On my journey to building self-confidence [which is still a work in progress], I realised that I was outsourcing a lot of my inner power to events, circumstances, and people outside of myself.
I would often seek validation from friends about ideas I had and only pursue things if they thought it was a ‘good idea’, rather than doing it because I wanted to. In doing this, I was re-affirming to myself that their opinions were more valid or superior to mine and that they knew more than I did about how best to live my life.
So if you’re currently lacking the confidence and trust to pursue your dream business idea, ask for a promotion, or maybe you want to make a complete career switch, it’s time to overcome your self-limiting beliefs through the concept of ‘self-concept’.
What Is Self-Concept?
Self-concept is the image or perception we have of ourselves in terms of our behaviours, abilities, and unique characteristics. We all experience life through the lens of our self-concept.
The beliefs we hold about ourselves ultimately dictate how we navigate the world around us, the things we allow in our lives, and the choices we make. These inner beliefs can either be:
- Empowering – if we view ourselves as being capable of more [thereby boosting our confidence], or
- Limiting – which can make us fearful, stuck, or avoidant when it comes to going after our dream life.
They dictate how other people see us too, as we can subconsciously communicate how we feel about ourselves to others (think how you can learn a lot from other people’s body language or facial expressions before they even open their mouths).
How To Improve Your Self-Concept
The first step to shifting your self-concept from disempowering to empowering is to become aware of the beliefs you currently hold about yourself.
This isn’t to demonise any ‘unhelpful’ beliefs; be thankful for them as they once served a purpose in getting you to where you are now. Acknowledging that they may not be entirely helpful moving forward and starting to question your beliefs is the first step to making real lasting change.
I’ve personally had to question a lot of the beliefs I’ve held around money, specifically why I feel uncomfortable about receiving more money [which came down to my beliefs formed from the classic childhood teachings of “money is the root of all evil” and “money doesn’t grow on trees”]. Do these sound familiar to you?
- Rewire And Tell Yourself A Better Story
We collect evidence throughout our life to support the beliefs we form in childhood.
Write down a list of all the beliefs you currently hold [positive or negative] about money, relationships, success, your career, your health, etc., and ask yourself where these beliefs come from. Are they yours, or did you hear them from your parents, teachers, or friends?
Then ask yourself the following:
Is there any way to know they’re 100% true?
Is there evidence against these beliefs?
Forgive yourself for any limiting beliefs and write a new, empowering belief in its place.
- Living In The End
Decide who you want to be going forward, but acknowledge that you are already loved just as you are.
An important aspect of self-concept is deciding who you want to be by feeling and thinking from this place [as if you already have what you want], while also accepting and loving who you already are.
This might sound a bit abstract, but when we start to accept ourselves fully, change comes when there’s less resistance.
In my self-development work, I fell into the trap of seeking to improve myself constantly for a long time. This ultimately stemmed from the underlying feeling that I wasn’t good enough already and that on some level I needed to earn feeling worthy and loved.
A practice that has helped me to embody this is to tell myself ‘I am loved’ and ‘I am enough’ in the mirror every morning. Write it on post-it notes. Re-read and speak it aloud. It feels awkward AF at first, especially when you’re not used to hearing it, but stick with it. The more repetition, the more your subconscious can start to believe it as truth.
- Keep Persisting
“Change your conception of yourself, and you will automatically change the world in which you live.” – Neville Goddard
Our habits, daily actions, and choices make up the life we are currently experiencing; forming new habits in our lives starts with how we think.
When it comes down to it, we can rarely ever control the events outside of ourselves, but we can control our inner world and the way we see ourselves. So why not start viewing yourself in a more positive, empowering light today?
For more mindset tips and tricks to identify your self-limiting beliefs, follow @mindsetwithmimi on Instagram.