How Do You Know if Something Is a Limiting Belief?

How do you know if something is a limiting belief? I’m going to help you figure out how to recognize these limiting beliefs when they pop up and start holding you back. Here’s a good example.

Sheila is a small business consultant. She has plenty of high-paying clients and she loves what she does. But she wants to expand her business and become known as an industry expert. She’d like to start a podcast and she has the first few episodes outlined in her mind.

Sheila then does what lots of people do, she goes online and starts researching how to start a podcast. She abandons the podcast idea after an hour online because her inner critic tells her that she’s not good with technology and it’s too confusing. Sheila doesn’t realize it, but she’s just accepted a limiting belief.

Limiting beliefs are beliefs that hold you back from achieving your very best in your career and in life. These beliefs are often so ingrained that it takes time to learn how to recognize them. Here are some warning signs that what you’re thinking might actually be a limiting belief in disguise.

Limiting Beliefs Are Negative

Limiting beliefs are always negative. It’s the voice in your head that lists all the reasons you won’t succeed. You may have negative thoughts like, “You can’t do this. Nobody is interested in what you have to say. You’re not smart enough to succeed. You’ll be so embarrassed if you try to do this and fail.”

Here's a weird truth: Limiting beliefs often act as a defense mechanism.Click to Tweet

Believe it or not, these negative thoughts often act as a defense mechanism. You will never try something new if you believe that you’re automatically going to fail. And if you don’t try, then you can stay ‘safe’ and not risk the pain of failing.

Limiting Beliefs Encourage a Poverty Mindset

In addition to other negative effects, limiting beliefs usually come with a ‘poverty mindset‘. A poverty mindset behaves as though there are severe limits on the good things available in the universe. This extends beyond finances and affects how you live your life and manage your career.

When you have a poverty mindset your inner confidence assassin might say things like, “There’s only so much success to go around. There are too many people who want to become a vice president in this company. You can’t get ahead in your career because your influence is too small. You better be grateful for what you have because you could lose it.”

This type of poverty mindset keeps you fiercely guarding what’s “yours”. Not only does this keep you from growing in your career, it keeps you from developing relationships with other powerful career women. You see everyone as a “competitor” rather than a potential mentor, friend, or ally.

Limiting Beliefs Make You Think You’re a Victim

For example, you might think things like, “Success isn’t in my genes. I’m destined to be a loser. It doesn’t matter how hard I work – I still won’t be able to succeed.”

The problem with these thoughts is that they can convince you that you are powerless. As a result, you don’t challenge your limiting beliefs. You stay stuck in the same place for months or even years, never realizing that the real problem was your mindset.

Recognizing limiting beliefs takes time. It took time to develop and accept the limiting beliefs, so it stands to reason that you will need time to recognize and combat these thoughts. When you find yourself focused on a limiting belief, try to counter it with a positive truth. Keep doing this and eventually, you’ll notice a shift in your mindset that will lead to a stronger confidence and a more successful career.

Do you need help figuring out how to recognize the limiting beliefs that are holding you back? Download the free workbook today!

About the author 

Allegra M. Sinclair

Allegra Sinclair is a professional coach and confidence expert. She hates to see women living small and loves to help them change how they show up in the world.

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