How To Beat Negative Self-talk and Limiting Beliefs
A little self-criticism is a normal human mental pattern, and can even be healthy for the most part. But, we can also just as easily open the door to that overly vocal “negative Nelly” voice in our head.
If your negative voice is preventing you from doing what you want or need to do in your life, then it has to get booted back out the door. This kind of mental chatter has no right to set up shop in your mind.
Deeply held negative beliefs, especially when they’re firmly rooted in your subconscious, stress you out, and damage relationships can greatly limit your potential for health and happiness.
If you’re sick of having the same old conversation with negative Nelly, then be sure to try some of the ideas I’ve outlined in this article for how you can shift away from this damaging mindset and finally release yourself of these limiting beliefs that stand in the way of your goals, happiness, and healthy lifestyle.
What are limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are the little, but persistent, voices that convince you that you can’t be or do or have something due to a perceived inadequacy in some area of your life or personality.
Your narrative usually goes something like this:
I won’t ever be [this]…
I can’t do [that]...
I don’t have [this]...
I don’t deserve to be/have [this]...
And, one really common one that comes up for many people...
I am not good enough.
Let’s change up the conversation you may have been having with yourself for a very long time!
Overcoming negative self-talk and releasing limiting beliefs
Your limiting thought processes have shaped everything you do, and they have likely prevented you from seeing opportunities - and maybe they have even discouraged you from trying some things at all.
The good news is that it’s possible to permanently change a long-held belief - even the ones that are lifelong.
You only perceive what you believe, so your beliefs shape the very world you live in.
But, when your limiting beliefs come into question, your whole world can experience a shift for the better.
Here are a few ideas to help you silence your inner critic for good!
When you find yourself feeling “stuck,” or repeatedly spinning your wheels on the same speed bumps that life might be throwing your way, it’s always a great idea to seek out the help and guidance of a counselor or therapist.
In addition to that, there are several things you can do on your own, in your own time and space.
The first step to releasing limiting beliefs is to shift your thinking into AWARENESS
Time to bring those disempowering thoughts out of hiding! Once you do that, know that you have a choice about whether to believe them. Write down, talk through, and become aware of the limiting beliefs about yourself. See above for the phrases to recognize.
However, just simply being aware or having knowledge of them is not enough; it’s just the first step. You must understand and truly believe that you have a choice about how to react to stressful situations and whether you believe your own negative party line.
Possible thinking, not just positive thinking
Your mind is a powerful thing, and when you fill it with thoughts of what’s possible (not just positive), your mindset will start to shift.
When you believe something IS possible, you will notice options and opportunities coming up for you that would simply not have be noticed if you did not believe it was possible. Give yourself the creative freedom to think about what would happen if something were possible for you. Then, what the roadblocks to making that possibility reality might be. Finally, brainstorm some ways you may be able to get around those roadblocks.
With repetition, your positive, empowering feelings will intensify, the new neural connections will strengthen, and you’ll start to notice just how awesome this new “win” really feels!
Reminding yourself often of these little wins can further shift your mindset and help you embrace the bright side of your perceived “failures” or shortcomings. It also helps to simply accept that you are perfectly imperfect, just the way you are!
If you wouldn’t say it to your friend, don’t say it to yourself
Your limiting beliefs are assumptions you make about reality that often aren’t true. They aren’t helpful, and they certainly don’t serve you or the goals you want to achieve.
Ask yourself: “Would I say these negative, hurtful and unsupportive words to a friend?” Not if they are someone you care about! Care about yourself that same way.
Adopting empowering beliefs such as:
It is not my job to please everyone else.
Just be me. There will never be anyone else like me.
To swap out your limiting belief with a more empowering one, you’ll need to play a little mind game: Convince yourself that the value you thought you were getting from the former limiting belief isn’t worthwhile, and that your new empowering belief can serve to fill this void.
Take some time and space that’s all yours
Ensure that you are creating space in your life for these new empowering beliefs. Take action and get into the habit of using your new beliefs as often as possible until they begin to feel comfortable, familiar and routine to you.
Just remember - you have the ability to harness the power of the possible! Overcoming negative self-talk and releasing yourself of limiting beliefs takes commitment, introspection, and a good dose of self-confidence to make the necessary changes stick.
There’s the old saying that we view ourselves through a much harsher lens than the rest of world does. So, let’s try to bring our own lens back into focus.
Dealing with Perfectionism Guide
Are you a perfectionist?
Might your desire to have everything perfect all the time be hindering your ability to live a good life?
There’s nothing wrong with wanting things in your life just so, wanting things beautiful, wanting everything done right, and wanting to work hard to achieve great goals. However, there is no such thing as perfect, which is what so many people forget. You can’t have a perfect home or a perfect life or do a job perfectly. Mistakes are made, flaws are present, and not every day is perfect. If your perfectionism is severe, it might have a negative effect on your mental health. Grab my guide to see how you can find some peace and balance by letting go of perfectionism that's holding you back.