Truth Bomb: You Choose to Limit YourselfApr 25, 2022
Every time you say “I can’t,” you limit yourself.
Every time you shut down your curiosity, you limit yourself.
Every time you accept someone else’s version of you, you limit yourself.
Every time you take on another’s judgment of you, you limit yourself.
Why do we do this? Why do we limit ourselves? Why do we allow others to control us – our actions, our decisions, our dreams?
The biggest reason? We don’t know we’re doing it.
The second reason, and connected to the first, is that it’s familiar, it’s comfortable. We may have lived this way for so long that we don’t even see it anymore; we don’t see the wall we’ve put up, the cage we’ve erected around ourselves, the blinders we’ve put on. We adapt and learn to live within this newly defined, albeit limited, space.
The reasons why we limit ourselves can have many layers to it. A little digging is sometimes needed. And a willingness to open to the answers.
This limiting that we do to ourselves wears many masks … it’s the fear of being judged; it’s the self-loathing and self-judging we do around not being good enough; it’s the not being able to see the big picture or an inability to navigate the details; it’s the reluctance to take a risk; it’s the belief that someone else has the answers.
These are just surface level, though, the feeling or behavior we’re most familiar with. The real kernel of truth lies beneath this layer.
Let’s take self-judgment as an example. Let’s say that you judge yourself, believing that you’re never good enough. You might be able to trace this back to a parent; maybe your mom was overly critical, or your dad always corrected your behavior. Sometime during this experience, you accepted this criticism of your actions and internalized it, twisting it into a truth for you. Perhaps it showed up in school, or maybe you had a friend who mimicked this criticism and this served to solidify this belief you held – that you don’t quite measure up, that nothing you do is ever right, that you are less than.
Here’s the kicker: way back when, when this first entered into your experience, you decided to accept this as true for you. Yes, you may have been a young child, and, yes, your parent could have handled it differently and been more loving and supportive. But these are just excuses, a way to justify your choice.
The truth bomb is that self-limiting is a choice.
You might be rolling your eyes, thinking this can’t be true, that there’s no way you’d choose to limit yourself in any way whatsoever. Not so fast. The reality is that you choose this, whether you realize it or not.
To continue with our earlier self-judgment example: somewhere along the way, you made a conscious or unconscious choice to buy the idea that you’re not good enough. This resulted in you limiting yourself. A less aware version of you made that decision. It could have been done for myriad of reasons, none of which are probably all that important.
The question to ask yourself is this: what does believing that you’re not good enough allow you to avoid? By buying into this idea that you never measure up, by wearing it as truth, what are you able to avoid?
Let’s dig into this a bit by running through some scenarios:
Because you held the belief that you’re not good enough, you didn’t apply for the dream job you really wanted and have spent your life stuck in going-nowhere-fast positions, feeling uninspired. What did holding this belief allow you to avoid? If you applied for the dream job but didn’t get it, you’d have to face rejection.
Believing that you don’t measure up means you don’t enter your art pieces into competitions or don’t submit your poetry for publication, because what’s the point, right? Yours won’t be selected. What does the belief that you don’t measure up allow you to avoid here? If your art or poetry is selected for publishing then you might be in the spotlight, and your fear of being seen gets loud and in your face.
By accepting that you’re less than, you keep yourself in a ho-hum relationship instead of busting out on your own and finding the person who will love you for the queen that you are. What do you avoid by remaining in an unsatisfactory relationship? Taking a risk; being on your own; the possibility of rejection.
Wild how it’s all interconnected, right? Following the thread and peeking beneath the surface shines a light on the subtle-yet-potent connections at play.
In my experience, there are always layers. The layers hold data. The data gives us clues on where to look for what’s out of alignment – conditioning, programming, cords and contracts, ancestral patterns. We start with one layer, peel it back, and release the outdated programming. Then we look at the next layer.
Shifts happen when you’re willing to ask the questions.
So, how are you limiting yourself? What questions can you ask to begin exploring what you’re avoiding?