Your beliefs affect your behaviour whether you’re conscious of them or not.
They’re like a set point on a thermostat, pass that set point and your brain tries to keep you in your comfort zone.
This limits you in every way imaginable and it’s how these beliefs get the common term of ‘self-limiting beliefs’.
Since your brain likes the familiar (aka your comfort zone) it will attempt to sabotage you unconsciously every time you to try to step out of it.
The reason for this is in our past. Way back when our survival was based on our ability to avoid danger. The unknown is definitely seen by the brain as dangerous. Even though you don’t like in fear for your life (I’m hoping) our brains still haven’t shaken this behaviour. So we still look for things that will harm us physically or emotionally.
Nor are we ever taught to how to enjoy not feeling anxious and on guard. We are constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because we always believe that good things aren’t meant to last. Our brain can’t help but shove negative feelings and memories at us when we start to feel too good.
I wanted to take a look at how limiting beliefs affect your behaviour towards others and towards yourself.
Let’s start with how limiting beliefs affect how you interact with others.
Other people that we meet in our everyday lives can easily trigger the self-limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves. Sometimes a compliment from a well-meaning friend or even a total stranger can be hard to accept because we hold a belief that we’re not worthy of it. We brush off those compliments because it’s hard for us to enjoy the attention, especially if we feel like we don’t deserve it.
Many of us can’t accept help or even ask for it because we hold a belief that we should be strong enough to do it on our own. I admit this is a powerful self-limiting belief for me and something I’m constantly working on. I have always struggled to accept help from others because I felt that I should be able to do it by myself. If I can’t, then there must be something wrong with me. This benefited me in some ways as a child, it made me determined and stubborn to achieve things and I enjoyed the challenge of school. But as I got older, I became aware of how this belief became one of my biggest downfalls. I’ve struggled to do stuff because I felt like it would be a failure to ask for help. I’ve reinvented the wheel time and time again, wasting so much energy because I couldn’t bring myself to be ok with asking for assistance and support.
There are too many ways that self-limiting beliefs influence how you interact with others for me to share here. But I’m sure if you take just a second to look back over your day, you’ll be able to find at least one example of how one of your own limiting beliefs has reared it’s ugly head today.
When it comes to our behaviour towards ourselves and own growth, these limiting beliefs become even more powerful in stopping you from getting to where you want to be. They rob you of opportunities to learn, take on new challenges and push past your limits.
It might be that you’re not aware of the limiting belief but more of the consequences which you can see emerging from your own thoughts repeatedly. To compound this problem our brain is looking for evidence to reinforce the limiting beliefs because it seeks familiarity.
Just to hit this point home here’s a few examples that might be familiar to you.
- you feel like you can’t be artistic because you were shit at art in school
- you don’t bother setting goals because experience has shown you in the past you don’t take action on them
- you tell yourself you’re not good at meeting new people because you fear the anxiety that the unknown brings
A limiting belief that I’m currently working on is the belief that I’m not consistent enough to ever achieve anything. I used it as an excuse for everything, especially when I wanted to learn a new skill. To explain this belief in other words – I realised that I held a belief that I could never be good at anything because I can’t stick will it! This one belief alone sets me up to fail on everything!
If you hold a belief similar to this, it’s going to stop you enjoying new hobbies, new experiences, new relationships. Let just be blunt, it’s going to cause problems in all areas of your life because your brain is primed to make you fail.
I’d love to hear any limiting beliefs that you’ve uncovered lately, what were they stopping you from doing?
We’re you even aware that you had any, and if there was one limiting belief that you’d love to banish, what would it be?
Want to feel better right now? Download our easy ways to feel better checklist here