Stop telling yourself these words

We all have a life that we dream of and most of us work toward that life. But we also have those pesky thoughts in our heads that tell us we can’t succeed because we’re not good enough, or we don’t have the resources, we’re too old, we’re too young. These limiting beliefs do just that—they limit us in our growth. When we keep these negative thoughts as constant company, they also keep us from achieving our goals. 

If some of the common limiting beliefs below may sound familiar, it’s best to recognize them for what they are. Negative thoughts that you can face and overcome.

“I don’t have enough money.” 

Whether it’s to be able to start your own creative venture, live in your favorite city, or some other dream you want to manifest, not having enough financial resources is an obvious obstacle. And the thinking that typically follows is that if not having enough money is what you’re faced with, there’s no way to move forward. 

One way to overcome a limiting belief is to “assess its accuracy.” While it’s easy to check if you don’t have enough money, it doesn’t have to be limiting. It does mean you have to be more creative or that you need to take a longer route to your dream. 

Some of our makers have proven you can build your own business with little capital. Catherine Limson of Bedazzled accessories admits that money was one of her biggest struggles when she was starting. Orders were always on a COD basis. “I didn’t have extras. It’s either you save, add an income, or get more orders… we can find ways for everything.”

“I don’t have enough time.”

We all get the same amount of time each day. 24 hours. We divvy it up for all the different things we have to do. A large chunk goes to work or school, then there’s time with family and friends, and you’ve got sleep, meals, hobbies and interests, playtime with pets for some, and don’t forget the endless social media scroll before bed. 

When you find yourself saying you don’t have enough time that’s why you can’t start or finish your passion project or some other task for that dream of yours, best to take a hard look at how you spend your time. How grounded is it that there’s not enough of it?

Jill Arteche

Whenever artist Jill Arteche complains that she doesn’t have time, she keeps in mind her dad’s advice. “Make time. That’s what I say to myself,” she says. While we simply can’t make more than 24 hours in a day, we can choose what we make of them. Do you think you can give up the social media scroll before bed to do something else more intended for your goal? What do you give up in order to make time? What do you take on instead? Our time each day is limited, so let’s give it to what (or who) is important for us. 


“I’m too young/I’m too old.” 

There’s no age requirement or limit to making dreams happen. Of course, being young often affords you to see the world stretching out before you with endless possibilities. We were certainly happy to be part of the many possibilities for these talented artists, fresh college graduates whom we invited in Common Room’s Shared Shelves


Whether you’re young or old, it’s okay if you’re still finding your way and manifesting your personal goals. People tend to put a deadline on things, we want certain milestones to be achieved by the time we’re 25, 30, etc. But you can't always stick to it. Other things can happen: you’re suddenly the family breadwinner, you have kids, you have to take care of an ailing family member. You can get distracted or exhausted to even think about your own goals.

When you finally do, when you finally take steps toward making your dream happen in your own timeline, know that there are other people like you who are trying—trying to have their own business, trying to get funding for their film, trying to get published, trying to compete in their first marathon. You’re not alone. Bring their stories with you and leave the ageist limiting belief by the door.   

“I don’t have enough experience.” 

Maybe you’re changing careers or have to pivot in your business, but whenever there’s impending change, telling yourself you don’t have enough experience to do so is a limiting belief that can creep up on you. It’s part of a self-loathing monologue in your head that goes, Why are you thinking of becoming [blank] when you don’t have enough experience in it? It may be true, especially if you’re just starting out or if it’s a departure from what you’ve been doing. But through the years, what we’ve learned and seen from the makers we work with is that when you don’t have the credentials at the start to make a dream happen, your curiosity can lead you.

Real Scents 

When Ria Olizon started the home fragrance brand Real Scents she was looking at bazaars and realized that there was an opportunity in introducing room scents. There was a brand that was selling a lot in one bazaar and it was a lightbulb moment for Ria. “I was quite curious…’Where [were] they getting this?’ So when I found out, ‘Ah, I can make my own.’ It can be studied, it can be researched.” And that’s what she did. 

“Of course, running a business is not easy.” She and her business partner Sarah Garcia joined many bazaars before they were invited to be part of Common Room, where their many home scents now have a permanent home on our shelves.

“I’m not good enough / talented enough.”

When you feel stuck or having a bout of impostor syndrome, you may hear yourself saying these words. Whatever it is you do, whatever you want to manifest, you need to know you’re enough. If that’s something you haven’t told yourself, make a conscious effort to change this.  You’re good enough, you’re talented enough. Start doing things to support that new belief. It can be as simple as accepting compliments without putting yourself down.

Yana Ofrasio

When it comes to creating, abstract artist Yana Ofrasio advised that “you really just need to show up and do it.” She continues, “I think it’s also too much to expect of yourself to just be always in the mood to create.” When you’re having one of those days when it’s not just clicking, putting yourself down won’t do any good. 

When you realize that you hold certain negative beliefs about yourself, recognize how they stop you from moving forward and living the life you want. Yana further reminds us in her Meet the Maker interview, “You have so much different potential, different experiences that you are going to be going through. You just have to be kind to yourself. This is not as easy as it looks.”


Written by Mabel David-Pilar
Mabel has been a writer and editor for many publications, including fashion, shelter, and food titles and a book on the most endangered Philippine trees. She spends most of her time writing, illustrating, stalking Common Room’s online shop, and making ferments. Together with her sisters, she co-created to celebrate fermenting in the Philippines.