If you’re a human, I’m sure at some stage you’ve questioned if you’re good enough.
It might have been at work, in a relationship, with a hobby, or basically any situation where you may have felt a little unsteady.
If you haven’t been in this situation, then good on you—you’ve nailed life and have the confidence of a damn unicorn, which is amazing.
Personally, I have struggled with an innate falsified reality of not being good enough since at least my teens. I have often felt like an imposter whenever I’ve been credited with any form of positive affirmation, whether it’s from my job or in a relationship.
This is one of the areas I’m currently exploring and working on through therapy and self-development; an area that is absolutely necessary to realign in order to have a healthy self-image but, also, cultivate healthy relationships that don’t result in self-sabotage through a false sense of unworthiness.
Not being good enough is a pretty common and damaging limiting belief—often something our minds have made to be concrete truth for ourselves.
Limiting beliefs are often created in childhood, due to our growing brains being sponges to the information surrounding us—especially if we’ve been dismissed or criticized, stemming from a single or multiple distressing interactions. However, limiting beliefs can also develop throughout our lifetime: an ex-partner who was verbally dismissing or abusing or an old boss condemning us.
What are limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are an ingrained piece of false assumptions, lies, or stories that we tell ourselves as a means of protection—not the valuable kind—and familiarity, which usually look like this:
>> “I’m not good enough…for this relationship, job, or hobby.”
>> “No one will ever love me. I am unlovable.”
>> “I’m not smart enough.”
>> “I’m not good enough.”
Here are five ways to start shifting—and liberating yourself from—your limiting beliefs:
1. Pause and observe
When you feel yourself drift into negative self-talk, step back and attempt to observe your emotions and feelings. Remember, these are fleeting thoughts that you’re having during this moment in time—they aren’t who you are as a person.
2. Ask how these thoughts impact you
Take a moment to reflect on your thoughts and the limiting beliefs that cross your mind. Write these down.
Can you see a pattern in them? How do these thoughts make you feel?
3. Look for evidence
When addressing our limiting beliefs, it’s important to look for counterarguments and evidence—are these beliefs really true? Or are these just stories that you’ve attached meaning to?
4. Take back your power
We created our limited-belief system as a form of protection, a safe and familiar place to come back to when fear kicks in.
The problem with taking solace in our limiting beliefs is that it limits our life and potential to all the great things that we are more than capable of accomplishing.
Remember, you alone are the boss of your thoughts and your life.
5. Do the work
In order to correct your old, limiting-beliefs system, it’s important to do the work. This means:
>> Observe your thoughts, become aware of your patterns. Remember, your thoughts are just that, thoughts, and not factual information.
>> Keep notes and evidence against your limiting belief. Remember, this is not the truth, it’s just a story that can be rewritten.
>> Meditation, for even 10 minutes a day, can be incredibly cathartic.
If you’re struggling to manage your thoughts by yourself, reach out to friends and family who could help navigate your thinking and assist in getting you back on track.
Therapists specialising in cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy can offer a deeper dive into your mind, which can be hugely helpful and transformative.