As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time can break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size of rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, many of us go through life hanging onto a self-limiting belief that has conditioned us to think that we cannot do something simply because we have failed at it once, or others said it was impossible. Self-limiting beliefs are assumptions or perceptions that you’ve got about yourself and about the way the world works. These assumptions are “self-limiting” because in some way they’re holding you back from achieving what you are capable of.
A self-limiting belief could make you feel stuck in the rut, or dissatisfied with your life but then believe there is little to nothing you can do to change that. It makes you conform to stagnancy and create the illusion that success is the end product of mediocrity, hence can be achieved with a closed mind.
These beliefs include thinking you are too inexperienced for a job, believing you shouldn’t take a risk because you’ll fail, thinking it is too late to try anything, thinking you don’t need more money because you are merely comfortable, or not trying relationships anymore because you think it’s not worth it since the last one sucked anyway. When you think about the possible negative outcome of everything and become discouraged to take any new action based on that negative assumption, you are operating within your own self-limiting beliefs, and may never discover the extent of success you can achieve in life.
Beliefs are the lens through which you view the world. They can influence your perceptions, define for you what is good, bad, true, real, and possible, skew your perspective in positive or negative ways, direct and/or limit the actions you take, shape your character, and establish a specific course you will follow, and for these reasons, we need to be careful that the belief we carry is positively influencing us.
If you always put a limit on everything you do, physical or anything else, It will spread into your work and your entire life. And, if we would only see that all limitations are self-imposed and chosen out of fear, we would learn to leap at once.
People create a ceiling above their dreams so these dreams will always seem impossible. You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights. When we have empowering beliefs, our achievements can feel almost effortless. If we have self-limiting beliefs, however, then it can often feel like we are pushing a big rock up a steep hill.
Success is not birthed by limitation because the most successful people were able to live beyond boxes of the average man’s imagination and mind. Self-limiting beliefs can shrink your goals, impair your skills, blind you to your purpose, and deteriorate your confidence. Also, the problem with some people is that they mentally limit themselves in life, but then turn around and become very envious of those who aren’t willing to settle for less.
Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.
When it comes to building an incredible life, there is no limit to what you can do. The only thing keeping you from reaching your potential is a lack of self-belief.
No matter what shape you want your life to take, knowing you can have all the things you see in your mind is the first step. This power of visualization primes us for step two: casting your dreams and desires into the universe with daily, life-changing actions.
If you have any self-limiting beliefs about achieving your goals, start feeding your imagination with positive truths―because if your imagination has no limits, then neither should you. To overcome your self-limiting beliefs, you need to acknowledge that you have these beliefs and be honest with yourself. What limiting beliefs do you think you have? Take a piece of paper and write down the self-limiting beliefs that you know are hindering your personal growth. These beliefs could include anything from fear, excuses, experience, etc. for example; I can’t talk in front of large audiences, I can’t smile/interact with strangers, I can’t open my heart and love someone.
Next, find the core reasons for those beliefs. After you list all of those self-limiting beliefs that you have, try to understand the reasons why you have those beliefs. These reasons could be various, but usually, it’s because of your childhood experience/societal programming. For example, I can’t open my heart and love someone because I’ve been deeply hurt in the past, I can’t talk in front of large audiences because those audiences are judging me and my every move. I can’t smile/interact with strangers because it’s creepy.
Lastly, arm yourself with new, empowering beliefs. The next step to take after acknowledging that those beliefs you held are simply not true, is to form new beliefs. Use this time of epiphany to form new beliefs that serve you. Choose your new beliefs carefully, because these new beliefs will manifest in your life. After changing all of those limiting beliefs with new, empowering, and positive ones, start acting as if. Start acting like you are the new person that has all of these positive beliefs inside of them. It might be hard to change (It might take weeks or months), but with proper dedication, you will get there.