7 Sources of Negative Self-Talk

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

What happens when your core beliefs are negative? Nothing good.

Negative, or self-limiting, beliefs create barriers for you on several fronts. They lead to procrastination and laziness. Negative beliefs habitually destroy your hopes and aspirations.

Your morale suffers. So does your self-confidence and self-worth. Non-supportive beliefs make you lose your focus distracting you from your intended success path.

You begin to make excuses for why you don’t do certain things. For example, why didn’t Sue get to the early morning meeting? Because she has a belief that she has to have her daily routine of coffee in order to function. But the coffee shop was closed today. So she drove an extra 10 miles out of her way to get a cup of coffee, which made her miss the meeting. And what did she blame? The coffee shop!

Basically, limiting beliefs lock you into a narrow place where you do what you are told and act as expected.

Where do they come from? Your parents, upbringing, schools, and friends. Any and all exposure to pessimistic, judging, non-nurturing, or violent environments.

Here’s the good news. Even though you may come by your negative beliefs, you can change them. Before you change something you need to know what needs changing.

So, what are common self-limiting beliefs that you can change? There are 7 beliefs that cause you harm:

1) Believing that you are not good enough to achieve anything

This stems from the fact that you first thought that you are not smart enough and had no special abilities or qualities and since you don’t have them, then you are not worthy or you can’t achieve anything great.

2) Believing that people generally don’t like you

Before I say more about this, I want you to understand that I am not speaking of the person who is rude, obnoxious, insensitive or ill-mannered. These people haven’t earned your respect. Anyway, this belief makes you think that no one likes you or wants to be your friend because of a flaw or flaws you have. You come to accept that you will never be liked and so that belief is stamped into your mind forever. In other words you believe it you are not likeable.

3) Believing That You Will Be Rejected

This is a common limiting belief that you can find in every walk of life. A student asking a teacher for help, a coworker asking for assistance, or a child wanting help from a parent. Or a person asking another person out on a date! This belief is cemented in fear. The fear that the other person will say no. Or laugh. Or ignore

4) Believing that certain tasks are impossible to achieve

The focus here is on tasks that have been proven time and again to be very possible to achieve yet people with this belief limit themselves by saying they simply cannot achieve these tasks because they lack the qualities, knowledge, tools, resources, et cetera. In fact, this self-limiting belief can be regarded as a sister to the first self-limiting belief – believing you’re not good enough.

5) Having a “there’s only one way to do anything” belief

If you believe there is only one way to do something than you have already eliminated any other possibility of accomplishing it. For example, some people believe that the only way to make money is with long, hard hours, sacrificing time with family and friends, draining your energy – just so they can earn a monthly paycheck. That may be true for some but I know many women who earn money – but not this way!

6) Believing that failure is your destiny

This is an extremely common one. Women with this belief are convinced that whatever they do will end up in failure and because of this, they don’t set out to try anything beneficial. Or they stop halfway when trying it and ultimately they do fail. I see this also as a self-fulfilling prophecy – where they do everything to make it come true just because they said it would!

7) Believing that you will never find success

This belief mainly encompasses all the other beliefs I didn’t mention. Believing that you cannot be successful is the stepping stone towards a chain reaction of events that will steer you away from your core desires, propel you to not take effective actions and prevent you from seeing outstanding results and outcomes.

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