My whole life, I’ve identified as an introvert. Worse yet, as an introvert’s introvert. I’ve never been formally tested or anything. Still, like most, I am nervous public speaking, a little anxious before meetings, hesitant to ask for things, etc. By my definition, I’m still introverted.
For the vast majority of people, introversion, extroversion, and many other types of -version rapidly become much more than a label you are given—usually by yourself. Some would call them crutches or excuses. I like to frame them as limiting beliefs.
A simple way to think about limiting beliefs is to characterize them as thoughts that constrain us or influence our behaviors in one way or another. By merely "believing" or going along with these thoughts, we think and act in specific ways - most often contrary to our best interests - and in doing so, we inhibit personal growth and impoverish our lives.
I using introversion as an example of a limiting belief here—a thought that has controlled the way I’ve lived my life to some extent—but there are many other common limiting beliefs. Here’s a quick list from habitsforwellbeing.com:
Sound familiar? Limiting beliefs are by their very nature negative. Most of them come from things that happened to us as children, but they can come on at any time, at varying depths, to dictate what we get out of life.
Our life is what our thoughts make it. — Marcus Aurelius
In business and personal relationships, these limiting beliefs can keep us from making forward progress. They keep us from asking for more money or a second date. They keep us from achieving our dreams — and sometimes from dreaming at all. This is a big topic and certainly deserves more time than I can give it here, but there is one thing you can do now to work on overcoming the beliefs holding you back.
Surely easier said than done, but one approach to conquering your limiitng beliefs is to do the opposite, or flip your perspective one-eighty. After all, the opposite of a limiting belief is a positive affirmation. Just like limiting beliefs hold us back, positive affirmations lift us up. Here is the same list as above flipped over to be a little more positive. Let me know how much better you feel after reading this list than the last one:
For me, just reading this version of the list, I feel much better and more positive than before. It's crazy how just a simple flip of perspective can do so much to change the way we see things. How about you?
Self-described introverts unite!
What do you think? How has flipping your script and choosing positive affirmation over limiting belief helped you in business and relationships? Do you have other tricks that work for you? Let's talk about it! Share them here in the comments below or find me on the socials. Let's continue this conversation wherever the audience most suited to hear it can get involved - I am @ryanroghaar on Medium, Twitter and Instagram.