Why Limiting Beliefs Hold You Back In Life & What To Do About It

Have you ever wondered why you were likely to be more fearless and curious back when you were a child compared to today? Growing up also gives you an unending list of what you must say, what you should do, and how you should be. Although you need to abide by the rules, you must not hold back yourself from living a fulfilling life.

If you feel like you want to reach better achievements but still have no guts to do something beyond your capabilities, it is a sign of having limiting beliefs. These beliefs might suppress you from unleashing your fullest potential, affecting your surroundings and the people around you, like your team and colleagues.

You might have been underestimating the effects of your limiting beliefs for a while now. However,  please do not wait for these thoughts to eat you whole and start contemplating how to get rid of them. It’s time to up your game and learn what you can do about it.

Defining Limiting Beliefs

“I’m not good at arts.”

“I can’t perform in the crowd.”

“I won’t get better than this.”

These thoughts may seem trivial but are impactful to your life as having these thoughts may degrade you or falsely define your capacity. These beliefs are examples of a limiting belief – a state of mind or conviction that you perceive to be real about you and other aspects of your life. Limiting beliefs typically come in three flavors:

  • Limiting beliefs about yourself: thoughts like you can’t do something because you are inherently incapable.
  • Limiting beliefs about the world: ideas like you can’t do something because no one will let you.
  • Limiting beliefs about life: ideas like you can’t do something because it’s too daunting.

Causes of Limiting Beliefs

After defining limiting beliefs, you must identify what has caused those thoughts to know the starting point. Here are the most common causes of limiting beliefs:

Family Beliefs

According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of the best-selling book The Biology of Belief, the limiting beliefs, usually happening in childhood, operate primarily in a hypnotic state-like brain wavelength. Thus, what children experience and witness in their childhood affects and lingers in their beliefs and values until they grow up.


Academic and educational institutions also play a significant role in limiting thoughts, just like family. Both family and education possess authority and constant sharing of ideas, information, and beliefs about how the world is.


“Experience is the best teacher.” Being the first-hand witness overcomes all causes as you have already experienced it yourself, causing you to disregard other unrelated ideas that oppose that experience. Negative experiences firmly shape your limiting beliefs, leading you to generalize and conclude hastily.

Identifying Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs significantly hinder you from achieving your short-term and long-term goals. Thus, you must know how to identify them before changing and overcoming those beliefs. Here are some tips in unleashing your self-awareness muscle to recognize them.

  • Identify and write down your beliefs: Jot down all of the most influential thoughts you have and group them into the family, health, relationship, and financial ideas.
  • Assess your behavior: Recall a scenario where you have acted in unhealthy ways to determine the underlying cause of your limiting beliefs.
  • Determine the areas where you feel most challenged: Recurring challenges in a specific area might be another clue that you have a limiting belief/s in those matters.

Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

The only good thing about limiting beliefs is that you can change them at any time. You don’t need to wait for the right timing, but only to gather your willingness to overcome those beliefs. It may be challenging at first, but here are some ways to overcome them.

  • Organize your surroundings and try being minimalist
  • Be curious and explore more.
  • Counseling is never a bad idea.
  • Meditate to clear your thoughts
  • Develop your self
  • Seek positive affirmations


Out of billions of people globally, there also lies beliefs that may be encouraging and limiting. Those beliefs won’t change instantly, so you must figure out what perceptions help you live and achieve your goals. Give yourself a chance to start transcending your capabilities by getting rid of those limiting beliefs.


Alvernaz, A. (2020, June 18). These Limiting Beliefs Are Preventing You From Being Successful. Retrieved January 19, 2021, from https://blog.trello.com/limiting-beliefs

Dan Matthews, C. (2020, December 10). How to Identify Your Limiting Beliefs and Get Over Them. Retrieved January 19, 2021, from https://www.lifehack.org/858652/limiting-beliefs

Fannin, J., & Williams, R. (2013). Leading-Edge Neuroscience Reveals Significant Correlations Between Beliefs, the Whole-Brain State, and Psychotherapy. Retrieved January 19, 2021, from https://psych-k.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/FanninWilliams.CQ-copy.pdf

Lipton, B. (2016). The biology of belief: Unleashing the power of consciousness, matter & miracles. Retrieved January 19, 2021, from https://www.amazon.com/Biology-Belief-10th-Anniversary-Consciousness/dp/140195247X

Mark Manson. (2021, January 18). How to Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs. Retrieved January 19, 2021, from https://markmanson.net/limiting-beliefs

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