Be Bold and Overcome Your Self-Limiting Beliefs

By: Margo Kirtikar Phd
... I was stupid because I barely passed my exams at school and my sister was always the first in her class. I had my head in the clouds for most of my childhood and what was of interest to me was of no interest to anyone else. It hurt when I was called stupid and felt I was totally misunderstood because I did not believe I was stupid. With the time, however, what others believed me to be stuck with me and I began to doubt myself.

Many years later, meeting the challenges of adult life, I was surprised and pleased to discover that perhaps I was not so stupid after all, and then with great effort, set out to kill this false belief, this false image of myself. I achieved more than what I could dream of. Yet this dark shadow persists to lurk in the background of my subconscious and it comes forward whenever I meet with failure like a joker prancing around in my head singing ‘you see, you see, we are stupid after all.

’ Not only that but some family members still see me as ‘the girl with her head in the clouds’ and delight in reminding me of that whenever they can. It still hurts, so I lose my self-confidence inwardly and end up by sabotaging myself, giving up whatever I had in mind to do. I make excuses, well, maybe ‘he’ knows much more than I do, or ‘she’ is better than I am. Maybe they have more talent than I have and so on. I go back into my shell to hibernate and sell myself short. Luckily I have learned to pull myself out of that negative space very fast.

Sometimes if we spend many years in a relationship with the wrong partner we might end up with self-limiting beliefs that have been bombarded softly and lovingly into us by the partner to serve some selfish purpose. Perhaps we are blindly in love and do not notice this until it is too late so when we finally do leave the relationship we feel mentally battered and emotionally crippled, heavy laden with self-limiting beliefs.

You might relate to these stories, and know exactly what I’m talking about. The two greatest enemies that stop us from achieving our dreams are doubt and fear and these self-limiting beliefs fill you with exactly that doubt and fear. They act like brakes and they stop you from reaching your full potential. Doubt stops you from taking intelligent risks that are necessary in life to fulfill your potential. Doubt acts like an elastic band that pulls you back to where you remain stagnant each time you are about to achieve your goal. Fear is like an overpowering monster that takes you over mentally and emotionally, and where there is fear there is no room for love or courage, there is no room for boldness or joy and most certainly no room for enthusiasm for life.

Doubt and fear kill all these wonderful positive feelings.

Unfortunately there is no pill that you can take to eliminate overnight any doubt or fear you may have. No one can help you to overcome these negative feelings as much as you can help yourself. Therapists can help only up to a point. They can help you to understand yourself and they can give you guidance. The main transformation in the mind, however, is your work. You need to be aware of your thoughts, to be the master of your thoughts. You can develop your mind to be stronger so that you can challenge your own self-defeating beliefs. There remains nothing for you to do, if you wish to get out of this stagnant self-limiting space but to make a daily effort to move forward, move onward with your life. You need to develop a new belief system, a new habit of believing in yourself, reject the negative thoughts when they appear that you can’t do this or that, that you are not capable or that you’re not good enough, and tell yourself again and again that you can do whatever you put your mind to. Tell yourself that you are as talented and as capable as others are and focus on whatever it is you desire to do. Accept the idea that there is no limit to what you can do and achieve and that no one knows you as well as you know yourself. Too many people out there spend a lifetime stuck in a rut because they fail to get out of their self-limiting beliefs. They believe the image that others have of them no matter how false. They always have a reason why they cannot do ‘it’. It’s either I’m not so smart, or I don’t have the money, or I don’t know how, they know so much more than I do, or this is who I am and I can’t change that, etc. In reality these people are not interested to make an effort to learn, to develop themselves, to step over their shadow. They feel comfortable where they are, and that’s fine for them if that is where they want to be.

You, however, who have the desire to move on, can take things into your own hands. Ignore the people in your life who put you down and hold you back. We all have a few people like that in our circle of family or friends. Prove them wrong. Be bold and mingle with genuine, uplifting, authentic people who encourage you and who help you to grow and to move onward to achieve your goals whatever these may be. Keep in mind that talents and abilities can be developed, strategies can be learned and above all, there is a science to everything in life. There are certain steps to take and natural laws to follow in order to arrive to any reasonable goal that you have. Acquire knowledge, learn the rules, be sensitive to the laws of nature, make an effort, have the right attitude and follow your dream. Whatever it is that you desire, the fact that you desire it means that you can have it. You just have to figure out how. Depending on the goal you have, it might take weeks, months, years or your whole life-time. The choice is yours. Do not make the mistake of aiming for a far-fetched way out goal that is unattainable, you’ll only fail and be discouraged and a voice in your head will surely say with glee ‘you see I told you so’. Be smart and be practical. Practice and train your will power by setting and achieving small goals at first then move on slowly to bigger goals. Here are examples of some small goals:

- make that phone call you’ve been putting off for weeks.

- write that letter you’ve been meaning to write.

- visit your parents, a friend or someone whom you should visit and have not done so in a while.

- build up courage and ask that special someone out to lunch or dinner- decide on a day to tidy up that garage

- decide on a day to tidy up your wardrobe- or clean the shed- or do whatever it is that you think about doing and keep putting off The idea is that you make a list of many little things that you think you ought to be doing and decide to complete one task a day.

By doing this you will develop your will power and at the same time enjoy a sense of achievement. Achieving any goal no matter how small feels good.

Let’s say you go through two weeks of this, now you can begin setting a medium size goal for yourself, an attainable intelligent goal that might take some weeks or a few months to achieve. Focus on this goal until you have attained it then set yourself another goal. If you think that you don’t have the self-discipline to do this on your own, then hire a coach who will help and encourage you to focus on your goal. One way that I have found works for me is for me to tell a couple of friends about a major goal I have set for myself. When I do this I feel committed and obliged to focus on achieving my goal in order not to lose face! Be boldFree Articles, be spontaneous and take intelligent risks and you’ll find that life and circumstances will move to meet you halfway to help you achieve your goal. It’s one of the mysteries of life. You do your part and the universe will reward you by doing the rest for you. Margo Kirtikar Ph.D. - coach/psychotherapist/speaker/writer/artist read my blog on my website

Motivation
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