I want to take you back to a time when you were very young. When everything you were to become and create and have in your life was all ahead. The possibilities were endless! Back then, you might not have known it, but you had everything you needed inside of you to create a wonderful, fulfilling life: satisfying work, meaningful relationships, plenty of time and money.

And then life happened. You saw you heard and learned… from parents, teachers, friends, the culture you were raised in, even the decade you grew up in. You took in a lot, and based on that you started to BELIEVE things about the world and yourself. Much of what you experienced has likely worked well for you, and some haven’t. Those are your self-limiting beliefs, and that’s the topic of our discussion today.

Self-limiting beliefs are the unhelpful notions that you came to believe about yourself that get in your way. These are phrases that replay in your head that you may not even be aware of. The unfortunate part about self-limiting beliefs is that it only takes 1 or 2, lurking in the shadows and showing up at key moments, to sabotage you having the life of your dreams.

They come into play at times like when you’re making decisions or have a goal that you’re in the position to work on. They hold people back so much that when I work with people to improve their lives, we look right away to discover what their self-limiting beliefs are. So that they can see them for what they are: barriers to success. Only then can we get to the business of reaching goals more effectively and with greater ease.

Here are some common limiting beliefs (I invite you to make a list of your own):

• I’d love to have that, but it’s not who I am.

• I don’t have enough __ (money, time, energy).

• I’m not a self-starter.

• I don’t have what it takes.

• That’s not in the cards for me.

• I have bad luck.

• I want more (money, love, freedom), but I should be grateful for what I have. It’s greedy to want more.

• In a relationship, He (or she) would never go for that. I can’t ask for that. I want that, but it’s unrealistic.

• With physical health… I’m not an exercise kind of person.

Want to know what mine was? I have to do it all by myself.

Believe me when I say it is well worth your time to know what yours are as doing that is a GAME-CHANGER. Any of these familiar to you? Take a few minutes right now to think about what your own might be. If nothing comes right away, think about something in your life you’ve wanted, and didn’t accomplish. Or a time in your life when you made a decision that you now regret. What were you telling yourself? These thoughts often become so routine that you’ve come to believe them to be as real as your eye color or height. And you’ve operated in your life as though they were true. I have great news for you. They’re NOT true. You just learned them from others (who have their own limiting beliefs). And you can figure out what they are so that you stop buying into them and start operating based on what is true. I can help you get started.

Once you know what your limiting beliefs are, the next step is to bring to mind the statements that oppose your self-limiting ones. And have them ready to say to yourself, loudly, powerfully, the next time your self-limiting chatter shows up. Phrases like:

• I can figure this out even if it’s new for me.

• I have it within me to make this happen.

• I can generate the time, money, etc. to make this happen.

• Rather than I have bad luck, I can make my good fortune.

• My empowering statement to combat, “I have to do it all by myself,” is “I achieve more when I get support from others.” It works every time.

• Finally, one of the most effective I’ve ever heard (thank you, Mastin Kipp!) Instead of “I can’t,” say, “I wonder how I can.”

Reflect on your list above, how can you change those phrases? So the next time you doubt yourself, not working on something you know you want, or struggling more than you need to, check in to see what you’re telling yourself. And don’t let your limiting beliefs run the show. It’s unnecessary, and it keeps you from playing the bigger game that you and I know you are capable of living.

By Dr. Lee Odescalchi

Author's Bio: 

Lee Odescalchi is a coach and licensed psychologist. She has coached and counseled clients, just like you, looking for more fulfilling lives. Her unique approach uses the most effective methods of personal development and performance strategies. She does this while addressing issues from the past that have led to self-limiting beliefs that get in the way of your success. Lee also empowers people to “get out of their own way” and maximize their strengths so they can produce extraordinary results… in any area of their life.