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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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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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