Your thoughts carry emotional charges (both positive and negative) and can be used as guides in moving towards your personal and professional goals. But thoughts can have a limiting effect if you’re not careful.
Having thoughts that don’t serve you can mentally hold you back in ways that might be very hard to break out of. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to realise when your thought patterns are holding you back.
Developing an awareness of your thoughts is essential to achieving your goals and living a more balanced and rewarding life. The following are some surprising thought patterns that could be holding you back. Your ability to recognise these patterns empowers you to break free of the limits they may be placing on you.
Fear of Criticism
One of the most common limiting thought patterns involves the fear of what others may think or say about you. This may be a result of experiences from your past related to your parents, siblings, or classmates.
Since it’s impossible to know what others are thinking, the fear of criticism can be overwhelming. It’s easy to create stories in your mind related to what others may be thinking about you.
This limiting thought pattern can remain with you long into adulthood. It can interfere with your ability to have intimate relationships or achieve success in your professional life.
In order to let go of this limiting belief, you must accept the fact that you can never control what others think. More importantly, the thoughts of others should have no relevance to how you define and value yourself.
Dwelling in “What If” Thinking
Thought patterns that involve worrying about the future can hold you back when they are chronic in nature. Occasional worry is normal and can be useful in navigating your everyday life.
But an overwhelming sense of worry can leave you feeling powerless and without control of yourself or your environment. This can lead to significant levels of anxiety and feelings of depression.
When these thoughts begin to interfere with your daily function, it’s important to seek the right help in order to avoid more significant issues. Feelings of worry about the future are typically related to personal finances, career, relationships, and health.
Believing You’re Unworthy of Happiness
Many people’s limitations relate to the belief that they don’t deserve happiness, success, or intimate relationships. There are many reasons why someone would adopt this limiting thought pattern.
The most damaging part of this belief is that it keeps you from taking a first step towards achieving the things you want in life. Believing you aren’t worthy prevents you from ever trying in the first place.
Letting go of this belief requires you to achieve a level of self-acceptance that allows you to truly value who you are as a person. When you achieve this, you realise that you’re just as deserving as anyone else to achieve your dreams.
Fear of Success
The fear of failure is common. Most people don’t like failing at any endeavor. Failure causes you to feel a wide range of emotions including frustration, anger, and disappointment.
But a surprising thought pattern that holds many people back is the fear of success. This is related to the fear of failure because both fears trigger a threat to the individual, which interferes with their ability to stay motivated in achieving their personal and professional goals.
Also, the idea of success can increase the fear of failing once you’ve achieved that success. This is typically seen in behaviors related to self-sabotage, in which individuals display a tendency to get in their own way.
The fear of success may also be linked to the fear of criticism from others. When you achieve your goals, you receive recognition from others. For many, this indicates a greater likelihood of being judged or criticised, which creates a whole new layer of limiting thought patterns.
Developing New Thought Patterns
In order to overcome these thought patterns, you need to focus your attention on the things over which you have control. These include your thoughts, habits, and communication with yourself and others.
The concept of reframing involves the changing of limiting thought patterns. It allows you to create new ways of seeing things by developing alternative thoughts and beliefs that support you in a positive way.
Also, identifying your limiting beliefs provides insight into the opportunities that are available to you. Limitations help you determine what action steps can be taken to overcome negative thought patterns.
If you constantly worry about future events, consider what steps need to be taken to provide a greater sense of security for you. Taking care of your needs is the first step in eliminating these thought patterns and allowing the creation of positive beliefs that support your dreams.
Everyone faces challenges (either real or imagined). Recognising the thought patterns that are holding you back is an essential part of your personal growth.
Use the resources available to you to overcome the limiting beliefs that are keeping you from moving forward towards your life goals.