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Limiting Beliefs: Why Not Tell Yourself a Better Lie

What Lies Are You Telling Yourself

Written by Narcissistic Abuse Expert and Coach, Randi Fine

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine

What lies are you telling yourself? Are you telling yourself that you are not good enough, not worthy of love, that something must be wrong with you, that you must accept suffering, that you are innately flawed?

Each of us has a subconscious inner voice, called an “inner dialogue,” that strongly influences our life. Since it has always been such a consistent part of our waking lives, most of us do not even realize it is there.

Our inner dialogue controls everything we do. It shapes our perception, makes decisions for us, cautions us, forms our values and opinions, tells us who we are and what we like, monitors our behavior, evaluates situations, and makes judgments.

When our inner dialogue is positive, it empowers us. When our inner dialogue is negative, it discourages us. Negative dialogue forms limiting beliefs.

Limiting beliefs can come from powerful outside influences such as parents, religions, families, educators, culture, media, and society. They can also develop on their own after repeated exposure to stimuli, or as a result of trauma or abuse.

Limiting beliefs sabotage our lives. They tell us untruths and lies, make us feel bad about ourselves, impede our success, and cause us to repeat unhealthy patterns. They even govern our moods and reactions.

Years of degradation, manipulation, and brainwashing by your narcissistic abuser has infused your mind with many limiting beliefs.

Read the following list of very common limiting beliefs and then on a separate sheet of paper, list those you can claim as your own.

· I do not deserve:

  • happiness

  • success

  • love

  • recognition

  • money

  • good relationships

  • friendships with quality people

· I do not:

  • trust myself

  • know what I want

  • feel worthy

  • have self-control

  • like or love myself

  • matter

· I am not:

  • good enough

  • smart enough

  • worthy enough

  • thoughtful enough

  • motivated enough

  • competent enough

  • rich enough

  • outgoing enough

  • thin enough

  • pretty or handsome enough

  • skilled enough

  • important enough

· I cannot:

  • do things as well as others can

  • reach goals

  • make money

  • survive on my own

  • start a business

  • get a degree

  • change who I am

  • change how I think

· I should not:

  • think of myself first

  • love or like myself

  • feel good about myself

  • feel angry

  • ask for what I want

  • expect others to come through for me

  • trust anyone

  • let my guard down

· I should be:

  • more successful than I am

  • farther along in life than I am

  • more educated than I am

  • more social than I am

  • a better person

· No one:

  • listens to what I have to say

  • cares about me

  • wants me in their life

  • believes in me

  • likes me

  • accepts me

· No one will like or love me if:

  • I am not perfect

  • I am not successful

  • I am not a pleaser

  • they get to know me

  • I speak honestly

  • I am not beautiful or handsome

  • I don’t first earn their approval

· Everyone else:

  • judges me

  • is better than me

  • rejects me

  • hates me

  • thinks I am stupid

· I always:

  • make mistakes

  • procrastinate

  • say stupid things

  • anger people

  • quit things

  • frustrate people

  • look foolish

· I am:

  • a quitter

  • a weirdo

  • lazy

  • an unlovable person

  • an unlikable person

  • a failure

  • responsible for others’ happiness

· It is my job to:

  • smooth things over

  • make others happy

  • make others feel better

  • apologize

  • keep the peace

· There’s no point in:

  • getting my hopes up

  • trying at all

  • trying again

  • being honest

  • having goals

  • asking for what I want

  • showing people who I really am

· Happiness is:

  • a myth

  • unattainable

  • for others, not me

· I must suffer to:

  • show how much I care

  • get attention

  • make up for bad things I’ve done

  • prove my point

· I must be fearful of:

  • other people

  • life

  • relationships

  • men

  • women

Now review the limiting beliefs you listed, one by one, and explore each one with the following questions:

1) Where did the limiting belief originate?

2) Is the limiting belief a valid portrayal of me?

3) Is the limiting belief true or false in my current life?

4) Am I willing to let go of the limiting belief?


Before you can change your subconscious inner dialogue, you must bring it to your conscious mind and then challenge it. That involves monitoring your thoughts, emotions, actions, and reactions to see what triggers you and what non-productive patterns you are stuck in.

Limiting beliefs change when they are replaced by positive dialogue. You can reprogram your mind through the use of positive affirmations such as:

  • · I deserve to love and be loved

  • I love and accept myself totally and completely

  • I choose happiness and peace in my life

  • I am whole, healthy and complete

  • I am worthy of success

  • I deserve to live a life of abundance

  • I am the only one in charge of my life

  • I am a beautiful person inside and out

  • I am a survivor

  • I am worthy of all the good things in life

  • I can face any challenge

These are just suggestions. You can create your own affirmations or find other ones that resonate with you.

Repeat your affirmations often. Say them to yourself in the mirror. Post them in places where you spend a lot of time. Especially use them whenever you catch yourself having limiting beliefs. The more often and regularly you repeat your affirmations, the faster your inner dialogue will change and the better you will feel about yourself.

This is copyrighted material. May only be shared with author's permission and proper attribution.

Randi Fine is an internationally renowned narcissistic abuse expert and coach, and the author of the groundbreaking book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing and Recovery Second Edition, the most comprehensive, most well researched, and most up-to-date book on this subject. In addition to helping survivors recognize their abuse and heal from it, this book teaches mental health professionals how to recognize and properly treat the associated abuse syndrome. She is also the author of the official companion workbook Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: A Comprehensive Workbook for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse. Randi Fine is the author of Cliffedge Road: A Memoir, the first and only book to characterize the life-long progression of complications caused by narcissistic child abuse.


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