Limiting beliefs are self-imposed restrictions or negative convictions we hold about ourselves, our abilities, and the world around us. When you learn how to identify limiting beliefs and useful ways to let them go, your whole life will improve.
What are some examples of limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are things you tell yourself that hold you back so that you don’t even try. Limiting beliefs might include telling yourself you’re not good enough, like “I’m too young or inexperienced to be a manager.” They often include all-or-nothing words that never or always, such as “I’ll never lose weight.” They can also be telling you things that keep you in a rut, like “I don’t have time to (insert anything you’ve been wanting to do).” If you’re looking to level up your life, identifying limiting beliefs is a powerful step. Breaking free from limiting beliefs can significantly improve your quality of life and foster a growth mindset that opens doors to new opportunities and personal fulfillment. So how do you identify limiting beliefs and let them go?
How To Identify Limiting Beliefs:
Limiting beliefs often stem from past experiences, societal conditioning, or fear of the unknown. They are often ingrained during our early years–such as old-fashioned family traditions and customs or aspects of your heritage that no longer serve a purpose–or they can have developed through negative experiences.
Addressing your limiting beliefs is a pivotal step for anyone working on their personal development. Think about your goals and your dreams. Are you working towards them? If you aren’t, what is your reasoning? Your reasoning is usually the “why” you aren’t achieving them. For instance, if you believe that earning six figures isn’t possible with the type of job you have, then you may be dismissing possibilities and opportunities before you even consciously realize it. These beliefs can significantly hinder personal and professional growth by creating a fixed or scarcity mindset. Sometimes other people are better at recognizing these than we are ourselves–because we usually justify things in our own heads.
Useful Ways to Let Limiting Beliefs Go
Awareness is the first step. Once you’re aware of something, then you can start to work on it. To let go of limiting beliefs, you first need to forgive yourself for having limiting beliefs and for the things you’ve done or thought, things that you don’t want to hold onto anymore.
The most useful way to let limiting beliefs go after you’re aware of them is forgiveness.
Forgive yourself for taking on other people’s conditions and misbeliefs. For example, if your mom told you that women in your family are just always curvy, forgive her for that belief that it was just too hard for you to lose weight. If you worked in a job that promoted hustle culture for years, forgive your co-workers and yourself for buying into this. If you have an alcoholic in your family, did they make it seem like it was your job to take on responsibilities that rightly belonged to them? Were you in a relationship with someone who had a temper? Did it become your job to avoid someone’s anger by belittling yourself? I personally looked up to my father who’s an entrepreneur and instilled in me that you have to work hard to make money. This belief lead me to a point where I was grinding away from a negative place that wasn’t serving me. It took me years to unlearn this and let go of this idea that the harder you work, the more successful you’ll be. These are all examples of limiting beliefs that you need to let go of and where you can practice forgiveness.
Rather than just dismissing feelings that you don’t like, allow yourself to feel and process what it has been like living with those beliefs.
Feel this in your body without judgment. Be with that belief, with that feeling. Once you’ve felt this, it’s time to release the energy you feel towards yourself, your upbringing, or anyone who helped instill a belief in you so you can free yourself from that burden. Remember, energy can’t be destroyed. That’s why it’s important to sit with this energy, and then let it go so you can use that energy for something else. This creates space for newness and positivity in your life. Limiting beliefs block you from your unlimited potential. Forgiveness of others and yourself will help you let go of your limiting beliefs so you can positively shift this energy into a way that serves you.
To Let Go of Limiting Beliefs, Rewrite Your Beliefs
The next most useful way to let go of limiting beliefs is to rewrite them. Take your list of limiting beliefs and challenge them. Where can you find evidence that these beliefs are not true? For example, what evidence proves that you can’t lose weight? The evidence doesn’t have to be big, but start to look for ways to pick apart the story you’ve told yourself. Isn’t it true that you have lost at least a pound before? The more you do this, the better you will get at it. When you start to look for evidence of how these beliefs are not true, then you’ll slowly start to see more and more evidence of new beliefs.
Rewriting your limiting beliefs will help your cognitive brain put together new thought patterns.
New thought patterns build with time and practice, so it’s important to stay with it. Slowly, your subconscious mind will create the new beliefs that you focus on and create your new beliefs and desires.
Turn Your New Beliefs into Affirmations
Another way to let go of limiting beliefs is affirmations. Write affirmations from your limiting beliefs to help you reframe your thinking. You can write these every morning or evening as part of a routine. You can put your affirmations on stickies that you put on your bathroom mirror. I personally love the app “I Am”! It’s an app that pops up affirmations throughout the day on your phone or Apple watch. You can use their affirmations or add your own. Affirmations usually begin with I am or I feel; like “I feel strong and healthy” or “I am fit and comfortable in my own skin.”
Visualization to Let Go of Limiting Beliefs
One of the most impactful ways to let go of limiting beliefs is through visualization and embodiment. Picture your life without these limiting beliefs. Visualize your days as who you would be with your new beliefs. Embody the person you want to become–that is, “act as if” you’re already that person. For example, if you’re wanting to get promoted, how would the promoted version of you act and show up? Would she have more confidence or dress up for work? Start acting and doing those things NOW. Feel the liberation and the new array of possibilities unfolding before you. The more you can feel this in the present moment, the sooner you’ll be able to overcome your old beliefs and step into your new reality. The more you practice this embodiment, the easier it will be to let go of your limiting beliefs.
Something I try to practice regularly is being the rich, successful version of myself.
That means I had to stop calling myself broke. I used to make jokes about not having money or say I couldn’t afford things. I practice daily acting as if I had tons of subscribers and showing up as if thousands of people were going to see and read my work. It’s all about the energy you bring to your beliefs, and showing up as the version of you you’re creating.
Work with a Life Coach or Expert
Working with an expert or coach is a great way to work on and let go of limiting beliefs. Working one-on-one with a mindset coach will help you to identify and let go of your limiting beliefs and assist you to build new powerful beliefs to achieve your goals.There are so many great coaches out there, but I would look for one that specifically works with or mentions limiting beliefs as an area of their expertise. If you’re looking for a recommendation, check out my personal mindset coach Jessie.
Breaking free from limiting beliefs can significantly improve your quality of life, fostering a growth mindset that opens doors to new opportunities and personal fulfillment. It’s one of the most useful things you can do to work on your personal development and to achieve success. Letting go of your limiting beliefs is all about focusing on your new beliefs, and in just a mere ten minutes a day you can reshape your thinking and your life. Reframing your thinking doesn’t happen overnight, but if you’re consistent, you will reshape your thinking, embrace new beliefs, and in turn change your life.
It’s a tool that teaches you to implement the process of letting go of limiting beliefs and gives you the steps to reformulate your thinking with journal prompts and actionable steps. This tool will not only reframe your morning and your thinking, but with time, your life!