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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 August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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