SELF LIMITING BELIEFS: The internal program that keeps us from success

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SELF LIMITING BELIEFS: The internal program that keeps us from success

We all hold beliefs about ourselves and the world we live in and there is a whole world of literature out there on how to change limiting beliefs that we may have about ourselves. Most accept that our beliefs are simply filters through which we survey the environment and can influence your perception of the world. These beliefs are like a self imposed prison, walls we build to protect us from the fear of failure. 

So how are our beliefs formed?

From the moment you are born until around the age of 8 years old the brain operates between delta and theta waves (this is where hypnosis happens too which is why young children are very suggestable), it also explains why children’s minds are like sponges at this age and seem to absorb a vast amount of information, its vital to human survival to be able to navigate the complex world we live in. Children carefully observe the environment they grow up in and download all the information directly to their subconscious mind and the beliefs of their parents/carers become wired as their own. Can you remember the first time that your child blurted out a swear word with the correct context and pronunciation!

During early years of development children have not yet developed the critical analysis needed to be able to ascertain if statements are true, look at how they are willing to believe everything you tell them about Father Christmas and the tooth fairy! But just imagine the impact of statements such as “you are not good enough” “you don’t deserve nice things” “you will never get what you want” “you won’t be able to play football again”.  These statements are downloaded straight to the subconscious as ‘facts’ no evaluation! This then forms part of our own self belief system.

As we grow older we develop critical thinking and become less susceptible to outside suggestion but by this time the subconscious is already full with the ‘knowledge’ that we are not good enough and will never achieve our goals.

Throughout life we then look for experiences that confirm these beliefs. These self beliefs that we all have can prevent us from achieving our full potential even when we may consciously striving for a goal if this does not agree with the underlying program running in our subconscious mind then we will never progress forward.

Think about these ’harmless’ statements:

  •  “Its too late to…”
  • “Women are only after men with money…”
  • “I don’t have the time?”
  • “I cant trust men…”
  • “I can’t pursue my dreams because I don’t know what I’d do if I fail…”
  • “I’m not good enough….”
  • “I’m too old….”
  • “I’m too fat…..”
  • “I can’t do X because of Y…”
  • “I can’t lose weight because of X….”


Look at areas of your life that you are not achieving the results you want – this is where your limiting beliefs are hiding! What do you say to yourself about why this isn’t working out? Whatever you are telling yourself is your limiting belief! Be aware that whatever excuse you are using will sound completely reasonable and justified to you, of course it will, but that doesn’t mean it is true! Ask yourself which are you more interested in: defending your limitations to the death or achieving your goals and desires? As author Evelyn Waugh wrote, “When we argue for our limitations, we get to keep them.”

Limitations are a construct of the mind, the reality is if you want something enough you can do it!

Whether your believe you can or you can’t you are right – Henry Ford