5 Ways to Stop Self-Limiting Beliefs from Sabotaging Your Dreams
“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” ~ Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
You have dreams. A vision of your future that excites you and occupies a lot of your waking thoughts. You’re even taking action to make your dreams a reality. That’s great! But what if I told you that you are likely not dreaming big enough and that self-limiting thoughtforms and beliefs control just how big you allow yourself to dream.
It’s true. Even for those of us who are dreamers, our dreams can be hampered by fear, thoughts of lack, self-doubt, and rationalization. Do these questions sound familiar?
- What if I fail? (fear)
- I don’t have the resources to do what I really want. (lack)
- I’m not creative enough. (self-doubt)
- Once I finish X, then I’ll be in a better position to pursue Y. (rationalization)
I’m not saying there aren’t kernels of truth to some of these thoughts and beliefs. The saboteur is quite clever. He knows exactly what it takes to keep you dreaming small and playing small.
The fact is, you might fail. All roads to success are peppered with some failure. But those who succeed don’t let failure stand in the way of their dreams. Keep going.
It’s true, you might not have all the resources you need, but is it equally true that you have some resources to begin and the wherewithal to leverage your network to help you?
If you are creative enough to dream it, you’re creative enough to make it happen.
There is never the perfect time to do X, so you might as well pursue Y now. Time will pass regardless. Why not let it pass pursuing a dream that means a lot to you?
You see, for every thoughtform the saboteur throws your way, you can deliver a more powerful counter punch. Here are 5 ways you can stop self-limiting beliefs from sabotaging your dreams:
#1 – Expose the limiting belief to the light of day.
As long as self-limiting thoughtforms are allowed to lurk in darkness, they ride in your subconscious and control what you believe, what you allow yourself to dream, and what actions you take to accomplish your dream.
Say the limiting belief out loud, write it down, and then apply what Dr. Emee Vida Estacio called the TLC approach to silencing the saboteur. Ask:
- Is it True?
- Is it Logical?
- Is it Constructive?
Chances are the limiting thought will lose its power when you answer those questions. What evidence exists to support the belief? Does the belief even make sense? And, does the belief help you achieve your goals and dreams? By exposing the limiting belief, you are able to see that it’s only conjecture. You can counter it and move past it with greater confidence.
#2 – Welcome fear as your teacher.
Instead of running away from fear, welcome it. The relationship we have with fear is all wrong. It is not something to be avoided. We feel fear whenever we push outside the bounds of comfort and safety, but that’s exactly where growth lives. So, when your dream scares you, congratulate yourself for the courage you have to move beyond the comfort zone. You’re choosing growth.
Fear can teach us a lot. Just as with the primitive brain, the amygdala teaches us to look at a situation and determine threats. What a wonderful insight fear provides us when we are dreaming big! Using the executive function of the brain, fear teaches us to plan and prepare for what lies ahead as best we can so that we are able to navigate through any obstacles we may encounter.
Giovanna Dientsmann shares the 7 fears, the mindsets behind them, and how to overcome fear. The first step, he says, is self-awareness.
#3 – Expect to fail.
Imagine failure is a big balloon over your head. Now imagine sticking a pin in the balloon. You get the point. Failure is not fatal. Expect that you will fail because anytime we try something we’ve never done before we are going to fail. That’s understandable. The key is to fail fast and keep moving forward. Like fear, failure teaches us what doesn’t work. That makes us smarter when we begin again. If you don’t fail, that’s a sure sign that your dream is too small.
It’s okay to fail. It’s not okay to let failure be the end of the story.
#4 – Ask for help.
What do you need to get started? Notice, I didn’t ask what you need to finish. Don’t try to think so far ahead that it paralyzes you from even beginning. What resources will you need to begin? Ask for help to get started. Do you remember when you first learned to ride a bike? You started with training wheels. Then you progressed enough to remove the training wheels but likely, Mom or Dad walked alongside you until you learned to balance. After a few times, you were able to ride on your own. You became so proficient that you could ride without keeping your hands on the handlebars. Then you moved on to doing wheelies and stunts with your bike. You kept going until riding a bicycle became an intuitive exercise.
See the parallels? Before you get really good on your own, you will need help. Ask for assistance, be resourceful, and trust the process.
#5 – Speak positive affirmations.
Those who believe in the Law of Attraction say that we vibrate energy and that energy creates a magnetic field that attracts more of what we radiate. Whether you believe in the LOA or not, most agree that surrounding yourself with negativity, fear, doubt, and lack cannot yield positive results. Speaking positive affirmations release feel good hormones, which in turn increases anabolic energy that fuels positive thoughts and actions.
I love what Louise L. Hay says about the power of speaking positive self-affirmations. She says, “Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
If you’d like to learn more about how to create positive affirmations and their benefits, watch this 5-minute video I recorded. Write your own positive affirmations related to your dream. See your dream coming true and the action you’ve taken to make it so. Speak the future as though it is your present reality.
These are 5 ways you can outsmart the saboteur and overcome self-limiting beliefs that get in the way of you dreaming your biggest dreams and achieving the life you most desire. What other ways come to mind for you? If this article has been helpful to you, I’d like to hear from you. Let me know what other topics are of interest to you and will support Your Aha! Life journey. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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