Who we are today is a result of the life that we have lived, the people we have met along the way, and all the experiences we have lived through. We’ve learnt along this journey. Some of this learning could have been good and helpful, other experiences were probably not so helpful. But most of us develop some self-limiting beliefs through this experience and these can really turn into blocks that hold us back from achieving our full potential. Read on to find out more. 

What are self limiting beliefs?

Self-limiting beliefs are thoughts that we have about our self. They may have previously gone unnoticed. Often they are buried deep and we don’t fully recognise them, consciously at least!

It can help to become aware of our thinking. That inner voice. Noticing that our brain is busy thinking. Start to acknowledge and recognise what our brain is thinking. Maybe have a little journal close to you and notice these thoughts. They are especially noticeable and louder when we are pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone and working on something that challenges us.

Through our experiences in life we might develop self limiting beliefs such as 

⭐ “I am not good enough” 

⭐ “I need to always work at 100%”  

⭐ “I’m not as capable as others” 

⭐ “I can’t achieve what others have”. 

⭐ “I don’t deserve success”

⭐ “I am too inexperienced/too old/too young

This can often lead to perfectionism and procrastination. In turn these can stop us performing at our best and hold us back from achieving our true potential.

How do these self-limiting beliefs affect our performance?

These self-limiting beliefs can manifest in different ways. We might develop fear, self-doubt or anxiety. They can be triggered by various situations, such as public speaking, exams, job interviews, or athletic competitions. While it’s natural to feel nervous or anxious in these situations, sometimes these blocks and self-limiting beliefs can be so overwhelming that they can prevent us from reaching our full potential and stop us from even trying. Click here to read my recent blog post about how to achieve high performance. We hold ourselves back and stop doing things for fear of what could go wrong.

But honestly just recognising these patterns mean that you are ahead of the game. Recognising this can then lead us into trying to do something different and change this pattern. We need to recognise that these self-limiting beliefs and blocks are more connected to our past experiences than they are to our present.

Overcoming self-limiting beliefs

  1. Emotionally heal

We often need to emotionally heal to overcome our self-limiting beliefs. Emotional healing refers to the process of recovering from emotional wounds. It includes working through those traumas that have impacted on our mental health, emotional wellbeing and contributed to many self-limiting beliefs. It involves recognising and acknowledging past experiences that have planted the seeds for these unhelpful self-limiting beliefs. Then actively working to address and resolve those memories in order to restore emotional balance and inner peace. You could do this work with a therapist or a counsellor.

My aim for the clients I work with is that they cultivate a life where they live to the best of their ability. This is the healing journey. And this journey is always ongoing. It’s about staying on that road and keep on going to the next level. To do this, we often need to process and work through the past. So that you can let go of those self-limiting beliefs and perform at your best in the here and now.

2. Challenge those thoughts

Just because we think something it doesn’t mean it is true so when you do notice these self-limiting beliefs ask yourself. Is this true? Is there any evidence for this? What can I think instead?

3. Prioritise your self-care

I am always an advocate for prioritising your self care because this naturally leads to us recognising those self-limiting beliefs and challenging them. When we journal, when we meditate we tend to see personal growth. If we prioritise our self care we tend to feel better and when we feel better we tend to have less self-limiting beliefs.

Step into a different future 

So I hope this blog gives you hope. Hope that these self-limiting beliefs can change. Don’t put up with things the way they are. Know that change is always possible and you can step into what you are truly capable of if life and in work. Want to work on your self limiting beliefs with me, then click here to book a free coffee chat with me.

Hi, I am Dr Hannah Bryan, thanks for reading my blog.

I am a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and a Europe Accredited EMDR Facilitator and Consultant.

I have over 20 years experience in both the NHS and private practice.

Like you, I am only human and I have had my hard times and I have got many blocking beliefs that at times hold me back from me realising my potential and being my best. 

EMDR incorporated with coaching has helped me work things through and be in a position now where I have a thriving and inspiring psychology practice. It’s always a journey and I’m always working on my blocks, my mental health and my well being.

As well as coaching, I also provide psychological therapy and support other therapists training in EMDR, I am a Facilitator on training courses and offer specific supervision packages and training to support this. Click here to book a free 15 minute coffee chat with me to see if I can be of help to you.