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We all have an inner critic, but sometimes that inner critic can really do some damage to our self-esteem! If it’s bad enough, it goes beyond just a negative thought or two…in fact, it can develop into extremely hindering limiting beliefs.
A limiting belief can prevent you from living a full life with rich experiences, lifelong memories, and important opportunities. When your inner critic stops you from pursuing what you care about, this is when it becomes a major problem.
These journal prompts for limiting beliefs are here to help re-route those negative thought patterns that hold you back!
What are limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are ideas and states of mind that you view as absolutely true, holding you back from doing certain things. Limiting beliefs can leave you feeling trapped, uncertain, and doubting yourself and your abilities.
For example, if you believe you’re not good at public speaking, you might avoid practicing it. Even if you do practice public speaking, you won’t be able to do your best because you’re self conscious of your performance.
Limiting beliefs limit our opportunities to live a full, rich life. This is why it’s important to challenge them by using these journal prompts for limiting beliefs.
How do I discover my limiting beliefs?
So, now you know what limiting beliefs are, but which ones do you fall victim to?
Here’s a few ways to identify the limiting beliefs you may have:
- Identify your beliefs or outlook on the world in general – use self-reflection to identify the way you view the world and your place in it. Life is extremely complex to say the least, with many ups and downs. There is a lot of room for negative beliefs to manifest if you’re focusing your attention on the wrong areas.
- Look at your behavior – do you have any unhelpful behaviors that leave you in a negative mindset? Sulking, self-destruction, and substance use are some things to consider.
- Reflect on your struggles – is there something you’ve routinely struggled with? It could be social anxiety, self doubt, or perfectionism. Pinpoint the underlying causes of these struggles and see where your mind tends to fixate.
The best way to discover limiting beliefs is through journaling, just as these journal prompts for limiting beliefs will guide you through. Journaling allows you to think deeply and elaborate on the origin story of your limiting beliefs.
What are the top 10 limiting beliefs?
As outlined by Asana, these are the top 10 limiting beliefs that many people commonly face.
- I’m not good enough: “I don’t have the ability to do x or y.”
- I’m too old or too young: “I’m too old to dress that way anymore.”
- I don’t have enough time: “I don’t have the time to grow my skills.”
- I’m not smart enough: “I don’t have what it takes to figure this out.”
- I don’t have enough experience: “I won’t be able to be competent at what I do.”
- I’ll never be successful: “I’ll never be successful at my career choice.”
- I don’t have enough money: “I can’t invest in the things that make me happy.”
- I’ll never be one of the best: “I can’t be proud of myself because I’m far from the best.”
- I’m not talented enough: “I don’t have enough talent to excel.”
- I’ll never be a great leader: “I’m too timid and shy to be a leader.”
As you read through the list, did any of these ring a bell for you? I know I can relate to a handful of them myself, and we all experience at least a few of these at one point or another.
What are some strategies for challenging limiting beliefs?
Challenging a limiting belief is easier said than done. A belief is something deeply ingrained in you, so don’t expect it to change overnight. You can, however, work toward quieting those pesky limiting beliefs so that they don’t dictate your behavior and hold you back!
Try these strategies, as you journal, to challenge your limiting beliefs:
- On a scale of 1-10, rate how strongly you believe the limiting belief.
- Ask yourself how rational the limiting belief is.
- Identify what evidence you have to support the limiting belief
- Reframe the limiting belief into something more rational or positive
- i.e: “I won’t get the job because I’m not good enough” > “I wouldn’t be asked to interview if I wasn’t a worthwhile candidate, so I am good enough.”
14 Journal Prompts to Challenge Your Limiting Beliefs
Ready to use these journal prompts for limiting beliefs to overcome yours? These exercises will help you deep-dive and get personal with your inner critic to put it in its place!
1. What limiting beliefs do you already know you have?
After familiarizing yourself with some of the top 10 most common limiting beliefs, which ones do you experience? Almost everyone has felt some variation of “I’m not good enough.” Reflect on times where you felt inferior or inadequate and go from there.
2. What has your inner critic been telling you lately?
We go through bouts of different insecurities throughout different phases in our lives. What has your inner critic been up to lately? In school, it was likely comparing your academic achievements to your friends. In the age of social media, it’s likely comparing your life to theirs. What has your negative self talk been consisting of?
3. Evaluate your limiting beliefs across all areas of your life.
Think about all areas of your life (and your wellness), like: your professional life, finances, physical health, mental health, home life, love life, social life, personal development…the list goes on! When you dissect each area of your life, you’ll likely recognize even more limiting beliefs of yours.
4. What are your core values?
And do your limiting beliefs conflict with those core values? If you value balance, for example, but you have a limiting belief that you must be productive 24/7 or else you’ll be doomed to fail…well, that’s not living in alignment with your values! See which discrepancies you can pick up on.
5. Where do your fears lie?
Your fears can tell you a lot about what you perceive as a threat to your wellbeing. If you’re routinely scared of losing a job, being broken up with, or ruining a friendship, you may have a deep-rooted fear of instability or abandonment. See about connecting the dots to your fears and their patterns.
6. In what ways do your fears, insecurities, and negative beliefs limit you?
If you let a limiting belief rule your life and dictate how you live it, this can be bad news. Have you ever avoided something out of fear? Whether that’s fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, or any other negative outcome, this can be limiting as you overlook the good that can equally result.
Use my guided journal to really squash those limiting beliefs!
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7. What would you do if nothing held you back?
So then, what would you do if fear wasn’t part of the equation? If you faced no consequences or repercussions, what would you fearlessly go for? It could be starting the business of your dreams, traveling the world, taking the unconventional job, or heck, even getting a nose piercing.
8. Name a time where a limiting belief made you give up.
Sometimes, your inner critic can really get the best of you and in those times, it wins. Without being hard on yourself, reflect on a time where you gave up or avoided something you really wanted. What led up to this limiting belief and what made it have such a big impact on your decisions?
9. What makes you get up in the morning?
This may seem like an odd question, but thinking about your “why,” your purpose, or your passion can really play a role in fighting limiting beliefs. When you have a strong sense of direction, it can be easier to stay committed to your goals no matter what your inner critic has to say. Here’s some helpful journal prompts for finding your passion when you’re stuck.
10. How do your limiting beliefs make you feel?
We can talk about the logic and rationality of your limiting beliefs all day, but the emotional side calls for attention too. At the end of the day, how do your limiting beliefs make you feel? Do they make you feel defeated? Discouraged? Insecure? This is a good opportunity to brain dump all of your feelings!
11. Where do you think your limiting beliefs stem from?
Trying to go back to the first time you ever experienced your limiting belief can give you a lot of insight. Unfortunately, people can put ideas in our heads that we wouldn’t have otherwise thought about. If someone made you feel a certain way or caused you to question yourself, take note of it!
12. What evidence is there to support your limiting beliefs?
Yes, we’re getting scientific here! It’s important to consider both the emotional and rational/irrational side of a limiting belief. If you’re freaking out because you’ll never succeed in life, is that really true? Do you truly believe you will never have the opportunity to succeed, ever, at anything? Questioning the limiting belief like this can help you reconsider its validity.
13. Are you missing an opportunity due to your limiting beliefs?
Being held back in life by a limiting belief is a very real thing that happens. Are you missing out on something right now because of a limiting belief you hold? What would your life be like if you rebelled against the belief?
14. What steps can you take to conquer your limiting beliefs?
What actionable steps can you personally take to fight back against your limiting beliefs once and for all? This can be reframing your thoughts of self-doubt in a journal, pushing past your comfort zone, or showing yourself that you can do the thing.
By committing enough conscious thoughts and behaviors that counter the limiting belief, you’re proving to yourself that the limiting belief holds no power over you!
Did you just discover that your limiting beliefs are affecting you? Journaling helps, but therapy is where the real work happens. Therapy has helped me tremendously with my own limiting beliefs. I always recommend Online Therapy because it’s a comprehensive, effective online therapy toolkit at an affordable monthly cost. Get 20% off your first month at the link below!
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