At different points in our lives, we’ve all felt fear. Maybe you had fear that you weren’t going to be able to pass a class in college. Maybe you had fear that you weren’t going to be good enough to get the job. Or maybe you thought that you had a personal flaw that would ruin a relationship. Fear is normal, and it is something that we can overcome on the path to success. But sometimes we let fear and self-doubt fester and turn into self-limiting beliefs. These kinds of beliefs are particularly dangerous to our success because they stop us from striving to be great. They prevent us from trying to reach our full potential.
What Are Self-Limiting Beliefs?
It is important to recognize the difference between a belief rooted in fact and a self-limiting belief. A belief rooted in fact would be something such as, “space shuttles can leave Earth’s gravity because of propulsion,” or “humans don’t have gills, so they can’t breathe underwater.” Those are factual claims that can be backed up by evidence. Self-limiting beliefs are not backed up by evidence, but we pretend that they. An example of a self-limiting belief might be “I’ll never find a career that I’ll enjoy,” or “I’ll never have the determination to get my Master’s degree.” Those aren’t factual statements. They are fears and self doubt that we allowed to fester too long.
Why Are Self-Limiting Beliefs Dangerous?
Self-limiting beliefs are dangerous because they assume two things: one, that we are unbearably flawed, and two, that there is nothing we can do to change those flaws. If we believe these self-limiting beliefs, ultimately we stop trying to improve and better ourselves altogether. That’s why self-limiting beliefs are dangerous—not because they are true or false, but because they take away our drive and our will to get better.
How To Remove Self-Limiting Beliefs From Your Life
Self-limiting beliefs can be difficult to tackle, especially if they become ingrained in your mentality. But you can remove them from your life. Self-limiting beliefs are rooted in fear, and if you face that fear, you can move past them. For example, your self-limiting belief might be that you’ll never get over your fear of public speaking, so you shouldn’t take a public speaking class. By facing the fear (you can practice at home, practice in front of a few friends first) you can build up the confidence necessary to not only take the class, but to take it and succeed. Don’t let self-limiting beliefs become a prophecy. You can face your fears and overcome them.