Cartoon woman looking confused. She is surrounded by five empty thought bubbles.

Are limiting beliefs holding you back?


Do you ever have thoughts or feelings about yourself that stop you moving forward in life?

This month marks the return of our Wellbeing Blog, with an article all about ‘limiting beliefs’: the ideas we hold about ourselves that stop us from doing what we really want to do.

Identify, understand and overcome your own limiting beliefs in this latest installment from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator, Angela Wood…

What are limiting beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are fairly self-explanatory. In a nutshell, they are beliefs we hold about ourselves which stop us from reaching our goals and living life to the full.

Limiting beliefs can fall into a few different categories:

  • Limiting beliefs about yourself that make you feel incapable of achieving something
  • Limiting beliefs about the world which make you feel like you can’t achieve something because nobody will let you
  • Limiting beliefs about life which make you think you can’t achieve something because it is too difficult.

Throughout our lives we gather beliefs from our peers, colleagues, family and friends and we also create our own. We then take these beliefs and live our life by them.

Limiting beliefs about ourselves are formed over a period of many years, usually originating from all events and experiences we have been through since birth.

For example, if you performed badly at school you may have formed the limiting belief that you’re incapable of achieving certain things in adulthood.

Our thoughts are very powerful as they control our emotions. Our emotions then lead to our behaviours, which we act upon and react according to our belief.

The things you say to yourself can be the number one support tool you have to guide you towards your goals. However, when we don’t believe we can, usually we won’t.


Ask yourself: is the way you talk to yourself holding you back?

Limiting beliefs are those things you believe about yourself that ultimately place limitations on your abilities. They are subconscious thoughts creeping in and telling you something that is ultimately not true.

For example:

“Bad things always happen to me”

“I’m no good at speaking to people”

“I would never be able to do that”

“I would never be a good leader”

“I’m too old to do that”

Limiting beliefs are simply assumptions about your reality that come from your perceptions of life experiences.

For our actions to have the greatest positive effect, we need to have beliefs that are as close to reality as possible.

How can we overcome our limiting beliefs?

A great way to start is by asking yourself: “What evidence do I have that this belief is true?” and “has it brought value to the life I am trying to live?”

Click below to access a printable worksheet, which you can use to explore and overcome your own limiting beliefs: