Overcome Your Self-Limiting Beliefs As A Creative And Get Out Of Your Own Way
The number one thing holding us back from achieving our business goals or anything for that matter is, more often than not, our own minds. But it takes a certain degree of self-awareness and responsibility to realize how we are standing in our own way.
“Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers,” said the late American journalist and author Mignon McLaughlin. Our self-limiting beliefs start forming very early in our life. The words of our caregivers, the behavior of our peers, and the standards of the society we live in, all play a part in shaping how we see ourselves.
If our parents didn’t have confidence in us as a kid to do anything on our own, we are most likely to carry that belief into adolescence and then adulthood and have problems like over-dependency on others, poor decision-making abilities, and low self-esteem. The most fatal thing about a self-limiting belief is that it creates a negative feedback loop.
In other words, when we have a self-limiting belief, we behave in accordance with that belief instead of trying to challenge it. When we behave in accordance with the limiting belief we get the result that confirms it and the belief ends up getting strengthened.
But the good news is, it’s not all doom and gloom.
We, human beings, are not just the product of our environments. We can turn our self-limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs by taking an active part in the formation of our thoughts rather than just being a passive receiver of what we are told and letting it shape our beliefs.
It only takes a little conscious effort and some self-awareness to embark on the journey of overcoming our self-limiting beliefs so you can begin to see growth in your creative business and your personal life too.
I am speaking with authority because I am speaking from experience.
Here Is How I Overcame My Own Self-Limiting Beliefs:
I am a wife, an artist and creative, a business owner, and a mother of 3. And I am proud to say that I am able to manage all the different aspects of my life that are important to me quite well. But it wasn’t always like that. My journey towards overcoming my own self-limiting beliefs started with being real with myself.
Getting Real With Myself
One day I sat down and decided to confront my thoughts of self-doubt. I had always thought that I wasn’t meant to be an artist or to thrive as an artist. I used to think if God had wanted me to be successful, I would have been successful, not realizing that it was my own self-limiting beliefs and not God, that kept me from being successful.
That day though, I decided to look at my beliefs objectively.
I asked myself why do I believe what I believed and challenged myself to find evidence contrary to those beliefs from my own life. It only took a little quiet time and conscious thinking to make me realize that I had always been creative and was gifted in a unique way.
My life was full of evidence of the very fact, I was just not paying attention because that evidence was contrary to what I believed about myself and the brain only strives to confirm what it already knows unless it is consciously directed to make new connections and entertain a different perspective. From middle school to college, my life was filled with different creative endeavors, suggesting that after all, I do have something unique to offer the world. And just like me, you do too.
I used to think:
I used to think that the reason I wasn't "successful" yet was because I must have been on the wrong path in life and God didn't want me to do this business...
I used to think that I couldn't be a successful mom and a successful business owner.
I used to think that I wasn't cut out to help creatives turn their passion into a profitable brand...
**My whole thought life was ludacris. **
So, I Changed My Thoughts to Empowering Beliefs
Once I identified my self-limiting beliefs the next step was to replace them with empowering beliefs.
As self-limiting beliefs are the ideas that keep us stuck in the same place, empowering beliefs are the ideas that give us the strength and the confidence to move forward.
For a self-limiting belief that says, “I don’t have time,” an empowering belief would be, “I can manage my time more effectively to make room for what is important to me.”
Even though it only takes a few moments of conscious deliberation to identify your self-limiting beliefs, it can take a lot of resolve and consistency to completely overcome them and replace them with empowering beliefs. To achieve this mindset reset, it is important to sit with yourself every now and then and question the validity of the limiting beliefs you hold about yourself and that keep creeping back in. Every time a self-limiting belief rears its ugly head, question its validity and replace it with an empowering belief.
The Take-Home Exercise
The reason I shared my own journey was to give creatives like you a tried and tested plan of action. All you need to do to embark on the journey of overcoming your self-limiting beliefs is the following:
- Find a quiet and calm place to sit.
- Get a pen and a piece of paper. Wrap yourself in a blanket and light a candle if you want to set the mood right.
- If getting out of the house refreshes your mind, go to a beach or a cafe. To make things easier, take along my free guide to walk you through the process of overcoming your own self-limiting beliefs.
- Once you are at a place where your mind is at peace, think. Ask yourself, "what is it that keeps you from achieving what you want to achieve?" Let your thoughts flow. Do not filter them.
- Sit with those thoughts. Identify the self-limiting beliefs and question their validity. Ask yourself why you have the belief that you have and what is the evidence for and against that belief.
- List down all the limiting beliefs, and in front of each limiting belief write down an empowering belief.
- Devise a plan of action to work in accordance with those empowering beliefs and never give up repeating them in your head.
- With enough practice and consistency, you will achieve a mindset shift. It will become easier to have empowering beliefs than to have limiting beliefs. Eventually, you will be out of your own way and no one will be able to keep you from achieving your full potential. Not even you.
Get into the habit of reading.
And I am not talking about reading just anything, I am talking about reading the books that will help you understand your own inherent value and realize your full potential.
People read for all kinds of reasons, some read for amusement, some read to learn new skills and polish old ones, and some read to stay updated.
While it's okay, even helpful to read for all the above-mentioned reasons, real growth comes from reading books that teach you how to think.
Nothing opens up your mind like reading this book.
One such book that focuses on mindset shift is Psycho-cybernetics. Written by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, the book discusses how self-image is at the forefront of every human and the role it plays in success and happiness. Written in a very easy-to-understand language the book doesn’t only discuss the mechanism of mindset shift but also its implications using the examples of real people. The book helped me immensely on my journey of self-empowerment, and I am sure it will help you too.