So What Is A Limiting Belief?

So what is a limiting belief?

Don't you love the current expression: 'does what it says on the can'. The can is, of course, purely metaphorical and 'does what it says' suggests clarity and ultimate intelligibility.

A limiting belief, obviously, does exactly what it says on the can: it holds people back in any and every area of their life. Perfectly clear ? or is it?

In fact, the potential problem lies in the underlying assumption that the limiting beliefs sufferer actually believes they have any real and unique value, gifts and qualities. Often they don't. That's the nature of a limiting belief.

Women who have endured the brainwashing of an abusive relationship don't feel they are blessed with value, gifts and qualities. Understandably, they tend not to feel blessed at all. Even if they know, with their head, that they have certainly abilities; even if friends, family and colleagues corroborate this, they don't really believe it. It has no bearing on their emotional world.

"Yes, but?" they'll say; or, "it doesn't make me feel better about myself", or other words to that effect. They can't feel any pleasure in the good that others see in them, because they simply don't believe it. The only communications they can truly receive are on the frequency of the negative beliefs that they hold about themselves.

It's an agonising place to be, as well as endlessly frustrating for the people who try to support them.

Working with other women's limiting beliefs recently took me back to my first experience of coaching?

At first when the core question: "What's holding you back?" came up: I couldn't even formulate an answer.

I thought I was doing pretty well when I eventually came up with an answer and proudly offered it to my first coach: what was holding me back, I said, was me.

Awareness has to start somewhere, I guess. As I now see it, I was both right and wrong. What was holding me back was me ? inasmuch as it was not anyone else

But, equally, what was holding me back it was not me.

You see, we are not our self-limiting beliefs and our self-limiting beliefs are not who we are. Not at all. They are, at most, a distorting, fairground mirror, in which we glimpse a grotesque distortion of ourselves.

I know this with my head because I've learned it somewhere along my own (ongoing) journey. I believe it with my whole being because I see it in the women I work with.

They may experience themselves as a human black hole. Regardless of what goes into them, nothing unconditionally good will ever come out from them. Or so they believe. They feel condemned to sit forever on the sidelines, watching the great game of life without ever becoming full participants.

They are like hungry, urchins, whose nose is forever pressed against the window, They can see other people seated at the banquet of life and they know, they just know that they'll never participate in that feast.

Now, that knowledge is false. They have no way of predicting the future. Their view of their world is simply darkened by a self-limiting belief that appears to have all the trappings of reality. So they struggle, futilely, with a vision of the future that is crude, pessimistic, and false. That vision that crushes them daily.

And yet, as soon as they turn their focus away from themselves, they are perceptive, creative, supportive, nurturing, dynamic, multi-talented, energetic. Those qualities, and many more, are who they truly are.

Anyone who survives an abusive relationship has actually dug very deep and unearthed enormous personal resources and riches.

For as long as they continue to regard themselves through the filter of self-limiting beliefs they may well remain deaf, blind and numb to their own personal treasure. But their treasure will continue to grow and the day will come when they are able to claim it and rejoice in it.

How long will the process take? That depends. If you listen to your limiting beliefs, it'll make the seven labours of Hercules pale into insignificance.

But if you start to challenge them, if you start to ask yourself ? or better still, get someone else to ask you: 'Is it always that way?', 'Do you never??' , 'How do you know what the future holds? Do you have special gifts?' then you'll start to get some new answers and some new realizations.

You'll find that your limiting beliefs will start to fall by the wayside. You'll be surprised by how much faster you can move forward without them. And you'll be amazed to discover just how special and valuable you truly are.

(C) Annie Kaszina 2005

An NLP Practitioner and Women's Empowerment Coach, Annie helps women to create strong boundaries, so they can learn to build healthy, nurturing relationships where they can give and receive the love they want, safely. To subscribe to Annie's twice monthly ezine, or order her eBook 'The Woman You Want To Be, go: to

In The News:

pen paper and inkwell

cat break through

Creating Icebergs Out Of Hostility

Have you ever dreaded an upcoming presentation, meeting or function... Read More

Positive Mental Attitude

Look at this glass on the table in front of... Read More

Living Mindfully

Normally I race around multitasking. I am always thinking about... Read More

Positive Things To Do For Yourself

Being a mom can take a toll on your body,... Read More

Find Your Inner Strength to Tackle Any Challenge

Everyone faces challenges during their life, from suffering the death... Read More

Positive Mind, Successful Life

It took me a long time to realise the benefits... Read More

Spring Into Enchantment

Who can control a smile sneaking across your face as... Read More

The Illusion of Failure

The most dangerous thing is illusion. ~ Ralph Waldo EmersonFailure... Read More

Such Is Life, And Its Getting Sucher And Sucher

Problems, disappointments and trouble; the three skunks that sometimes think... Read More

Your Frame of Mind May Determine Your Health

The mind absolutely amazes me. It will never be understood,... Read More

Self-Confidence Sliding Downward!

There are times in all of our lives where our... Read More

How To Radically Improve Your Everyday Experience Of Life In Two Simple Steps

Can you do something for me?Tell me?Please don't think tomorrow.What?Yeah,... Read More

Are You Trying to Lose?

Just 2 nights ago my partner and I were watching... Read More


Yuk!One thing, I really have a problem with is criticism.... Read More

How To Have A Life Changing Experience

Can you really plan a life-changing experience, or do they... Read More

Let Go of Resentment

Maureen worked in an office with twenty other people, processing... Read More

How To Have An Excellent Personality

The way to define your personality is to refine your... Read More

Mind Power - Fact or Fiction? Prove It For Yourself In The Next 7 Minutes - Truly Awesome!

Who are you?We all know that we are composed of... Read More

Change Your Attitude from a Whiner to a Winner

Who are the Whiners? Whiners are the people who always... Read More

Attitude Adjustment 101: Nine Ways to Transform You From Mediocre to Magnificent

"Work on your career and you'll make a living. Work... Read More

Why Do Some Affirmations *Work* - and Others Dont?

By definition,an affirmation is a statement repeated time and again... Read More

Be Positive

This may sound quite aberrant to most of the younger... Read More

A Solution For Trouble? Try This Breath Of Fresh Air!

I just heard the story of a man who hired... Read More

Doubting Your Way To Success!... Ridiculous... Oh?

Ever had a problem with doubts? Ever felt that nagging... Read More

My Sunshine

"You Are My Sunshine My Only Sunshine You Make Me... Read More

How To Gain Confidence Quickly And Effortlessly When You Feel the World is Against You

Have you ever felt the whole world was against you?... Read More

How Tapping The Goodness Within Attracts Positive Change

If your life is difficult--if it's challenging, exasperating, and vexatious--... Read More

Perfect to the Penny

At some point in our careers, we may find ourselves... Read More

The Gift of Envy

The summer I was 20 years old, I worked as... Read More

Beginners Programming 101

Recently a great idea popped into my head about creating... Read More

Perspective Is Everything

Ever witnessed an incident that needed to be reported to... Read More

Your Choice of Music can Shape Your Beliefs

Music is very powerful. The kind of music you listen... Read More

Anchoring Positivity With NLP

There was some sunshine this weekend while I was writing... Read More