later, and not after you have become successful.
4. You deserve happiness and joy.
5. Instead of finding happiness out there, enjoy happiness in the journey right here and right now.
6. Reconnect with what makes you happy.
7. Be happy for yourself and your achievements. When you make gratitude and self-appreciation a habit, you will be a lot happier.
8. New Belief: I choose to be happy now and I make this moment full of joy. Wherever I go, I bring my own happiness with me. I seek happiness in the present and not the past or the future.
“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.”- Lucille Ball
8. If I am Authentic, People will Spot the Fake Me For What I am
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
A self-concept about being authentic is a significant limiting belief. This belief revolves around the idea that you are too good to be true. And if you express your true self, you will found out for the fake that you are.
If you go below the surface of this limitation, you will collide with uncertainty and the fear of vulnerability. Often, because of past situations, we become hesitant to express our true and vulnerable self.
“It is naive to think that self-assertiveness is easy. To live self-assertively–which means to live authentically–is an act of high courage. That is why so many people spend the better part of their lives in hiding–from others and also from themselves.”― Nathaniel Branden
We are afraid of:
- Looking like a fake.
- Looking ridiculous.
- Appearing not good enough.
- The true self will shine out and no one will love us.
- Not being the self that we have portrayed to the world.
“Don’t worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.” ― Dorothy Day
1. Embrace vulnerability even if it appears scary.
2. Allow your true and authentic story to shine out in small increments.
3. Remember that not everyone will like you. Stop trying to please everyone.
4. You are authentic if you have consonance between thoughts, feelings, and actions.
5. You have a right to express your true desires, and go for your definition of success and excellence.
6. New Belief: I am authentic and my story matters.
“You have a unique gift to offer this world. Be true to yourself, be kind to yourself, read and learn about everything that interests you and keep away from people who bring you down. When you treat yourself kindly and respect the uniqueness of those around you, you will be giving this world an amazing gift… YOU!” ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
9. If I Go All In, I Will Fail
“We are all failures- at least the best of us are.”― J.M. Barrie
The fear of commitment and failure is a significant limiting belief.
This fear of failure gets bolstered by setbacks and similar events in the past. We gather data from the past to show that we failed.
Negativity and negative experiences are stickier in the mind. And we actively recall incidents from memory where we have failed in the past.
“You make mistakes, mistakes don’t make you”― Maxwell Maltz
If anything, the past should be a template to determine what to do or what not to. But when injected with crippling fear, it becomes a huge limiting belief and crisis.
“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”― Elbert Hubbard
1. Don’t allow failure and setbacks to paralyze you.
2. Allow failure to be a stepping stone to success.
3. Use the past as a template of feedback and learning and not to prime additional fear and hesitation.
4. Be unapologetically positive when you approach setbacks. You may see windows open where there were none before.
5. New Belief: I will learn from failure and mistakes. I will take failure in my stride because I know that being successful all the time is not realistic. I will put in my best effort after having learned and pivoted to do something different from my last failure.
“When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.”― Ellen DeGeneres, Seriously… I’m Kidding
10. I am Not Young Enough or Old Enough
“I attribute my success to this—I never gave or took an excuse.”― Florence Nightingale
Age is a huge limiting belief for those who wish to make excuses. Many use age as a factor for not going for their dreams.
Now there are some things that are age-related like ballet and gymnastics and other competitive sport.
Even then, the range of ages of athletes in the current Olympics was a matter of surprise for those who want to use age as an excuse.
In many other fields including education, age is a number that we use to mask other fears and hesitations.
Now there is nothing wrong in saying that I am too old for this or too young for this and so on.
But do a little research and you will see that many others of the same age are accomplishing the same things and even more.
“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. ”― John Wooden
1. Get beyond the limiting belief of age limitation by asking if it is really true for you.
2. Uncover the fears and hesitations that you have beneath age limitations.
3. Look for social proof. Are there others who have transcended age limitations? Sure enough.
4. Make an honest and objective assessment of age-related limitations. Often our beliefs get clouded by past judgments and beliefs. This does not mean that all age-based limitations are false. Weed out the false ones and understand the potential of age independent goals.
5. New Belief: I am at the right age and the right time to go for my dreams. I will explore if my age will allow my reaching for excellence in my field. I will embrace the idea that regardless of age, interest and enthusiasm may matter more in reaching for excellence.
“Rationalization is a process of not perceiving reality, but of attempting to make reality fit one’s emotions.”― Ayn Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs It?
11. My Life Will Not Change Regardless of What I Try
“All the time you’re saying to yourself, ‘I could do that, but I won’t,’ — which is just another way of saying that you can’t.”― Richard Feynman, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!
This is a limiting belief centered around the idea that no matter what, your situation will not improve.
As such, you become skeptical about any change, good or bad. Often, we assume the position of learned helplessness because we have a belief that change is not good.
Beliefs around this:
- Nothing will change.
- No matter how hard I try, nothing gets better.
- It is no use trying.
- Whatever I do gets ruined, so no point in trying.
- Change is scary and I would rather choose what I know.
- I am skeptical of new things and new people.
- I do not have the power of change.
- I cannot accomplish anything.
1. Believe that you can fuel the engine of transformation in your life.
2. Change is healthy and inevitable. Embrace it now.
3. Do new things, go to new places, and meet new people.
3. Stop the skeptical engine and start the discovery engine in your life.
4. Have a healthy dose of skepticism, but no more and no less.
5. Make change exciting by attaching it to something you love.
6. New Belief: Change is safe and exciting. I am going to embrace the myriads of possibilities that come forth in my life. I will not repel change and possibility. I will be more excited to change in my life.
“Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.”― Shannon L. Alder
12. I am Not Good With People
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”— Audrey Hepburn
And finally, the “I am terrible with people” limitation is a big one for many of us.
This limitation also builds momentum on perceived poor encounters with people in the past. Then it assumes it to be true for all people.
It looks like:
- I am not good with people.
- I would rather not interact or connect with others.
- I love to do everything myself because I am a control freak.
- I feel like a wallflower at parties.
- I am shy with people.
- People laugh at me and I feel like it is difficult to converse with them.
- I feel different and like no-one cares for my opinion.
“What is uttered from the heart alone, will win the hearts of others to your own.”– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
1. Learn how to interact with people.
2. Become more interested in people than in the self.
3. Study body language.
4. Be sincere in your comments and your appreciation of people.
5. Listen with all your attention and do not jump in to finish sentences.
6. New Belief: I am great with people. I will make an effort to connect with others. I value others and others value me.
“Courage to me is doing something daring, no matter how afraid, insecure, intimidated, alone, unworthy, incapable, ridiculed or whatever other paralyzing emotion you might feel. Courage is taking action….no matter what. So you’re afraid? Be afraid. Be scared silly to the point you’re trembling and nauseous, but do it anyway!”― Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway
This is the end of the post. Please let me know if it resonated with you.