Beliefs are part of who we are and, many times, define a culture. However, while sometimes they are excellent anchors for us to deal with the unknown or provide some logic to random happenings, there are times when they limit us. Hard to control or eliminate, self-limiting beliefs are negative assumptions we have built about ourselves.
They hinder our growth. Usually, we don’t even realize we have them. They are often replicated over a long period. Most of the time, they originate from people of significance to us, so we assume they’re real. Self-limiting beliefs can affect any aspect of our life. In this post, I’ll talk about the three most common self-limiting beliefs that can hold your public speaking back.
1. My ideas are not worthy enough to be presented.
It is a common misconception that makes you feel powerless. It usually has its origin in an early age and comes from an authority figure such as a school teacher, parent, coach, etc. Sometimes someone kept telling you that what you were saying was not significant. Other times, you were ignored and assumed that what you had to say could not be relevant or exciting.
It is a widespread belief because we often perpetuate it daily without realizing it. We reinforce this belief in our children every time we don’t stop to listen to them.
2. My speech is not interesting enough to excite my audience.
This belief is quite different from the above. It’s related to the expectations you have about yourself. When you expect too much, very quickly, you will most likely be frustrated with the result. Focus on giving the right, useful information to your audience. The rest will come with time and experience.
3. I always panic when I have to speak in public.
Most of our self-limiting beliefs come from lousy experience. Same happens with public speaking related beliefs. If you panicked a couple of times before, you’d believe you’ll panic again next time. You must understand that that is simply not true.
Besides that, you can change a bad experience with a new one. Try to create less “risky” opportunities to speak, and see your assumptions going gradually away.
Developing new behaviors
To get rid of these self-limiting beliefs holding you back all the time, you need to identify them. Most important is to be aware that they are just beliefs, nothing else. There is no correlation between how much you believe something and the probability of it being true.
As I mentioned before, the first step to overcome your self-limiting beliefs is to acknowledge them. Your fears, your excuses, and experiences are nothing but assumptions that you can remake at any time. “I can’t” is not a thing. How about “I didn’t reach it yet. What can I do?”
To finish, let me set you a challenge. Write down a situation in your life you’re not happy about, and why you’re still there. Then write the reality you want to create, and the beliefs that would lead you into that direction. Now, look at what you wrote. What can you choose to believe today, to align with the reality you want to create?