Self Limiting Beliefs and How to Overcome Them

Breaking my self-limiting beliefs takes GRIT.

I just attended Leadership Bootcamp over the weekend and there are so many takeaways and realizations that I discovered during the two-day personal development training and seminar. Being an introvert and mostly with low self-esteem for most of life, going to events like this used to scare me so much, that sometimes I back out at the last moment. I recall during my high school days that I was eager to join my friends to become an officer in the COCC and must undergo the training but at the last moment I chickened out, because I was afraid of the strenuous exercises that I will go through and the humiliation that I will be enduring from the officers during the training. These self-limiting beliefs were the reasons I backed out and watched my friends become officers during our 4th year while I belong to the private class. At that time I consoled myself with the saying “We can’t all be heroes, somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.” I consoled myself with this quote, as I become that somebody clapping for my friends as they become officers in the COCC.

Despite not being able to pursue the COCC officership during my senior year in high school, I made another goal, and that is to enter the most prestigious university in the Philippines. And so I prepared and studied hard, and my mind was focused on my goal, and never did I take other tests to other universities. With hard work, I passed the entrance exam and was so elated when I received the letter from the University and the instructions on how to enroll, calendar of the activities and the map of the University. I imagined myself walking from the dormitory to the classrooms. However, my father didn’t allow me to go to that university, which devastated me.

After that incident, I lost faith in myself and had to console again with the quote “We can’t all be heroes, somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.” My self-limiting belief that I am that somebody who will just sit and clap for heroes was affirmed again that time. But still, I yearn to become a hero. So despite not being able to go to the top university that I wanted and went to a local State University, I made another goal, and that is to graduate with honors to make my parents, especially my father proud. Again, I studied hard, and with sheer determination, I became a full academic scholar by 3rd year in college. During my last year in college, I focused hard on achieving my goal of graduating with honors. However, according to calculation, I didn’t reach the required GPA to graduate cum laude, and so I just settled with that fact and looked forward to just to graduate. Then, during the graduating class assembly, to my chagrin, it was announced that I belong to the candidates for honors. Now all of my friends started congratulating me which made me pressured to really graduate as cum laude. Since the final grades were not yet in, I started to pursue my teachers and ask for my grade before they submit them to the registrar and see if I could really reach the required GPA to graduate as cum laude There was one teacher, a tough one, who was very elusive until final grades were sent it. I didn’t reach the GPA for cum laude needed. I was devastated again, and my final years in college was full of disappointment. I promised to redeem myself during the CPA board exam, which I also failed twice.

My working years were also full of failures, like not being accepted to my dream job, and failed relationships. The list is quite long, and while I am writing this blog, I came to realize, why am I still hung up on these failures? I also have successes, and so I made this comparison of my failures and successes:


  1. Did not go to the top university I want despite passing the entrance exam
  2. Did not reach the GPA needed to graduate as cum laude
  3. Did not pass the CPA Board Exam
  4. Was not accepted at the job that I really prayed for
  5. Failed relationships


  1. I was able to gain full academic scholarship during my college years
  2. Brave enough to quit my 9-5 job and become self-employed at 44 years old
  3. Walked away from bad decisions that I made in life
  4. Achieved Top Rated Status in Upwork which brings in projects paid in US dollars, working only 4-5 hours per day
  5. Being able to outsource my work and expand my business consultancy business

Then something struck me, in order for me to breakthrough in my other project that will create high-quality income, how about I focus on my successes instead of my failures? I know there are times that I am the hero of my life, how about if I relive those moments? I will not dwell on the times I failed and why, but focus on the times that I succeeded and how. By focusing on how I succeeded, I can duplicate the process on this project that will give me financial freedom for the rest of my life.

Failures are part of my journey in life. They happen so that I can learn from them. It now depends on me if I take away the lessons, and start over again and avoid the mistakes, or I just give in to my self-limiting belief that I am that somebody who sits on the curb and clap as heroes goes by. This time I will crush this self-limiting belief. I will stand up, stop clapping for somebody else, be a hero and walk my own parade.

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