Is limiting thinking preventing you from living the prosperous life you desire for yourself?
“If you can dream it, you can attain it,” the adage goes. However, the inverse is also true. Imagined roadblocks can derail your dreams.
Rigid perceptions of our talents, defined concepts of potential, and poor self-perception are examples of limiting thinking limiting our potential.
Let’s look at how to let go of these restricting thought patterns and open your mind and heart to endless possibilities so you can live the life you want.
Don’t See Yourself As A Victim
If you have a victim mindset you might not want to take responsibility for situations or events that concern you at times which can lead to negative opinions and thoughts about yourself.
You have a lot more control over yourself and your life than you think. You have a lot of power, and it all starts with believing in yourself and taking responsibility for your thoughts, and actions.
Understand Limited Thinking
Limited thinking can take many forms and affect every area of our lives. When precautionary words like “can’t,” “not,” and “shouldn’t” are used, it’s easy to recognize a constrained thought. Limited thoughts include statements like “I can’t do this,” “I am not good enough,” and “I shouldn’t think about that.” “I won’t succeed.” “I don’t have what it takes.”
How Accurate Are Your Limiting Beliefs?
Think about this, how accurate is the statement, “I can’t do this”? There is nothing that a person can’t do when they put their mind to it. So that statement is a limiting belief that may not be totally accurate.
Are your limiting beliefs really true? Write some of them down and then think long and hard about their accuracy. Write down what evidence you have that your limited beliefs are accurate, you might just be surprised at how empty the page looks.
Where Did Your Limited Thinking Come From?
Your limited thinking did not just appear. Something is causing you to think this way. You must consider the source of these thoughts carefully because you must process those issues in order to pull yourself into a more positive train of thought. Perhaps your parents or others in your childhood planted limited thinking into your mind. Perhaps you suffered a failure and are still stuck in the aftermath of it.
Be Aware Of Your Limited Thinking
The next stage is to self-reflect and figure out where these restricting thoughts are occurring in your life at this time. Are the limited thoughts related to your job? Your abilities? Low self-esteem? Lack of confidence or a sense of unworthiness?
Everyone fails. This is a fact of life. The highlight is not that we failed, but what we learned from failure. When you are stuck in the, “Oh no I failed mode” it can lead to limited thinking if you become frozen in the failure.
Conversely, when you take what you can from the failure and learn from it, you can rise above it and realize that those failures don’t limit you but instead open your mind to new growth, new possibilities, and higher learning.
Identify And Put Down Your Beliefs
To transcend your limiting beliefs, you must first recognize them. These views are frequently expressed as a concept in your head rather than something spoken aloud. Putting your thoughts down on paper can help you distinguish between fact and fiction, allowing you to recognize how incorrect they are.
Writing down your thoughts in a journal can help you cope with the fears or doubts you have about yourself. If you don’t have a journal, write down your ideas on paper.
Use Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations are one of the most effective techniques to challenge limiting thoughts. Affirmations are positive phrases that you repeat to yourself to boost your self-esteem.
To transform self-limiting ideas into positive self-beliefs, use positive affirmations.
If you’re telling yourself you’re not good enough for a promotion, reframe that notion by telling yourself you’re a dedicated worker who deserves to succeed.
In this manner, you can turn any negative thoughts into good ones…
- I am not good enough vs. I am good enough
- I cannot succeed vs. I can succeed
- My capabilities are limited vs I am capable of anything I set my mind to
- I never do anything right vs I am smart, talented and driven, I can do anything
Write it down so you have a concrete reminder of the good within you.
The “I Can” Exercise
Sometimes it becomes second nature to be hard on ourselves, and it is often easier than acknowledging all that we have done right. Yet, it is those things we have done right, our successes that help us to maintain a positive attitude about ourselves and our capabilities.
- Take a piece of paper and write down all your achievements.
- Go back to high school years.
- Really think about your life and all your successes.
- Write down each one.
- Applaud yourself and celebrate you!
- Finally, consider how your limiting beliefs really apply to your life? Do they really apply?
Once you have gone through this assessment process you will be able to overcome the self-limiting thoughts that might have held you back in the past. Focus on the things you do well and watch your mindset change.