15 Limiting Beliefs That Aren’t Serving You or Anyone Else
For some reason, in our society we have created a lot of limiting beliefs that aren’t serving anyone. These ideas have expanded and combined to create a sort of mental prison that many of us have locked ourselves inside of.
We are often afraid to take action and pursue our goals because these limiting thoughts tell us we can’t. So, instead of making decisions based on passion, interest or excitement, we tend to make many decisions based on fear.
Sadly, making choices based on limited beliefs only denies us of our power, and keeps us from creating our lives as we really want them to be. To create all the things we desire, we must believe in our power to do anything.
Take a look at this list of limiting beliefs. Do you think that you are making any of your decisions today based on these ideas? I’m still stuck on a few myself.
Common Limiting Beliefs
#1: “Play it safe”
With risk comes reward! Playing it safe is pretty much the most dangerous thing we can do if we want to have exciting, fulfilling or successful lives.
How is someone supposed to fly to the moon if instead he decides to get a desk job he doesn’t really like, just so he can play it safe?
This is a big one. Most of us make many decisions based on playing it safe.
#2: “Only fools rush in”
Shouldn’t we be trusting and following our intuition, even if it seems hasty?
Have you ever made a snap-second decision based on a gut feeling that saved your life, like veering out of your lane on the freeway? Is that foolish, or is that listening to your guidance?
If you feel a strong pull to do something, why wait?
If love hurts, is it really love?
I wonder how many people have stayed in unloving relationships because they believed it was love, because “love hurts.”
Why do we tell ourselves love has to hurt? Wouldn’t we rather have relationships built on compassion and kindness?
#4: “Wealthy people are greedy and evil”
This is a good limiting belief to tell ourselves if we never plan on getting wealthy! If being wealthy is “wrong” we’ll never believe we should have lots of money.
#5: “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet your prince”
Do we really want to have to do this? Besides, what about those high school sweethearts who are still together and happy after so many years?
#6: “Old people get sick/fall apart”
Sounds like fun. Why bother trying to live a long life then? Wouldn’t it be better if we all died at 30 like they did in the Dark Ages? It just doesn’t make any sense for us to want to live a long life while we simultaneously believe that aging is a wretched, painful process.
#7: “Beauty fades”
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s subjective. It isn’t related to age, it’s related to perception. All this belief does is cause us to be insecure as we age.
#8: “It’s a dog-eat-dog world”
My guess is we’re probably hanging around the wrong people then.
How many people put up with toxic work environments because they believe this behavior is normal? Why shouldn’t we be able to find opportunities where people work together peacefully without all of the competition and backstabbing?
#9: “The young are foolish/the old are wise”
There are plenty of wise children out there, and many foolish adults. Our wisdom depends on how connected we are with the infinite knowledge of the universe, not our date of birth.
Young people are not all idiots and not every elderly person will give sage advice. Listen to those who’s words connect with your soul, regardless of their station in life. Don’t pass up great advice advice because someone is young or take terrible advice from someone older.
Additionally, if you’re young and you know what you’re talking about, don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
#10: “You have to get a college degree to be successful”
Well, as many people have pointed out, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg all did just fine without one. So did Maya Angelou and Jennifer Aniston.
For that matter, I happen to have a college degree, but the only job I’ve had since I graduated that required it was my teaching job, and we all know how financially successful teachers are these days. Don’t get me wrong, I loved college and I’m very grateful that I had the opportunity to attend, but that diploma isn’t responsible for the successes in my life.
Our successes come from us, not from a decorated piece of paper. There is no single path we have to take to achieve success.
#11: “Save your pennies”
For what? We can’t take them with us. That, and money isn’t exactly even real. It’s abstract, it’s value fluctuates and the bulk of the money “in” our bank accounts isn’t even physically saved anywhere. It’s nothing more than an illusion (albeit a convincing one!).
Why do we make so many choices in our lives based on the scarcity of an illusion? To learn more about this belief and how we can start to let go of it, check out this article.
#12: “Try your hardest”
If we’re trying our hardest, we’re probably not going with the flow.
We all know that trying too hard is a surefire way to bomb your job interview or get rejected by the cute girl you’re trying to pick up. So why do we tell ourselves we have to try so hard?
#13: “Life is short”
How about “we are eternal” instead?
#14: “Fear God” (for my religious friends)
Don’t most religions describe God as all-loving and all-accepting? Why not “love God” instead?
#15: “Fear death”
Many people who have experienced near death experiences describe death as a wonderful experience. What if death in this life simply births us into an even better life? If we wanted to be philosophical about it, we might even argue that someone should be excited about death!
It would be a lot easier to create wonderful lives if we thought of ourselves as unlimited, all-powerful and eternal creators who could do anything. When we choose to hold on to limiting beliefs like the ones above, we only clip our wings and give ourselves reasons not to follow our intuition or pursue our dreams.
To let go of these beliefs, all we have to do is be open to entertaining a different perception of reality, and then look for some evidence to support it. We all have the ability to believe whatever we want to believe, if we are willing to keep an open mind and do a little searching.
If you think you’re ready to go after the goals in life you haven’t yet pursued, maybe it’s time to start peeling back the layers of limiting beliefs. Escape from this mental prison so many of us are caught in. Believe in your ability to be the powerful, eternal creator that you really are.
(Law of Attraction Educator)
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Image by Andy Wright. Some Rights Reserved. This image has been cropped and resized.
Hi Andrea, wonderful article! Since I’ve been learning about the law of attraction and come to realize the many limiting beliefs I have, I’ve noticed so many instances of hearing some version of “money is the root of all evil”. From people with no money (to make themselves feel better about not having it) to people with seemingly lots of money. No wonder we have these beliefs, they are coming from everywhere. I’m also always coming across articles in magazines and newspapers about how to spend less and save more. It’s like brainwashing! I’m so grateful to know what I know now, and to be able to recognize those limiting beliefs that are being fed to us daily.
Thanks Colleen! Yes, it’s funny how often you can find these “myths” perpetuated in our culture. You are right about the magazines and newspapers-I’ve seen a lot of articles about “spending less and saving more.”
I’m definitely on the hunt to find some ways to avoid this kind of programming! I avoid watching the news, but perhaps there are more forms of media I should be mindful of as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts:) Andrea
Nice article with some really good points – definitely well presented and thought provoking. Got to squabble with the semantics on the first one, though. Maybe risk just needs a better definition or maybe a better term like “stray from your comfort zone”. If you really engage in risky behavior, you will lose more than win – that’s what risk means. A calculated risk or a risk “with a high percentage chance of success” isn’t really a risk at all – that is playing it safe. That segues to number two – you can’t always go with your gut. If you have time to consider something – take time. Scammers and less-than-scrupulous car salespeople always want you to act rashly.
I’m definitely on board with your thoughts on a college degree. If you expect it to parlay directly into cash, you are barking up the wrong tree – it’s not career training. That being said you can gain great insight and critical ability from college – the question becomes “how do you measure success?”.
Hi William, thanks for sharing your thoughts-they were definitely thought-provoking!
You are right that by definition the word risk means that there are more failures than wins. So yes, I absolutely see your point here. My intention here in this article was to say that when we are fully connected and listening to our hearts we will be successful, even if our hearts are leading us toward “risky” choices (choices that most other people would fail at). But then of course, I suppose if following your heart is always a success, it has no true “risk factor.” Hahaha!
And yes, some people do push us to make rash (and truly risky) decisions that result in problems and failures, and I think you’re right that we should be aware of this. In this case, I would definitely say that listening to our “inner voice” is critical here…when the little voice in my head says “this could end badly!”I’ve found it’s probably a risk that will come without reward!
As far as “how do you measure success?” let’s see… for me, I would measure success by the degree to which one is getting what they want out of the path they’ve chosen. How would you define success?
All the best 🙂 Andrea