We all have them. Those self-limiting beliefs that keep us from achieving our goals and living our best lives. Those voices inside our heads that tell us we’re not good enough or capable of achieving our drean life. In this article, we’ll explore self-limiting beliefs and how to let them go for good.
We’ll also discuss how to change limiting beliefs. But first, what is a limiting belief and how do you know if you have any?

What is a limiting belief?

A limiting belief is a state of mind or belief about yourself that restricts you in some way. These beliefs are often false accusations you make about yourself that can cause a number of negative results
For instance, when you have self-limiting beliefs, you may not even try to achieve your goals because you don’t believe that you can. It may become a self-fulfilling prophecy where you end up not achieving anything because you didn’t believe that you could.
Limiting beliefs can also keep you in a negative state of mind. Hindering you from encountering new opportunities and life experiences. They can also wreak havoc on your mental health.
To reach your full potential, it’s crucial to identify and change limiting beliefs. Once you do this, you’ll be able to see what’s possible for you.

Where Do Limiting Beliefs Come From? 

There are various causes of limiting beliefs
  • Your inherent biases 
  • An inability to have an open mind 
  • Your family beliefs  
  • Your education – what you learn at school and college. And what you learn from family, friends, colleagues, mentors, etc. 
  • Your experiences, especially those that ended negatively 
Most of your limiting beliefs originate in your childhood. And they become an essential part of your identity
You think your limiting beliefs keep you safe, that if you don’t put yourself out there and try, you don’t have to worry about facing humiliation or rejection. The reality is that by believing these beliefs that limit you, you never try or grow.   

What are same self-limiting beliefs and how do you change them?

Now that you know what a limiting belief is, let’s talk about some self-limiting beliefs.

“There is no point in dreaming big; life will always disappoint me.”

Positive affirmations to tell yourself instead:
  • I will never give up on my dreams.
  • I am determined to succeed. 
  • I strive to be my best version. 
  • I am equipped with the skills I need to succeed. 
  • I am intrinsically motivated to achieve my goals. 
  • I choose to be optimistic. 

“I’m not good at…….” (fill in the blank with anything… relationships, parenting, my job, managing money, etc.)

Positive affirmations to tell yourself instead:

Listen… everyone has something they’re not good at — even the most influential people in the world. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get better at whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish.
When you say, “I’m not good” (period), you slam the door in your face. You write yourself off and convince yourself things can never get better. But when you add the word “yet” at the end, you give space to opportunity. You become a student, willing and ready to learn what it takes to improve. And it can make all the difference if you want to overcome limiting beliefs.

“I don’t have enough _____.” (time, money, resources, etc.)

Positive affirmations to tell yourself instead:
  • I will get rich doing what I love.
  • I am attracting prosperity and money.
  • I am worthy of what I desire.
  • I have everything I need to be successful.
  • I am grateful for the positive things in my life.
  • I am open to limitless possibilities.
  • Everything always works out for me in perfect timing.
  • I have all the time I need.
  • Focusing on the present moment is all I need to do.
  • Everything I need comes to me at the right time.
Sure, you may not have time. We all lead busy lives where we rush from one thing to the next.  
If you believe you don’t have time for something or someone, you won’t ever have (or make) time to go after what you want. And believing you don’t have time keeps you stuck in one place. 
Time is real, but how you perceive the time you have is a social construct. When you accurately keep track of how you spend your time, you’ll realize how much time is wasted on activities that don’t add value or meaning to your life
Eliminating that which doesn’t make your soul happy reveals how much time you do have to get everything that matters to you. This allows you to go for what you want like that promotion at work.  
To overcome this belief, try to focus on what you do have and how you can use it to your advantage.
For example, if you believe you don’t have enough money to save, adopt some frugal living tips to free up room in your budget.

“I can’t because… “

Positive affirmations to tell yourself instead:
  • I can and I will
  • I accept myself exactly as I am now.
  • I am perfect, just as I am.
  • I am here to share my gifts with the world.
  • I don’t criticize myself or others.
  • My voice is important.
  • I am worthy of the compliments I receive.
  • I deserve everything good that comes to me.
  • I have unique ideas to share with the world.
When you add a reason to the “I can’t,” you give your limiting belief even more power. This is especially true when the reason starts with “I am.”   Words like “I am” are directly related to who you believe you are.

“This is too hard.”

Positive affirmations to tell yourself instead:
  • I can do hard things.
  • I allow myself to be more fully me.
  • I believe in myself.
  • I am resilient in the face of challenges.
  • I am proud of myself and my achievements.
  • I will accomplish everything I need to do today.
  • I do my best, and my best is good enough.
  • I overcome my fears by getting out of my comfort zone.
When you encounter difficulties in life, it can be tempting to give up and believe that things are just too hard. But nothing worth having comes easy.
If you want to achieve your goals — whether it’s paying off student loan debt, learning to invest, or finding a higher paying job — you need to be willing to put in the hard work required to reach them.
When you catch yourself thinking, “this is too hard,” try to remind yourself that you’re capable of handling anything that comes your way.

“I don’t deserve this.”

Positive affirmations to tell yourself instead:
  • I deserve success.
  • Every step I take brings me closer to my goals.
  • My potential for success is limitless.
  • I know exactly what to do to achieve success.
  • My contributions to the world are valuable.
  • There is room for me at the table.
  • I am qualified to do what I do.
  • Doors are opening for me. 
  • I deserve a fulfilling life. 
This self-limiting belief is a form of self-deprecation that often comes from feelings of insecurity or unworthiness. And if left untreated, it might turn into self-sabotage that can unravel every part of your life — from your relationships to your career.
There are several tricks and tools you can use to overcome this limiting belief. One of my favorites is keeping a journal of all the things you’ve accomplished in your life. When you feel you don’t deserve something, the journal can serve as a reminder of why you do deserve it.

How to change limiting beliefs: Try this limiting beliefs exercise

If you want to change any of these self-limiting beliefs, give these exercises a try. It’ll help you identify which self-limiting beliefs may be holding you back so you can chart a path forward.

1. Recognize when you have any of these self-limiting beliefs

The first step to overcoming self-limiting beliefs is to acknowledge that you have them. It could seem obvious, but some people are not even aware of the negative beliefs they hold about themselves.
This limiting beliefs exercise could be as simple as pausing every time you have a negative thought or emotion, then writing it down in a journal or in a note on your phone so you can evaluate it.

2. Pinpoint where the self-limiting beliefs originated from

Once you’ve acknowledged that you have a top 10 self-limiting belief, it’s time to pinpoint where it’s originating from. Oftentimes, self-limiting beliefs are rooted in our past experiences.
For example, if you believe that you’re not good at managing money, it’s possible this belief originated from a negative experience you had in the past.
Maybe you ran up a high balance on your credit card in college or took out a predatory personal loan without reading the terms. These types of experiences can lead to the development of self-limiting beliefs.

3. Question the validity of these self-limiting beliefs

Once you have pinpointed where the self-limiting belief originated from, the next step is to question the validity of the belief. This step cannot be skipped because it allows you to see that the belief may not be true.
For example, let’s say that you believe you’re bad at managing money. You may have had a negative experience in the past that led to the development of this belief. But, this doesn’t mean the belief is true.
Maybe you’re good at managing money, but were in an emergency situation and needed cash fast. Or, maybe those were mistakes from your youth but now you’re saving money each month and investing for your future. These are examples of how you can question the validity of a self-limiting belief.

4. Practice believing in yourself

After you’ve reframed your limiting belief, it’s time to put it into practice.
Give yourself grace and compassion, and repeat your positive affirmations every time you start to doubt yourself. Another way to “practice believing in yourself” is to do things that are outside of your comfort zone.
For example, if you want to become a better saver, sign up for a savings challenge. Or, if you want to become a better writer, start a blog.
The sky is the limit when it comes to practicing new beliefs. Just make sure that you take actionable steps that will help you move closer to your goal.


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