If you have done any personal development work, you likely know that what you think and believe about yourself, your work, your relationships and the world has a powerful impact on your everyday life. If you already believe that you are a good person, you do your best and feel good about who you are, you are doing well on your own personal journey.
Unfortunately, for many of us there are some beliefs that can prevent us from living a successful and fulfilling life. However, if you are able to identify those self-sabotaging thoughts, it becomes possible for you to work towards reducing their impact on you or even removing them from your life for good.
Take a look at this list of unhelpful thoughts to see if any of them are familiar to you. If so, choose to recognize when you think in these ways so you can replace negative, irrational thoughts with more positive, realistic ones.
A few notes first.
1. Know that what you focus on gets bigger or you get more of. Based on this premise, what you ask for and think about is what you are going to get more of in your life. If you do not want to be afraid, do not focus on what you want less of but on what you want more of, such as relaxation, joy, love or happiness. If you focus on your fear it will only become bigger.
2. Notice whenever you use superlatives like “always” or “never”. They indicate a belief that you are unable to change or overcome your circumstances. Even if it is untrue, your mind has set this idea in stone.
“I’ll never have the life I want.”
If you believe this it will be impossible for you to move forward and work toward accomplishing what you want. If you can never have it, why bother trying? You give away your power and your ability to make any impact on your circumstances. You are a victim and therefore you don’t have to make any effort toward what you want. Replace this thought with a more positive concept like, “I work each day toward getting the life that I want to have.”
“I’m not good-looking enough to get the partner I want.”
Movies, television and magazines had warped our sense of beauty. Real people are not Photoshopped in real life. They do not have makeup artists and a team of people scouring the internet to make sure all of images posted of them are “perfect”. Take a good look around you at the people who do have partners. You will likely notice that most of them are not as “good looking” as the movie stars and they are still happy. No one will look like Barbie in real life – so why expect yourself to? Everyone is unique. Embrace your uniqueness. Be the best you that you can be. Focus on what you love about yourself. You do not need to be perfect. You are much more likely to find love if you believe in yourself. Confidence is attractive.
Also remember that your partner can never be a Barbie either. If your criteria are too demanding, it will be impossible for you to find some who actually meets those criteria. Unrealistic expectations can prevent you from seeing some pretty terrific people who would be happy to meet you. As long as you are open to doing so, it is possible for you to find a great partner.
“I’m not smart enough to get the type of job I want.”
Thinking like this will only convince you that you cannot have that job or career. Are you sure that you really want that career? If not, not being smart enough is a good way not to have to do it. If you do, then nothing not even a lack of ‘smarts’ can stop you from getting it. So much can be achieved by believing in yourself and working hard. Your job or career does not have to be perfect because so many things rarely are. Instead make sure your work brings you joy, confidence, and good fortune. Commit to taking whatever steps are necessary to obtain the career you seek.
“My life is like this because that’s just the way it is. I can’t do anything about it.”
Do not make yourself into a victim. This fatalistic way of thinking will doom you to living a ho-hum life. You have no ability to make anything happen, only to sit by and wait for something to happen to you. You have the power to create your own life step by step and day by day. Clearly identify the life that you want to have and then use that vision to create the life you really want. It is possible, you need to believe it and you need to get proactive.
“My finances are out of control.”
You are 100% responsible for what happens in your life. If that statement ticks you off or makes you angry – ask yourself why. What do gain from not taking responsibility? Are you hoping that someone will magically give you loads of money? Is your savings plan based on some lottery numbers? Get real with yourself and recognize that you are also responsible for your finances. Carefully consider how you deal with money. If you really have trouble with money, get someone to help you create a budget that will get your bills paid off, keep your spending under control and still factor in savings.
“It’s just like my mom said; I won’t ever amount to anything.”
Some of you may have had wonderful parents (or just one parent). They gave you just the right amount of love and discipline and were able to give you what you needed, even if it was not what you wanted. Our parents may have tried their best but, for many people, it may not have been what we needed. Even worse, some of you might have had parents who put you down or who did not realize just how wonderful you are.
Letting go of these limiting beliefs will allow you to amount to what you want to amount to. Free yourself by creating your own truth about who you are and what you are capable of by taking action each day to live your best life.
Throw out these old, destructive beliefs and replace them with new, positive, more realistic ways of thinking. Stop expecting yourself to be perfect and let yourself have some fun. You are capable of being successful – whatever success may mean to you!
Originally published at VectorCatalyst.ca