Emotional Wellbeing


Mandy Kloppers

How self-limiting beliefs hold you back

“Whether you think you can or can’t, you are probably right” – Henry Ford

Abundance is everywhere…we create limitations to this abundance. It’s time to examine your thinking to find out whether you have self-limiting beliefs that close off opportunities in your life. Many people don’t even realise they are limiting themselves, it’s just the way they have always thought about themselves and about life.

Self-limiting beliefs

It’s time to throw this type of thinking away and replace it with ‘possibility thinking’…ask “if not, why not?” Have a can-do attitude and see what opens up before you.

Examples of self-limiting thinking:

  • Not applying for a job because you feel you won’t be good enough.
  • Not being brave and letting someone know that you like them in case they reject you.
  • Closing off opportunities because you place the house, job, person, activity in a ‘different league’ to you.
  • Giving up too soon because you’re afraid of failure.
  • Expecting disappointment so that if it goes well you can be pleasantly surprised.

The above are just a few examples of how we create ‘small’ limited lives for ourselves and stay in our comfort zone. The more we believe that we aren’t up to a task, the less likely we are to try and this reinforces the belief that we can’t do it or will fail.


What to do about self-limiting beliefs:

  1. Ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen? The reality is that the outcome is often a lot better than our anxious thoughts allow us to believe. Stop being fearful. The only way to move forward is to try.
  2. Adopt a healthy attitude to failure. Everyone fails at some time in their life. It doesn’t mean they are a failure, just that what they tried didn’t work. Get up, dust yourself off and try again. Feel proud that you are one of those people who tries as there are far too many people out there who are all talk and no action. You’re ahead of the pack if you are giving it a go and being brave in life. Behind every successful person out there is a long list of failures. We just don’t get to see that side but I have not encountered anyone who has been an immediate success without some trial and error.
  3. Monitor what you tell yourself. If you catch yourself thinking that you can’t do something..challenge it. Who said? Where’s the rule book that says you can’t do it? Always challenge your thinking – thoughts are NOT fact. They are just thought inside your head and you have the power to challenge them and replace them. For example: Instead of thinking: I am not going to that party because I will make a fool of myself and I am not good at small talk…replace it with something like this: I could go to that party and I might even meet a new like-minded person. Other people are often just as nervous and are more worried about how they are coming across..
  4. Don’t allow your thinking to scare you. It’s no way to live…challenge. We are a victim of the rules we choose to live by. If you believe you are no good a small talk then you probably will be bad at small talk. All it takes is a change in your thinking – “who says I am bad at small talk?” How do you quantify being bad at small talk? What’s the worst that can happen? Face your fears and try it. You may not be as bad as you think…it’s just thinking.
  5. Push yourself out of your comfort zone often. It’s an uncomfortable place to be but pushing yourself makes you feel alive. Start with small things. Compliment a stranger if normally that would be something you would shy away from. Have an opinion on something if normally you keep quiet. Complain when it is appropriate instead of passively accepting bad service. Keep doing this and soon, what initially scared you will be something you tackle without thinking about it. You will have expanded your comfort zone and be challenging yourself even further. This will increase your confidence but it takes a bit of effort to keep on the edge of your comfort zone.

We are all responsible for our own choices in life. Make sure you choose options that help you to reach your full potential.

Mandy X