As soon as a baby is born, it starts collecting impressions about everyone and everything it sees and comes in touch with. These impressions form the basis for the belief system as it grows up, together with the information gathered from trusted people in their lives.
Being human, we can all form wrong impressions or gather incorrect ideas from others. Even if we believe them to be true, they are universally accepted as mistaken beliefs. Since our actions and words are based on our beliefs, having erroneous beliefs may lead us on the wrong path.
And often this can have disastrous consequences in our interaction with others or in our pursuit of goals. Unless prompted, a person never evaluates their belief system for rights and wrongs.
So, now the question before us is how to identify the harmful beliefs in our belief system?
Harmful beliefs are referred to as limiting beliefs as they limit our potential to grow. These are mental blocks that hold us back and prevent us from reaching our goals.
This article details the top 10 limiting beliefs that are considered the most destructive and toxic. Unfortunately, these are also commonly found in regular people. The first step is to identify the existence of these beliefs. Only then it is possible to eliminate them or replace them with positive ones.
What are limiting beliefs?
When a belief in your belief system is preventing you from progressing in life, it can be classified as a limiting belief. It is a conviction or a state of mind that tells you negative things about yourself, your abilities, or your chances of succeeding in your efforts.
Limiting beliefs can restrict you from taking on new paths or opportunities, choosing the better options, and making good decisions so that the probability of realizing your dreams is brighter. These negative thoughts can prompt you to let go of the opportunities that open up in your path.
For example, a limiting belief like “I can’t find love” can restrict you from entering the dating scene. When you are not even trying to achieve something you really want, how can you expect it to happen at all? This is what limiting beliefs can do to you.
How can limiting beliefs harm you?
Most of us are not aware of the kind of beliefs we have collected in our belief system. However, we all rely on these beliefs in our everyday activities. We should be more concerned about the hidden negative beliefs as they can change the course of our lives. Let’s understand this through examples of self-limiting beliefs.
Consider the situation when you want to make lots of money to have a hassle-free life. There are legitimate ways to earn money and as far as anyone can see there is no problem in going ahead with this plan. However, you seem to have a limiting belief that whispers in your ear that it’s selfish to wish for lots of money. Or that you are incapable of acquiring big money. Or that money is the root of evil and can corrupt your mind.
When there is a clash of beliefs in your mind, you need to wait out and see who wins. It is often the negative belief as they tend to be much stronger and more powerful than the positive ones. So, what happens, in the end, is that you will abandon your dream of making lots of money.
Ultimately you lose out on opportunities to make it big and realize your potential.
The story is the same for other limiting beliefs.
Common Self-limiting beliefs
In childhood, you may have acquired limiting beliefs from your parents. The ones you accumulated as an adult are mostly limiting beliefs about money, love, or self-worth. Here is a list of the top ten limiting beliefs to help you identify yours.
- I can’t.
- I am not smart/good enough.
- I will never be able to do this.
- I don’t have time.
- I am not good at money matters.
- I am a failure in relationships.
- I don’t have the expertise or experience to succeed.
- I will be judged.
- I always fail. So, this time I will.
- I don’t deserve to be happy or successful.
The running theme in these negative beliefs is your lack of self-belief. Limiting beliefs about self-worth are the most harmful and also the most difficult to get rid of. These behind-the-scenes demons will come out of the dark corners of your mind without your knowledge, wreak havoc in your lives, and go back to their safe positions, waiting for the next opportunity to strike.
Destructive they sure are but if you decide to uproot them from your mind, there is nothing these toxic beliefs can do about it. And that is the only way to get rid of them.
How to overcome self-limiting beliefs?
To let go of limiting beliefs is no easy task, especially if these are core limiting beliefs. One of the time-tested methods to achieve this seemingly impossible task is to replace them with positive beliefs.
If you have ever tried getting rid of beliefs, limiting or otherwise, you will know how hard it can be. And how your limiting belief will evade your attempts like an expert con artist.
On the other hand, try leaving these negative beliefs alone and focus on the exact opposite. As these positive alternatives grow roots in your mind, the limiting beliefs will be left with no option but to leave your mind.
This simple, yet effective technique is often used in therapies to help you overcome limiting beliefs. You can take help from affirmations to cement the position of the positive statements in your mind.
Identifying, accepting, and acknowledging limiting thoughts is the first step in regaining control of your mind. When trying to rid yourself of it, you can expect a good deal of resistance from these destructive thoughts. They may use every trick in the book to escape being caught.
It is an accepted fact that negative beliefs are hard to eliminate from your mind. However, don’t let this discourage you from initiating action. If you do nothing, you are losing out on multiple fronts every single day.
Are you limited by what you believe? Are you stuck in a mental box where you’re sure your life will never change? Do you think that there’s a limit on what you can do and achieve? – Download this limiting beliefs worksheet today and start your journey of self-awareness!