5 Self-Limiting Beliefs Holding You Back (+ how to banish them like a Boggart)

Remember in the last post when I said fear is kinda like a Boggart? And you know how I said that to defeat a Boggart the first step is to acknowledge it? It’s much like you should acknowledge your fears. It’s that wicked little Boggart living inside your head telling you you’re worthless. That you’re no good. Morphing into whatever form it is that you’re afraid of.

And I should know: that nasty creature has settled cozily in my mind for as long as I could remember.

So today, I’m gonna list down all the awful self-limiting thoughts and beliefs you have that’s holding you back. And help you come up with a Riddikulus, a charm spell, you could conjure to banish those nasty Boggarts living inside your head.

Take out your wand, folks. It’s time for those Boggarts to pack up and go somewhere else, yeah?

 

“I still have other things to do”

Isn’t it incredible how we could come up with these seemingly rational excuses to avoid doing what we’re afraid of doing? That we could justify why we aren’t taking action? I mean, take me for example. I’m really good at making rational and practical excuses to avoid sticking my neck out and taking a risk. (see: using school’s busy-ness to quit a monthly creative thing)

I keep convincing myself that I didn’t do this risky new thing or that scary challenge because I “had to prioritize and focus on what matters.” Wow, Kate, this rationalizing is beyond.

How to banish this Boggart:

Look, the challenging part of this particular Boggart is its enforcing the concept of making priorities. Which is actually good. I’ve shared to you how much prioritizing helps me at times when I feel like I’m on the verge of work overwhelm.

But you have to see the fine line between prioritizing to get things done and prioritizing to nurture your fear.

This is where self-reflection, what I talked about on the previous post, comes into the picture again. Think it through and ask yourself, “Am I using making priorities as an excuse to avoid facing my fears?”

If that’s a yes, here’s what you can do:

Think of all the mindless activities you’re constantly wasting your time on (like being on social media or playing EverWing) and think instead of what productive activity you can do during those times. Even simply giving yourself an hour every day to make progress at your little project goes a long way.

The important thing here is that you’re MOVING. Maybe at a turtle’s pace, but you’re gradually increasing the distance between you and the fear that’s holding you back from doing what you want to do.

“What I want is hard to achieve”

Most likely whatever it is that you wanted to do? It’s grand. It’s ambitious. It’s potentially life-changing. Sure, on the surface, it’s probably simple like, say, you want to hand-sew a gorgeous floral dress.

But you know deep inside that the moment you learn how to sew, the moment you master it, a whole new set of doors will open before you.

It’s not the act itself that’s grand. What’s grand and life-altering is its effect on your life.

And because you see it this way, you know it’ll be a big hurdle to go through. Usually, once you see how huge the obstacle you have to pass through is, your determination wavers. And you start creating another excuse: it’s unattainable.

Related: Check out how I learned to deal with big hurdles from a chicken

How to banish this Boggart:

Take that big ambitious goal of yours and divide it into small chunks. This is one lesson I learned from… well, everywhere, actually. Productivity gurus, lifestyle bloggers, everywhere. And there’s a reason everyone on the block is recommending it. Because it freakin works.

The point of dividing them into small chunks is to, in a way, build this mindset in your brain that your goal is achievable. Sure, your big ambitious goal is huge and unattainable. But the small goals can be done easily and it won’t take long.

I actually used this last year to achieve a blog goal (300 followers in 3 months. Can anyone believe I’m double that now? And by the way, thank you sooo much you lovely people! I promise I’ll give you cakes and goodies soon <3). But you know what? After reaching that blog goal, I stopped. I didn’t keep that momentum going. Which was a huge mistake on my part. I felt seemingly content with achieving my one goal. Which leads us to the next Boggart…

“I’m content in where I am now”

This one’s tricky because I do believe that the key to true happiness is to be able to live in the present and be thankful for what you have now. And like prioritizing, this is good. But also like prioritizing, this becomes bad if you use it to nurture your fears.

Remember: contentment does not equal settling for less.

How to banish this Boggart:

Look this is simple: if the life you have right now isn’t fulfilling, then be determined to make it better.

The tricky part is being able to step out of seeing your world through that filter of false contentment. Get out of the routine you’ve created for yourself. I often find that once you expose yourself to new things and ideas, you have a better grasp of knowing what fulfills you.

“I’m not good enough for this”

By jove, this is probably one of the nastiest Boggarts there is. It attacks from the inside viciously in a way that no other Boggarts on this list do. And the most vulnerable are those with low self-esteem and lack of self-worth.

It’s not anyone’s fault if they don’t have the confidence in their selves. This lack of confidence is a toxic culmination of all the negative thoughts we’ve conjured on our minds and all the negative words thrown at us at an early age. These negativity are like a virus. Once they’re inside you, they spread until it has left you weak and helpless.

How to banish this Boggart:

Ultimately, to banish this Boggart, you have to build your self-esteem. And I know from firsthand experience this is easier said than done. Loving yourself is a not an easy process, especially if like me, you grew up thinking lowly of yourself. That you really are not good enough.

Some things that have worked on me, albeit slowly but I don’t mind:

Write down all your negative thoughts and counter them with a positive trait you do have. Let’s take the example above of wanting to hand-sew a floral dress. Let’s say one reason you’re hesitating on doing your little sewing project is because you suck at using needles. In fact, you think you’re awful at sewing anything beyond buttons.

But you can counter this negative thought by thinking of a positive trait you have that can help you. Maybe you’re a visual learner so you can make use of YouTube to watch hand-sewing tutorials.

Instead of worrying about traits or skills you don’t have (yet), make use of what you do have at present.

 “I’m not ready to do this”

We often like to believe that The Perfect Time exists. That time when you are finally ready and the world is ready and you have everything you need to get started. And we wait until it’s right around the corner. What usually happen is we end up feeling like we still have something lacking. And we think we’re still not ready for it. Which is why we end up not taking the first step at all.

How to banish this Boggart:

Here’s the thing. No one’s ever completely ready. Coming up with an idea or an inspiration needs at least an ounce of spontaneity. Sure, you can let that idea cook a bit in your mind but unless you take action, nothing’s really going to happen. For this Boggart, you only have to do one thing: act. Tell yourself that you are ready, even when you feel like you’re not. Fake it ’til you make it.

Your turn: I’m sure there are other Boggarts or self-limiting beliefs out there that’s holding others back. Do you have one (or three) in mind? What’s your Riddikulus spell to banish them? Share it in the comments below! 🙂

kate

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The gorgeous photo of the winter mountains above is by Natalie Toombs.

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