Many of our addictions and mental health issues are driven, compounded and exacerbated by the limiting beliefs we’ve developed about ourselves. We hold onto them as though they are the truth of who we are. Often they have become so ingrained within us that we can’t separate them from our true selves. They’ve become part of our identity. When our limiting beliefs are this deeply rooted in our psyches, it can be hard to even determine what they are. It can feel like they are part of our personalities, part of our nature. How do we discover what our limiting beliefs actually are?
Start listening to your self-talk, your inner voice, the way you talk to yourself. This is driven by our subconscious mind, which stores our emotional information and governs the majority of our thoughts and actions. Are you speaking to yourself with love and encouragement, or with disparagement and criticism? Do you believe in yourself or do you belittle yourself? What kinds of things do you tell yourself? For example, when you think about accomplishing your goals, maybe your inner voice says things like “You could never do that. You can’t have what you want.” When you think about yourself and your self-worth, your inner voice might say, “You’re not good enough. You’re not as good as other people. You don’t measure up.” When you make a mistake, your inner voice might respond with harsh words such as, “You are a failure. I knew you would mess up. You can’t do anything right.”
Within these words lie our limiting beliefs about ourselves. They are often based on our fears of inadequacy and inferiority, our fears of failure and rejection, our fears of judgment and disapproval. When we start to become more mindful of our self-talk, we can unearth what our limiting beliefs are and the fears that created them. Very often we allow the traumatic experiences we go through to inform how we perceive ourselves and how we feel about ourselves. We develop deep insecurities, low self-esteem, self-doubt and pervasive feelings of unworthiness. Deep down we hate ourselves.
To escape the pain of how badly we feel about ourselves, many of us turn to substances, relationships and other addictive behaviors. We develop depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. The beliefs we hold about ourselves have the power to direct our lives in very damaging ways, and healing means confronting these beliefs in order to change them.
Recovery requires healing our self-esteem, and identifying our limiting beliefs is a huge part of that. Call (800) 871-5440.