What are limiting beliefs? How to harness the power of positive thinking and transform your life!

by Abigail Jane
Life Coach, Abi Unwin
Blonde woman standing against a wall with a table in the background
Life Coach, Abi Unwin

Notice your own limiting beliefs

Have you heard of limiting beliefs before? What I mean by this is to become aware of the negative narrative in your head. That little voice that nags away, causing us to doubt ourselves, preventing us from making changes and limiting our progress. It could be a voice from a teacher, parent or person from the past who criticised us in formative years. Or it may be your own voice echoing negative thoughts. If you’re not sure what I mean, here are some examples: “I’m always late for everything.” This is a common limiting belief I have noticed many clients have. Another one is “I don’t like meeting new people.”

Coaching isn’t about making judgements. It’s not for me to say whether these limiting beliefs are true or not. But I ask the question, “Is believing this about yourself helping you to reach your goal?” Usually I will also ask, “Is this definitely true?”

Beliefs are not facts. They can change

Try asking yourself these questions too – look for evidence. Are you actually always late for everything? Probably not. Do you really hate meeting new people? Maybe only certain types of people who are not welcoming but making friends with individuals you share common likes with is actually enjoyable.

  1. Try coming up with a more empowering belief – making sure it’s realistic and plausible! It’s not good just stating the opposite, i.e, “I am always on time” or “I enjoy meeting new people.” Our brains will not buy it. We need to come up with something that is definitely true which we can’t argue against. You can do this by thinking about what you are currently doing to address this issue – or what you plan to do! (Just make sure you do it!) Something like, “Every day I am trying harder to be punctual for appointments.” You could combine this more empowering belief with the action of using a reminder on your phone or utilising a calendar app, for example. “I am learning how to reach out to new people more positively” could be a more empowering statement you choose to use alongside joining a new club.
  2. Ask yourself how this new, empowering affirmation makes you feel. Try it out! Every time you notice the negative, limiting beliefs, replace them with your new statement. You can life coach yourself and ask, “Is believing this helping me towards my goal?” Noticing if you feel more confident and motivated by your empowering belief will enable it to become more powerful for you.
  3. Practice saying it out loud at least three times per day. You can use a life coaching method of habit stacking to do this. What are you currently doing regularly? Driving to work, driving home, brushing your teeth, boiling a kettle? By stacking the new habit that you wish to create onto an existing one, you give yourself a much higher chance of success! I love a post it note and have been known to stick them on kitchen cupboards and mirrors. Find a way that works for you!
  4. Tell other people your new empowering belief. If, for example, you are late to a meeting you could say that you are sorry for being late and that you are working on being more punctual to avoid this happening again. Every time you tell someone else your new belief, as well as yourself, you make it more powerful for yourself.

Further Reading and guidance

You can read more about limiting beliefs here: https://www.psychologies.co.uk/blog/how-to-identify-limiting-beliefs-and-how-to-get-rid-of-them/

Abigail-jane-coaching-life-coach-bristol

Hi I’m Abi

professional life coach and career coach in Bristol. I work remotely anywhere in the UK and in person for locally based clients.

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