You may not realize this, but your mind is a liar. It lies to you all the time. It lies to you about yourself, about the world, about your potential, about women. And these lies almost always take the form of Self-Limiting Beliefs.
And truth be told, your Self-Limiting Beliefs are keeping you from having what you want in life.
EXAMPLES OF SELF-LIMITING BELIEFS
Too many men don’t live the kind of lives they desire purely because of the stories – the lies – they tell themselves. Again, these lies usually take the form of Self-Limiting Beliefs. And here are some common examples:
- I’m too short.
- I’m too inexperienced.
- I’m not successful enough.
- I’m not rich enough.
- I’m not good enough.
- I’m a loser.
- An attractive woman would never want me.
- I’m just not a lucky person.
- I don’t have any talent.
- Blah, blah, blah.
Are these the kind of thoughts you have? Trust me, you’re not alone. But this kind of thinking isn’t just inaccurate; it’s downright debilitating. And it’s preventing you from getting the things you want in life.
So, let’s shut down this pity party, shall we?
It’s time to change the story you tell yourself. It’s time to get rid of your self-limiting beliefs.
But first, let’s talk about the paradigm effect.
THE PARADIGM EFFECT
Because you – just like every other human being – grew up in an imperfect family and in an imperfect world, you internalized certain self-limiting beliefs during childhood. As you grew into adolescence and adulthood, you continued to add evidence that upheld these beliefs.
This is the paradigm effect.
Your life paradigm causes you to seek out, amplify, and retain information that seems to support your self-limiting beliefs. It also causes you to minimize or ignore any information that seems to challenge your self-limiting beliefs.
Chances are your life paradigm likes to rear its ugly head most often in the presence of beautiful women.
Let’s say, for example, that an attractive woman flashes you a smile – or better yet, strikes up a conversation with you. You would probably assume that she is just being polite. She couldn’t possibly be expressing interest in you. Such behavior would contradict all of your self-limiting beliefs – especially the belief that women aren’t attracted to you.
If you believe that you are unattractive and unlovable, you will also assume that everyone else sees you the same way.
So, why ask a woman out if you are convinced that she’ll reject you?
Why let people get to know you if they are just going to discover how screwed up you are?
This is the insidious power of self-limiting beliefs and having a faulty life paradigm.
THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF SELF-LIMITING BELIEFS
The truth is, your self-limiting beliefs are probably the biggest hindrance to you getting what you want in your life.
What you believe to be true is what you will create.
If you think you’re worthless, how do you think you show up in the world and how do you think the world responds?
Your self-limiting beliefs also come with a variety of other harmful side effects:
- They encourage you to isolate and avoid. They whisper in the back of your consciousness: Just stay home tonight. Don’t approach her, she wouldn’t be interested. Don’t even make eye contact; she’ll think you’re a perv.
- They create negative emotional states. If your mind keeps telling you that you are shit, you will naturally feel like shit as a result. And because your self-limiting beliefs prevent you from taking actions that might improve your life, you feel even worse. It becomes normal to feel like shit and feeling like shit only reinforces your self-limiting beliefs. it’s a vicious fucking cycle.
- They cause you to settle. Because of your self-limiting beliefs, you probably settle for crappy relationships, crappy jobs, and crappy situations
- They prevent you from taking advantage of the opportunities presented to you. Have you ever had a chance to take out – or take home – a woman you desired, for example, only to squander the opportunity because of your self-limiting beliefs? Exactly.
- They keep you safe. After all, if you don’t take a risk, you can’t get hurt. Right?
IDENTIFY YOUR SELF-LIMITING BELIEFS
If you want to overcome your self-limiting beliefs, you first have to identify them. So, how do you identify your self-limiting beliefs?
Well, perhaps you are already aware of them. If so, you’re ahead of the game. But if you are like most men, your self-limiting beliefs are probably whispering in the back of your subconscious (and have been since childhood).
It is crucial that you call your self-limiting beliefs into consciousness so you can identify them…and then challenge the hell out of them.
In my experience – as a human with tons of self-limiting beliefs, as a recovering Nice Guy, and as a coach – there is only one foolproof way to call your self-limiting beliefs into consciousness, and that’s doing something outside your comfort zone.
When you do something outside your comfort zone, your self-limiting beliefs will stop whispering and start screaming maniacally at you. This makes it pretty damn easy to find out what they are.
So, go somewhere you don’t normally go.
Say hello to people you wouldn’t ordinarily talk to.
Make eye contact.
Take a chance.
And pay attention to the garbage your mind is shouting at you.
CHALLENGE & OVERCOME YOUR SELF-LIMITING BELIEFS
Once you’ve identified your self-limiting beliefs, it’s time to challenge and ultimately overcome them. While overcoming them takes time, you can begin challenging them immediately.
Get out a notebook or journal and answer these questions:
- What belief has been holding you back the MOST?
- What stories do you tell yourself to justify this belief? What’s your “evidence”?
- What’s the “payoff” of this belief? What does it do for you, or what does it allow you NOT to do?
- How do you feel about yourself when you fully buy into this belief?
- What actions do you avoid when you feel this way? What are the consequences? What is the cost? What is the FUTURE cost if this belief continues? How does your life look in 10 years if this belief is running the show?
- Be a detective. What could be untrue about this belief? Could this be a misinterpretation? Are you 100% sure it’s 100% true? How is this story possibly, maybe, bullshit?
- Who could you be without this belief? Where would you be if this story vanished? Who could you date? What experiences could you have? How would you feel if this parasite was finally out of your brain?
- What do you want more—your old belief, or your new belief and amazing results? You can’t have both. You must choose.
- What NEW belief must you have in order to get the results you want? What new belief—if you could feel it in your gut—would propel you toward these results? [NOTE: Often, your new belief is the MIRROR OPPOSITE of your old belief.
- What are 3 pieces of evidence (minimum) that this NEW belief is true?
The reality is, a belief is merely a thought that you keep thinking. And your mind thinks your beliefs are true because you have always thought them.
There’s a good chance the beliefs you hold about yourself, about women, and about the world aren’t even remotely accurate. But the mind strives for consistency. Thankfully, you can learn to replace your old, distorted beliefs with new, more accurate beliefs that serve you in positive and productive way.
Tony Endelman is an author, blogger, entrepreneur, certified transformational life coach, certified No More Mr. Nice Guy Coach and the founder of The Integrated Man Cave.