We create our own demons. What does that mean? If you keep making goals and failing to achieve them, the chances are that you are self-sabotaging yourself. If you can resonate with this, continue reading to learn how to identify and overcome limiting beliefs that are holding you back from becoming successful.
We create our Own demons
So, three to four times a year, when a new superhero film is released, we must go to the theater to see it. Of course, it’s a fun night for my husband; however, it’s not so much for me! Lol To be honest, I don’t dislike them all that much, but they’re not really my cup of tea. However, I looooove cinema popcorn and will happily devour a bucket whenever the chance comes. So it’s a win-win situation in the end.
Now let me get to the point. So when we saw Iron Man 3, Tony Stark says the words “We create our own demons”. To be honest, I was surprised to hear these kinds of statements from these kinds of movies, but I was also relieved that those watching might get something useful out of it.
That is so powerful and true! It also reminded me of an Oscar Wilde quote: “We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell” and I couldn’t agree more.
What does that mean?
We are our own worst enemy.
We are the ones who judge ourselves the most harshly.
We are the ones who, even if unintentionally, limit ourselves.
Take me as an example. I was just talking about it with my therapist the other day. I was telling her that I was frustrated with myself and felt guilty that after two years of working on myself, I still wasn’t where I wanted to be. And she suggested that we try something out.
“What would you tell your friend if she said this exact thing to you?” she said. I replied without hesitation, “I would tell her: But recognize where you left off and how far you’ve come in the last two years.”
So why was it that when it was my friend on the receiving end, I was quick to encourage her, but when it was just me talking to myself, I was harsh and judgmental?
Because it is true that we create our own demons!
In my head, I’ve created my own demon who never stops saying negative things (the ego). I constantly put enormous pressure on myself to be completely perfect in every way. Even when others tell me how well I’m doing, I doubt myself and put myself down. I hear them, but I choose to ignore them.
The thing is that we create our worries and our limitations.
Like Tony Stark, we create our own demons. We form this image of ourselves, of exactly who we should be, when we should be it, and how we should be it, with little room for flexibility and growth. Sometimes even blame others along the way but we need to take responsibility for our own choices.
We’ve all developed negative limiting beliefs about ourselves. Beliefs that, for the most part, were subconsciously embedded in our brains as children (more on that later). However, as adults, we choose to continue believing these limiting beliefs and, as a result, continue to create our own demons, and so, limit ourselves from reaching our full potential.
So, what are limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are beliefs that hold you back and limit your potential.
Limiting Beliefs prevent you from following your dreams and ambitions and creating the life you have always desired. In a way (limiting way), they are defining your reality and overall life.
How Limiting Beliefs Hold You Back from your full potential
We often shape unhealthy beliefs as a result of childhood traumas. But that’s not necessarily always the case. Limiting beliefs can be created or passed down to us through our family, education, society, etc.
It can be extremely dangerous to have an internal belief system that is creating a negative reality for you.
Why is that?
When you are constantly thinking of negative thoughts/experiences, you are more likely to be exposed to that type of experience/scenario. That explains why you seem to be stuck in a rut sometimes.
No matter how hard you try, you seem you can’t get out of a cycle of negativity.
What do I mean by that?
Let’s say that you’ve been trying to be in a healthy relationship, but all you’ve been doing is jumping from one lousy partner to another. And you don’t understand why this keeps happening to you.
Is it possible that somehow your subconscious mind is self-sabotaging your relationships? Maybe something happened when you were younger that made you think that that’s all you deserve?
Maybe when you were young, you were cheated on and started believing that everyone is a cheater and worse, that you don’t deserve to be loved. And perhaps that belief (or better limiting belief) is still stuck in your subconscious mind. And maybe that is why you’re self-sabotaging your relationships by going from one ‘bad’ partner to another cause you believe that that is the type of person you deserve.
Until you identify your limiting beliefs, start believing in yourself and your self-worth, and believe that you deserve to be in a loving relationship, you will continue to live in this vicious cycle.
Many people go their entire lives without knowing how to improve their life. After years of living in this manner, they have come to accept it as their fate. That, however, could not be further from the truth.
You can choose to change your beliefs.
You have the ability to change your life and your reality and start living the life of your dreams.
Understand that Beliefs Are Not Facts
I bet that your beliefs have most likely been challenged at some point in your life. And that along the way, you have discovered that some of your beliefs were incorrect. Life presented you with compelling evidence that you were mistaken, which led to a shift in your thinking.
That is proof that beliefs can be altered and that they are not facts. This is the first and most crucial step in changing the present beliefs that are holding you back from manifesting your desired reality.
Have you ever wondered why two people can have the same exact experience but get a totally different perspective out of it?
It’s simply because beliefs are not factual information. Beliefs are subjective.
Beliefs are nothing more than what you believe about a particular situation.
Your belief system is created according to the way you perceive your life’s events and circumstances.
Our nervous system is primarily responsible for our emotions, which drive our actions. Then our actions and behaviors shape our experiences. That is how our beliefs influence our reality.
Why do people hold on to their self-limiting beliefs?
Many people argue that they do not have Self Limiting Beliefs. However, I’m confident that that is complete utter b***shit (excuse my french).
Everyone has limiting beliefs.
We have all the evidence in front of us more often than not, but we still refuse to change our beliefs.
Why is that?
This is because our belief systems are comfortable the way they are. We’ve spent our entire life believing something, and the thought of changing that belief can be frightening.
Your safe, self-limiting beliefs have become your reality.
You are co-creating precisely the life you believe is possible for you, which, of course, sometimes is not satisfying enough for you.
If you believe that you can’t become wealthy, this will result in financial difficulties, and so it will continue to reinforce your belief.
You’ve tried and failed in the past to overcome your financial difficulties. But because you expected financial ruin, you got it. You see this as confirmation of your belief, and your psychological makeup congratulates you on your correct assumption.
But what will happen if you think differently?
How could any other reality be possible?
You need to ingrain in your mind that this is simply a belief and NOT A FACT.
What you consider to be true is simply your interpretation of the situation.
You can change your beliefs, which changes your perspective, and you can attract abundance and wealth rather than scarcity and financial difficulties.
How to Identify your Limiting Beliefs
So, we have learned what limiting beliefs are and that everyone has them. Now it’s time to identify the limiting beliefs that are holding you back.
Tip: If you still believe that you don’t have limiting beliefs, here’s a quick test to see if that’s true: if you’re not getting where you want to go in life, it’s a clear indication that you’re probably self-sabotaging yourself.
Before manifesting a new reality, you must first review your life and determine what you need to change.
You need to examine your beliefs.
What beliefs are holding you back from realizing your dream life?
But be careful; you need to go deep because your stubborn beliefs do not want you to change your mind. They are comfortable with their current situation. You are alive, and so for your brain and nervous system, that is proof that your current beliefs are healthy and positive.
A lot of the time many people find it challenging to identify ingrained beliefs that are limiting their potential.
The below is an effective method that will help identify what is holding you back from achieving your desired goals:
#1 First Identify What You Want – your Primary Goals
So first, you need to clarify what you want to achieve in life.
Think really deeply about what you want in life and outline your Primary Goals.
What is it that you secretly want to achieve in life?
Set aside your current belief system and clarify what you necessitate to start living the life you desire.
To do so, consider asking yourself one or more of the following questions:
- Write down the first thing that comes to mind when I ask myself, “What do I want more than anything else?”
- What personal traits and characteristics would I like to possess? What behaviors or habits would I want to remove?
- How long would I work? Would I work at all? What would I be doing? How much money will I need to make my dream a reality?
- What financial reality would be perfect?
- What does my dream health look like?
- Which goals would I like to achieve in all areas of my life? Divide them into short and long-term goals, but don’t be afraid to dream big.
- Why do I desire what I desire? What are the advantages of making these dreams a reality?
#2 Figure out what is preventing you from achieving your goals
Pay attention to what happens when you attempt to achieve a goal.
Many times, an unhealthy belief is preventing you from succeeding.
Remember what we said in the beginning “ We create our own demons”.
What demons have you created that are stopping you from achieving your full potential?
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you consider starting the process to reach your goal?
You want to lose a few extra pounds and start working out to feel healthy again. What comes to your mind first as you consider going for a run or to the gym?
I don’t have the time.
I don’t want to go by myself, and no one else wants to accompany me.
Whatever your answer is, it’s nothing more than an excuse!
Sometimes, Limiting beliefs will also present themselves as the following behaviors:
- Procrastination – You procrastinate instead of dealing with a situation.
- Perfectionism – You won’t do something unless you can do it perfectly.
- Victimization – When something bad occurs, you tell yourself that this happens to you all the time. This is just your personality, or these things always happen to you.
- Pessimism: Your inner dialogue is negative. Your inner voice never sees the positive side of a situation and always expresses it negatively.
- You are concerned about the “what if“ consequences of failure.
- Complaining about your current situation and how challenging it is to start over is a way of life.
Whatever is holding you back, don’t let these types of excuses and behaviors get in your way!
Never forget that a belief is just a THOUGHT; it is NOT necessarily the TRUTH.
#3 10 questions to ask to identify your limiting beliefs
I’ve created this worksheet for you to use and fill out your answers (it’s editable), and it’s completely FREE.
You can use this worksheet to answer these 10 important questions to identify the limiting beliefs that are holding you back from achieving your goals.
You can CHOOSE TO BELIEVE ANYTHING!
It is entirely up to you to choose Positive over Negative self-beliefs.
The questions in the FREE Worksheet can help determine whether your current beliefs are appropriate or just fears holding you back.
How to Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs
After examing your beliefs, you should know precisely what is holding you back. So, now for the last part, how to overcome your limiting beliefs.
How do you do that? Here’s how.
#1 Make minor gradual changes
The first step is to start making minor gradual changes to these limiting beliefs.
For example, if you find yourself thinking, “I’m so lazy,” remember that this is a reflection of these self-limiting beliefs that aren’t always true.
So, try to change or challenge it with a more encouraging statement like “I am productive.”
#2 Explore what new behaviors /actions would better support you as the person you want to become or the goals you want to achieve
To completely overcome these self-limiting beliefs and achieve significant changes, you must first lay the groundwork for new beliefs and behaviors, which may be reinforced through new experiences.
To do so, ask yourself what kind of behaviors you need to portray as a person who aspires to become _____________ or achieve ______________ (your goals).
Your goal is to start pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
What kind of behaviors/actions would a healthy person portray?
A healthy person would take actions that promote their health, such as eating healthy food, being physically active, and making sure they sleep enough. Also, they would avoid anything that would jeopardize their overall health, like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and dangerous sexual activity.
This type of exercise will assist you in staying focused on your primary goals. And will assist you in determining which behaviors and actions to pursue and which to avoid to keep moving forward toward your desired goals.
#3 Take action
The next step is to take action/s that aligns with the new beliefs and goals you want to achieve.
For example, if you want to improve your organizational skills, look for tactics and resources that can help you do that. If you want to start a new relationship, put yourself out there. If you want to start eating healthy, find resources that can help you do just that. If you want to travel the world, start looking for ways to sustain it.
Do whatever it takes that will help you achieve your desired goals. The important thing is that you do something, anything. TAKE ACTION!
“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.“Albert Einstein
I promise you that, over time, after making some shifts and putting these new beliefs into practice, you will see significant improvement in your thinking patterns, narrative, and behavior.
Of course, this will not happen overnight. It will take a lot of time, understanding, and patience to fully integrate these new behaviors and ways of thinking into your life and work. But the most important thing is to keep practicing and reinforcing them on a regular basis.
One way to help maintain these new beliefs is to always focus on the positive outcomes and use them as proof that your old limiting beliefs were either incorrect or have become irrelevant.
#4 Continuously challenge your beliefs/thoughts
The final step is to keep challenging your beliefs and thoughts.
This step can be the most challenging part because these behaviors are likely to be quite ingrained and will re-appear whether you want them to or not.
As you attempt to establish new behaviors and beliefs, you must keep working on challenging old behaviors and thoughts when they resurface (which they will). It will also entail paying great attention to your actions and thoughts and continuously trying to respond and challenge them.
When you hear these self-limiting voices in your head or find yourself repeating old behaviors, you can challenge them by simply saying “stop” and refusing to allow them to grow and spread.
Many of your self-limiting beliefs have been with you for a long time, so naturally, this makes change more difficult. It’s easy to fall into the trap and deceive yourself about which of your beliefs are healthy or unhealthy.
Our negative belief system can be rationalized as a defense mechanism to keep us from changing. That is why it’s critical to examine your beliefs alongside the list of goals you are trying to achieve.
If a belief is impeding your progress toward achieving your goals, then that is a limiting belief.
As we said everyone has limiting beliefs and we all create our own demons. The most important thing is to learn how to identify and overcome limiting beliefs when they arise.
I get it this is not easy; I continue to struggle every day to change my old beliefs. And for sure, this isn’t a one-time exercise. Every time I try to achieve or do something new, old beliefs resurface.
But remember, just because you have a long-held belief does NOT mean it is beneficial to you. And just because it’s hard, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
If you want to change your current reality, you will need to CHANGE your BELIEFS and ACTIONS.
You cannot expect anything to change if you continue to do the same exact thing you have been doing all your life.
TIP: Every time you want to achieve something new, repeat the 10 questions mentioned earlier to identify and overcome new limiting beliefs.
To successfully achieve the life you desire, you must dismiss your self-limiting beliefs and create new belief patterns that align with what you truly want and deserve.
If you want to take it a step further, read this article to learn how to start using daily positive affirmations to mitigate these subconscious limiting beliefs and substitute them with more constructive ones.