Are limiting beliefs holding you back in life?

If you haven’t heard of limiting beliefs before, or haven’t fallen victim to them, then congratulations. You’ve been duped! Because everyone has fallen victim to limiting beliefs at some point in their lives. Whether it’s doubting your ability in school or suffering impostor syndrome in your work life. Limiting beliefs have, at some point, affected us all. 

If you haven’t heard of limiting beliefs before, or haven’t fallen victim to them, then congratulations. You’ve been duped! Because everyone has fallen victim to limiting beliefs at some point in their lives. Whether it’s doubting your ability in school or suffering impostor syndrome in your work life. Limiting beliefs have, at some point, affected us all. 

But where do they come from? What are they? And why are so many of us plagued by them? This article covers the bare basics of limiting beliefs, their origins, and how I, personally, work to overcome them.

Image from Ron Lach

The issue with childhood beliefs. 

Limiting beliefs are developed during our early childhood and can be regarding any area of our life. Things such as beliefs about ourselves, money, relationships, health, and society are among the most common. Holding onto such beliefs becomes a major issue as we get older, and can gravely impact our self-worth, confidence, and even how we approach new challenges. 

Childhood beliefs are born during our younger years. They can be born from anything in our childhood, more commonly so from our parents or other elders in our lives. These need not always be words, however, and can be interpretations of various situations. For example, you may interpret a parent’s absence as a sign that they don’t care about you, which can result in people-pleasing behaviour or abandonment issues. But, as we grow older we learn that absence can mean many things such as working to pay the bills and isn’t necessarily have anything to do with us. 

While we may understand childhood beliefs more now as adults, it doesn’t stop us from acting on the behaviours we’ve learned. Despite knowing that mum went to work every day to pay the bills, why might we still feel abandoned or even act on people-pleasing behaviour? It’s because our childhood beliefs are stored deep within our subconscious. They’re so ingrained, in fact, that they might be considered part of our brain’s structure. 

Common examples of limiting beliefs stemming from childhood. 

Here are some common examples of limiting beliefs we learned as a child but have held onto into our adult years. 

  1. I’m not good enough, and never will be good enough. 
  2. I’m not pretty/thin enough. 
  3. I’m too old to do that or this. 
  4. I’m not smart enough. So why try?
  5. I’m unloveable. 
  6. I don’t deserve this or that.
  7. I have to act a certain way to be accepted. I can’t show people the real me. 
  8. I can’t make money doing what I love.
  9. It’s too late to pursue my dreams.
  10. I don’t have enough credentials
  11. I don‘t have enough experience.
  12. Self-care is selfish, I don’t deserve to take time for myself. 
  13. They can do it so why can’t I? I should be able to do what everyone else does. 
  14. Bad things always happen to me. I’m unlucky and that’s just how it is.
  15. Things are as they are, and nothing will change. Why try?
Image from Mike Murray

How many can you relate to?

Quite a few of these resonate with me. One in particular that stands out is number 13. In recent years I’ve learned that my ability to cope with stress is different from that of other people for a variety of reasons. I’ve felt lazy and unworthy because I can’t keep up with a standard forty-five-hour week.

In reality, we’re not designed to work the excessive hours that have become normal. We’re not built to continually grind for over eight hours a day, five days a week. And my body and mind have shown no issue in taking a stand against that time and time again. Yet, a part of me feels like a burden, or even lazy for listening to my primal self. Why?

As a child, I was taught that my employer and hours of work/salary define my worth. The more I work, the more money I make and therefore I earn the right to be tired. I earn the right to take a break but only if I’ve worked a fifty-hour week. I carried and continue to carry that belief long into my adulthood.

My beliefs, specifically that one, have driven both my mind and body to breaking point. And yet, I still have to fight them each and every day of my life. 

How can we begin to challenge limiting beliefs? 

Practice self-compassion often. 

Similar to self-care, we need to take time to listen to ourselves and treat ourselves with dignity. STOP criticizing the size of your bum or the fact that you can’t do something. START exercising compassion with yourself like you would with a child. After all, we’re looking after our inner wounded child here. Speak kindly to yourself, give yourself gentle nudges and give yourself a break.

Learn about your childhood and any trauma you experienced.

How have they impacted you? Explore your learned beliefs and work to overcome them. 

Have you heard of re-parenting?

I started to reparent myself in early 2020 when we were in complete lockdown. Simply put reparenting is the act of giving yourself what you didn’t receive as a child. For some this may be compassion, for others it may be understanding.

Step out of your comfort zone. 

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Recently I abseiled down a building, something I never thought I’d do. One of my biggest fears is heights but I overcame that not only for charity but for myself. I felt immensely proud and have since been inspired to do more things outside my comfort zone. But why is it so good for us?

Our minds run on presets and quite often this holds us back from challenging ourselves. Whether it’s a fear of change or spiders, we’re always going to hold back from the things we dislike. But what if these things opened up a whole new world to us? Better yet, what if challenging these limiting beliefs enabled us to become the next H.P Lovecraft or Sting?

Fall down three times, get up four.

Or, don’t be afraid to fail. It will take you a while to find out who you are and what you stand for, and that’s fine. Some things may work for you while others won’t. Failure is a part of life for everyone, even you. And falling down doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get back up and try again. If your brain tells you not to fail, failure is a dirty word, you won’t try. So now is the time to take back control and dare to challenge your fear of failure.

What are some of your self-limiting beliefs that you’re willing to challenge?


  1. It is hard to overcome some of those beliefs. I know I have a some I am working on. Once you get to root of these limiting beliefs and change your mind to the truth, you can be free.

  2. This is interesting, still working on this for a while but this will help to understand more

  3. Imposter syndrome is so real for me! I need to have more confidence in myself and my abilities, though.

  4. We all have been there. Limiting beliefs. Thoughts such as I’m not good enough or I’m not good at anything. These beliefs often come from a place of negativity and fear that keep us from experiencing new opportunities. Thank you for sharing this. Great tips on how to overcome limiting beliefs.

  5. I truly believe that sometimes we are our own worst enemies. And we can get in the way of our own success.

  6. I do feel like we often hold ourselves back. It is good to work on getting past our own thoughts and move forward.

  7. It seems like I have been living with all those limiting beliefs you listed! I have always felt inferior to my siblings who are all successful in their careers. My ex husband once told me “you are one big blob of bad luck that is why you will never be anything significant in your life.” That was so mean and it has been decades since we parted ways but I can still hear his voice telling me those words when I have bad days. I need to change and rid myself of these limiting beliefs. I am thankful I got to read your post. It has inspired me to do something and be the person I am destined to be.

  8. Self-limiting beliefs hinder from achieving our goals. I have been through that as a child. But I overcame those things and look where I am now. (just joking)!!

  9. I have said almost all of those about myself over the years. I do think that my biggest obstacle in my success has been my own thoughts.

  10. I’m so bad with this! I need to work on not letting them get to me!! Time to make more of an effort!

  11. I definitely have some limiting beliefs that I would like to work on. I like the idea of doing some things you didn’t get to do as a child x

  12. Hihi….from your list, it has always been “I can’t make money doing what I love”! So sad, if you ask me.

  13. I really struggle with this. It’s why I waitressed for 5 years. It’s why I’m not leaving the job I hate now. I tell myself that I won’t find better, and I make myself stuck.

  14. This post really hit home with me! And the part about re-parenting.. I’ve had to do my fair share of that, too. Brilliant advice, thanks for sharing.

    Coralle x

  15. This is a really great read and makes me think. Thank you for that. I need to open my perspectives.

  16. Practicing self compassion is huge! I’m definitely really hard on myself for not being perfect; not realizing that I still have to heal and just learn from my mistakes to forward. Thank you so much for sharing!

  17. It can be so hard to keep limiting beliefs from holding you back! I have been working on this myself recently!

  18. I have done a session on limiting beliefs (not with Andrea) and I loved every second of it. I wish I had the means to do a bit more work on this, so hopefully one day!
    Thank you for sharing this Nyxie x

  19. I would love a session with Andrea. She is great and it’s time to face my fears and learn more about what’s holding me back. I am willing to change my limiting beliefs about money

  20. I’m all about inspiration and motivation right now, and I’ve come to the right place. I have lots of limiting beliefs and I just realized them. Our words carry power and I will try to be kinder to myself. reshape my beliefs and start all over again

  21. I always believe that there is no growth in our comfort zones and there is no comfort in our growth zone. Always try something new. Discover new hobbies, skills, and passions. I loved your post!

  22. Wow, the childhood beliefs point hit me like a gut punch. When I was a child I really thought I’d be married with children at the age I’m at now, and I couldn’t feel farther from that milestone! In a way I try not to hold these limiting thoughts in my head, but there is a small part of me that feels guilty I haven’t completed these tasks. Excellent post.

  23. I love the re-parenting part! This is a must for anyone who grew up in a neglectful or dysfunctional family. The ones who suffered social-emotional deficits that follow us into adulthood. It’s an absolute must to learn. It’ll be a huge help

  24. Limiting beliefs is such a challenging mindset to break. It definitely takes work, self-awareness and continuous reconditioning. Thanks for sharing this post. Looking forward to your workshop on Dec 6th and 7th.

  25. I definitely have limiting beliefs that still crop up from time to time. This was fascinating to read; it’s really got me thinking about how I tackle them and what would maybe work better. Thanks for this valuable information!

  26. Despite all of the work that I believe that I have done on myself, I can recognize that limiting beliefs still creep up and make me shy away from opportunities. You offer some truly great insight on ways to make positive change.

  27. I have long known about limiting beliefs and yes they are holding back probably the majority of human kind. It’s crazy to think that so many of these beliefs stem from childhood and we have to work so hard to undo them as adults. So important for us all to be aware of the above.

  28. I did a session with Andrea on limiting beliefs and I’ve worked with various coaches on trying to battle through them over the last few years. Anyone who says they have no limiting beliefs is a liar because we all do and they often started so long ago, we can’t even remember. Once you get on top of them, it can be amazing what you can achieve!

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