Do negative thoughts keep you from achieving your success? Your beliefs about yourself and your life matter more than you might realize. Those beliefs can become the foundation upon which you build your life.
Some common self-limiting thoughts are:
- “I’ll never be able to save any money for retirement.”
- “I’ll never find love again.”
- “Why can’t I find any trustworthy friends?”
- “I’ll be fat forever.”
- “I’m sure Pat will get that promotion over me.”
- “I wish I could take a vacation, but I can’t afford it.”
If you identified with some of these thoughts, take steps to break your cognitive ties to those thinking patterns. To do this, you need to focus on strategies to start thinking in a new direction. Here’s seven starters for you.
1. Drop Negative Labels – Our self-labels are the ones we try to live up to. If you’re “fat” then you’ll act and support being fat. If you’re “poor” you’ll act and support that label too.
2. Take Baby Steps – Continuous movement toward your goals will create momentum naturally. To begin that continuous movement, it’s best to start with small steps. Instead of focusing on the size of the goal, make a plan of small, achievable steps to start your movement.
3. Be Your Own Best Friend – Like yourself enough to be your own best friend. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Tell yourself, “You can do this.” Ask yourself if you’d treat your real best friend the way you treat yourself.
4. Believe in Yourself – Don’t insist you’ll “never” do something. Say that you can do it, and then do it. Replace broad “never” statements with smaller, focused “I can” statements and build on the success of doing each one.
5. Assess the Truth – Ask yourself, “Are my thoughts really true? Do I believe them because I have limited myself, or is my reality something different?” When you realize your beliefs and thoughts are unrealistic, untrue, and within your power to change, you will break away.
6. Recognize the Power of Your Negative Thoughts – You create who you are by what you believe about yourself. Turn that power into positive energy that drives you towards the things that you want in life.
7. Learn From the Past – Instead of using your past against you, think about the experience you’ve gained from each success and failure. There’s a lesson to be learned in every situation, whether you fail or succeed.
When you use these strategies, you’ll see the possibilities all around you. You can do anything you set your mind to if you’re willing to believe it and work on it. Those self-limiting beliefs keep you from believing what is possible and keep you from taking any action at all. Embracing the good life that’s yours for the taking.