Self-Defeating Beliefs

Self-defeating beliefs are ideas, paradigms and perceptions that we hold inside our head. We often replay these belief patterns over and over which can have a devastating effect. Awareness is the key in gaining power over these points-of-view. Read over the list of 10 self-defeating beliefs below and make note of how many you use.


1.emotional perfectionism: “I should always feel happy, confident, and in control of my emotions.”

2.emotophobia: “I should never feel angry, anxious, inadequate, jealous or vulnerable.”

3.conflict phobia: “People who love each other shouldn’t fight.”

4.entitlement: “People should be the way I expect them to be.”

5.low frustration tolerance: “I should never be frustrated. Life should be easy.”

6.performance perfectionism: “I must never fail or make a mistake.”

7.perceived perfectionism: “People will not love and accept me as a flawed and vulnerable human being.”

8.fear of failure: “My worthiness depends on my achievements (or my intelligence, or status, or attractiveness).”

9.fear of disapproval or criticism: “I need everybody’s approval to be worthwhile.”

10.fear of rejection or being alone: “If I’m alone, then I’m bound to feel miserable and unfulfilled. If I’m not loved, then life is not worth living.”


You need to become aware of these subconscious self-defeating patterns before you can begin to change them. Two tips to help bring these beliefs to consciousness are: writing them down, in a journal, note-book, etc.. or stating them out loud, to a coach, best friend or even your self if you have to. These beliefs become less powerful once they are brought into our consciousness.