Often, it is our limiting beliefs that stop us from achieving success. Read on to find out what limiting beliefs are blocking you and how to overcome them.
It sometimes feels like we will never achieve our dreams. We may feel it must be lack of talent, opportunity or hard work. But more likely, it is because we are holding limiting beliefs that prevent us from achieving success.
Limiting beliefs may not be conscious. Often we pick them up when we are children. We don’t know enough not to believe all that we are told by adults at this vulnerable stage of life. So, the things we learn then get stuck in our subconscious and continue to control our behaviours even once we consciously know better.
If you feel like you have tried everything and still not achieved your goals, you might have limiting beliefs that are blocking your success in life.
Limiting beliefs can affect all areas of our lives from financial security to our romantic attachments. Here are seven common limiting beliefs that could be controlling your life as well as some ways to overcome these beliefs and achieve the success you deserve.
1. I don’t deserve success in life
One of the most common subconscious beliefs is the idea that we don’t deserve happiness and success. We can pick up this belief in a variety of ways. For example, our parents may have criticised us for being demanding. They may even have made comments such as ‘I want doesn’t get’.
If we have been told that we do not deserve things as a child, directly or indirectly, we can grow up feeling that we don’t deserve things as adults too. We can pick up this idea from parents, teachers, peers and society as a whole. We may feel that we are ‘not the sort of people who succeed in life‘.
Another limiting belief that can get in our way is the idea that we should serve others and not seek success for ourselves. This can be a particular problem for women.
Learning to value ourselves is one way to overcome this limiting belief. Try writing down a list of all your good qualities and achievements. Spend as much with people who believe in you as you can and avoid people who are negative, critical and judgemental.
2. I can’t imagine myself as successful
In order for something to become a reality, we have to be able to imagine it first. So, if we want to achieve success in life, we have to be able to create it in our mind’s eye.
Henry Ford’s famous quote puts this perfectly.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
It is not always easy to imagine ourselves as wealthy or in a loving relationship or achieving our dreams. We can also struggle with conflicting ideas of what success means. For example, someone who had parents who were proud of working hard might subconsciously see struggling as something to be admired. This limiting belief can then block us because subconsciously, we are desiring struggle.
We can learn to imagine a better version of ourselves. It can help to start with a small goal, such as doing five minutes of exercise every day or learning something new. Spend some time imagining how the new version of you will look, behave and feel.
3. I can’t be my real self or I’ll be judged.
Often, we block our success by trying to fit someone else’s idea of who we should be. Again parents, teachers and society have certain expectations of us. They decide what choices are good and bad and we believe them. This makes us afraid to be ourselves for fear of being judged and found wanting. We worry that people will reject us unless we do what they want.
But we are all unique individuals and cannot be put in a box. Just because your parents want you to be a lawyer doesn’t mean you are a failure if you choose something else.
Yes, it hurts when people don’t accept us for who we are. But squeezing ourselves into someone else’s box would mean living our whole lives as a lie.
4. I can’t fall in love or I’ll get my heart broken.
The fear of rejection comes up even more in romantic relationships. In order to love, we have to be vulnerable to getting hurt, being rejected and maybe even having our hearts broken. Our subconscious fears about these possibilities can prevent us from being open to love.
In addition, we may have witnessed some dysfunctional relationships, perhaps our parents or other relatives, and the pain we have seen has left us with negative beliefs about what being in a relationship means. We may then sabotage our relationships because of these underlying fears and negative beliefs.
The best way we can overcome this limiting belief is by learning to love and accept ourselves. When we are not looking for someone else to make us whole, we can feel secure. This means that receiving love from others becomes a bonus rather than a need.
5. Success will change me
We can also have some limiting beliefs about how successful people behave. For example, we may have learned that rich people are greedy or that high achievers are egotistical and selfish. If we have these subconscious beliefs, we will naturally sabotage our success for fear that it will turn us into terrible people.
It may help to study the lives of people who are wealthy and successful but have remained generous and compassionate. If they can do it, so can we.
6. If I succeed it might take something away from others
For some reason, we seem to have the idea that there is only a certain amount of good things to go round. It’s as if there is a big pie that has to be shared out. If we have more, we fear someone will have less.
Of course, the world is not like this. There is plenty to go around. In addition, the more we have the more we can share and use to support the causes we care about.
Try writing a list of all the good things you will do with your wealth and abundance when it comes. Now give whatever time, money or other resources you can right now to get the flow of good things moving through your life.
7. Other people won’t like me if I am successful
We can sometimes be subconsciously afraid that if we become very successful, other people will not like us as much. We fear that they will be envious, jealous and judgemental. Perhaps some of our family and friends may abandon this new successful version of ourselves.
Often there is a ‘them and us’ attitude towards the rich, famous and successful. We want to stay on the side of us, even if this means never achieving our goals.
Ultimately, though, the people who are worth caring about will be delighted to see us successful and happy. Anyone who resents it is really not worth worrying about.
The first step to overcoming our limiting beliefs is becoming aware of them. Looking at the areas in your life that are not going as well as you would like will give you some clues.
If you are struggling with relationships, think about the ideas you have picked up about what being in a relationship means. If you are struggling financially, consider what beliefs may be holding you back from achieving the abundance you desire.