Limiting beliefs are those things you believe about yourself that place limitations on your abilities. Limiting beliefs are simply assumptions about reality that are not true. In order for our actions to have the greatest positive effect, we need to have beliefs that are as close to reality as possible deceiving ourselves will take us further from our goal.

The point is not to become a leader. The point is to become yourself and to use yourself completely, all your gifts and skills and energies to make your vision manifest. You must withhold nothing. Warren Bennis

Our beliefs are assumed truths. They are our inner statements about ourselves in which we are emotionally invested. They have shaped us and probably unbeknown to many of us they have been with us since childhood. Self-limiting beliefs are the ones which have the greatest potential for impacting negatively upon you achieving your full potential. Usually they develop in response to painful experiences.

“I’m not ready”, “I don’t have enough experience”, and “I’m not good enough” are examples of self-limiting beliefs that are toxic. Self-limiting beliefs prevent us from achieving success in our careers and lives. But what are self-limiting beliefs? Simply, they are negative self-perceptions that live in our conscious and subconscious rooted in past experiences, comments by others, values and beliefs of our family and friends, and even messages from the media (or social media).

Our current reality is our opportunity. We must step away from being a victim of fate into being a creator of destiny.

If you have beliefs that are holding you back, now is the time to confront them. Stop letting them mature, festering while keeping you awake at night and preventing you from taking action toward your big goals in life.


The first part of overcoming self-limiting beliefs is to identify them, understand their impact, identify their source, and assess their real ness. Many of us have beliefs that are so deeply engrained that we don’t even know they exist. What negative thoughts pass through your head, even for just a moment? Those are the self-limiting beliefs that are getting in your way and need to get squashed.

Understand the Impact your Self-Limiting Beliefs are having on your decision making. Once you become aware of your negative beliefs, reflect on how they are currently getting in your way or have impacted you in the past. How much time did you waste putting things off because of these negative beliefs?

Identify the Source of Your Self-Limiting Beliefs. Was it a comment from your past, a commonly held belief of your family or social circle, or the perception of a past experience? Getting to the source of the belief is key to eliminating them. Self-limiting beliefs tend to get easily rooted in our conscious and subconscious and are rarely challenged.

Once we understand what they are and where they come from, the next step is to eliminate any self-limiting beliefs that are getting in your way. One way to start to overcome a negative belief is to develop an alternative positive affirmation. For example, I started to think, “I’m a great songwriter” and stopped dwelling on struggles and writers block. Replacing negative thoughts is a key step to beating back self-limiting beliefs. Constantly challenging your old beliefs will start to prove they are false and help you move beyond them. Becoming your own personal cheerleader can give you the boost needed to overcome.

Be on purpose! It takes regular, intentional effort to overcome self-limiting beliefs. That same sense of purpose is required to keep them at bay. Be sure to spend time on identifying and addressing old beliefs that come up as well as new ones to eliminate future blockages to your success.

For so many or us, we are the greatest obstacle to our success. Beating back self-limiting beliefs is one important step to getting out of the way of your long-term success and happiness.

Basil Reynolds

Coaching Consultant

Finding the Music Inside