A Short List of Self-Limiting Beliefs

These are self-limiting beliefs. They will massively reduce your success and your happiness.

I’m Not. There is no greater form of self-limiting belief than beliefs that start with “I’m not . . .” You might finish this sentence with any number of phrases, like “ready,” “smart enough,” “rich enough,” “good looking enough,” or “certified to . . . .” This self-limiting belief is an expression of your fears.

I Am. This is belief that you use to absolve yourself of responsibility and rationalize whatever it is you are unwilling to change. It sounds like, “I am a . . . .” You might end the sentence with words like “smoker,” or “procrastinator,” or “horrible salesperson,” or “short-tempered.”

I Can’t. This belief prevents you from doing things that you could do, were you willing to try, willing to learn, and willing to put forth the effort. You might say, “I can’t get up early enough in the morning to work out.” Or you might say, “I can’t motivate myself.” Almost anything that one human being can do, another human being can learn to do.

It’s Too Late. You’ve heard this one expressed as, “I am too old to start a new career,” or “I wish I would have done that when I was younger.” You might hear, “I should have gone to college.” The truth is that it is never too late to live the life you want to live or make the contribution you want to make.

It’s Someone (or Something) Else. This is my favorite. This one is “It’s not me. It’s you.” It’s your President, your Congress, the global bankers, the big corporations, your parents, your teacher, the police, your neighbors, or “them.” If it’s not you, then there is nothing you can do about anything. The world is acting on you, and you are powerless, so why try?

I Don’t Have. This is the self-limiting belief that you are not enough, that you are missing something. It goes like this, “I don’t have the education, money, resources, network, right friends, or right abilities.” You were born with the ability to imagine, to be creative, to be resourceful.

It might be difficult to shed these self-limiting beliefs and replace them with self-empowering beliefs, but it’s easier than living a life that is less than it should be.

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