When you want to feel better about yourself, start looking at your beliefs.
A belief is just a thought that we’ve repeated over many years to ourselves, often without even knowing it.
Our Beliefs can set us free or hold us back. Most people think they know what their core beliefs are, but in actuality, they either don’t know or don’t behave in alignment with them.
Here are 7 common beliefs that hold people back. You might recognize your thoughts in some or all of them.
Most of us have assimilated views that aren’t ours, cause us pain & that we don’t know we’re allowed to question.
Sitting with & challenging old beliefs takes deeper work, but it’s doable & worth the effort.
This list of beliefs will expose you to different ways to notice your thoughts. Also, it will give you tools to start to challenge your own beliefs & create new ones that help you feel good about yourself!
7 common beliefs that make us feel terrible:
1. It’s ‘good manners’ to keep the peace.
While we don’t want to cause trouble for no reason, it’s NOT a good idea to never share your opinions, even if they are different from the crowd’s.
When we’re insecure about our views, we tend to either hide them or aggressively share them. The latter usually happens when we think we need to defend ourselves.
On the other hand, when you know & trust yourself:
– defensive strategies aren’t necessary,
– you feel comfortable sharing because anyone else’s view doesn’t threaten you,
– you’re not afraid to offend anyone because you’re not overly attached to their view of you,
– and you can share politely without back-peddling.
When you feel good about yourself, you can sit comfortably in your ideas & share them in a way that invites discussion, not discord.
2. Being direct is ‘vulgar.’
Parts of our culture have socialized the idea that being direct isn’t nice.
The danger of this is that we hide our truth. We learn to back-peddle & couch everything so carefully that NOTHING gets said.
We start to think that being open about our truth might offend someone & is not ‘nice.’
This creates a culture of uncertainty instead of trust.
Instead, directly & politely share your opinion. Trust people to take it the right way. They may not, but that’s not in your control.
You can do both things: consider your audience so you don’t hurt people, AND not micro-manage the minds of the people around you so much that you share nothing.
Let’s make a world where directness is not ‘unkind’ & opinions don’t have to be carefully hidden.
3. Asking for what you want is selfish.
This is neither true nor sustainable.
It’s not sustainable because no one can suppress their own needs for long without feeling ultimately either resentful or depressed.
But usually, it’s not so much that we’re worried about being selfish as we are worried about other people THINKING we are selfish.
BUT their thoughts aren’t ours to manage:
- We can’t know their thoughts for sure.
- We can’t affect anyone’s thoughts.
- Most people are worried about their own image more than ours.
Ask for what you want because no one’s judgement matters as much as how you feel about yourself.
4. Celebrating yourself is frivolous.
Quite the opposite.
Our brains need rewards. In behavioural psychology, intermittent reinforcement is the principle that subjects perform better & more consistently at tasks when given rewards at regular intervals.
To stay motivated, we need rewards. To be independent, we need to give that reward to ourselves.
When we celebrate our achievements, we give our brain the nourishment it needs to keep going.
5. Feeling sad is terrible.
Feelings are. They are neither good nor bad.
Whether it’s sadness, anger, jealousy, fear, resentment…, none of them are wrong.
They may cause you some discomfort, but they don’t make you a bad person.
Accept your feelings. If some deeper healing needs to happen, seek out some help or more information.
Mostly, trust that you are doing your best.
6. Limiting your success.
The Glass Ceiling effect is an unconscious idea that we aren’t allowed to achieve beyond a certain point.
This belief, left unchallenged, holds us back from pursuing better jobs, relationships, housing, education…,
You know you are holding yourself back when:
- You don’t apply for a job unless you meet ALL the criteria.
- You automatically take all the blame when things go wrong.
- You often apologize for your opinions & feelings.
- You make negative assumptions about the value you bring.
Instead, focus on times when you feel good about yourself. What were you doing? What weren’t you doing?
7. Lack of confident choices.
Self-trust leads to confident choices, but we have to nurture it. Similar to happiness, we have to practise self-trust to achieve it.
If you believe you aren’t trustworthy you:
- Won’t act with confidence.
- You might question your decisions a lot.
- You might ask other people for their opinions often.
On the contrary, people with self-trust:
- Accept mistakes as normal.
- Focus on solutions, not failures.
- Look at the goal they want rather than the consequences of their actions.
- Aren’t afraid to try & find out what happens.
- See outcomes as an event, not a reflection of their self-value.