Self-limiting beliefs: Fear induced feelings of deep psychological underpinnings of our personality that hinder the life we desire.
Hiding in the undying need for acceptance?
Lacking confidence in your ability?
Intimidated by the thought of great success?
Whether you’ve concluded that you’re not intelligent or you’ve decided you’re not comfortable in public settings, those beliefs will stick because of a psychological principle is known as “belief perseverance.” And self-limiting beliefs love “belief perseverance.”
Belief perseverance is the propensity for you to carry your beliefs as true, even when ample evidence exists to discredit the belief. Even worse, when faced with evidence that contradicts your beliefs, you choose to discredit, dismiss, misinterpret, or place faith in this contradictory information.
Self-limiting beliefs deal in beliefs about you. Easy to conceptualize examples of self-impressions include your beliefs about your raw intelligence, athletic ability, and personality. For example, you may think your ability to present company material in public is substandard despite the fact that you are regarded as the point person for delivering great presentations.
Once you believe something, especially a belief about yourself, you’ll filter out evidence to the contrary. Furthermore, once you’ve developed a core belief, you’ll pay very close attention to any evidence that reinforces your belief.
When we argue for our limitations, we get to keep them. -- Evelyn Waugh, Artist and Educator
So if someone who believes she’s poor in public gives nineteen great presentations but struggles in one, she’ll conclude the one failed presentation serves as further proof she’s not fit to present company material (as opposed to thinking the nineteen successful presentations may mean she thrives in front of people).
“Self-limiting beliefs are everywhere and a part of all of us, to greater or lesser degree,” says Bruce Frankel, author of What Should I Do With the Rest of My Life? He continues, “the keys to overcoming many of these are recognizing them, understanding how we got them, and then banishing them through sustained activity.”
Not convinced you have a mild to severe case of self-limiting beliefs? Take a look around to get a self-diagnosed check-up. Frankel continues, “Jealousy, envy and anger about what others do or accomplish are also good indicators of someone stunted by self-limiting beliefs.”
If you take a good, honest look at what your self-limiting beliefs, you’ll realize that they all take root in the insecurity of rejection. And rejection shares a bed with failure.
Anticipate Your “Aha” Moments
“Aha” moments are not something reserved for Silicon Valley minds and New York City Entrepreneurs. Rather, they are special entities of those that act on their deeply personal visions of success. Yes, it’s as simple as that.
If you can grapple knowing that rejection is merely the means to an end, you will firmly believe that rejection is not end. Rather, it’s simply the beginning of a course change.
Rejection is part and parcel of life. Every ‘no’ will lead me closer to a ‘yes.'
When this happens, we realize that fear is necessary. Because it’s the crucial next step into the vast and fantastic realm of “aha” moments that we find the beauty in the cyclical nature of ourselves.
You may suffer incredible setbacks like entrepreneur and digital expert Chelsea Krost did after watching years of hard work diminish rapidly in just 6 months. You may fail to bust through psychological walls like Co-Founder/COO of hot start-up Door of Clubs, Adam Rosen. Even the best in the young entrepreneurship struggled with failure -- Kristen Hadeed did when 75% of her workforce quit on the same day.
The best version of yourself has self-limiting beliefs. The difference lies in the intermediate steps of acting on those beliefs. Essentially, the cognitive effort to “keep going” is the only way to terminate these beliefs.
It’s in the perseverance in the physical world that can suppress the belief perseverance in our mental world, sown down in the depths of our minds.