It is commonly said that we are our harshest critic. It’s true, most of the time those around us rarely give us negative criticism. As people strive to be accepted and accepting, we often hear praise that we have done well or reassurance that we did not fail. Criticism is often frowned upon and rarely received lightly. When we do need it, we expect it in a constructive format so that we are given a path to do something right. But when it comes to criticism that comes from within, look out! It can be vicious! Many of us can agree that throughout the day we are always battling a torrent of self-defeating and self-limiting internal dialogue.
Why do we do gravy-hate on ourselves so much?
Generally speaking, self-limiting talk is fairly common, but to be fair I would like to point out that there are some that have transcended it and some who have never had to deal with it. But it does exist and most of us have experienced it in some degree. In more extreme cases, self-loathing happens and can be quite devastating. Much of the self liming, self-talk can be attributed to family roles and social conditioning. Perhaps you were wrongly motivated in the past. Perhaps you have tried to adhere to unrealistic expectations. Often people strive to meet the demand of others and always fall short. But the truth may be that meeting another person’s demands are simply not a possibility. Sometimes our self limiting self talk tries to meet the expectations and demands of our own ego. Thoughts and belief form how we interpret the world around us. Our thoughts and beliefs color our vision and define our perception of the world. The dialogue that goes on inside our minds can determine our actions or inactions. Thoughts affect feelings and in turn feelings affect behavior. Once we are at the process of behavior, we are at the stage of acting out the results (or the lack of ) of our thinking. Every action, (facial expression, a hand gesture, audible response) begins with a thought.
How do I know if I’m self-limiting?
It’s often said that whatever you believe becomes you begin to manifest. You do not believe what you see; rather you see what you already believe. For this reason, when two different people are facing the same situation, one may interpret it differently than the other, or act in accordance with different beliefs or conditioning and experience different outcomes. To get rid of self-limiting beliefs, the first step is to identify them. They could be so engrained into your personality, that they operate without your awareness. Talking with a friend or someone you trust could give you more objective feedback as to their existence. Learn to keep your awareness vigilant of any self-limiting thought or idea that may arise. You may also want to evaluate the relationships in your life. Are you allowing others to enable or contribute to your self-limiting dialogue? Are you in a friendship or relationship with someone reinforces your “I can’t” or “I’m not good enough” attitude? You may begin to see patterns or correlation. They could be related to a specific activity that you fear such as public speaking, or performance reviews. Begin to take not only mental note of them, but externalize them in writing in a journal. Many of our self limiting beliefs begin to lose power once they are externalized and observed with the sense organs.
How can I be self-empowering instead of self-limiting?
Once you have identified your limiting beliefs and thoughts, they must be challenged every time they are encountered. You must consciously reject any thought or suggestion that you are “limited” in any way. If the situation permits, even audibly reject or negate the negative thought that arises by speaking aloud, the inverse of the statement.
“I do have enough time to for another project”.
“I am important enough to ask for that raise.”
“I am attractive enough to attract a mate.”
There is nothing you cannot do. If you deem that you want to do something, You simply need to find the logical steps to accomplish your desire and follow it to conclusion. Over time self-limiting thoughts can be starved of attention until they have no more power. As long as you believe your negative internal dialogue, you are giving them the power to stay within your consciousness. Whatever you give attention to magnifies: whatever you do not attend to shrivels up and dies. Don’t be kind to the weeds in your mind. Just as one plucks weeds at the root in the garden, so should you pluck the weeds in the garden of your mind.
“If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas Edison
“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.” – Isaac Newton
“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. – John Wooden
“Whether you think can or you think you can’t, you are right.”- Henry Ford
“It is not important to get it perfect, it is important to get it started.” – Jack Canfield
“The biggest mistake people make in life is not making a living at doing what they most enjoy.” – Malcolm S Forbes