How Limiting Beliefs Affect Self-Esteem and Ways to Eliminate Them

Print Self esteem is a sensitive issue and something that we rarely discuss with other people. Beliefs play a vital role in the manner that you take on tasks and what you achieve. What you believe forms the basis for your self-esteem which then drives you towards achieving your goals.

Not all of us, unfortunately, are blessed with high self-esteem. For some of us, it is a little more difficult to believe that we can achieve certain goals.

What Are Self-Limiting Thoughts?
When you have low self esteem you fall prey to self limiting thoughts. We can be our own worst critics sometimes and it is this behaviour that becomes a barrier and slows us down. A self-limiting thought is usually a false perception that we have come to accept about ourselves.

These beliefs always stem from experience usually singular which may then affect future actions.

When you continue to tell yourself that there is something that you can’t do then you probably won’t be able to do it. Self-limiting thoughts are the other side of the coin when trying to strive for success. Rather than aspiring to succeed, you avoid failure and by keeping the fear of failure a primary thought, you limit yourself from succeeding.

Stop These Thoughts
Self-limiting thoughts turn you into your own worst enemy. It may be hard to believe, but you hold the power to control them within yourself. Take charge of your thoughts. You have all the tools you need in order to reach your goals. All you need to do is learn how to use them.

Understand Your Belief
Self doubt can be crippling and may lead to more problems as you progress through life. In order to rid yourself of self-limiting thoughts, you need to understand why you’re feeling the way you are. Can you think of a particular event that started this belief? A belief is usually an absolute truth that we believe about ourselves without really rationalizing our thoughts. This is just what is needed at this point. If you tell yourself you’re not good enough, then you need to rationalize that thought.

Identify the Source of Your Belief
Most of our self limiting beliefs stem form childhood. These beliefs then evolve over time and can actually begin to fester in our head becoming barriers to success. Identify why you believe a certain idea. If the belief is associated with a childhood memory then allow yourself to let it go. As time progresses you need to understand that the perceptions of a child may not necessarily be accurate.

Find a Counter Argument
Low self esteem can feel like an inner battle and self limiting thoughts are the ammo that it uses against you. This is the time when you need to start fighting back. For every negative thought that you have, think of a positive one. If you believe that there is something you can’t do, remind yourself of other milestones that you have reached. Allow yourself to feel better about who you are.

Identify how This Belief Has Limited You
Remember all the instances when a self limiting thought stopped you from going for what you wanted. Remember how you felt at that point. Writing things down helps make situations a little more real.
Understand just how much the fear and doubt has been holding you back from reaching your potential. This will allow you to see the pain accumulated as a result of this thought. Once you realize the pain that the belief has caused, you will not want to feel it again.

Don’t Feed the Monster
Thoughts have the ability to build up on their own and can fester and grow in your head. As these self limiting thoughts evolve, they can take over your life and keep you from not only succeeding but also from performing daily activities. If you give power to a thought, you will allow it to take over you. Refuse to give power to something that can have negative effect on your life.

Alternative Meaning
Criticism from outside sources may often have an effect on our self esteem. While we cannot control that which others say to us, we do have control over how we choose to perceive it. Someone may tell you that you are a bad cook but that does not necessarily mean that everything that you cook is bad based on the one dish that they happened to taste. Instead of blaming yourself for not being good enough, assign alternative thoughts to the situation. Self blame can be very easy but it is the root cause of self limiting thoughts. Tell yourself that taste is an entirely subjective matter and they may not have liked your cooking based on a difference of taste.

Visualize the Belief
Visualizing the belief can be done in two ways. Close your eyes and concentrate on the self limiting thought. First you can tell yourself to let go of the self limiting belief. Give it a physical weight in your mind. Assign it a physical image in your head and feel it fading away. As it moves away from you in your vision you will feel the weight of it being removed from your senses.
Additionally, you then need to replace the thought with a positive one.

Visualize yourself succeeding at the very thing that you tell yourself that you cannot do. Go for all the bells and whistles in your imagination and truly see yourself in that position of success. This will allow you to focus more on working towards success rather than trying to avoid failure.

While dispelling negative and self limiting thoughts is not an easy task, it is something that needs to be done in order to improve the quality of your life. Eliminating self doubt takes concentration, hard work and commitment. Once you eliminate these doubts you will find yourself a happier person who will be able to work more effectively towards their goals.