We all have plenty of limiting beliefs that keep us stuck in life. A vast majority of them are unconscious, so we don’t even realize that they run our lives.
A limiting belief is an inmost persuasion that you can’t be, do, or have something.
The limiting beliefs about yourself and your life have been formed over your life, and thus they’re very deeply seated in the way you think. It’s not easy to recognize them at first.
You can read about how the subconscious mind works in the previous article.
I want to share with you the 5 most common limiting beliefs that I’ve noticed during my coaching practice. Although the list of limiting beliefs is literally bottomless, these are the ones that many people struggle with.
The 5 most common limiting beliefs
1. I’m not happy now, but if I try harder I surely will be
The almost instant reaction to feeling unhappy is to suppress it by doing more. We’ve trained ourselves to believe that if we push harder and do all the things we’re supposed to, we will be happy. One day.
But this is a competition that you can’t win. By speeding up your life, it doesn’t make these feelings to go away. Whatever you suppress will wait for you. Even for years. But it always comes back when you let yourself off the guard.
No amount of effort to run away from what you dislike about yourself can make you happier.
Finding contentment in life isn’t a matter of future or luck. It’s about allowing yourself to get to know the true you. To embrace your dreams and the wishes of your heart. And then permitting yourself to follow what you love.
It doesn’t happen overnight. Because we’ve been conditioned to believe in many unhealthy beliefs and many of us have also felt restricted by the expectations of others about our lives. You might not change the way you live entirely right now.
But connecting with your heart and being honest about what you desire, need, and love will create a powerful shift.
2. They can be successful but I can’t because …
Creating the special cases is the master trick of the ego (the unhealed part of the mind). We like to think that everything is much easier or less painful for others.
We may secretly think about others; “they can overcome poverty and create an abundant life. It’s easy for her to have a loving relationship while I’m still heartbroken. It’s easy for him to quit his job and create a successful business but I can’t do the same.”
I’m sorry to burst your illusion, but you’re not special. Neither anyone else is.
The life isn’t about getting everything served on a silver plate. It’s about evolving, growing, and self-mastery that leads you to anything you want.
If there is something, you want then set your mind and heart to it. Don’t tell yourself that everyone can but you. This limiting belief about yourself and your abilities hurts you more than you realize.
3. I don’t have enough time
The “I don’t have enough time” limiting belief is my “favorite.” I hear this way too often, and after a closer look I find out that the person watches TV for 2 hours a day or scroll the news feed for 1 hour before going to sleep.
We all have the same amount of time. So how is it possible that some people can achieve so incredibly much while others never have enough time?
The perception of time and the way we work with it is just in our minds.
It’s more empowering to say to yourself: “this is my priority and what I choose to do over other things.” Because this is much closer to the truth than telling yourself that you don’t have enough time.
The language you use while talking to yourself is powerful.
We don’t have to be superhumans who keep doing something all the time. This is not what I mean. But if there is something that you know would improve your life then it’s worth the effort.
4. I don’t have any passions
Another limiting belief about yourself is the conviction that you don’t have any passions. Some people would love to start their own business or at least invest their time in a new hobby, but they don’t feel particularly called to anything.
I’ve always been a very passionate person. I have the opposite problem which is to prioritize my passions. But after working 1-on-1 with people, I’ve realized that not everyone feels the same intensity.
While others don’t feel so overly excited and thus they dismiss their passions as not so important because they compare the way others feel about it.
The way you feel is unique to you. So learn to listen to your body and observe how you feel when you’re happy, excited, and so on.
Understand the language of your feelings.
If you’re still unsure what you’d like to do then write a list of all the things you’d love to do before you die. And then pick one and start doing it. You’ll better realize what your passions are in the process of doing something you enjoy.
5. I’d love to do XYZ, but they wouldn’t like it
Well, here we come to the biggest self-sabotaging belief ever. I think that we all have been there. Limiting ourselves because of someone else.
In fact, I used to be very good at it. I’ve always known what exactly I wanted, but I wouldn’t allow myself to do it because of someone else. I felt terribly restricted by people in my environment. Of course, they didn’t do it purposely to keep me stuck. But it didn’t matter because I felt stuck anyway.
I was afraid to hurt their feelings – which happened anyway – so by playing nice, I only prolonged the pain for all of us.
It took me some time to realize that when I hold myself back because of someone else, then I can do it only for so long. Eventually, I can’t continue any longer and then the shock is greater than if I would have fought for my dreams from the beginning.
We can’t buy love and approval of others.
Moreover, if they expect us to do what they want, then it’s not the right people to waste our lives for.
PS. If you have many limiting beliefs, then question their truthfulness. Don’t assume that every thought you repeat to yourself is true. Because most of them are not.
Rather than doubting yourself, doubt what your mind tells you to be true.