How to Identify Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs are those beliefs impeding your progress towards a healthy, positive, and productive life spent achieving your goals & enriching your life. Limiting beliefs drain you of motivation, and undermine your efforts before you even get started.

Maybe you believe you can’t sing, dance, or maybe you’re convinced you’re unworthy of being loved. Whatever the belief, you have to realize it’s holding you back before you can move forward.

One of the most insidious parts of limiting beliefs is you’ve believed them for so long, they seem completely real. It certainly seems like you have enough experiences to back up your reason for believing it. The more references you have to back up the belief, the stronger your conviction the belief is real.

Which came first? The Experience? Or the Belief?

Chicken Belief

A good question to ask yourself is, why did you have those experiences? It might be that you told yourself you couldn’t dance, and acted accordingly. You don’t dance well, so you have another piece of evidence for the case you’re building against yourself.

It’s an endless negative feedback loop playing over and over in your mind.

We all have a continuous conversation with ourselves. It begins in childhood and is called private speech. Many children will talk to themselves aloud while tying shoelaces or playing with toys.

This habit continues as we get older, but we do it much more rarely out loud. Psychologists, according to Scientific American MIND (January 1, 2014 issue), say this private mental chatter accounts for about 25% of conscious experience. A whole quarter of your experience is you, talking to yourself!

Sadly, most people’s self-talk is mainly composed of self defeating scripts. Many people are completely unaware of this loop of negativity set on infinite repeat.


If you’d like to bring that inner critic to light, try this. Make an empowering statement like, “Within 5 years I will be a millionaire.” Instantly you will have lots of “logical” arguments for why that’s not going to happen.

Write down as many of these as you can think of, and you will begin to see the beginnings of your negative loop. And that’s just about this one belief (that you’ll be a millionaire in 5 years)!

Continue to identify your limiting beliefs, and we’ll cover how to get rid of them in an upcoming post.

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or anything else you want to ask me about, don’t hesitate to get in touch here or on the SoMotivated Google+ profile

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