Happy Monday! I came across the topic of “limiting beliefs” twice last week, which is either God’s way of telling me it’s something I need to talk about or it’s just a coincidence. Either way, it’s our topic for today 🙂 I’m going to go over exactly what it is and my personal experience with it. At the end of the post, I’ll share three simple ways you can stop undervaluing yourself and instead tackle opportunities with confidence. Just a warning: it is a little long, but I promise it’ll be worth it. So, grab your cup of coffee and let’s get into it!
What exactly does it mean to undervalue yourself? Undervaluing yourself is not having confidence in yourself and your ability to accomplish goals. This one sentence can take various forms, however. Depending on whom you are and what you want to achieve, undervaluing yourself could be mental, physical, or even emotional. You can mentally tell yourself that you’ll never be able to achieve a goal, not have confidence in the way you look, or believe that you’ll never get over an emotionally triggering event.
Regardless of your situation, limiting yourself stems from that little voice in the back of your head called doubt. We all know doubt. Doubt loves to foster resistance, which is a topic I covered in my last post. Resistance is what keeps you from having the confidence and drive to own who you are and chase what you desire.
I never really realized how guilty I was of this until I was completing an assignment for my Honors College course, Get Innovative. In the assignment, I was to talk about a Habit of Mind that I wanted to improve. A Habit of Mind is a way of thinking and acting that many of the world’s top innovators exude. My weakest one was “Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision”. Self-examination revealed to me that one of the major reasons I lack this skill is because I’m not always confident in myself or in my ability to get things done. I’m not confident in my accomplishments either. Whenever my friends or professors ask me about my skills or the goals I have achieved in college, I usually downplay myself. Take this blog for example…
When people find out about it (mostly adults), they always have a ton of questions. “What do you talk about?” and “How’s it going?” are two of the most common questions I get. My responses? “Oh, I just do posts about self-help and stress management. It’s going good, too. I have a few people that read it.”
Here’s what a confidant David would and should say: “It’s going great! My posts are usually about stress management and ways to foster personal growth. I also try to encourage self-reflection because I believe it’s only when people really think about their lives and goals that growth truly occurs. Other than that, I post recipes and nutrition advice from time to time because I love food, and my audience tends to enjoy them. I’m also thinking about bringing in other writers to give my readers diverse perspectives because sometimes it’s nice to hear what other people have to say. Speaking of my followers, they actually come from all over the world! I have readers from the U.S., Canada, Colombia, and even Sweden. I’m definitely proud of what I’ve accomplished, especially because I never thought anyone would really read it.”
See the difference? And let me tell you, it felt great to write! You should see the smile on my face right now 🙂 Don’t think it was easy for me to write that and put it on the Internet for you all to see, though. I never would have been able to do that before, but I’m working on not limiting myself.
Undervaluing yourself is detrimental because it prevents you from achieving what you want to achieve. It keeps people from trusting you and your abilities. It causes you to miss opportunities. It robs you of confidence. Most importantly, it keeps you from becoming the person you want to be. I can guarantee you that I would have more business, more readers, and feel more confident in what I do if I didn’t limit myself. I bet the same goes for you.
Before I dive into three ways to stop undervaluing yourself, I want you to take a moment to picture one goal you have. Think about how long you’ve had that goal. Ask yourself why you haven’t pursued or achieved it. Are those first few reasons that pop up the true explanations as to why, or do they have a common underlying theme? Embrace that theme and keep it in mind as you read over these three techniques:
- Accept Failure – As much as we hate it, failure is a part of life, but how you choose to view that failure is entirely up to you. You can dwell on it, or you can learn from it and grow. Do you think Steve Jobs was afraid of failing? Yeah, probably and you know what…he failed many times, but he didn’t let that stop him. To become the person you want to be or achieve your goals, failure is inevitable. Don’t shy away from it. Have a plan in place for when it happens, embrace it, learn from it, and get back at it.
- Think about Thinking – Whenever that little self-doubting voice pops up, think about why it came out. Chances are there’s an underlying reason as to why you doubt yourself. Find that cause and think about how valid it actually is. Then, think about all of the reasons you should do whatever it is you’re questioning. I bet you your “why I should” list is longer than your “why I should not”.
- Embrace Your Inner Child – Kids are amazing. They have so many goals in life. They want to be firemen, police officers, princesses, doctors, lawyers, astronauts, etc. We all laugh at this, but we also see the twinkle in their eyes when they talk about these dreams. They’re completely serious, but somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we lose this sense of ambition, drive, and risk-taking. Why? We’d rather stay in our comfort zone. So whenever you doubt yourself, embrace your inner child. Dream and take action.
Thank you for reading until the end! I know this post is long, but I really hope you got something out of it. Please like it, share it, or comment your thoughts below…it would really mean a lot to me. Have a great week and I’ll talk to you on Friday 🙂