You know this quote.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible!
But the question is, do you actually believe it?
Are you actually confident in your potential? Or, are you walking in self-doubt and practicing self-limiting behaviors?
Let’s find out.
What Are Self-Limiting Behaviors?
Not to throw another term at you but self-limiting is simply putting a cap on one’s potential.
Self-limiting behaviors are limiting beliefs a person practices that stunts their growth and hinders their success.
Mind-blowing, right? 🤯
Why would anyone do that to themselves?
Well, until mid-June, I asked myself the same question.
Here’s What I Learned At Therapy
It was just another Monday.
I headed to my standing mental health appointment.
The conversation started off well. I summarized how the past week went and, during that discussion, I shared how I’d had several interactions where people around me asked me to share more of my knowledge.
I had been flattered by it. However, I hesitated to act on it because I didn’t feel “qualified.”
And that’s when my therapist dropped this bomb on me.
“Wait for a second.” she stated, “Let’s explore this. Why do you think you’re limiting yourself?”
“Why are you downplaying your knowledge and skills?”
Y’all!! I literally looked at her and said, “I have no idea.”
But she didn’t let me off the hook.
The next few words out of her mouth were this:
“Ok, well for the next week, I’d like you to take note of the moments where you limit yourself and why you do it.”
It wasn’t a homework assignment I looked forward to but I did it anyway and here’s what I learned: I hindered my success in very specific ways.
My self-limiting behaviors were:
- Saying ‘sorry’ to make the other person feel comfortable about my assertiveness.
- Being so loyal that I become a martyr, sacrificing my well-being in the process.
- Choosing to do things out of survival and not because I actually wanted to.
These were relatively small things.
But the negative impact they had on my daily well-being was undeniable.
And I recognized that an intentional action plan needed to be implemented.
How I Overcame My Self-Limiting Behaviors
Taking note of the areas where I limited myself was the first step.
Next, I wrote down the opposite of my self-limiting beliefs.
- As a woman, there was no need to over-apologize. I can be strong and shine. P.S. I’m actually referencing the 2014 Pantene commercial, which encouraged women to be confident, direct and assertive.
- As an immigrant, I didn’t need to make choices out of survival. I have the freedom to do what I believe is best for me. In fact, that also extends to my role as a mom!
- As an empath, I don’t need to stay in ANY situation that is robbing me of my peace. I am important, my feelings are valid, and I have the freedom to decide accordingly.
With my confidence affirmations in tow, I made an intentional effort to practice the opposite of what was familiar to me.
For example, I don’t need to say sorry when I’m asking a question, particularly in business situations.
So let’s chat about you.
And how you may be hindering your success (aka happiness, income, etc.)
3 Self-Limiting Behaviors You Need To Abandon To Reclaim Your Life
(1) Downplaying Your Skills
Listen, are you downplaying what you can do?
Are you hiding how great you are due to fear, comparing yourself to others, or because someone belittled you?
When you do this, you rob yourself of having a seat at a table where you belong.
It’s ok to say, “Dang, I’m the bomb!” Thanks, Zendaya.
It’s ok to accept compliments.
And, it’s definitely ok to speak up and admit that you have the answers.
(2) Ignoring Your Feelings and Boundaries Out of Loyalty
Have you grown accustomed to believing that you’re not worthy?
That somehow other people matter more?
Does setting boundaries feel “icky” and “controlling” to you?
Take these words by Anna Taylor to heart:
Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.
Take charge of your life, and protect yourself.
It’s not selfish at all!
(3) Talking Yourself Out of A New Opportunity Before Trying It
We’ve all done this – looked at a job description or new opportunity, and talked ourselves out of it because of a plethora of reasons.
You do realize that you can be a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time, right?
That new opportunity doesn’t require perfection.
It requires growth!
In fact, the fastest way to success is to failure.
You won’t grow, or learn, if you don’t step outside of your comfort zone and try something different.
Embrace new opportunities with an open mind. They are new beginnings.
And new beginnings lead to new chances of happiness and success.
What self-limiting behaviors have you noticed holding you back from the life you want?