The way we as individuals view the world is purely our own. Nobody sees us in the same way that others do. We have the broadest insight into who we are of anyone out there. How is it then that we can often be so wrong about ourselves?
Here’s what I mean by that. We have a certain view of the world, things that we like, ways in which we handle situations, opinions on what qualities a president should have, what makes us happy in our relationships and so on. What isn’t as clear is that we have a very strong and ingrained set of beliefs about ourselves. It could be positive things such as I’m a dependable friend or I’m a good listener. The problem is that we can also have beliefs about ourselves that are immensely limiting. Anything that starts with “I can’t _____” or “I’m not good at _____”. Sound familiar? In most cases no one other than ourselves has told us this. It’s a belief that we have about ourselves that perhaps no one else shares. The damage that this does is it hold us back from being our best selves. Self limiting beliefs are in some way a kind of protective layer that keeps us on a very narrow path and there is some security and comfort to be found in that. That’s about the only good thing I can say about this.
A good starting point is too realize that we all have these kinds of potentially damaging self imposed limitations. Once we acknowledge that we can start to look for them and then question why we have them in the first place. Perhaps some beliefs we have are well founded and have been properly explored and that’s the conclusion we’ve been led to through trial and error. More often than not though, these beliefs are purely random and have some foundation in our past or our overall satisfaction with who we are and where we are in life. I invite you to take a close look and write down 4 or 5 beliefs you have about yourself and really dig into them and why you have them. Don’t look to justify the belief (we’re very good at that), but rather where the belief came from in the first place. Ask yourself if it is truly valid. When possible, find a way to challenge yourself and the belief.
Like I said above, many times our beliefs keep us safe in some fashion. The best versions of ourselves invariably lie outside of that comfort zone though. Don’t let a self limiting belief trap you. Try it out. See what happens. Let me know about your results.