How to Silence Negative Self-Talk & Eliminate Limiting Beliefs
Self-talk is common among most people. Some self-talk is positive, rational and uplifting. (For example, “I can do this, despite my circumstances!”) But, there are also inner voices, or “limiting beliefs”, that can be negative and potentially damaging.
Often, these limiting beliefs are formed in childhood.
Once they’re created, they tend to snowball over time and, they can have profound impacts on careers and other life choices. While it’s easy to hold on to negative self-talk, it’s important to realize, your limiting beliefs do not define you.
your limiting beliefs do not define you.
Replace Your Limiting Beliefs & Reach New Goals in Your Career & Life
With focus and determination, you can extinguish your self-defeating dialog and make drastic positive changes to your thought process.
There are truly no limits on us except the ones we create for ourselves. Here’s how to begin replacing your negative self-talk and activate meaningful change.
Grab a Journal and Start Writing
What do you write?
- Begin with gratitude. Find at least one thing every day for which to be thankful.
- Make a list of your limiting beliefs and write about each one. Try to identify the source and how each belief is manifested in your life.
Prove why each one is true.
Then, prove why each is false!
- Ask people in your circles to help you identify your strengths. Write everything you hear, whether you believe it or not.
- Every day, list your accomplishments. Give yourself credit for the things you do well. Acknowledge success!
Designate a time each week to read what you’ve written. Start from the beginning every time. As you read, pause often, begin to believe it!
2. Tell Your Limiting Beliefs to “STOP!”
When you find yourself dwelling on your limiting beliefs, stop what you’re doing (and thinking) and, say, “STOP” - out loud. Be sure you can hear yourself say it! The louder the better!
Be sure you can hear yourself say it!
Once you hear your own voice, be thoughtful and intentional about replacing your irrational thoughts with more reasonable and positive self-talk.
3. Begin to Visualize Your New Reality
Find a quiet spot to sit alone with your thoughts. Close your eyes and create a mental image of yourself in a place void of each limiting belief. Pay close attention to your surroundings. Who’s there? What’s there? How do you feel when you’re there? Do this as often as you can, and each time, try to see more clarity in your vision. Then:
Write down a few key specifics and take note of your feelings.
Once you can create a mental image of where you want to be, you’ll begin to let go of your limiting beliefs.
Talk to a mentor or trusted friend and describe your vision. Notice how you feel while you’re talking. Ask for support and accountability as you work to re-frame your thinking.
Some Examples of Transformed Limiting Beliefs
If you can identify your own limiting beliefs, you can begin to change them. Take a small step forward today. Even a baby step can feel uncomfortable, but ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Chances are, a small step won’t end in disaster. So, give it a try!
“I don’t know where to start.”
Starting somewhere is better than not starting at all. I’ll begin by engaging in intentional Career Conversations. I won’t allow myself to be silenced because I don’t have all the answers. ’ll just start!
“It’s too late to pursue my dreams.”
Age is a number that represents the number of years I’ve been on the earth. There is no standard requirement to find “success” by a certain point in life. My belief that age is the limiting factor is actually the limiting factor! I’m in control of my life direction and timing and, I have unlimited power to make things happen in my life.
“I don’t know my passion.”
I’ll let go of the word, “passion.” It’s over-used and is pressure-inducing. I’ll simply explore the things I enjoy doing. Then, I’ll open my mind! I’ll pay attention to the times when I’m the happiest. If I see someone else doing something that looks interesting, I’ll write it down and find a time to give it a try – or at least I’ll spend some time researching it. I’ll ask to go along with someone who’s already very good at it.
“I’m not good at anything.”
I know that this is impossible and I understand that it is a leading contender for limiting beliefs. I may not be THE world-renowned expert in anything, but I’m absolutely good at many things. I’ll start by paying attention to my state of mind, and I’ll keep track of what of what I’m doing when I’m happiest. I’ll look for ideas that pique my interest and I’ll be intentional about learning SOMETHING new.
“I have no time to figure it out.”
I’ll keep track of everything I do, including my sleep. I’ll look for the times when I’m doing things I don’t enjoy and I’ll find ways to substitute with quiet time to think or engage in activities that bring me joy. I’ll go easy on myself and will make realistic changes.
“I have a dream but I have no money.”
The amount of money I have at any given time is a fact; however, it does not define who I am nor does it limit my ability to reach my dreams. I believe there are creative ways to generate money. I’m willing to work hard and I’m committed to expressing my dreams to others. And, I will humbly pay it forward as I am able.
“I’m can’t break the cycle of procrastination.”
Making a plan at the beginning of the week will help me stay on track. I’ll build in accountability for myself by finding a mentor who’s willing to invest in me and my success. I’ll start with the most difficult task and I’ll celebrate when I complete milestones.
“I’m burned out and lack the motivation I need to progress.”
Rest is important to me. I’ll give myself permission to take a break and re-charge my battery. I’ll ease up on self-expectations and take the time I need to care for myself. After that, I’ll pick back up and take a few small steps forward. Exercise is an important part of rest, even if it’s just a walk around the block.
“I feel rejected or my idea has been rejected.”
Even though I’ve received constructive feedback or an idea didn’t come to fruition, I won’t stop or discard my dream. I’ll make adjustments and try again. Feedback will be my gift and I’ll listen with an open mind.
I’m a failure.
I know that many people fail at things every single day and, I know that I have failed at some things. But, I am not a failure! My failed attempts do not define me. When things don’t go well, I have the power to create success by taking the next right step. I will spend time learning from all of my experiences to determine how I can improve going forward. For me, failure is a gift that guides me to success.
You’ve got this!
A Free Download To Help You Grow
Let’s tackle those limiting beliefs and replace them with truth! Face them head on with this worksheet.