What often prevents us from living our fullest lives are limiting beliefs, which most of the time we don’t even know are there. They’re hidden beneath the surface, controlling many of our decisions and emotions unknowingly. But when you say them out loud, you’re able to recognize just how limiting (and often times ridiculous) they are. Whether you’re struggling to find happiness or just want to improve your life, start by releasing these limiting beliefs right now (I’m currently working on all of these!):
1. “I won’t be happy until I [insert any action here].”
Until I get that job, until I make that salary, until I find a boyfriend, until I land my dream job…you get the point. All of these things are external. Why is it that when we are looking for happiness we always look outside of ourselves? The only true way to find happiness is to look within and improve our way of thinking. External factors cannot control your happiness — only YOU can.
2. “I have to do everything right, all the time.”
Welp, that’s impossible. Yet when we do something wrong, we think it’s the worst thing in the world. We have such high expectations of ourselves—so high, in fact, that they’re often impossible to reach. Why not be a little more realistic? You don’t have to do everything right. All you can do is your best, given the circumstances.
3. “My career or how much money I make is a reflection of my worth.”
You know you are so much more than your career or what’s in your bank. Guess what? You don’t have to measure your worth this way. You can choose how you want to measure your worth. Just ask yourself what’s important to you. Is it being a good person? Being compassionate to others? Doing what you love? You get to decide.
4. “I have to be hard on myself in order to become a better person.”
This is such a common one, especially in America. We think being hard on ourselves is a motivational tool. That might work for some people, but it doesn’t have to work for you. I’ve actually found that when I’m nice to myself—when I cheer myself on and show myself some compassion—that’s when I do my best. That’s right, guys, you don’t have to be tough on yourself to get where you want to be. How freeing is that??
5. “I can’t leave a job within the first year.”
Ooo, love this one. Honestly, though, who made up this rule?? By the way, it’s not a rule. It’s just another limiting belief. If the job isn’t right and you truly know it, then why wait a whole year to make the next move? Why wait for your career to happen when you can make it happen yourself? Of course, leaving a job that quickly takes a lot of thought and shouldn’t be an impulsive decision. But it certainly is not a rule.
6. “I have to know what I want to do with your life.”
What does this even mean?? Why did we all decide that we can only pick one thing to do for the rest of our lives. We are complex beings with many facets and changing interests. We can change our career paths as we change and grow as individuals. You don’t have to pick that one career right now (or ever!). Just do what makes sense for you right now at this time in your life.
7. “My accomplishments don’t mean anything unless other people validate them.”
The only thing that matters is how you feel about your accomplishments. Don’t wait for approval from your parents or your friends or strangers on the internet. Especially when you have the power to validate those accomplishments for yourself. It still happened, even if you didn’t share it on Instagram!
What are some other limiting beliefs you’ve realized have been lurking in the background??
Photography by Andrea Posadas.