Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you are right.”
Your thoughts have incredible power to build your reality. Think about it. Have you ever been excited to start something, writing a book, for example, and suddenly there’s a critic in your head that begins lobbing nasty things at you?
“Who are you to write a book? You don’t know anything about this. You’re not a writer. You’re going to fail. You should just give up,” the voice whispers. And then eventually you do give up.
Our words can be life handcuffs, keeping us in place or they can help us soar.
This is all at the heart of what self-limiting beliefs are. If you’re not familiar with self-limiting beliefs, basically, they are those things that we tell ourselves are true, yet are functioning as a wall of excuses. Excuses to not try. Excuses to stay safe. Excuses to avoid potential pain of failure.
The good news? You can break your self-limiting beliefs by practicing mindfulness.
Here’s an exercise: for a full day, note either on your phone or a piece of paper the number of times you think “I can’t do it.” What’s your daily count?
Start paying attention to your self-talk. If it’s not something you would say to a friend why would you say it to yourself? Here’s the thing, these beliefs can be ingrained in who you are and you have to consciously tear apart reality from the belief. Writing is a great tool for doing just that. Even if it’s for five minutes a day, write down your self-limiting beliefs.
The most important step is to get these beliefs out of your head. Identify them so that you can kill them. Some won’t die easily, so you’ll have to be an active participant in your recovery, diligently countering the negative self-talk that leads to these beliefs. But this is totally doable. It can change your life.