When you’re about to pursue a new opportunity, what immediately comes into your mind? Do you feel excited and eager to get cracking? Or do you take a moment and ask yourself, wait, can I really do this?
Such self-limiting thoughts can be detrimental to your success. You may not realise, but self-limiting beliefs are holding you back from moving toward your most successful self.
Self-limiting beliefs are simply your thoughts around what you believe is and is not possible. Some times it's very hard to see beyond your comfort zone, and so it becomes difficult to realise your own potential. If you feel something in your life is amiss, something meaningful, something that has really big potential, then you have to fact on it and let these thoughts go so you can really move forward.
Here are five self-limiting beliefs that prevent us from pursuing our dreams:
1. Self-limiting beliefs about self-value
"I would like to be (doctor/lawyer/artist/author) BUT (excuse such as - I can't do it/I don't know how to do it/I'd probably fail if I tried/ I don't have the education/I don't have any experience).”
Many of us think that we are not worthy of something great, that we are not deserving. We hide in the shadows afraid that if we feel too good about ourselves, people will start thinking how conceited we are and shoot us down.
But really, confidence in yourself is an essential ingredient to success. You have to trust your own greatness and believe that you can achieve anything you put your mind into. You may feel like you don’t have the knowledge or the experience to achieve your goals. But you can knock these obstacles out of the way by learning through experience, collaborating with experts, and using information readily available online.
2. Self-limiting beliefs about comfort zone and security
"I've got security where I am."
Success requires you to take that giant leap of faith and move out of your comfort zone. We’ve become too comfortable, unwilling to see what’s on the other side of fear. Yes, the risks are there—risks of failing, risk of challenging financial security. But how about the risk of not doing something, of not fully utilising your potential, of not chasing your dream?
How will you feel if you don't at least try to achieve your goals and dreams? For me personally, the risk of feeling regret for the things I didn't try, is far more horrible than the possibility that things might not go to plan!
3. Self-limiting beliefs about competition.
"That market is saturated".
"The field is already overcrowded".
"People in that field are standing on top of each other"
The reality is, competition is good - it means there is a market for the skills you seek to sell!
Instead, look around at who is out there. If people are getting paid, then this means you can too. If people are getting paid what you truly desire, then use this as a tool to strengthen your mindset, tell yourself, 'if that guy can earn that much, there's no reason why I can't earn that much too'. Then set a goal to increase your income in steps until you reach your goal!
4. Self-limiting beliefs about parental influence.
Many young people explain their career choice saying, "I'd really like to work in something else, but my parents want me to do this." Most parents don't deliberately pressure their children work in a specific field. They simply want their children to have more success than perhaps they experienced.
In my case, my dad just didn't want me to experience poverty, which he had grown up in. He worked excessively hard to create his multi-million dollar businesses, yet still held a scarcity mindset around money. He didn't want to see me as a struggling author, he perceived writing as a vocation that would never make me money. And in a way he was right, however the additional skills I have, allow me to combine my passion with other passions so I can make money to enjoy the lifestyle I want for myself and my family.
In most cases, both the parent and child's main objectives are for career success for the young person. So it's more healthy to talk about how you can be successful in a career or business you enjoy!
5. Self-limiting beliefs around family.
"I should have pursued this years ago, but now I've got a family, so it's not going to happen."
"I can't (travel the world/start a business/write a book/live abroad/go to university) because I have children."
This last one pains me so much. As a society, many of us are conditioned to believe certain opportunities are not available to anyone with children. For me personally, I was affected quite deeply by these limitations. I was a very young mother, I had only recently turned 24 when I became a single mother of two children under two years of age. For a time, I was ruled by these beliefs, and hung up many of my dreams. Fortunately, I pushed beyond my limitations, I wrote my dreams as goals, and as time has gone on, I've overcome those limiting beliefs. The more I began to believe in the possibilities, the closer they became to my reality!
My 10-year goal of traveling the world was set in 2010. I expected it would be a 10-year plan. When I kicked into belief mode it was 2015. Two and a half years of solid planning and saving will make this a reality for us in 2018.Which self-limiting beliefs are stopping you from reaching your dreams?
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