Before I launched my Meal Planning Service I spent approximately six months procrastinating due to my own fear. (And limiting beliefs.) My fears ranged from practical to totally paranoid. Here are some of them:
Nobody will believe that I can really do this.
I don’t know how to “sell” things.
I’m not a good cook.
This is going to be a miserable failure.
Everyone is going to make fun of me for even trying.
People are going to write terrible reviews about me and make terrible comments on my website.
This is what actually happened: I failed. But not as painfully as I thought. Granted, I only have a handful of paying customers. But nobody made fun of me, and nobody has complained about me as of yet.
My first real service offering wasn’t quite a miss and it wasn’t quite a hit. But I was so afraid to put myself out there that it took me over six months to try! Why?
Limiting beliefs are the basis of all of our fear.
Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of being judged. Some of us are actually afraid of success. All because of our limiting beliefs. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
If we are aware of our limiting beliefs, we have the power to move past them and live fuller lives.
Here are some examples of limiting beliefs, along with some ideas for combating them.
Crush Your Limiting Beliefs
I am being judged
When I started this website I didn’t tell anyone but my closest family members. Some of my friends didn’t even know. In fact, I still don’t talk about it in “real life” very much.
I don’t discuss the website because I am afraid I will be judged. As it stands most people don’t consider blogging a career. Blogging is a business if you are willing to work HARD at it. If you want a hobby, trust me, there are easier ones to pursue.
Solution: I/We need to get over our fear of judgment. Maybe people are judging my decision. But then, maybe they aren’t. Maybe they are more concerned with their own lives. Either way, we should all stop dwelling on things we cannot control.
I cannot be successful
This is a tough one, because everyone defines success differently. For me, this belief tends to be more of a comparison. As in, I could never be as successful as ——.
So many of us doubt our abilities and competence. I’m not sure if it’s just human nature, or a product of the modern lifestyle. I mean, we put wealthy celebrities and athletes on a pedestal. We ogle pictures of their clothing and their “fabulous” lifestyle.
Solution: Realize that success is self-defined. Just because the celebrities we idolize seem to be successful (by societal standards) does not mean they are happy. If you consider success to mean monetary gain, then make the changes in your life to make that happen.
Be strategic. You can be successful at almost anything if you dedicate yourself to it.
I am not deserving
Whenever something really good happens in my life I hold my breath and wait for the other shoe to drop. This is partially because I often feel as if I don’t deserve “good luck.” Actually, I often feel like I don’t deserve much of anything.
Am I alone in this? I think not. It is easy to say that all humans deserve respect, or clean drinking water or healthcare…. But it is so much harder to say, “I deserve respect.”
Solution: Work on respecting yourself. Actively seek out opportunities to show yourself that you are deserving of everything. Journal about your days. Learn about the world and people who are different from you.
The more you do for others, the more you respect yourself and your place in the world.
I will be rejected
Not sure about you, but I have been rejected in my life. My most recent rejection was for a content marketing group. Before that I got rejected for a group board on Pinterest.
I lived through it. But I know how much rejection stings. We all do, it’s part of the human experience and we all share it. Even celebrities have been rejected.
Solution: Ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen? Someone says no?
It hurts your pride. And then you have an answer, you have closure. Stop fearing the rejection, look at it as a learning experience. (I know…easier said than done.)
But know you are not alone. And the next time you have to reject someone for any reason, consider their feelings.
It’s too late
This can take several forms:
“I’m too old to find another job.”
“I waited too long to change my diet.”
“I blew it, he met someone else.”
Fill in the blank…….
This is the one limiting belief that I have never fallen into. No matter what your age and circumstances it is never too late.
Solution: Realize life is too short for regrets. I would rather try something crazy, (like starting my own online business) – and then fail, than sit around wondering what would have happened. At least if this website fails I have a large body of work to point to for reference.
I’m not strong enough
We have all had moments of self-doubt. But when we doubt our own inner fortitude we are truly lost. I will admit I sometimes feel this way about parenting. No matter how hard I try it never feels like I’m doing enough.
Strength is hard to define. The way I see it, we are all strong just by virtue of reading this article and taking the time to think about what our limiting beliefs are. We are all strong because we made it this far on this day.
Solution: Get to a place of knowing. Know that you are strong enough to handle anything that comes your way. You will stumble. You might even collapse from time to time.
Real strength is in knowing and owning yourself.
Make yourself aware of the limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Consider the negative thought patterns going through your head. You have the power to work through it. We all deserve to live a full and happy life.
What baby steps can we take to deal with our limiting beliefs?
What limiting beliefs are you dealing with?
For more inspiration check out Ruth Soukup’s post about The Magic of Thinking Big.