5 Limiting Beliefs that You Need to Let Go Of
For the longest time, I was stuck in a job that I knew was going nowhere and ultimately wasn’t one that I wanted to keep doing for the next five, ten, fifteen years. I had been in my full time employment for the past four and a half years, complaining about how I wasn’t doing what I loved but never taking the step to leave because it was all I knew. It had been my first job since I graduated, it had been a “safety net” for me and it always seemed like I had one reason or another to keep staying.
In March 2018, I finally decided that a change was necessary. I didn’t like who I was becoming – a negative person who was dragging my feet through my day-to-day, and heck, I wanted to finally do something that I was going to proud of! I left my job and it felt liberating, as if a whole world of possibilities had opened up before me. I can finally be whoever I choose to be! Looking back, there were five limiting beliefs that I was holding on to that I finally had to learn to let go of to pursue a life that I loved.
My five were:-
1. “I can’t do this”
It can be almost debilitating to think there isn’t a way out of a circumstance that you are in, to feel stuck in a situation and feel like there is no way out. Trust me, I’ve been there. This was what I was holding on to for a long time until I stopped and thought, “Well hey, no one is stopping me.” The only person who can hold you back from doing anything is yourself. Sure, there may be sacrifices that need to be made or planning involved to help the transition; I have had to cut down expenditure and take a pay cut, but I can tell you now that it is liberating once you just take that first step. Whether it is leaving a job that doesn’t bring you joy, or a toxic relationship or even just deciding to take more time for yourself, step out of this belief and into what brings you happiness.
2. “I need [insert someone or something here] to be happy”
A lot of the times, we think that we can only find happiness in external factors – like that fancy car that we “need” to have, or that exotic holiday that we “have to” go on or earn a certain amount of income before we finally become satisfied. What we really need to be looking for is an inward reflection of what happiness means to us. If we’re constantly relying on someone or something else to make us happy, that can easily be taken away from us. When I was stuck in my job, shopping was therapy for me. I would buy things that I think will make me happy and they did – but only for a short time before I “needed” that something else. I was looking at all the wrong places for happiness, when really all I had to do was look within myself, and trust that I am the only person I need to make me happy.
3. “My career or my income is my measure of success”
Success can mean differently for different people. If you take pride in what you do and view your career as your sign of success, by all means it is not a self-limiting belief. It only becomes a self-limiting belief if you are only doing what you’re doing because there is a fear that if you leave, you have no worth. Our careers or the amount in our banks do not define who we are. We can lose a job, but we can never lose the abilities, qualities and strengths that we have curated within ourselves – and these are ultimately what define our core.
4. “I can do everything on my own”
While it’s great to have self-confidence, it takes courage to realise when we need help. Sometimes, true strength lies in numbers and being human, we will occasionally need our support systems and collaboration with others to help us achieve our goals. I definitely owe it to the people around me when I was trying to decide whether or not to leave my job. If it weren’t for the support that I got, the nudges that I received and the help and encouragement along the way, I probably would have stayed on and continued being unhappy in my role.
5. “I am my past and I can’t change that”
Occasionally, I beat myself up over my choice during my university days – Why didn’t I take this course instead? Why did I stop pursuing what I set out to do? If only I had done this differently, I wouldn’t be having this difficulty right now. We often carry labels that may have been placed on us from childhood, or dwell on the regrets we’ve made in our earlier years. Maybe it is time to let go of the “What If” and the “If Only” and focus on what’s ahead and what we can still change. I don’t regret my past employment, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to do. Instead, I look at it as an eye opener, a lesson learnt. I have built friendships over the past four years and learnt things that I probably wouldn’t have learnt anywhere else. Take the things that have happened and keep them in your back pocket. Only look back if it’s going to help you charge forwards!
“If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become truth for you.”- Louise Hay. The thoughts that we keep telling ourselves, whether true or not, can hold power and become engraved into our being. Start being kind to yourself today and realise that you have all that it takes to change the course of your life
Written by Jane Yeoh