What are limiting beliefs? They’re things you believe/attitudes you have that do one or more of the following:
- Make you feel bad about yourself
- Cause you to lose motivation/feel like it’s “not worth it” to get out, take action, and be social
- Casts the world in a bad light
- Distracts you from your goal of getting better
- Makes you believe this is the way you’ll always be
- Makes you feel like you’re not making any progress
- “People don’t like me.”
- “I’m ugly/unattractive.”
- “If I start a conversation, it’s guaranteed to end badly.”
- “I bore people to tears.”
- “I don’t really like people anyway; they’re weird/selfish, etc., and it’s just not worth my time.”
- “I don’t like the kinds of activities or discussion topics that extroverted people like, and I’m not going to change.”
- “As much as I try to improve, my anxiety isn’t getting any better.”
You see what nasty suckers limiting beliefs can be?
Fortunately, once you realize you fall into this pattern of thinking (and believing), you’re a lot more empowered to do something about it. Here are some of the ways:
- Be thankful. Limiting beliefs cause you to focus on all the bad stuff in your life, or what you want that you can’t immediately have (like a “normal” social life or less anxiety in dealing with people). They also blind you, however, to all the good stuff that’s going on. Do you have food to eat every day? A home? Clothes on your back? Those are three great things to be thankful for…close your eyes and imagine for a minute how life hard would be without those things (as it is for so many people in the world). Also, think about any good relationships you do have, such as those with family, close friends from years by, and/or a significant other, and be thankful for those. If you don’t have those relationships, focus as well on the next point…
- Be open to the possibility for change. Limiting beliefs can really do a job on you, making you think that change is impossible. But it isn’t. Positive change happens every single day in the lives of people who take action and take responsibility for their own happiness. That means, even if it’s incremental and slow-going…it can happen for you too.
- Realize your knowledge is limited. You don’t know everything there is to know in the world. That means you’re human. Accept the fact that your limiting beliefs CAN be false, even if you “know” that they aren’t false. Once you accept the idea that your painful beliefs might not be true, you open up a world of opportunities to prove them false.
- Err on the side of action. One big problem with SA is that if you’re alone too much, you think too much…and thinking too much, combined with social isolation (basic unmet needs) is the perfect recipe for limiting beliefs. It’s time to stop thinking so much and act,even in small ways. Positive change comes about as a result of acting and doing, not thinking and ruminating. Once you start making strides, no matter how small they are, no matter how long it seems to take, you’re well on your way to recovery and earning the life you want.
Don’t let limiting beliefs kill your confidence any more. Resolve that you’re going to beat SA, despite what your mind tells you–and then go out and do it, one step at a time!