The big 4 Self Limiting Beliefs:
What’s holding you back from truly “going after” the life you want? Time? Money? Energy? I’d argue that it’s NONE of those things. In fact, it’s very likely you’ve got an underlying self limiting belief that is holding you back. Yep! There are four main blocks that often prevent people from going “all in” on themselves: “I am fundamentally flawed,” “There is loss in the gain,” “I will become a burden” and “I can’t outshine others.” Why is that such a big deal? Studies show that people who have a fixed mindset (i.e. the belief that their abilities and traits are set in stone and cannot be changed) are less likely to seek out challenging opportunities and may not achieve their full potential. Which belief do you identify with (and how do you let it go?) – let’s explore the limiting beliefs list, shall we
1. I am fundamentally flawed
Belief #1 is: “I am fundamentally flawed.” Not sure what that even means? – at the heart of this limiting belief is the idea that somehow….you missed the manual. Everyone else seems to be “nailing it” and you’ve somehow been left in the dust….unhappy, unfulfilled, uninspired.
You’ll know this belief is living in your subconscious mind, if you often find yourself COMPARING yourself to others….and beating yourself up, for “falling short.”
How does this belief hold you back? It either: (a) prevents you from doing anything outside your comfort zone (“eeeek I’m totally gonna fail! I have no idea what I’m doing”)….OR….(b) keeps you in a constant state of fear that you’ll be “found out” for being a fraud (“this is definitely gonna fail….I just don’t have what it takes”).
This belief often results in perpetual professional development – books, courses, podcasts, workshops…..which ultimately = procrasti-learning. And it often pops up when you start something new.
So, what can you do to let go of this belief, and shift your mindset?
The BIG QUESTION I’d like you to ask yourself is: “Is it true?” Question the belief itself, and start getting curious about its “true-ness.”
Are you actually missing something? Are you truly flawed?
Or is it more likely that we are all uniquely made….and that everyone on the planet actually has the same potential, when we tap into our greatest strengths and gifts?
Is someone else actually living the “perfect life?” Does everyone else truly have it all together?
Or is it more likely that everyone has struggles and challenges that we may not even be aware of, no matter how perfect their lives appear on the surface?
If this is hitting home….I want to remind you that you’re not alone. This belief is universal. And it’s something that MANY of us struggle with.
But something to remember is, once you start shining a light on your limiting beliefs and focus on developing a growth mindset….it’s like popping a bubble with a feather….those beliefs disappear, and it allows you to MOVE FORWARD!
2. There is Loss in the Gain
Belief #2 that often holds you back from truly “going after” the life you want is: “there is loss in the gain.” Meaning….if you succeed, You’re going to outgrow the people in your life. In fact, you’re going to be downright disloyal to your tribe. You may even have to sacrifice time, energy and resources. And goodness knows, you’re already exhausted.
Sound like something that might be rolling around in the back of your mind? Mmmmhhmmmmm. And if it is, I want you to ask yourself one question: At what cost?
What is it costing you to hold onto the status quo? What is it costing you to stay small? What is it costing you to let the comfort of other people dictate your reality? What is it costing you to NOT go after what you’re here to do?
So often we get STUCK in the weeds, obsessing about the things we may lose by pursuing our goals. But by focusing on the potential rewards and opportunities that come along with dream-chasing….you gain motivation, and the courage to take action and move forward.
How do you do that? One small mindset shift at a time. You don’t have to “rip the bandaid off” by quitting your job, selling your house, and moving to Costa Rica all at once (although…some days).
In fact, incremental changes will help you build the confidence to keep going.
Listen….there is no magic spell that will guarantee that everyone, and everything will STAY THE SAME as you grow bigger. Sometimes people, communities, and habits will fall away.
But when that happens, it simply means that you’re making space for something even more supportive and aligned.
The support you needed from your kindergarten teacher was different than the support you needed from your university prof – right?
Trust. As you evolve, you are always supported with exactly what you need.
3. I Will Become A Burden
Belief #3 is: “I will become a burden.” How does this belief play out? And where does it come from? Well, oftentimes this one stems back to childhood. And in my life, I can tell you that I believed I was a burden, from the moment I was born.
You see…..I have 3 siblings who are all significantly older than me. And so growing up, I believed that when I arrived on the scene, my parents were already “done” with parenting. I felt as if I was “a mistake.” And I told myself a story that I was keeping my parents from FULLY experiencing the next stage of their lives.
Did they ever TELL me I was a burden? No. Never. But my mindset was my reality.
The crazy part? Once a belief lays down track in your mind….it can start to trickle into other areas of your life. I started to notice myself holding back, or hesitating, or procrastinating, because…..I didn’t want to make things “more difficult” for other people. (hellooooooooo people-pleasers!)
Ready to let this one go? Ask yourself the question: Is there a time in your life when you felt like a burden?
Give it some thought. Reeeeaaaaal thought. And allow your brain do what it’s designed to do – look for a pattern. Get curious. Jot things down. And roll with it. Then! If you find that you HAVE felt like a burden…..I invite you to challenge that belief. And ask yourself a second question: “Is it true?”
I believe that each and every one of us has the potential to achieve greatness. But if you BELIEVE that you will be a burden to others, by going after your dreams…..you will hold yourself back.
The good news? Becoming the witness to your limiting beliefs, habits and thought patterns is the FIRST STEP to transforming your mindset.
4. I Can’t Outshine Others
The 4th and final belief that may be keeping you small is: “I can’t outshine others.” And I can tell you that when I was young, this was a big one for me.
You see, as a child, I absolutely LOVED math (still do!). And when I was in elementary school, I bleeeeeew through all my assignments. So much so, that I started going to Jr. High for math classes.
THEN when Jr. High hit….I started going to High School for math classes. I loved it! Until one day, someone said: “Oh ya….that Carri….she’s a brainiac….who does she think she is?!?” And that was a turning point for me.
From that point on, I still excelled….but I did it quietly, and I made sure nobody knew about it. I graduated high school early (quietly). I got 2 degrees in 3 years in college (quietly). And it was almost shameful – I felt like something was wrong with me, because of the gifts I had been given.
Can you relate? Did you ever feel like you had to dim your light, because it was too bright? Did you ever feel like you were outshining people around you?
Maybe it was a sibling or a parent who felt threatened by your success. Or maybe it was just something you internalized over time. Whatever the source, this limiting belief can have a profound impact on your life! It can make you feel as if you’re not allowed to be yourself, or that you have to hold back your natural talents in order to avoid making other people feel uncomfortable.
You might find yourself downplaying your accomplishments……or avoiding situations where you know you’ll excel, out of fear of being seen as “too much” or “too successful.” But here’s the thing….
There’s no such thing as “too much” or “too successful”. Your light is not something that needs to be dimmed or hidden away – it’s something to be celebrated and shared with the world. When you shine, you inspire others to shine too, and together you create a brighter, more vibrant world.
So if you find yourself holding back because of this limiting belief, it’s time to challenge it. Ask yourself: “Who told me I was shining too brightly?…..and how do they know?”
Acknowledge that this belief is not serving you, and that you have the power to change it. Then…..recognize that your success does not threaten anyone else’s, and that you have every right to be yourself, and share your gifts with the world. From there, take small steps towards embracing your true self and letting your light shine – whether that’s by speaking up in a meeting, pursuing a new hobby, or simply celebrating your accomplishments with pride.
You don’t have to burn yourself out to make others shine. When you let your true self shine through, you inspire others to do the same, and together you create a brighter, more beautiful world.
Take Action and Move Forward
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve learned that there are four self limiting beliefs that often hold people back from success: “I am fundamentally flawed,” “There is loss in the gain,” “I will become a burden” and “I can’t outshine others.” What’s the big deal? These beliefs often prevent people from taking risks, and seeking out challenging opportunities. To let go of these limiting beliefs and shift your mindset, it’s important to question their true-ness and get curious about them. Often, these beliefs stem from childhood experiences and comparing oneself to others. And hey! By focusing on the potential rewards and opportunities that come with pursuing goals, people can gain motivation and the courage to take action and move forward! It’s important to remember that as people evolve, they are always supported with exactly what they need.
Curious about going even further, and developing a strong growth mindset?
Take a look at the various mindset coaching services I offer and book a complimentary clarity call if you’d like to learn more about working with me.