How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs

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CM Learning | How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs

We all have dreams and goals we want to achieve, whether it's advancing in our careers, improving our relationships or striving to become a better version of ourselves yet often, there's something holding us back: limiting beliefs.

These limiting beliefs are the little voices in our heads that tell us we’re not good enough, smart enough or worthy enough to succeed. Here’s the good news: you can learn how to overcome limiting beliefs and unlock your true potential. Let’s dive into how.

What are limiting beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are the assumptions or convictions we hold about ourselves and our capabilities. They’re the “I can’t” statements that pop into our heads whenever we’re faced with a new challenge or potential opportunity. They can come from past – often formative – experiences, societal expectations or the influence of people around us.

The impact of limiting beliefs (credit: Planio)

Here are a few common examples:

    • “I’m not smart enough to start my own business.”
    • “I’m not good enough to lead this meeting.”
    • “I’m too old to learn something new.”
    • “I’ll never be able to lose weight.”
    • “I’m useless at drawing.”
    • “I’m not good enough to be giving this presentation.”
    • “I’m not talented enough to get that promotion.”
    • “I’m not confident enough to be a great manager.”

    These beliefs act like mental roadblocks, preventing us from taking action and achieving our goals.

    Identifying your limiting beliefs

    The first step in learning how to overcome limiting beliefs is to identify them. Pay attention to the thoughts that cross your mind when you think about your goals. Do you notice any negative patterns?

      Liming Beliefs (credit: The Clearing)
      • Self-reflection: Take some time to write down your thoughts about your abilities and goals. Be honest with yourself.
      • Feedback from others: Sometimes, friends or mentors can see limiting beliefs that we might be blind to. Ask for their observations.
      • Mindful self-care: Practice being present and aware of your thoughts, especially in challenging situations. Notice when you default to a negative belief.

      Challenging your limiting beliefs

      Once you’ve identified your limiting beliefs, it’s time to challenge them. Here’s how you can do that:

      1. Question the belief: Ask yourself, “Is this belief really true?” Often, you’ll find that it’s based on subjective assumptions rather than objective facts. Our brain is brilliant at convincing us that even the imagined is real.
      2. Look for evidence: Find examples that contradict your belief. For instance, if you think you’re not smart enough, try to recall times where you successfully learned something new or solved a difficult challenge.
      3. Reframe the belief: Work towards a growth mindset by turning your limiting belief into a positive one. Instead of saying, “I’ll never be able to do this,” try, “I might struggle at first, but I can learn and improve” or “I’m not as good as I want to be…yet!”

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      Replacing limiting beliefs with empowering ones

      Challenging your limiting beliefs is crucial, but you also need to replace them with empowering beliefs. Here are a few strategies:

      • Affirmations: Create positive statements that reflect your new beliefs and repeat them daily. For example, “I am capable of achieving my goals.”
      • Visualisation: Picture yourself succeeding. Visualisation can help reinforce your new beliefs and make them feel more real.
      • Surround yourself with positivity: Spend time with people who encourage and support you. Their positive energy can help you adopt new, empowering beliefs.

      Taking action

      Beliefs alone won’t change your life, you need to take action. Start by setting small, achievable goals that align with your new beliefs. Each success can reinforce your confidence and weaken your old, limiting beliefs. Here’s how to get started.

      Liming Belief Quote (credit: The Power of One Girl)
      1. Set SMART goals: Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
      2. Break it down: Divide your goal into smaller, manageable tasks. This makes it less overwhelming and more attainable.
      3. Celebrate progress: Acknowledge and celebrate every small win. This boosts motivation and helps cement your new beliefs.

      Staying committed

      Learning how to overcome limiting beliefs is a continuous process. Here’s how to stay committed:

      • Regular check-ins: Periodically review your progress and adjust your strategies as needed.
      • Stay flexible: Understand that setbacks are part of the journey. Learn from them and keep moving forward.
      • Seek support: Don’t hesitate to seek help from a coach or mentor. They can provide guidance and keep you accountable.

      Learning how to overcome limiting beliefs can be tough yet a powerful step towards achieving your goals and realising your full potential. By identifying, challenging and replacing these beliefs and by taking consistent action, you can break free from their grip and unlock your true potential. The journey to overcoming limiting beliefs starts with a single step.

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