9 Common Limiting Beliefs Which Hold You Back in Life

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Are you looking for success in life? What’s holding you back? Are you holding yourself back? In this post, I’m going to share with you 9 common limiting beliefs and how to overcome those beliefs to reach your goals. Life is hard enough as it is – you don’t need to get in the way of your own progress!

One of the core principles and tenets of my values and outlook on the world is how each person has an incredibly powerful brain and mind that can do amazing things.

With your brain, you can either have it work for you, or against you, when trying to reach your goals and dream life.

You can tell yourself positive things, such as, “I can do it” or “I’m capable of anything”.

Or, you can be trapped by limiting beliefs – beliefs  which can impede our growth and actually drive our daily behavior. Even when we do not realize it, these beliefs are part of us and what we think, and have a huge impact on our lives.

In this post, I want to talk about how our belief system is formed, 10 common limiting beliefs, and how you can replace these limiting beliefs with positive beliefs on the path to achieving success in your life.

How Our Belief System is Created

When we are in our childhood, our brains are forming, constantly learning, and maturing. During this time, what we see from our environment forms our belief system – from how we view our parents and their role in our life, authority figures, friends, achievement, fun, etc.

During this time, we learn about everything from self-esteem, self-image, money, work, responsibility, fun, communication, etc.

However, the problem occurs here: when we are young, we don’t necessarily understand how to interpret what we see, and these events and experiences shape our outlook on the world.

If a teacher continually says things like, “You can’t achieve your goals because you aren’t talented enough”, this can form a limiting belief where you tell yourself you can’t achieve your goals because your teacher told you so.

I believe you can do anything you put your mind to, and if you have this limiting belief, it’s something you can change.

This limiting belief and other limiting beliefs limit us in all areas of life. These limiting beliefs lead to problems with self-esteem, confidence in ourselves, financial problems, our relationships, our work, etc.

Let’s get on to fixing these limiting beliefs so you can achieve your goals and dreams.

The rest of the post is a list of 10 common limiting beliefs and how you can replace these limiting beliefs with new beliefs which can help you achieve anything you want in life.

9 Common Limiting Beliefs Keeping You From Living Life to the Fullest

Everyday, there are a set of thoughts, ideas and beliefs which govern your behavior.

These thoughts can be leading you in the right direction, or restricting your growth and progress.

Imagine you are having thoughts like:

  • “I can’t say what I want because I’m afraid I’ll be judged.”
  • “I don’t want to give my all to my partner because I’m afraid my heart will be broken.”
  • “I’m not capable of working hard, so why try?”

With these thoughts, you are living your life in fear and limited in what you can achieve and accomplish.

These thoughts are very common and even the most successful people have these thoughts.

However, the key for success is to overcome these beliefs and move on to a new belief.

The 9 common limiting beliefs I’m going to cover are below. You can click each of the links below to go directly to a section below, or scroll to read more.

In each of these sections, you’ll learn how to use affirmations to change your mindset towards overcoming your limiting beliefs.

  1. I can’t be myself because others will judge me
  2. I can’t ask for what I want because I am afraid of being rejected
  3. I can’t love because I know I’ll be hurt me or have my heart broken
  4. I can’t trust people because they always take advantage of me or cheat on me
  5. I can’t set goals because I know I’m going to fail
  6. I always screw things up
  7. I don’t need to have more money or be successful
  8. I’m too old to chase my dreams
  9. Nobody cares what I say

Let’s dive into the details now.

1. I can’t be myself because others will judge me

I can’t be myself because others will judge me is our first common limiting belief. Maybe this belief started when you were young and rejected by a teacher or peer.

Here’s a fact: everyone is special and unique in their own way. No matter what you do, no matter what you say, no matter what you believe, others will have an opinion.

This limiting belief comes from the fear of being hurt or not being able to do our best. In reality, almost all of our limiting beliefs have a lot to do with your inner critic, since he is in charge of protecting you and stopping you so that you cannot be hurt, rejected or made you feel bad.

These type of beliefs prevent you from risking doing something you’d like to do or something that might lead you to living a more fulfilling life.

But here’s the thing: you can only control your life and so if you allow yourself to experience different things, you will get satisfaction in yourself that no one will give you.

It’s important to turn this limiting belief around and say, I can be myself because when I’m myself, I can do my best work and can open yourself up to new possibilities.

The secret here is to learn to love yourself so much that it is not necessary to depend on the opinion of other people, accept yourself so much that what others say does not collapse you.

What if you spent more time doing what you like, without fear, without prejudice, without paying attention to what other people will say? I’m guessing you would be able to live happier and with more peace.

We are all different, so the fact that we spend so much time trying to please other people is useless and cannot really be achieved.

Change this limiting belief by trying the following affirmations and thoughts:

  • “I do my best work when I embrace who I am.”
  • “I am enough.”
  • “I love myself.”

2. I can’t ask for what I want because I am afraid of being rejected

The fear of rejection is quite common and is reflected in all areas of our life.

When you want a raise in your job, when you apply for a new position, when you want to sell more of your products, when you apply for a loan, when you want to find a partner, all of these situations can be affected by this limiting belief.

How you see yourself affects your performance and what happens in each of these scenarios.

Many people fall short when it comes to selling themselves because many of us grew up with ideas that speaking well of yourself can seem selfish, boastful or rude. With this, you carry the fear of being rejected, that others will tell you that you are wrong, or simply that they will criticize you (like the previous limiting idea).

This fear can be paralyzing and prevents you from achieving what you want, and it causes you to stay living a life you don’t really like, going to a job that you hate, or not meeting more friends or a partner for fear that others won’t like you.

When you start working on yourself, accepting yourself and being compassionate with yourself, this fear of rejection begins to decrease. You must be well aware of what kind of words you say to yourself.

Change this limiting belief by trying the following affirmations and thoughts:

  • “Rejection is an integral part of life. Each no will bring me closer to a yes.”
  • “If I want to receive, I need to ask.”
  • “I am enough.”

3. I can’t love because I know I’ll be hurt me or have my heart broken

One of the worst limiting beliefs is the belief that you’ll be hurt or have your heart broken if you love.

The fear of being hurt can prevent you from meeting your partner, soul mate, and person with who you can share your life.

This belief is hard to identify because it is part of your subconscious.

However, if you are not satisfied with your personal relationships, especially your intimate relationships, then it is important to question what is causing this dissatisfaction.

Many people are not aware that our personal relationships are a reflection of the relationship we have with ourselves. The lack of confidence in yourself, the fear of being hurt, and the fear of accepting yourself completely is reflected in the way you relate to other people.

Your emotional needs guide your behavior. When you do not know your needs and values, and look for someone who will satisfy them, it is more likely that you go through life with disappointments and thinking that you cannot have stable or healthy relationships.

It is important to remember that no one can satisfy your emotional needs, only you can. When you focus on getting to know them, then you will be open and ready to have healthy, stable love relationships that you really enjoy.

You are a whole person and you do not need anyone to fill you or make you complete. We are looking for a partner to live and enjoy, to share our life, and to learn together – not to complete each other.

Change this limiting belief by trying the following affirmations and thoughts:

  • “I love freely because it is part of being human.”
  • “By opening my heart, I will attract the right kind of love into my life.”
  • “My personal relationships help me learn more about myself , and through this learning, I get closer to attracting the right person into my life.

4. I can’t trust people because they always take advantage of me or always cheat on me

Similar to the last limiting belief, trusting in others is a big problem that can restrict you from living the most fulfilling life possible.

Again, this idea is stored in our subconscious, and an important part of the subconscious is making those ideas come true. That is, those things we think and how we see the world generates certain behavior, so we will constantly be living those same beliefs.

This is why it’s so important to practice affirmations and think positive! You can change your behavior through your change in thoughts!

When you live thinking you are not worthy and that you do not deserve, your experiences and experiences prove those ideas and those beliefs.

On the other hand, if you think you are worth it, that you are enough and that everything is going well for you, you will verify these beliefs based on your behavior and the way you see life.

If you live thinking that people take advantage of you or that they always deceive you, it is very likely that you live in fear of rejection, and this generates behavior and experiences that make you live just that.

If you want to start changing your experiences, your life itself, start taking responsibility for your thoughts, your actions, and what you see in your life. Only then will you start to see change.

Trust that you can attract the right people into your life, and when this does not happen and you run into someone who is not completely honest, give yourself the opportunity to trust that this is just a learning lesson and not a sign that anyone deserves your trust.

Trust yourself and your ability to attract honest and positive people into your life.

Change this limiting belief by trying the following affirmations and thoughts:

  • “They all deserve my trust.”
  • “Without trust, I cannot form a meaningful relationship with anyone.”

5. I can’t set goals because I know I’m going to fail

The fear of failure is one of the biggest fears which restricts your success and development. It is the fear of leaving your comfort zone, the fear things will go wrong, and fear of being judged for your mistakes.

Here’s a fact: everyone fails.

In my life, I’ve failed many times to achieve my goals in my work, my side hustles, my relationships, and my development.

But here’s the thing… through these failures, I’ve learned, improved, and have now achieved things beyond my wildest dreams.

When you start on your journey of self improvement, each step of the way there will be setbacks and barriers. When you overcome those setbacks and barriers, you will be on to achieving bigger and better things.

Don’t let the fear of making mistakes stop you. The difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person is the way they view mistakes. We all make mistakes, we all fall down sometime.

The difference lies in whether you stop and take that experience as learning, or if you stay down and criticize and judge yourself.

Change this limiting belief by trying the following affirmations and thoughts:

  • “My dreams are mine to pursue.”
  • “Whatever I dream, I can achieve. It is up to me to take the steps to make things happen.”
  • “I can do anything I set my mind to.”

6. I always screw things up

This is one of the most limiting beliefs. I’m sure it is quite common, especially when we have a “bad streak.”

There are many situations where all you see is tough times ahead, but with this mentality and limiting belief, you are sure to stay in that situation.

This is a big problem with perfectionists and with people with big expectations.

Instead, trying to re-frame the situation as one in that you are learning, in that you are experimenting, and lowering your expectations slightly can bring better results.

Give yourself the opportunity to try re-framing the situation, change your mentality to a more positive one, and try to know what your skills and strengths are and use them to your advantage.

Everyone screws up, but you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Over time, you’ll turn your mistakes into successes.

7. I don’t need to have more money or be successful

It is true that you don’t need money or success to be happy, but having more money is better than having less money.

It is very common that we look at life and are content with where we are. We don’t want to push harder because we are comfortable and fine with where we are in life.

However, it’s important to approach personal development and growth with a mindset that you are always in motion and always trying to do a little more to improve.

What would having a little more money look like for you? What if you could achieve financial freedom? How would you feel if you had a little more money in investments or your bank?

While you don’t need to get more money in the bank to be happy, being successful with your money, or in your career, can be done with a few simple changes.

Change this limiting belief by trying the following affirmations and thoughts:

  • “I am successful simply because I can.”
  • “By being successful, I have more resources to achieve my highest goals and dreams and to support the highest good of humanity.”

8. I’m too old to chase my dreams

I do not know where the thoughts that being older means we cannot learn, we cannot do or we cannot achieve our dreams. The truth is that success is a matter of mentality and not of age.

There are 80 year old bodybuilders, 90 year old people still crushing it in business, and many people 70 and up who are doing amazing things. Why should it be different in your case?

The only difference is whether or not you give up. It is trusting that over time, you can become whatever you put your mind to and achieve anything in life.

Forget about the standard definition that one must be in a certain place in life and of a certain age to be considered successful. The path of your life is bigger than those predefined limiting beliefs.

Create your own life path and make it happen.

Change this limiting belief by trying the following affirmations and thoughts:

  • “It’s never too late to chase after something. The most important thing is that you act now.”
  • “Age is just a number. My current age is only a reflection of the number of years I have been alive, but not a reflection of my unlimited power as a being.

9. Nobody cares what I say

Like almost all the limiting beliefs we have discussed today, this one in particular arises from when children our parents did not listen to us or pay us the required attention.

This creates that feeling that what we say is not important or that nobody cares about what we say or do.

Realize that everything you are and are capable of contributing to this world is unique.

Everything you say when it comes from your heart has the ability to change a person’s life.

Be more compassionate with yourself, and therefore with others.

Be more positive and focus on seeing the best in yourself, the best in people and speak recognizing the best in each situation and in people.

If you are confident in yourself, and love yourself, then who cares what others think. Speak your truth and speak with confidence. People will listen.

Change Your Thoughts and Change Your Life

With this post, you now know more about how limiting beliefs shape your life and your day to day actions.

With the 10 common limiting beliefs we talked about above, you can now start to change your mindset, change the story you are telling yourself, and get on to success in your life.

I hope this article has invited you to dig deeper and see what really happens inside you. I invite you to work on yourself, to improve your self-esteem and your confidence.

Do you want to be able to achieve any dream or goal you set?

You can do it with the right mindset and by attacking each day with intention.

Hope you enjoyed this article! Thank you for reading!

What are some limiting beliefs you have in your life which are holding you back? What are you going to do to change those thoughts? How do you think others can change their life for the better?

About the Author

Hi! I'm Erik, the creator of The Mastermind Within blog.

I'm passionate about helping you improve as a person, get better with your finances, and create your dream life over time.

Through setting goals, critical thinking and intentional living and action, I believe you can master your life, win with money, and get on the path to freedom.

Get your free goals guide below, or browse through the 6 portal pages after the guide form.


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