How to Stop Limiting YOURSELF

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In 2005, when Artemis Consultants was a mere glimmer in the eye of its founders, it was hard to predict it would grow to employ so many talented recruiters. Like any company, it experienced highs and lows. But even in vulnerable moments, Artemis employees found a way to push past obstacles and never limited themselves or the business. This mindset is a major part of Artemis being named a 2022 Best Place to Work by Columbus Business First.

As human beings, we are raised with limits. Don’t go too close to the stove, don’t step near the edge, and don’t swim in the deep end.  These are ingrained in us out of fear for our safety. But at what point do safety limits turn into self-doubts?  How do we limit ourselves as adults?  Where do YOU limit yourself today?

Self-limiting beliefs are perceptions stemming from past experiences that negatively impact one’s potential. We believe we may never reach a certain pinnacle in our career.  We believe we can’t learn something because our “brains don’t work that way.” We put ourselves in a box where we curl up and get comfortable.

The good news is that you can break free from self-limiting thinking with introspection and purposeful action.

Why We Limit Ourselves

We love to stay in our comfort zones.  They are safe, easy, and predictable.

Psychotherapist Seth Gillihan, PhD. describes four major reasons people stay in comfort zones and hold themselves back:

  1. What if I fail and embarrass myself?
  2. What if I succeed and others are jealous?
  3. What if I succeed at first and can’t sustain it?
  4. What if I find out I’m not as competent as I thought?

Each one of these is a huge question.  To get out of comfort zones, we risk potential embarrassment.  All four questions are based in fear. “The question, as always, is not if something bad could happen, but if the potential reward is worth the risk,” says Dr. Gillihan of Psychology Today.

To move past self-limiting questions, you must embrace failing scenarios.  You must believe you will feel better if you try something even if it doesn’t work out. 

A Fixed Mindset Limits Our Potential

Have you ever heard someone say something like, “I am horrible with directions” or “I simply cannot do math”? 

What they are really saying is that they have tried to do something and were not successful.  They then go out of their way to avoid ever encountering what they say they cannot do. 

But avoidance never leads to improvement. Executive coach Marshall Goldsmith says,”I think we have a lot of self-limiting beliefs. And the self-limiting beliefs, a lot of these come from inside us. Basically, I can’t do this. I can’t do that. This is just the way I am. One of the most common problems is, this is just the way I am as if we have some “real” fixed identity that lives throughout time. And I have to really work on people to change that.” 

How to Move Past Self-Limiting Beliefs

  • The first step is to recognize limiting behavior.  Where are you imposing limits?  When did you start placing these limits on yourself?“ That internal dialogue of defeat must be recognized and properly dealt with before it can leave. Even if you’ve spent your entire life believing you were dumb or fat or stuck or meant to fail, you can deliberately reject those beliefs to slowly build confidence in yourself,” says Laura Nicholson of LinkedIn Pulse. “Once you believe change is possible and ignore any evidence that tells otherwise, those ideas that once seemed impossible will slowly come into focus and feel achievable.”
  • Another step in moving out of self-limiting thinking is to figure out how this belief has harmed you.  If you say that you can never speak in public, how has this limited your advancement?  You are the only one setting this limit on yourself.
  • Challenge your self-limiting beliefs: “Simply ask yourself if you might be wrong. Usually, limiting beliefs lose power as soon as we recognize that they might not be true, so try questioning yourself. You can’t write a book because you’re not creative enough? What if you’re wrong? You can’t find love because people can’t be trusted? What if you’re wrong?” (Selene Nelson, Restless)
  • Then, take back your own power by creating new truths about yourself that are positive.  I am creative.  I can speak in public.  I am a leader.

One way to overcome this is adopting a proactive mindset. This can truly activate your career. Being proactive is about empowering yourself to believe that you can initiate and respond to any situation however you individually choose.  Knowing this about yourself comes with incredible freedom.

Stop limiting yourself. You can be anyone you want to be.  Artemis Consultants can help get you there. 

-Written exclusively for Artemis Consultants by Content Writer Mellody Melville

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