3 Steps to Break Through Limiting Beliefs


Our belief systems are very powerful. At their core, belief systems are how we make sense of the world. Interestingly enough, “reason cannot prove the beliefs it is based upon. Beliefs arise through experience…Beliefs, reason, and experience, are based upon each other…This is where relative understanding lies.”

Limiting beliefs are those that constrain us in some way. The only way these limiting beliefs hold any weight is because we’ve decided they are true. If you think about it, there are a lot of limiting beliefs out there that are generally accepted by the majority of people. For example, “time is money”, “you can’t have it all”, and “it’s impossible for a woman to succeed in a man’s world” are all generally accepted limiting beliefs. These limiting beliefs that have been accepted by the collective may or may not be based upon our individual, past experiences but we allow them to shape our belief system anyway.

But how many personally acquired limiting beliefs are you holding on to? More than likely these have been collected over your lifetime through your own unique experiences and have been developed unconsciously. The problem is that these limiting beliefs keep you from experiencing the life you desire and keep you emotionally stuck. For instance, “I can’t have a job in finance because I’m not good at math.” This limiting belief is probably based upon a few poor math scores from long ago as well as someone reinforcing that math may not be your strong suit, which is why it feels so true. As a matter of fact, it feels so true to us that it eventually becomes part of our identity and will keep us from pursuing certain careers or being good stewards of our finances. It becomes our excuse for not excelling in that particular area.

Additional common limiting beliefs are:

  • I don’t deserve to be happy, wealthy, thin/healthy, successful, loved {insert adjective here}
  • I’ll never be enough
  • I’ll never have enough money, time, things, resources {insert object here}

If our ability to live the life that we desire is simply based upon our beliefs, then why aren’t all of us living the dream?

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to change limiting beliefs because either we feel that things just are what they are or we’ve been living with them for so long that there isn’t any point to trying to change them. Or, they have become so part of our identity that they feel impossible to overcome.

It may be difficult, but it is possible to change limiting beliefs. So, how do you begin to break through your limiting obstacles so that you can move from a feeling of dis-empowerment to full strength? Here are three simple steps:

  1. Ask yourself what unspoken assumptions or limiting beliefs are holding you back from achieving what you desire. Sometimes they are obvious and sometimes it takes a little effort to really identify the constraint.
  2. Once you recognize the limiting belief, ask yourself if it really is true? Doing this helps challenge the unspoken assumptions you are operating under. If you find it not to be true, the context of the belief changes, changing your core belief and ways of reasoning.
  3. Finally, break through your limiting emotion by asking yourself what you would do if this thought didn’t exist. Complete this step by listing three specific things you can do to disprove the belief and then go do them. Taking action will break the pattern of your limiting belief.

While these steps are simple in nature, it takes discipline and persistence to completely eradicate a limiting belief. But by challenging limiting assumptions and then acting to disprove the assumptions, the transition from dis-empowered to full strength will be undeniable not only to you but to those around you.

What Would You Accomplish If You Believed You Could?

As a bonus, here are 10 Empowering Beliefs (the opposite of limiting beliefs!) shared by Tony Robbins in his article “The Power of Beliefs: How Our Meanings Decide Our Destiny.”

  1. The past does not equal the future.
  2. There is always a way if I’m committed.
  3. There are no failures, only outcomes—as long as I learn something I’m succeeding.
  4. If I can’t, I must; if I must, I can.
  5. Everything happens for a reason and a purpose that serves me.
  6. I find great joy in little things… a smile… a flower… a sunset.
  7. I give more of myself to others than anyone expects.
  8. I create my own reality and am responsible for what I create.
  9. If I’m confused, I’m about to learn something.
  10. Every day above ground is a great day.

If you are ready to challenge your limiting beliefs and are looking for support, guidance, and accountability so that you can get what you need from your life right now, feel free to drop me a note at stacy@minerva.partners to discuss how Minerva Management Partners can help.


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