Discovering My Limiting Beliefs
Updated: Feb 29, 2020
OR: Why I Almost Didn't Start This Blog
Nobody cares what I have to say.
Nobody will like this blog.
I don't have any good ideas.
I'll never be good enough.
One mistake and everyone will think I'm a fraud.
The only person who will enjoy reading this is my mom.
I've already written my best stuff.
Nobody really cares about blogs.
Everyone will think this is stupid.
People will find out what my insecurities are.
Being vulnerable is too hard and everyone will think I sound pathetic.
There are so many people who are better than me so I should just stop trying.
I told myself all these things (and more) for over four months before I was brave enough to start writing my blog posts. I worked really hard and spent quite a bit of money (thanks to my really hot and supportive husband) to get a website up and running with the intention to start blogging immediately. The second I sat down with my list of blog post ideas I found ways to procrastinate. I started writing other things, hunting for artists who could do a custom piece for my (soon-to-be-famous-without-actually-putting-in-the-work) website... This list is so long that I could probably dedicate a whole blog post to all the things I found to do instead of writing blog posts, but I won't. (I'm tempted, but I won't)
Do the uncomfortable. Become comfortable with these acts. Prove to yourself that your limiting beliefs die a quick death if you will simply do what you feel uncomfortable doing. -Darren Rowse
It took a while, but eventually I started understanding that everything I think about myself is just a thought. That's it. When I get an idea, my initial reaction to whether or not I think I can do it is just a thought, and it's up to me to determine if that thought aligns with my truth. It hadn't occurred to me that I can decide for myself what I believe I am capable of.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that tells us we need to be comfortable, and if we aren’t comfortable, then we must be doing something wrong or “not right for us”. I didn’t realize that I’ve been telling myself that if writing is hard or takes too long then it’s not something I should be doing. (Sounds silly, right?)
The only limits you have are the limits you believe. -Wayne Dyer
About six months ago, I started working with a writing coach (www.naturalwritercoaching.com) who encouraged me to start recognizing and paying attention to the thoughts I have when I am avoiding writing (which, of course, I was in denial about. I'm busy, I just need to veg out, work was exhausting, I'm having a bad day, were NOT the real reasons). I had a hard time admitting that procrastinating was actually avoiding. I really wanted to tell myself that I was just lazy, that I have a hard time starting new habits, that I usually start and don’t finish things anyways, etc… but I was really thinking all the things I listed (and more) at the beginning of this post. After a lot of journaling and sitting with my thoughts, I realized that I had a very deep rooted core limiting belief: that I haven’t been good at finishing things in the past so I don’t deserve to try and be successful now.
I know now that all of that is bull shit. When I started making an effort (teeny tiny baby steps) to change those thoughts and show up for myself, everything changed and got easier. Pushing myself to write even though the words aren’t flowing onto the page the way I imagined or giving up a huge chunk of my social life to stay committed to my writing goals has been sooooo hard. BUT... I promise you, if you are compassionate with yourself and learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, you will really surprise yourself.
This particular topic can turn into a never ending post with all the directions it can take, so I’ll be adding more to this and branching off in future posts. But, in the meantime, I’d like you to take some time and think about what your own limiting beliefs are. What is something you want to do but aren’t doing? What THOUGHTS are keeping you from doing it? Maybe you believe someone else is in your way, or that you aren't smart or experienced enough. Maybe you don't believe you're ready, or that not trying is better than failure. It could be that you believe that setting aside time for yourself makes you a selfish mother, or that life is just supposed to be hard and it's not worth it to try and make it better. If you can pinpoint some of your own limiting beliefs and why you might feel the way you do, feel free to share in the comments!