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5 Self-limiting Beliefs That Ruin Our Social Life

5 Self-limiting Beliefs That Ruin Our Social Life

Everybody has problems and issues but not everybody does something about them.

In fact, most people don’t even want to admit having them, not to mention defining them.

We live in a world where conventional wisdom dominates and being happy means being average. But that’s terribly wrong.

Actually most of the time we feel that something is just not right and things could be better. We have our strong moments and realizations when we are aware of our potential and the things we can do with our life. Unfortunately, that doesn’t last long.

The main problem is our self-limiting beliefs.

They define our thoughts, which define our actions. So for as long as we can remember, we’ve been living with the same results.

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These beliefs have no actual explanation, can’t be proved and are usually negative. They make us think that we can’t do certain things and that they are impossible, so there’s no point in even trying.

Some apply to our social life and define things like whether or not we will feel comfortable having conversations with strangers, find the right partner, impress others, have relationships that last, be loved, be respected, grab attention and so on.

Here, I’ll try to mention the ones that are a big part of our everyday life but that ruin our performance in front of people.

1. He/she won’t be interested in me.

You can never know that. And yet, we have all been thinking that way and as a result didn’t even approach people we like so many times. And, of course, missed a lot of opportunities because of that.
Who knows, maybe our soul mate was among them?

The thing is that people don’t think anything of us before we’ve approached them. They may have formed some vague impression but that means nothing. Even when you want to approach people you’ve known for years but feel that they won’t like you, so you don’t even talk to them, you’re wrong.

They never knew you at the first place so you can make a good impression for less than 5 minutes if you’re confident enough and have something interesting to say and show.

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2. Some people are just born extroverts and have great social skills.

No, they’ve simply become so.

Every skill in this world is learned and everyone is able to master it through practice.

Thinking that the sociable people you see all the time can engage anyone they meet in a unique conversation means that you also believe you can never be like them. And that thought itself is a strong limitation that prevents you from actually becoming more open and talking freely to others.

Until you eliminate it and substitute it for a positive one (like “It will take time but I can become more confident in myself and approach people and make them like me right away.”), you won’t make any progress.

3. I’m not ___ enough and that’s why he/she will never like me.

So wrong! That belief is what distinguishes the scared antisocial people who never leave their comfort zone from the ones who achieve anything they want, including the man/woman they like.

The empty space in that self-limiting belief can be filled with any word. You may think you’re not good-looking enough, not rich, fit, smart or experienced enough. Whatever it is that you believe, try to eliminate it and think that you are good enough instead.

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I know it’s not an easy thing to do but it’s absolutely possible. Only this little improvement will change the course of your life.

4. I’ll just be myself and the right person for me will eventually find me.

In “The Secret Code” – a great book about the art of seduction – the authors say:

“This (being yourself) only works if you know exactly who you are, what your strengths are, and how to convey them successfully. Most often, this statement is used as an excuse not to improve. What most of us present to the world isn’t necessarily our true self, it’s a combination of years of bad habits and fear-based behavior. Our real self lies buried underneath all the insecurities and inhibitions. So rather than just being yourself, focus on discovering and permanently bringing to the surface your best self.”

So you can’t just sit there, change nothing and wait for the right person to find you. You need to constantly work on yourself, to make small steps that will eventually turn you into a better version of yourself and will help you live the life you were meant to.

5. They’re talking bad about me.

That’s just an example and can stand for every time you think people are speaking ill of you, are looking at you, laughing at something you did, say or the way you look like.

Now that belief is ridiculous and yet one of the most common. I’ve felt it myself many times.

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But then I realized how funny it was. Because this makes us think that it’s all about us and people – even if we’ve never spoken to them – are talking about us. This means we feel so special that wherever we go, we grab the attention and all people around us stop the conversation they’re having and start talking about us. We’re also sure it’s a bad thing and as a result feel sad and depressed and our self-esteem decreases significantly.

Well, the truth is that 99% of the time we’re wrong. People are less interested in us that we think and making it all personal harms our own understanding of ourselves and ruins our social life.

We need to stop being so self-centered, stop taking things personally and realize that it’s not all about us.

Some of the times people may be actually talking about us, but who said it’s something negative. In the other cases, well, we can have their attention but will need to work on that a bit more than just showing up somewhere.

These are just a small part of all the self-limiting beliefs that pop up in our head all the time. It really affects our behavior and sometimes they’re the only reason we can’t talk freely to people and get out there and impress.

It’s a big step in our self-improvement but eliminating those thoughts will make us believe that we’re capable of much more and thus achieve it.

So go out more, communicate with people and engage in conversations as much as you can. You can never fail on that quest, you can just give up before you’ve shown them your good side.

Featured photo credit: I Can’t See You…/Peter via flickr.com

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Lidiya K

Lidiya is the founder of Let's Reach Success, a blog on personal, spiritual and business growth.

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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