11 Limiting Beliefs Men Have About Themselves
Let’s start with a slap in the face.
Your limiting beliefs are comfortable. Sure, they might feel like they suck – but in reality, they’re the comfortable certainties that give you an excuse not to take control of your life.
And that, above all, is why you hang on to them.
As much as you think you’d like to get rid of them and be completely sure of yourself, the truth is doing that frightens you. The idea of going after what you want, being sure of yourself, and confronting fear is frightening.
I mean, all of that opens you up to a world you don’t know and a way of living you aren’t used to. Why wouldn’t it be scary?
It’s far, far easier for you to believe you don’t have what it takes. Even if deep down, you actually do.
Now there are many ways you’ll do this. And some will be more insidious than others. But in an effort to help you (and myself – because hey I’m human too) I’m going to try and unmask the most common ones you’ll face every day.
Ones you’re possibly having to face even now.
NOTE: Before we start, you need to understand that these beliefs are going to be triggered by actions you wish to take. If these actions trigger your anxiety, then you can bet a belief will spring up to meet it, and justify you not taking that action.
The first limiting beliefs you’ll have are the most superficial and easy to access. You’ll take a look at yourself and think some form of:
‘I’m not attractive enough.’
‘I’m not rich enough.’
‘I’m not cool enough.’
This is something everyone feels. And it’s something that’s acutely felt when you’re young. But these all rest on the assumption that you need any and all of these things in order to do whatever triggers your belief.
But what actual evidence do you have that this is the case? Did someone stop you and explain that ‘Sorry, you’re not attractive, rich, or cool enough to approach her/start your own business/make new friends’? Or is it just something you’ve manifested out of thin air?
Because the irony is that being attractive, rich, and cool, are often outcomes of not letting the belief that you are none of those things stop you from trying in the first place.
Once you’ve gone past the superficial you’re going to go a little deeper. You’re going to think there is something inherently wrong with you. And you’re gonna be REALLY convinced by this.
It might anything. But you’ll be convinced that there’s something inherently wrong with you that holds you back in a way that nobody else has experienced.
Well first of all, of course there’s something wrong with you. There’s something wrong with everyone. We all suck and we’re all flawed in some way.
But that doesn’t mean we need to get held back. In fact, next time you get lost in thinking there’s something inherently wrong with you – ask yourself what the odds of this being true for someone else is, and ask yourself if it’s a reason to not even try.
As this article is aimed at men, this one was bound to come up. And I’d say of all the limiting beliefs guys have, this one seems to be the most ubiquitous, as well as being the most denied.
It’s rare to meet a guy, no matter how much he camouflages it, that doesn’t want to be tougher, more brave, and more confident with women.
In other words, it’s rare to meet a guy who doesn’t want to be more stereotypically masculine.
Now I’m not here to break down whether that’s an accurate description of masculinity. Although I’ll paint a picture of what I think is in a second. All I’m going to say is that if you want to be something, you’re almost definitely going to measure yourself against it. And you’re going to beat yourself up when you come up short.
This will inevitably manifest as another reason you give yourself for not attempting something. But the irony here is that the very act of trying something you don’t know or don’t believe you can do is in itself masculine. You’re taking a risk. You’re being bold. You’re confronting the unknown.
You don’t have to ‘be’ anything to do that. You just have to do it.
This one is a doozy. But it also presumes that you have complete knowledge of what it takes. Hell, it assumes anyone has complete knowledge of what it takes.
And given how many successful people (in any field) say otherwise… How likely is it that you know better?
The reality is that you have no idea whether you have what it takes, just as you, like anyone else, have no idea what it takes in the first place.
You have to find that out, both internally and externally, by taking the risk.
Not only does everyone think this, but everyone’s right.
We’re all inexperienced at some point. So yeah, you probably are. But if you keep trying regardless, one day you’ll wake up and realize just how much experience you’ve slowly gained.
When you’re a victim or it’s someone else’s fault, you’re absolved of responsibility. After all, you’re being oppressed or victimized.
How could it be your responsibility?
On the surface, this may seem justified. I mean, if you’re legitimately in bondage you might have a good claim here. But outside of that? It’s more likely you’ve been seduced by the desire to absolve yourself of responsibility.
Because when you do so you’re saying that you’re powerless. That through no effort of your own can your situation change.
So instead of doing something, trying something new, or taking a long hard look in the mirror – you can just do nothing.
In instances like these, it’s always best to really ask yourself just how much of a victim you are. Whose fault is it really?
Comparison is a bitch. And when you’re stuck in a need-for-validation loop, it’s a McDouble of a bitch.
You look at someone else’s life, or you imagine a scenario where your life is different and you tell yourself, deep down, that everything would be different if it was like that.
That you’d be happy, confident, and better.
And that sounds good. Maybe even feels good whilst you’re fantasizing. But what would actually happen is that you’d feel almost identical to how you feel now.
Because unless your fantasy was about you self-accepting, all you’d be is a more successful version of yourself saying ‘my like would be better if..’
The more attractive a woman is the more men assume she gets endless amounts of attention from men.
And on a superficial level, this is true. they’re swamped with attention from all kinds of men on dating apps, and they’re generally stared at, and flirted with at work relentlessly.
On that level, they get attention. But here’s the thing…
It’s low-quality attention.
All it does is tell them that they’re good looking. Which they enjoy, sure, but it doesn’t fulfill or excite them on any level. If anything it’s boring, and often, in my experience, has them feeling pretty lonely.
Everyone ogles them, but nobody actually knows them.
Because here’s the next part:
They never get approached by guys who have their shit together and are looking for a girl who has also done the same.
This never happens.
They get approached by a variety of men, at various levels of confidence, and various levels of inebriation, who all want to validate themselves off of her. Or even worse, they’re so good looking they never get approached at all.
The takeaways here are:
Now while you can become the kind of attention women want, you should never, ever believe you have to win their attention. Or rather, you should never believe you have to win them at all.
But I won’t judge you if you do, because this idea is deeply embedded in our culture.
If you think of any blockbuster, Disney story, or even children’s book, it will typically involve a hyper-capable guy doing something in order to win the affection of a woman. Like, for instance, saving her life.
This narrative is programmed into you, over and over, throughout your life, until it just becomes part of the way you think about courtship.
But unfortunately, it’s toxic bullshit.
You don’t have to ‘win’ women. If you even try to do this, you end up in needy territory.
Literally the opposite of hyper-capable guy.
Rather than ‘winning’ them, you just have to work on your life and ask out the ones you’re attracted to.
Stop overcomplicating it more than that.
The next two are more or less the same but manifest in different ways.
When you believe there’s something inherently wrong with you – like for instance that you’re unloveable – this creates beliefs and behaviors off the back of it.
This becomes a topic loop where you’re constantly trying to invalidate that your belief (because it’s painful) but your attempts to invalidate it only result in abnormal behaviors that lead it to getting reinforced.
You believe that you’re unloveable. —> This is painful. —> You want to invalidate that painful belief. —> To do this you feel you need to get attention from your ex. —> She’s your ex so she doesn’t give you attention. —> You feel your belief about being unloveable is confirmed.
Rinse and repeat.
Nowhere is this toxic loop more common than in rejection. Whether it’s getting rejected for approaching, rejected for putting the moves on your girlfriend, or rejected by being left by your partner – all these fears exist within the toxic loop. You believe you’ll get rejected (because there’s something wrong with you) so you take an action to avoid or control that rejection.
You become manipulative, needy, controlling, jealous, or fearful and avoidant. Where in reality, if she rejects your approach, your moves, or your relationship, it doesn’t confirm anything about you.
It just is.
The same toxic loop occurs when it comes to pursuing our dreams. And I believe it lies at the heart of procrastination.
When we feel we can’t do something because something is wrong with us, we will find countless ways not to do it. When in reality, we don’t really know, and things are always uncertain.
Ask yourself what you’d do if you had no fear you’d fail.
Because that’s usually what you should be doing.
About John Matich John is a writer from the UK who splits his time between travelling the world and trying to find unconventional solutions to dating and personal development. You can find more from him at www.lifeuncivilized.com.