Break Free: Overcome Limiting Beliefs through Self-Reflection

I am sure you’ve heard it before. The worst enemy is yourself. While I wouldn’t agree without any objections (They don’t call me the queen of disagreeing for no reason), when it comes to self-limiting beliefs, I’d agree. Sometimes it is ourselves who are not giving us a fair chance. We want to protect ourselves and therefore dampen our light. It doesn’t have to be that way.

In the pursuit of personal growth and fulfilment, one of the greatest hurdles we often face is our own limiting beliefs. These deeply ingrained thoughts and perceptions about ourselves and the world around us can hold us back from reaching our true potential. However, by recognising and challenging these limiting beliefs and engaging in self-reflection, we can unlock new possibilities and cultivate a mindset of empowerment.

Let’s start understanding why we do hold certain beliefs (and how to reframe our thoughts so we can finally reach for the stars)

Understanding Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs are negative, self-sabotaging thoughts and beliefs that we hold about ourselves and our abilities. They often stem from past experiences, societal conditioning, or fear of failure. These beliefs create mental barriers and hinder us from taking risks, pursuing our passions, and achieving our goals. Common examples include “I’m not smart enough,” “I’ll never be successful,” or “I don’t deserve happiness.”

Identify Your Limiting Beliefs

The first step in overcoming limiting beliefs is to become aware of them. Take a moment to reflect and identify the negative thoughts and beliefs that may be holding you back. Pay attention to recurring patterns, self-critical statements, and areas where you feel a lack of confidence or self-doubt.

Challenge Your Limiting Beliefs:

Once you’ve identified your limiting beliefs, it’s crucial to challenge their validity. Ask yourself:

  • Is there any evidence to support this belief?
  • What alternative perspectives or evidence exist?
  • How would my life change if I didn’t hold onto this belief?
  • Are there examples of others who have overcome similar beliefs and achieved success?

By questioning and critically evaluating your beliefs, you can begin to loosen their grip and open yourself up to new possibilities. What helped me was keeping a shadow journal. In this journal I kept track of my believes and reflected upon where they come from. It’s important to understand that sometimes, those believes are not even ours, but they’ve been ingrained from parents, teachers, friend or else. One example that may be familiar is the gendered stereotype and prejudice of women not being good at maths. Some girls learn that women aren’t good at maths, so it becomes a reinforced belief (Women aren’t good at maths, and if a calculation is difficult for me, than it is because I, as a girl, am not going to be good at maths anyway). Or, children who grow up hearing that they can not sing – these children may limit themselves by not even attempting to become good singers. There are countless examples and I am sure that there may be even 1 or 2 ingrained in you. Can you think of some?

Reframe Your Beliefs

Next, replace your limiting beliefs with empowering and positive alternatives. For example, if you believed “I’m not smart enough,” reframe it as “I am capable of learning and growing in any area I choose.” These new beliefs should align with your aspirations and reflect your true potential. Write them down and repeat them regularly as affirmations to reinforce the positive shift in your mindset.

Establish a growth mindset: I can not sing … yet. I can not dance … yet. I am not a business woman… yet.

Notice the difference?

The Power of Self-Reflection

In addition to overcoming limiting beliefs, self-reflection is a powerful tool for personal growth and self-awareness. It involves taking a step back, examining our thoughts, actions, and experiences, and gaining a deeper understanding of ourselves.

Cultivating Self-Awareness:

Self-reflection allows us to develop a greater sense of self-awareness. By consciously observing our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, we can identify patterns, triggers, and areas for improvement. Self-awareness empowers us to make conscious choices and respond to situations in a more intentional and authentic manner.

Gaining Perspective:

Reflection provides an opportunity to gain perspective on our experiences. It helps us uncover the underlying motivations, fears, and desires that drive our actions. By examining our past successes and challenges, we can extract valuable lessons and apply them to future situations. This broader perspective enables us to make more informed decisions and navigate life’s complexities with greater clarity.

Reflect in your shadow journal on limiting beliefs, and potential for growth and start a positive self-talk. Educate yourself on the areas in your life that intimidate you and find a way to get into the growth zone.

Facilitating Personal Growth:

Engaging in regular self-reflection fosters personal growth. It allows us to celebrate our achievements, acknowledge our strengths, and identify areas for development. By recognising our growth edges, we can set meaningful goals and take intentional steps towards self-improvement. Self-reflection also helps us identify self-limiting patterns, enabling us to break free from repetitive cycles and embrace new opportunities for growth.

Read this article from Positive Psychology and establish a nurturing relationship to your life. Increase your life satisfaction and happiness with the power of positive psychology.

A few Thoughts on Limiting Beliefs…

Instead of avoiding feeling the discomfort of your limiting beliefs, try to lean into them. Listen attentively to why you are feeling a certain way – and where your limiting self-beliefs are coming from.

More often than not, these limiting beliefs are a way of your subconscious mind to try and protect you (protect you from shame, embarrassment and discomfort).

Keep a journal for introspection and self-reflection. You’ll be amazed by how awesome you are – and by some things that may unfold throughout the process.

Stay curious and give yourself the time to need while at the same time pushing your limits that little bit further every day. Happy growing 🙂

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