Often, what holds us back in our personal and professional lives are subconscious beliefs that are inherently negative. “If I knew what the problem was, I would fix it,” is a phrase I have heard countless times. And if we’re being honest, I think we’ve probably all had similar thoughts at one time or another.

A recent FastCompany article identified these subconscious feelings as “iceberg beliefs,” meaning the majority of those feelings are subconscious. Yet it also means that some of signs of those beliefs are visible above the surface.

If you feel stuck or frustrated, look to identify your own iceberg beliefs using some of the tactics below. Only by identifying and coming to grips with these feelings can we begin to eliminate them.

Check yourself for negative self-talk. Sometimes it’s in public, sometimes it’s the little things you say to yourself in private. Either way, a lot is revealed in the ways you address yourself.

Which areas do you find yourself feeling limited in? These are the three main types of iceberg beliefs.

Professional. Are you a perfectionist, constantly chiding yourself for imperfect work or striving to find flaws in every thing you do? Does your competitive edge detract from your relationship to others? While it’s good to always strive for better, it’s unreasonable to expect perfection all the time.

Social. Are you working too hard to please others and neglecting your own needs? You ought to be comfortable with your own needs, and expressing them to others.

Control. Sometimes we seek an unreasonable amount of control over things we cannot and should not seek to control. This is usually based on an untrue belief that things would be better if only you could control x or y just that little bit more.

Ridding yourself of these limiting beliefs can be very difficult. But you will never get there if you don’t make a strong effort to recognize and fight against these types of negative feelings. Don’t beat yourself up if you find that you do have these iceberg beliefs. We all do. When you recognize them and choose to act, you’re taking a positive step towards actualization.

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