How to Let Go of Limiting Beliefs About Yourself
Letting go of limiting beliefs is tough when you don't know how you're limiting yourself. Anxiety about yourself, life and the world stinks to high heaven. Sometimes the suffering is so constant or so intense we think that life is not worth living if we have to experience such torture. We feel encompassed by our anxiety and sadness that it wraps around our neck and threatens to pull us under with it. Barely having strength to tread water, we wonder why we don't just give up the struggle. And sometimes we almost do. Knowing how to let go of limiting beliefs is the life jacket you need.
Let Go of Limiting Beliefs by Letting Go of Fear
Our mind tricks us into thinking that the limiting beliefs, which are really fear, protects us somehow. If we are vigilant we can stop the worst from happening. Or we can be prepared for it. This makes fear sound like "logic" and the seeming rationality of it makes the fear hard to let go of.
It is not logic. Why would you be afraid for seven months of an upcoming trip because you have to be on a plane for a few hours. Would you rather be anxious for seven months or just the few hours you are on the plane? (Actually you can get rid of anxiety of flying, too.)
Also, the worst might not happen. And, probably won't happen.
And, waiting for it everyday is much more suffering. Anticipatory anxiety is always worse.
How to Choose Fearlessness
You can choose not to be afraid. Just as easy as deciding to, but you have to get rid of that voice that says you'll be worse off or vulnerable or something. Because not having Anxiety will be better not worse. Infinitely better. Work to change this limiting belief before doing anything else (Using Affirmations to Cure Anxiety). Do it gradually so it sticks and you believe it wholeheartedly.
Once you believe you can choose to let go of limiting beliefs, you have to practice. The anxiety will come back by habit, and you have to non-judgmentally keep reminding it to go. You will have to do this over and over again. Over and over. If you expect it to come, you will be easier on yourself once it does.
Instead of: "Why do I always do this, I am so stupid. I can't get better."
Say jovially, or sillily: "Oh there you are, I knew you'd come back. I don't chose you anymore, sit and have a cup of tea while I go about living my life."
Seriously. We have to take ourselves less seriously.
Join In Life to Let Go of Limiting Beliefs
Don't let the anxiety take away all of your joy. Don't let it overwhelm you and keep from things that can make you happy. Know that you deserve to participate in good things in life.
Feeling like you don't deserve to be happy is another limiting belief to work on immediately. You are not an outsider who is unwelcome. This is what the anxiety and depression want you to think so they stay in control. If you were treated badly in your past, that is what your abuser wanted you to think so he or she stayed in power. This is not true. You are not an outsider. You are welcome.
What? You think you are safer out there?
You are not safer out there. You are suffering. You belong just like everyone else. You are not alone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Come in.
Logic can be skewed by limiting beliefs. Skew it back!
What beliefs do you want to change?
Lobozzo, J. (2013, September 4). How to Let Go of Limiting Beliefs About Yourself, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, September 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2013/09/letting-go-of-limiting-beliefs
Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R
[...] counselor may not be talking about it this way because he mentioned “letting go.” This make me think that he may be coming from a Buddhist/mindfulness [...]
And once again, another post that nails it perfectly. It all makes so much sense. If only my thick head could head the advice. One day I guess. I love your ability to reach your readers.
Keep working on it, it is a practice!
For me I feel like limiting beliefs was one of my main set-backs this past year. It wasn't until I started journaling that I realized this. I would re-read the stuff I wrote a week or two later and realize how horrible I sounded. I was beating the crap out of myself! My therapist had suggested going back through and re-writing positive things next to the horrible ones. I had to FORCE myself to come up with stuff to write, but I did it. I still do it, but you are so right.... we need to stop taking ourselves so seriously, and stop the catastrophic thinking. Mindfulness and Journaling have been really helpful tools for me is this battle so far. Thank you! -Leah @ Pathways and Pieces
Thanks Leah! Great testimony! <3
You are not alone must be my priority. I feel that by letting go of this belief, all the rest can work better. I never felt I didn't deserve to be happy, but I do feel I can't be happy unless I change, unless I stop caring too much, loving too much, feeling the need to make everyone happy first, beforeI can even start thinking about myself.
I understood something while reading the post for the second time. I'm not sure I understood it right, but it feels "logic" to me now. I have always been extremely anxious, maybe since birth. My anxiety was really bad. Things as simple as reading in front of class could make me sick. I have been hospitalized so many times the night before a school exam. I was like that until the day I decided to change. I decided to always expect the worse and accept it as a fact even before it happens. I was proud of myself for succeeding in that change. I took the attitude of "i don't care" and the "so what". The doctor asked to talk to me before 6am, before my mother went for surgery and he said: I think it's important that I tell at least one family member. She might not survive the surgery, and if the surgery is successful, she won't live for more than 3 months. So what? Within few minutes, everything was clear. She will die. I must be the first one to know. I prepared the words on how to inform dad and my sisters. I planned my dad's life for "after" her death. I decided how many times I would visit the grave. I even felt happy for her to go before suffering chemo etc. I was proud of myself for not panicking and for accepting everything calmly. I kept laughing and smiling and living normally. Every additional day she spent with us was a gift, but her death didn't seem scary. i got very sick. I needed a surgery. I had a premature baby. A lot of health issues that doctors attributed to stress, but I was just saying a big NO, I'm not stressed, i'm not anxious. I don't care, so what? So many times, I said that I'm not anxious, i just have physical symptoms bothering me. My logic is so wrong. I think I could fool others and fool myself by denying my anxiety and fear, but Denying it is only making it worse. I gave one example, but it applies to every single situation i'm living now. It is very rare that I say it, but I am very anxious and very scared
I read this post so mny times now, and I still felt:"but I don't have any kind of fear?", but on another hand, i had to fill a questionnaire about my anxiety 2 days ago. One of the questions was to state our fears (without really thinking) from 1 to 8. In a second, i had filled the 8 points and while analysing my answers with the therapist, she added at least 6 other points while I still said:but I don't have fear? I know it seems like a lie, but I honestly feel that I don't care and I'm not afraid?
Maybe it is you still trying to deny it? Because above you can say you are afraid.
It's tricky because while maybe you will change these things in the first paragraph, thinking that you must causes the judgment to get in the way of it. Can you see that? It's a trap. "You have to change yourself to even think og yourself." Well, how would you change if you weren't thinking of yourself?
I'm glad of your realization that holding in the fears make them come out in other ways and really you are not protecting anything. I hope this helps you let them out-without judgment- so you can heal! <3
When anxiety seems to have gone completly, it leaves a total emptiness, like nothing matters anymore, as if even life has no purpose or meaning. Something is still wrong?
Anxiety can consume us, in fact it takes a large protion of our brain space, when it goes, or in order to have it go, you can fill up that space with something else. Distraction. Don't think about the emptiness to much, because then you can creat distress, judgement or other negative meaning around it. But something good into that space. Get excited because it can be anything you want. If you decide something is wrong that is you creating meaning around it. Does that make sense?
I love your posts. It seems I have been suffering from anxiety ever since I took Accutane two-three years ago. I had my first panic attack ever on the medicine an have held on to the anxious thoughts since then. However, I have reflected and I did experience anxiety as a child always worrying about death or loved ones and scared to go to sleep. So maybe the accutane just triggered it?
Recently, I haven't been having panic attacks, but constant anxious thoughts. I find myself stuck on the what if's. I take a medicine I say what if I have the side affects, I go to class what if I have a panic attack. It seems my thoughts are obsessive on this topic. I have a great support system with my family and boyfriend, but when I'm away from them that is the problem. Almost as if I'm scared to be alone because of the what ifs.
I was on an antidepressant viibryd last year for anxiety, it worked well, but it made me gain weigh, so I discontinued the meds and te anxiety is back. I hate medicine and would rather get through this on my own. About a month ago I tried prozaac and my doctor warned me people under 25 could have suicidial thoughts. I ignored this because I never had them, but of course while on prozac the what if I hurt myself thought happened so my doctor took me off right away. Now I think in my head what if those thoughts come back.
Any advice you could give me?
What about counseling? Have you tried this? Are you interested? I know many people with great results! I have TONS of advice in my past posts! I also do online counseling if you are interested. Keep searching, there is an answer. You don't have to feel like this forever!
I tried this many years ago, but not for anxiety. Can we discuss this through email?