A Limiting Beliefs List to Stop You Sabotaging Your Potential

Do you have limiting beliefs? Are you even aware of what limiting beliefs are and what the phrase means? All of us have belief systems that have been created as we’ve grown up. Some of those belief systems will be useful to us but others will do a great job of holding us back and stopping us from achieving our potential. We’ve created a limiting beliefs list to show you some of the most common limiting beliefs and what you can do to stop them reach your goals.

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What Are Limiting Beliefs?

Before we start let’s look at what a limiting belief means. Limiting beliefs are simply thoughts that constrain us in some way which we believe to be absolutely true so that we don’t challenge them. The beliefs tend to revolve around something that has variables but most of the possibilities have been ignored in favour of one or two which we hold to be absolutely true.

A limiting belief example might be the thought process “I can’t dance”. This limiting belief may have been based on an attempt at dancing in a school play when you were 7. Perhaps you didn’t understand the steps, felt a lack of co-0rdination or embarrassed yourself by falling over. A teacher or parent may have said to you after the event perhaps dancing wasn’t for you and so that belief system stuck.

Yet if we were to go back to that situation with a new attitude it is clear that all the variables in that situation were never explored. What if the child had proper lessons with a patient teacher? What if they had practiced their moves for weeks before the performance? What if they were to watch others showing them the moves first? If the child had tried the other methods there is a much higher likelihood of success. The limiting beliefs, however, had prevented that person from ever bothering to try again.

We all have limiting beliefs about ourselves and also about other people. The key is to find and explore the ones that are preventing us from success so we can try things differently.

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Limiting Beliefs Examples

Our limiting beliefs list will give you some examples of the top ten limiting beliefs but before we look at the list ask yourself if you ever use any of these phrases:

  • I Can’t
  • I’m Not Good At
  • It’s too Hard
  • I’m Powerless
  • I’ll Never
  • I’ve tried everything
  • I Don’t

These are just some examples of a start to a sentence that could contain a limiting belief. If you are regularly using these words then ask yourself what words do you use after the phrase. Does the rest of the sentence contain an absolute truth that you believe might not actually be true?

Imagine saying to yourself “I can’t do maths”. Now question have you actually tried to work through maths questions with a sympathetic and excellent tutor? The chances are that your belief system came from struggling at school with a terrible teacher. Alternatively what about “I’ll never be rich”. Ask yourself where that belief has come from? What have you done to help yourself change your earnings potential? What have you done about savings and investments? You need to understand in most cases you have not even scratched the surface of what is actually possible.

How Do I Find My Limiting Beliefs?

A very simple way to find out if you have these beliefs is to do this simple exercise. Go through our limiting beliefs list and look at the starting belief list related to that topic. Ask yourself if any of the words and phrases that we use apply to you. Are they things that you say or that you believe to be true? Write down a list of the beliefs that apply specifically to you.

This limiting beliefs list will be your starting point and flag to you where some of your problems may lie. We are going to cover eight topics but you can, of course, add others when you have worked through our initial suggestions.

Limiting Beliefs About Money

  • Money doesn’t grow on trees
  • I’ll never be rich
  • I’ll always spend everything I earn
  • You need to be educated to earn lots of money
  • Being rich means you have to work really hard
  • Money is the root of all evil

Have you ever caught yourself using any of these phrases? A limiting belief system revolving around money limits your earning potential and stops you from becoming richer. In very simple terms if you don’t try to earn more or save and invest then of course money isn’t going to come that easily to you.

The reality is that a skewed belief system can prevent you from monetary success. If you tell yourself that you spend everything you earn then, of course, that is what you are going to go out and do. If you tell yourself that you save 20% of your income then you start to make an effort to do exactly that. Changing your thoughts changes what you do.

Remember that as with anything in life taking small steps towards your goal is a great place to start. As you start to break down your limiting beliefs your confidence begins to grow allowing further changes.

Limiting Beliefs About Health

  • I’m always ill
  • I was born unhealthy
  • I’ll always be anxious/depressed
  • All my family are unhealthy so I’ve inherited their problems
  • I don’t heal well

Running therapy clinics exposes you to thousands of clients who have limiting beliefs about their health. Only this week one of our clients told us that they were always ill. When we questioned this it turned out that he had been for lots of tests but the doctors had found nothing wrong with him. In reality, he was always well but he did have anxiety which made him believe that he has a physical ailment.

We help our clients to see that actually that illness and mindset go hand in hand together. Did you know that pain actually increases when someone is anxious? Or that the mind can make you feel sick even though there is no physical ailment. Just thinking a thought can create a physical response. This means that thinking differently can change many parts of your health.

Limiting Beliefs in Business and Work

  • I don’t have enough experience
  • I’m too old
  • I don’t have the right qualifications
  • I always get overlooked
  • I’ll just get passed over for promotion
  • Who would bother to listen to me?

Self-worth and self-esteem issues can create big problems when it comes to limiting beliefs around business and work. Many of our clients feel that they don’t have the capability to do certain roles when in fact a little self-belief would work wonders. We always say you never know until you try.

Creating confidence and actually making an effort to try can make a big difference. We remind our clients that you are not necessarily going to be successful the first time you try but persistence and resilience is key as well as practice and knowledge. You are more likely to get that new role or promotion if you keep on trying rather than giving up on the first attempt or never bothering at all.

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Success Beliefs

  • I’m not good enough
  • I don’t deserve
  • I always mess up
  • I’ll just embarrass myself
  • I haven’t got the experience

How many of you believe that you are not good enough? We had to flag this in our limiting beliefs list as we hear it so often from our clients yet they are never able to prove to us that this is actually true.

Feelings of not being good enough are usually created by what others tell us when we are children. A teacher may tell you that you are not good enough to get into the top set at school so you take their word as gospel. Or a parent may have such high standards that you always feel that you are failing and never live up to expectations.

The reality is that you are just fine as you are and are no different from anyone else. You have just as much chance of being successful as the next person providing you try.

Fear of Failure

  • Everyone laughs at me
  • What if I cost the business money
  • I don’t want to let other people down
  • It’s easier to do nothing
  • Why bother if it is only going to go wrong anyway

A fear of failure or atychiphobia is a strong limiting belief that stops you from ever trying. In the past, you are likely to have experienced an incident where things went wrong and your mind doesn’t want to repeat the humiliation or upset so it stops you from trying in the future. The problem is that just because one thing went wrong once doesn’t mean that it has to happen again.

We always remind our clients that the most successful people only achieved their dreams after failing first. These people were persistent and kept on trying until finally, they had success. Failing doesn’t have to be a negative instead it can be a great learning tool helping you to refine and readjust.

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Fear in Relationships

  • I’m unlovable
  • I always get hurt
  • Nobody would want me
  • You can’t trust anyone
  • I’ll always be single

Low self-esteem is an area that creates problems when it comes to relationships. If you don’t love yourself and have low self-worth then it can be really easy to get into the wrong relationships that have problems. Many of our clients with low self-esteem are more likely to end up with someone who is rude or abusive to them, disrespects them or cheats on them. Our clients stay with them because they don’t believe they are worth anything better or feel if they left nobody else would have them.

Build your self-esteem and self-worth and the story changes completely. The people who you would have previously gone out with are now completely outside of your radar. Instead, you become more choosy and test the waters carefully first before deciding to commit to anything serious. If there is any trouble with a partner you end the relationship and move on without looking back because you know you don’t need to put up with nonsense. Changing your mindset changes your life.

Education Beliefs

  • I’m not intelligent
  • I can’t do maths/languages/science
  • I always fail exams
  • The teachers/tutors don’t like me
  • I can’t write essays
  • I can’t understand

Your education can have a profound impact on your belief system. This is because during your formative years you have less control and are more likely to listen to what adults may tell you. We always tell our clients that adults get it wrong all the time.

Just because a teacher told you that you couldn’t do maths when you were 10 doesn’t mean that their opinion is correct. Were they teaching you correctly? Did they take time to help you understand? Did they miss a learning disability that could have been rectified?

As an adult, if you wanted to you could hire someone to spend time with you explaining subjects which previously had seemed like a mystery or impenetrable. We bet that in the majority of circumstances your ability to comprehend and thrive would be completely different.


  • I can’t lose weight
  • I hate exercise
  • I can’t stop drinking in the evening
  • I’m addicted to sugar
  • I can’t resist

The reality is that for most people when it comes to willpower their limiting beliefs are more about priorities rather than something they can’t do. Our clients have plenty of willpower and motivation but they are using it in other places. They get up to go to work every day so if they can do that they can also put in place an exercise regime. They do food shopping but they just choose to buy processed foods to save time.

Everything in life is a matter of priorities. We help our clients to assess what they are and put in place new healthy habits. You have to work a little at making a change but when you put in place the structure this can be easy to do.

How Do you Stop Limiting Beliefs?

So how exactly do you stop things from our limiting beliefs list ruling your life and stopping you from achieving your goals?

Well, part of the battle is, of course, recognising what you are telling yourself is not true. When you start writing down your limiting beliefs it can be a real eye-opener. For many people, that’s all it takes for positive changes to take place.

For others, help is needed to build their confidence and self-esteem to enable them to try alternative methods of being. This confidence coaching and training can be by self-help methods such as using a self-hypnosis download or through one to one sessions with an expert. We work with our clients online to change the way in which they think.

When you take action that is different to the norm it is interesting to see how easy it can be to push through old thought patterns and create new ones. The hardest part is recognising the problem because when you know that it is easy to understand there is a world of possibilities that you have not explored. It doesn’t take long for the barriers to start to fall down once you start to take action.

Limiting Belief Quotes

You Might Also Want to Read:

The Ultimate Happiness Habits List

Why Mindset Matters

How to Stop Caring What Other People Think

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limiting beliefs list



Martina McKeough
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A Limiting beliefs list to stop you sabotaging your potential
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A Limiting beliefs list to stop you sabotaging your potential
Do you have limiting beliefs that are holding you back? Discover how your fixed thoughts can stop you from achieving success.
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Rewire The Mind
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