7 self-belief habits that are holding you back and how to overcome them quicklyAug 29, 2021
Before we can look at ways to overcome self-belief habits that are holding you back, we first need to understand self-belief.
Self-belief is how you perceive your abilities and trust in those abilities to achieve an action or goal. This article will consider negative self-beliefs that can create challenges in your professional life, family life, social life and overall health and wellbeing.
Let me ask you this: “How often do you find your inner voice bullying you?”
This is the point where crinkles form in many of my clients’ foreheads.
Take note of negative self-talk
Believe it or not, many people go about their daily lives with a punishing internal soundtrack. An inner dialogue that questions, reprimands and says some downright awful things. It’s like a playground bully living inside your head that puts you down and beats you up. And it can happen a lot if you’re honest.
This inner bully is still you, but it’s the part that holds you back. It’s the unhelpful part. Even though it thinks it’s being helpful!
When did you last:
- Question a decision or action?
- Believe that you couldn’t achieve something?
- Fail to finish a task or see something through to the end?
- Feel uncertain about what to do?
- Get annoyed for not trusting your judgement?
These thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions are examples of your inner bully trying to keep you safe from failing; looking like a fool; saying the wrong thing. This so-called protection may be because of a previous experience or an enormous sense of uncertainty. Whatever the reason, you will succumb to self-limiting beliefs and, as a result, the outcome will hold you back – even though you may not have realised it.
Let’s dig deeper into self-belief habits that are less than positive and how to overcome them.
#1 Negative self-belief habit “I’m not special”
Everybody is unique and has exceptional individual abilities, gifts and natural talents. Even you!
Believing that you are not special will unconsciously cause you to accept routine and boredom. It will prevent you from setting big goals and dreaming about exciting aspirations. This self-belief will hold you back and pooh-pooh any sort of achievement as being worthy of celebration.
How to overcome the self-belief of “I’m not special”
Make a conscious effort to celebrate all wins and acknowledge anything that you achieve for the first time or improve on. No matter how small. Feeling good about successes shouldn’t be saved for significant milestones. The more you can give yourself (and others) a pat on the back, the more you will start to appreciate how good you are in your career; what a fantastic parent, child, friend, boss or colleague you genuinely are.
Spend time reflecting on your unique gifts and talents. Be aware of the activities that make you feel happy and in flow. And be mindful of how you feel with certain people. Who makes you feel good about yourself? Who oozes positivity where you’re around?
#2 Negative self-belief habit “I don’t know what I want”
Not knowing what you want can be a source of constant procrastination. Being unsure and holding off deciding is defeatist because nothing is ever truly certain. Too much indecisiveness can cause you to never move forward with anything in life and this will lead to resentment and anger.
How to overcome the self-belief of “I don’t know what I want”
Believe in yourself and have the confidence to make a choice and stick to it. The more you decide with conviction, the more certainty you will have, and it will become easier. Research the pros and cons if you need to, especially if the decision concerns a big-ticket item or life-changing action but make one. Don’t take too long and don’t let the opinions of others sway you. Learn to trust your intuition (or your gut) and belief in yourself.
#3 Negative self-belief habit “I don’t have time”
Everyone has the same number of minutes and hours each day. So why is it that some of us never seem to have enough time?
Never having enough time is the result of poor structure and not being self-disciplined. Lacking priorities or simply not valuing your time can lead to working on uninteresting tasks and wasting time. Procrastination, perfectionism and overthinking are time thieves and negative habits.
How to overcome the self-belief of “I don’t have time”
Log all activities during your waking hours, every day for at least one week. Split your day into 30-minute segments. If you need to, keep a timer to remind you to record the actions. This exercise will highlight how your time is spent and identify when and where productivity is low.
Reflect on the results. If activities don’t serve you well, could they be eliminated? Rank activities in order of priority and think about how they match all areas of life, including career, family, social, health, wealth, relationships, friendships, and personal growth.
How happy are you with each area and what improvements or changes are evident to you? Make a list of goals and visions and start to prioritise what is important to you. They will act as motivation, help you to maintain focus, and to make time for the things that matter to you!
#4 Negative self-belief habit “I can’t cope with change”
Many people fear change, seeing it as disruptive and emotionally turbulent. This fear of the unknown can often lead to people never taking a risk or trying new things – even tasting a new dish at a restaurant!
Uncertainty can cause anxiety and low self-esteem. People often choose to do nothing, even if they feel uncomfortable, because it is easier and safer than venturing into the unknown – even if the unknown could offer much better circumstances.
How to overcome the self-belief of “I can’t cope with change”
Start small and make little changes in your daily routine. If you always have cornflakes for breakfast, try poached egg and avocado on toast. Switch the furniture and décor around in your lounge or move the contents of your kitchen cupboards. Once you realise that change is not hurtful, you will be more confident in making decisions and trying something completely new.
When facing a situation that requires change and your thoughts and feelings are negative, make a list of at least five alternative positive outcomes. You will soon realise that your fear of change is holding you back and that the future on the other side of change is often brighter!
#5 Negative self-belief habit “Everyone else is doing better than me”
Comparing yourself to others takes many forms but never ends well. Everyone is different, so why do you need to be like anyone else? Giving in to self-doubt causes you to question your abilities, put yourself down, and favour others as looking better, achieving more, or simply having a better life.
It can be challenging to find your flow without a purpose in life, but it is an individual journey. Aspiring to be like others causes negative thoughts and feelings, even actions because it’s simply not possible to be exactly like someone else.
How to overcome the self-belief of “Everyone else is doing better than me”
Treating yourself as a priority and fulfilling your needs will help you to become more self-aware. In turn, this will reduce the need to compare and judge yourself and others.
Spend time carrying out a visioning exercise. Set realistic goals for what you want to achieve over the next twelve months. Be specific and find a way to measure success. Loving yourself for who you are boosts self-love, self-worth and belief in your abilities.
#6 Negative self-belief habit “I don’t need anyone’s help”
Not being able to delegate, always wanting to be in control and feeling frustrated by others are signs that you struggle to ask for help. Some people see asking for help as a sign of weakness, a sign that they cannot achieve something on their own merits. Taking on too much can lead to things never being finished, leading to a lack of self-trust. These traits could also lead to you not being able to keep promises to yourself or to others.
How to overcome the self-belief of “I don’t need anyone’s help”
The truth is, asking for help will allow you to enjoy more in life because it frees up time, breaks down obstacles and achieves better results because two or more minds are better than one.
Start small and ask for help around the home or delegate small tasks at work. Build trust with others and take the time to feel what it’s like to enjoy more space around you and in your head. Allow others to support you and appreciate the newfound freedom that you will experience.
By prioritising your own needs, even if it’s to gain more free time or to work with people on enjoyable projects, you will soon see the benefits of accepting help from others.
#7 Negative self-belief habit “I’m not good enough”
Everyone will experience thoughts of not being good enough at some point in life. These thoughts may result from a throwaway comment from a parent, sibling or teacher, but they often accompany you into adulthood.
Not feeling good enough can lead to negative self-belief habits such as impostor syndrome, procrastination and perfectionism. But why are you not good enough? Compared to who?
How to overcome the self-belief of “I’m not good enough”
Celebrating successes and accepting compliments will help you to build self-belief and trust in your abilities. Finding your flow will give you more energy and build confidence so that you impact others positively.
Often, limiting beliefs have built up over time with your unconscious mind suffocating ambition, thinking it’s protecting you.
Sometimes it helps to unpick negative self-habits with someone who can hold you accountable for making small, incremental and positive changes.