10 Limiting Beliefs That Hold You Back + How to Change Them

10 Limiting Beliefs That Hold You Back + How to Change Them Hero Image

This post is part of a series by Shannon Kaiser called Live Your Life — a primer on finding your passion and living with purpose. Each day this week, we'll post one article offering the foundational elements you need to go deeper in the search for your life's true meaning. When you're ready to take the next step, check out Shannon's course: Get Unstuck: How To Find Your Calling & Live A Life With More Meaning.

I once worked with a life-coaching client who came to me and expressed interest in leaving her corporate career to be a professional musician. She had released an independent album and lost money on the venture, and she interpreted that to mean that unless you're Lady Gaga, you can’t make money as a musician. This may be true for many people, but it is also a belief and thought pattern that limited her.

Our beliefs are shaped by culture, parents, habits, etc. But limiting beliefs produce the results we don’t want. As long as you keep believing the belief, you will stay in the same place — dissatisfied.

If you want things to change, you have to change your beliefs about the ability for things to change.

I worked with my client to build a new belief system that aligned with her own truth instead of listening to the world’s view that musicians don’t make good money. She started to train her brain to think about the positive aspects of her passion. She repeated the mantra, “I make a great living doing what I love,” and that positive mindset appeared to be connected with more financial abundance. Today she is working on her next album, has signed with a major record label, and is getting ready for a national tour.

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We attract that which we focus on. If you're focusing on what is not possible, you'll always be stuck. Here are 10 limiting beliefs that hold you back and how to bust through them:

1. I can't make a living doing what I love.

This is one of the most common limiting beliefs. Many of us are conditioned to think that our passions won’t pay the bills. The easy fix is to make your passion a priority. Do what you love and the money will come.

2. I feel so behind. I should be further along, and I may never catch up.

Recognize that this is your ego-based mind — the fearful and compassionate part of you — that tends to breed comparison. Instead, repeat the mantra, “I am right where I need to be to get to where I want to go. Everything is in the right order.”

3. I'll never be able to pursue my dreams because I don't know what I want.

If you focus on how you don’t have passion or clarity, that pattern keeps you from moving forward and holds you back from inspiration and clarity. Dreams don’t happen outside of you — they are inspired from within. Instead of focusing on getting clarity just retreat inward for inspiration.

4. I will probably get rejected, so I don't want to ask for help.

Many of us are afraid to ask for help or go after our dreams because we don’t want to be rejected. But if you look back on your life, you may recognize that every time you were rejected you were actually being redirected to something much better for you. I always say rejection is protection. So if a door closes, it will lead you closer to what is right.

5. Someone else must've already done it.

You may feel like your ideas and dreams aren’t worth pursuing because someone else is already doing it, but you are uniquely you. Only you can bring your idea to life in the way that is authentic for you. The world needs what you have.

6. I don't deserve happiness or success.

You may feel unworthy of a happy and fulfilled life. If you feel this way, it could be insecurity that started in your childhood. Recognize where your insecurity started and heal the pattern by taking small steps daily to be happier.

7. If it hasn't happened yet, it never will.

Whether it is a dream that hasn’t manifested yet, having kids, or finding your soul mate, the focus on “never going to happen” keeps it from happening. Instead of focusing on the lack, turn your attention to what you can do today to make it happen. Take action.

8. If I get my hopes up, I'll be let down.

You may struggle with conjuring up enough courage to let your dreams thrive, or accepting what you desire, because you fear that it won’t happen, and you'll be disappointed. The fix is to get in touch with your passions and focus on them daily. When you live a passionate life, your desires are plentiful and you won’t be let down.

9. It hasn't worked out before, so I am probably doomed to fail.

Whether you want to lose weight, get out of debt, find your soul mate, or land your dream job, fears from your past may play out in the present. Instead of focusing your attention on what hasn’t worked, look at the lessons you learned. Use these lessons to move forward with more focus.

10. I don't have the money this venture would require.

It’s human nature to want things, and sometimes we can’t afford them. Whether it is going on your dream trip, investing in a life coach, upgrading your home, or leaving the job you hate to pursue your passion, money woes can hinder you. The belief that you need money to do what you love will keep you from starting it.

Take action to do what you can with little to no money. Maybe you can research the trip you want to go on. Maybe you can put a deposit down to hold a space for an art show. When you start taking action toward what you want, you will find a way to make it work. If it is supposed to be part of your life plan, it will be.

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