When I was working with a life coach, we talked about self-limiting beliefs. As you can imagine by the name, a self-limiting belief is something that holds you back from accomplishing your goals and dreams. It’s a belief you hold about yourself that negatively impacts your life. A self-limiting belief can stop you from moving forward in your life.

The real danger of these little suckers is that we often don’t realize they even exist. They linger in the background of our minds, causing fear and doubt in our lives.


The way we talk to ourselves has a huge influence on our productivity, performance, and self-esteem. Self-limiting beliefs can cause our minds to have negative and toxic thoughts playing on repeat.

Throughout writing this blog, I have tried to walk the talk on the personal development side of things. Writing this blog has taught me a lot. Coaching was a huge turning point in my life.

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So imagine my surprise when I realized over the weekend, I had picked up a new self-limiting belief.

I couldn’t help but wonder – how did this happen?

It started with a simple thought. A thought expressed about a particular fear.

It started with ‘I don’t know how to…’

Just to be clear this thought wasn’t used in a way where all I had to do was learn how to do the task. It was expressed in a negative way implying that I couldn’t, no matter what I learned, carry out the task. It was a self-limiting belief based on a fixed mindset way of thinking.

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Harmless enough if it is a one-off random thought. The problem is one-off scary thoughts seem to like holding parties. Before you know it, 50 of the same negative thoughts have come for drinks!

Then they decide to stick around and trash the place.

Without realizing it, I had been repeating this, ‘I don’t know how to …’ declaration over and over again.

Before I knew it, I believed it.

This negative cascade of energy was stopping me from working on a project that meant a lot to me and stopping me from making the progress I needed.

It was slowly creeping into my everyday vocabulary.

If I didn’t put a stop to this negative thought, it was going to ruin my business prospects.

The great thing is once you realize you have a problem; you can start working on it straight away. You can silence the negative thoughts in your head and kick those beer-drinking party crashers out the door.

This is one of the priceless benefits of coaching. While issues still arise, I recognize them early, know how to handle them, and most importantly am prepared to do the work to get myself back on track. I won’t lie though, sometimes it takes me a little longer than I would like.

Have you ever spoken to someone who announced they have given a problem a lot of thought, and they know what is wrong and exactly what they need to do about it? Then they do absolutely nothing.

Don’t fall into this trap. Recognize a problem and act on it.

The important thing for me now is to transform, “I don’t know how to…” into ‘ This is how you do it.’

Deep down I know this limiting belief has no legs. I know it is not rational, logical, or true.

So here is an important question for you. What self-limiting belief is sabotaging your life that you don’t even know about?

It could be something like:

  • I’m not good at relationships
  • I’m not good at job interviews
  • I’m not good with money
  • I’m not good with numbers
  • I’m not lovable
  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m too old
  • I can’t change
  • I don’t deserve to be happy
  • I don’t deserve love
  • I can’t save money
  • I don’t know how to work for myself
  • No one will listen to me
  • I’m not smart enough
  • I could never do that
  • I will never be successful
  • I don’t have enough experience
  • I always make the wrong choices.

Some items on this list are easier to work through than others but all of them require you to start somewhere.

Owning the fact that you have a self-limiting belief is the first step. You also need to take action.

Self-doubt is one of the key reasons we fail to take action.

Self-doubt is a habit. To tackle that habit head-on, I recommend the How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence online course by the amazing Mel Robbins over at CreativeLive. I have completed this course myself and got so much out of it. Ready my course review post to see how it can benefit you.

Self-limiting beliefs

Think about your negative recurring thoughts. Do they stem from a self-limiting belief? What are some of the excuses you use for not trying something new or starting a project?

Do your excuses link back to a self-limiting belief that is lying dormant?

Unearth the belief and bring it out into the light. Start dealing with the issue, send it packing, and watch your life move forward.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends. Don’t forget to have a look at Mel’s course

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