12 Self-Limiting Beliefs That Hold You Back
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A List of 12 Self-Limiting Beliefs That Hold You Back (and the Remedy)

At birth, you were given a blueprint.

This blueprint was passed down from your ancestors as a “gift”. You didn’t choose this blueprint, but there it is – on full display.

This blueprint is your DNA and it determines what you’ll look like, even some of your mannerisms.

Later on, you were given another blueprint.

This blueprint was shoved in your hands by people who were older than you, bigger than you, stronger than you, “wiser” than you. Some of the blueprint is very good. Some of it is very bad. The bad part of this blueprint is…

Self-limiting beliefs.

Your job? Simple. Rewrite the blueprint. I’ve already gone into some ways on how to do that through autosuggestion. But…

I want to take it a step further by shining a light on some of those self-limiting beliefs.

These are common variations of things people were told as they grow up. These are not exact, but I think everyone can relate to variations of these. Either way, they gotta go.

Like dusting cobwebs out of the corner of the basement, let’s get sweepin’! Because remember…

“Whatever a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”

Self-Limiting Belief # 1. Ya either have it or ya don’t.

This is SUCH a cop-out.

People love using this as a backup because it removes responsibility and it turns them into a passive victim. That means whatever happened to you was “chance”. It was circumstance.

But there is no “chance”. We live in a universe governed by law. The greatest law of them all is the law of cause and effect.

That means if you aren’t who or where you want to be – you can change it.

How do I do that?

Our brain is very “plastic” and it adapts itself to outside influences. Most of our reactions and responses to events are driven by neural circuitry (aka habits). One way to change your habits is through deliberate practice.

This deliberate practice is a cause, the skills are the effect. You put something in, you get something out. It’s not magic.

Start looking at your results. Your current results are from past actions. If you want your future results to be different from your current ones, change your actions right now. Not tomorrow, not next year. Right now.

Start small. Do one little thing each day that will compound and lead you to greater achievement down the road.

“Circumstances do not make the man. They merely reveal him to himself” – James Allen

Self-Limiting Belief # 2. You’re stuck

12 Self-Limiting Beliefs Holding You Back

At some point in life, some people will come to the conclusion that they are “stuck”. Is it true? Not really. Continuing the thread from earlier…if your past actions dictate your future results…

You can always turn it around and become “unstuck”. “Some action” will always be better than “no action”.

Ok…so how I do I become unstuck?

First, get yourself out of this way of thinking. You’re not cursed. You’re not limited.

Second, why are you “stuck”? Is it because you’re thinking about it the wrong way? These feelings are usually due to a breakdown in communication between two parties.

Third, make a plan. If you want to change jobs, determine what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. Write it down.

Self-Limiting Belief # 3. “He was lucky”

Luck is preparation meets opportunity. The legendary James Allen said this in As a Man Thinketh:

“The thoughtless, the ignorant, and indolent, seeing only the apparent effects of things and not the things themselves, talk of law, of fortune, and chance. Seeing a man grow rich, they say, “How lucky is!” Observing another become intellectual they exclaim, “How highly favored he is!”… They don’t see the trials and failures and the struggles which these men have voluntarily encountered in order to gain their experience; have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made…They do not know the darkness and the heart aches; they…do not understand the process, but only perceive the result, and call it “chance”.

You make your own luck.

Let’s say you want to be a musician. But you don’t practice. You don’t write songs. Forget even networking with other musicians. DEFINITELY forget about “studying music”.

(Psssh! What’s that!)

If a chance for your big break comes around, do you think you’re going to be ready for it?

How to create your own luck

If you want to be “lucky”, build up the foundation. When the moment is right and you strike when the iron is hot, you’ll inevitably find success.

Still…you can’t practice your craft in solitude either. You need to be out there actively networking with other individuals who can help you.

Self-Limiting Belief # 4. Don’t go into a “creative” field unless you want to be poor

Mom and Dad want the best for little Eric. They tell him he needs to go into a “hard” field like banking, law, medicine, engineering….

That’s dandy. Those are all great fields and we all need people who know what they’re doing in those areas. But it’s not for everyone.

We all have certain “primal inclinations”. We will inherently be better at certain fields than others. This is part of “the blueprint”.

Don’t fit a round peg into a square hole

There are a lot of people working in those “big money” fields who don’t want to be there. Have you ever met a lawyer who would rather walk across a mile of hot coals than take another case? I have.

They chose a career that would be acceptable to their parents or people around them. They look happy on the outside but the inside is a different tale.

Truth is – we are all creative beings. We are creating our lives second by second. Creativity isn’t blocked off to a chosen few.

Yes, creative fields are hard to break into and establish a good income but they can offer tremendous upside down the line as you start to differentiate yourself. But if money is the thing you’re after – you might as well stick with IB.

No one became a painter because they wanted to be on the Forbes list.

Self-Limiting Belief # 5. Don’t talk to strangers

12 Self-Limiting Beliefs You Hold

This was useful when we were kids…but we ain’t kids no mo’, as Adele would say.

This was hammered home pretty early via suggestion. If you talk to strangers, “something bad” will happen. As a result, a lot of us are afraid to talk to unknown people.

Why it matters

You’re at a party and you see this gorgeous girl. But you’re nervous. You can’t talk to strangers. So…

You do nothing.

The cycle goes on and on and on.

You’re afraid to talk to people, so you don’t talk to anyone. How do you develop social skills if you don’t talk to anyone? This ends up becoming some form of social anxiety in time.

Break out of this self-limiting mindset.

Start by saying “hello” to people you pass by in the street. Just one word. Make small talk with the cashier. Start introducing yourself at parties to people you don’t know. Engage them in conversation.

Soon, this “don’t talk to strangers” nonsense will be a thing of the past.

Everyone was a stranger before they became a friend or a lover. Click To Tweet

Self-Limiting Belief # 6. The world is a scary, nasty place

Is it? Is it really? It certainly seems that way with all of the bad shit everywhere you turn. No point sticking your neck out. You’ll get your head cut off! But is it true?


This was another belief programmed into you over time. The world is dangerous, no doubt – but it’s not as scary as you think either. In fact, the world is a safer place now than it ever was.

Why do we think the world is becoming more dangerous? Two reasons:

Social media and the 24 hour news cycle.

Never before have we been so bombarded with events that happen all over the globe. Most of these are negative.

This is because our amygdala is primed all the time with fear-inducing events. This makes you see more bad shit in the world than there really is. Our brain wasn’t designed to handle all of this chaos. As a result, our emotional state disintegrates.

Now that you know that…don’t believe the hype.

Self-Limiting Belief # 7. All wealthy people should be punished

It seems as if people who have a lot of money care nothing about the people “on the bottom”. They don’t really care about their money anyway, just take it away from them and give it to people who will care. They won’t miss it anyway. Right?

Not so fast.

If you’re talking about “millionaires”, most millionaires are first generation. This means that they didn’t inherit their wealth, they aren’t trust fund kids, they didn’t come rich families… They just worked their asses off for many years.

In fact, a lot of “wealthy people” contribute very heavily to different philanthropic causes, more so than “non-wealthy” people.

Why does it matter?

Your attitude around money is important. If you have a negative attitude towards it, you won’t find yourself making much of it. You’ll unconsciously push it away.

Shift your mindset towards money. Start looking at it as something that is good to make a lot of because you can help the people around you in awesome ways.

Self-Limiting Belief # 8. You don’t know anything

The millennial generation has been getting a bad rep as of late. In addition to being spoiled, entitled, and all of the other bad things that come with it – we have been put down as “not knowing anything”.

This is because we’re young, dammit!

It’s absurd to know as much about the world as a 54 year old when you’re 24 years old.

But… the great advantage of youth is the willingness to always be adaptable!!!

We’re not as set in our ways and our habits as some older people. We don’t have a family of four to feed and a massive mortgage payments tying us down (for the most part).

We don’t have a reputation to manage. We don’t have massive salaries we need to maintain.

This gives you a great advantage because it gives you the ability to cast out in any direction you see fit.

See your youth as a tremendous upside. You can do a lot of things older people can’t.

So if some older person squabbles at you…they’re probably jealous of this fact.

Self-Limiting Belief # 9. If you don’t go to college, you’ll be nothing

12 Self-Limiting Beliefs You Hold

College can be a great way to get a certain career path started, no doubt…especially if you’re going into one of those “hard” fields I mentioned earlier.

But it’s not for everyone.

Some people are like those “round pegs into square holes” I mentioned earlier. When I went to college, I met a whole bunch of people who I asked: “why are you even here, bro?”*

In my head, not out loud…because that would be awkward.

They’ve poisoned the water hole!

We’ve been bamboozled, guys. Someone convinced us that we definitely need to go to college to make something out of our lives. It’s not always the case.

Lots of people dropped out of college who eventually became successful. If college was the end all be all, most if not all of the people on that list would be nobodies.

With student loan debt reaching astronomical heights, people are starting to reconsider if college is really “for them”. Many people don’t even get jobs right out of college and if they do, it’s in an unrelated field.

So the solution is drop out, right?


You can’t just drop out of college and expect to thrive. There’s lots of people out there “who just didn’t make it”.

If you’re in college and are considering dropping out, ask yourselves these questions:

  • Do you dislike the college you’re attending or the college experience in general?
  • Do you have an idea or inclination you can move on immediately as you drop out of school?
  • Do you have a particular skill or talent that you’ve been perfecting?

If you answered “YES” to all of these questions, then you may want to take a visit to the registrar. When you drop out, make sure you connect with people who can help you move further. If you have an industry of interest, link with the “movers and shakers” and get something set up as fast as possible.

Don’t just sit at home playing video games all day. Dropping out isn’t a free pass to doing nothing. The clock’s tickin’. You’ve gotta get movin’, hombre.

If you only dislike the college, you can always transfer to somewhere else.

If you’re knee deep in college (as in 3+ years) and don’t have a solid YES to all of these questions, I would stick it out. You only have about a year left.

The student loan debt you probably have now isn’t worth carrying around in order to postpone a degree. You’re better off having it “just in case” (in my humble opinion).

This is a very controversial topic and it’s one I can’t really speak on considering I do have a college degree. But..these are just a few thoughts I had on the matter.

Self-Limiting Belief # 10. You need to be a fake person to succeed

Certainly seems like we have a lot of people “wearing masks” just to attain high positions in life. You’re wondering how much of a “court jester” you have to play in order to “make it “. Who do you have to screw over in order to get that juicy director position?

Turns out, you don’t have to screw people over or be a court jester to reach a top position.

We all value honesty.

This belief aligns very closely with #7. Are there a lot of “fake” people who “make it” to high positions in life? Sure.

But there’s a lot of genuine people out there who want to see other people succeed. We cherish certain people for their honesty (and even vulnerability).

If you work in a corporate environment, it can certainly seem like every man for himself. You definitely need to be aware. Certain people would love nothing more than to see you taken out. Read 48 Laws of Power for more on this.

Just don’t become one of those people. I find that whatever we do comes back around to us in time. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but some day. Keep that in mind.

Self-Limiting Belief # 11. You can do everything

This one’s sort of a bummer…but it needs to be said.

When you’re living in a world of unlimited choices, it can seem as if you can do everything. But the simple and observable reality is…


You certainly can’t. You don’t have enough hours in your life to read all the books you want to read, travel to all the places you want to go to, learn all the skills you want to learn…etc.

That’s because we run into a stumbling block called The Law of Forced Efficiency which states that we never have enough time for everything – but only for the most important things. I told you it was a bummer. 🙁

But, we can squeeze as much juice out of our time as possible with the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule.

How do you know if something is important to spend time on? Well… analyze yourself and your goals. If it is a major contributor to a goal or set of goals that you have, then you’ll want to spend more time on it.

If you want to be elite in a single area, you need to have sustained focus and spend a lot of time in that area. Once you do that, move on to the next area.

The rest – you spend less time on it, delegate it, or…eliminate it.

Self-Limiting Belief # 12. It’s too late for you

People have somehow bought into this delusion that if you don’t do certain things when you’re young, you’ll never do them.

I think it’s because we live in a culture that glorifies youth.

Too bad it’s balderdash.

People are going back to school in their 50s. People are starting businesses in their 40s. Older people are quitting jobs and traveling. People are just doing amazing shit in general.

I used to think it was too late for me to do certain things and have certain experiences. But then I realized I have a long road ahead of me. It really hit me when some guy said “Man, you kids have it good now a days! If the Internet was around when I was young, it would be a whole different story…” I wonder how many older people think the same thing.

We live in an incredible time. It has never been easier to pursue your dreams than now. All it takes is a little drive, some focus, and a decision.

It’s only too late when you’re six feet under ground.

But don’t take this as an excuse to slack off…you’re still on death ground. Every moment counts and builds upon the next moment.

(Like many trickles of water making an ocean…or some “Zen” thing, right?)


12 Self-Limiting Beliefs That Hold You Back

The mighty business of life is to eliminate as many barriers as we can that impede our success and happiness. We’re here to grow and expand, not diminish and contract. Self-limiting beliefs will do plenty of the latter.

Even if your self-limiting beliefs are not in anyway similar to this, you need to tend your garden the best that you can. Get the weeds out and start planting productive seeds that will blossom into fruits of achievement and true satisfaction.

Write out all of the negative beliefs you have about yourself and really start to dig deep into why you have them. Most of them you’re find are completely false while the other ones are twisted variations of small lies that grew into bigger ones.

That’s how you move forward and start to get the life you truly desire.


  • Banmu Olivi

    November 15, 2016

    Worth reading it…….basic principles of life that if one apply it in life or not has conditions attached. I agree that life is not all about magic or chances. One has to apply simple truths in words and actions to to enjoy life in its fullness. I am encouraged by the articles published “12 Limiting Beliefs Hold You Back” and “Gain Radical Self-Reliance and Crush Life”. Will continue to read more of such.


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