Limiting beliefs


Limiting beliefs can influence how you think, feel, and behave.  You start to learn them from a very early age, which can make them difficult to release, if they were indoctrinated into your consciousness.  Learn how to release your limiting beliefs, with just 3 simple steps, and replace them with new & empowering ones.

Limiting beliefs


A limiting belief is something you accept as true but does not contribute to your well-being and can even be harmful to you.

As a child, I learned that being obedient kept me safe from punishment and made me a good child in my parents’ eyes.  So, I believed that I had to avoid conflicts and speaking up so I could be accepted by others.

It was a pattern I repeated over and over in my decisions and relationships.  What made it worse was I didn’t even recognize it and allowed myself to continue feeling stressed and unsatisfied.

Breaking free from a limiting belief may not be an easy thing to do because it might pain you to discover what it is.  Once you know where they come from, you can start to release the harmful patterns that are not contributing to your well-being.


We learn beliefs at a very early age because they enable us to survive and thrive.  So if you've had a belief for a long time, you might not even be aware that it is restrictive.

When a baby needs something, it learns that crying will help to fulfill it once the parent has met it.  As they continue to grow and develop, they will adopt other beliefs to keep them safe and feel loved by those around them.

They accept these beliefs as truth & reality, so it may seem like the belief is serving their highest good.  The child learns that he has to be a certain way to feel secure and accepted by his family.

Just because the child believes he is acting favorably, doesn't mean that he is benefitting from the behavior.  For example, if he believes that he always has to be good to others even if he is taken advantage of, it is a limiting belief.  Or if the child thinks he is not good enough, it is also a limiting belief.

This can become a pattern that he is not aware of because he learned it at such a young age.  Without inquiry, the limiting belief will be difficult to release, making it hard to transform and continue to grow as a human being.


Once upon a time in Great Britain, Victorians (people of the Victorian period) believed that trains could cause mental illness.  They thought that the jarring movements of the train could injure the brain, unhinge the mind, and drive otherwise sane people mad.

So in the late 19th century, it was reported that a man with a gun in a moving train was acting & laughing very strangely and attacked windows to get to other frightened passengers.  By the next stop, he was calm and peaceful.  However, when the train started moving again, his aggressive behavior returned.

Limiting beliefs such as these can keep you from moving forward in life.  They can even prevent you from going after your dreams, trusting in your abilities, or making decisions that you know will benefit you.


Here are two sentences that represent common limiting beliefs.  I formatted the two sentences below as fill in the blanks.  The words that follow the sentences can be used to describe a limiting belief.

I am not ________ enough.  Common words that fill in this blank are:  smart, handsome, pretty, doing, talented, experienced, creative, motivated, etc.

I am too ________.  Another common fill in the blank for this one is:  old, tired, scared, busy, dumb, ugly, slow, fat, etc.

Do these phrases ever slip into your mind?  When you really think about it, these “beliefs” are just words that fill in a blank space.  The next time a limiting belief enters your brain, try to step back and notice that they are just thoughts and stories that are creating your reality.


Overcoming limiting beliefs, especially if they are deeply rooted in your subconscious, can be challenging.  However, with a little time and effort, you will start to recognize the patterns that limit your choices, actions and behavior.  When you do, you will begin to release them one by one, and create space for new, empowering beliefs.


The first thing you want to do is identify your limiting beliefs.  Grab something to write with, and a piece of paper.  Or you can open up a new document on your computer.  Write down all the beliefs that you have about yourself.

Now take a look at what you wrote down.  Is there something that makes you feel stuck?  Or a pattern that keeps repeating that you desperately want to change?  Where are these beliefs rooted?  Do you have any strong emotions attached to them?  Take the time to answer these questions.

Now look at what you wrote and identify your limiting beliefs.  They will keep you from becoming a better version of yourself that serves your highest good and even the good of others.  When you know where your limiting beliefs come from, you can start letting them go.


Before physical exercise became a regular habit of mine, I dreaded just thinking about it.  I made up excuses to avoid it like, I have no energy, I’m too busy, it’s a waste of time.  So why should I exercise every day when I already feel exhausted?  My belief was that I didn’t have enough time or energy to exercise, even though I knew it was good for me.

One day, I simply decided buy a mini trampoline so I could exercise for just 5 minutes a day.  I could spare 5 minutes in the morning, so I tried it, and it was fun.  Then I tried other gentle exercises like yoga and chi gong.  I discovered that I didn’t lose my energy.  In fact, I had more energy because I was exercising.  Now I can do low impact exercises for about 20 minutes a day and my belief about exercise is forever changed.

It took some time for me to release this limiting belief.  Some beliefs are harder to let go of than others, so take your time.  If you find that some beliefs are stirring up difficult emotions, take a step back, or seek the help of a professional.  When you have released your limiting belief, you can replace it with a new, empowering one.


Here are some examples of limiting beliefs, with empowering beliefs right below each one.  Notice that they are the opposite of the limiting belief.  You can use these examples as a guide to create new beliefs that empower and inspire you.  Be sure that you write down your new, empowering beliefs and say them to yourself every day.  They are affirmations that will help to create lasting happiness and change in your life.

Limiting:  My bathroom is always messy.
Empowering:  I am so blessed to have a functioning bathroom for me to use and enjoy.

Limiting:  My kids are so irresponsible and never listen to me.
Empowering:  My children are loving, independent, and generous individuals.

Limiting:  I hate my job, but I can’t leave because I’m too old to be hired.
Empowering:  I have enough talent, experience and wisdom to get the job of my dreams.

Limiting:  I’m 35 years old and never been married.  I must be too ugly for someone to love me.
Empowering:  I love being single, beautiful, and independent.  Having a loving partner is a wonderful bonus in my life.

Limiting beliefs are just stories that we create in our minds that are simply not true.  Some might go as far back as early childhood and become your reality and truth.  However, once you start to recognize the patterns in your life that no longer serve you, you can start to release those beliefs. Then you can adopt empowering beliefs and start creating a life that you love.

Did you have any limiting beliefs that you were able to change?  I would love to know what you think.  Please let me know in the comments section below.

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