20 Limiting Beliefs Examples You Should Get Rid Of To Move Forward In Life

Limiting beliefs are the silent assassins of our potential, the invisible barriers that confine us within the boundaries of our comfort zones. They are the stories we tell ourselves about what we can or cannot do, shaping our perceptions, decisions, and actions.

These beliefs, often ingrained from childhood or reinforced by experiences, hold immense power over our lives, dictating the limits of our achievements and the extent of our happiness.

Yet, why do we allow these beliefs to hold sway over us? The answer lies in their insidious nature—they masquerade as truths, whispering in our ears that we are not good enough, smart enough, or deserving enough to pursue our dreams. They thrive in the shadows of our subconscious, silently sabotaging our efforts and chaining us to a life of mediocrity.

But here’s the crucial truth: these beliefs are not immutable laws of the universe; they are merely stories we have chosen to accept as reality. And just as we have the power to create them, we also possess the power to dismantle them.

By recognizing and challenging these limiting beliefs, we open the door to personal growth and success beyond measure.

In this blog post, we will explore 20 limiting beliefs examples —20 shackles that hinder our progress and dim our potential. Through understanding and confronting these beliefs head-on, we can pave the way for a life defined not by limitations, but by boundless possibilities. So, let us embark on this journey together, towards a future where our beliefs no longer hold us back, but propel us forward towards our fullest potential.

20 Limiting Beliefs Examples

  1. I’m not good enough.

  2. Success is only for lucky people.

  3. I’ll never be able to change.

  4. Money is the root of all evil.

  5. I don’t deserve happiness.

  6. I’ll never find true love.

  7. I’m too old to start something new.

  8. I’m not smart enough to achieve my dreams.

  9. I’ll always be stuck in this situation.

  10. I can’t trust anyone.

  11. I’ll never be as successful as others.

  12. It’s too late for me to make a difference.

  13. I’ll never be wealthy.

  14. I’m not creative enough.

  15. I’m too shy to succeed in business.

  16. I don’t have enough experience.

  17. I’m not lucky.

  18. I’ll never be able to overcome my fears.

  19. I’m destined to fail.

  20. I’m not worthy of respect.

Causes of Limiting Beliefs

Fear of Failure

The fear of failure is a pervasive belief that one will not succeed in a particular endeavor, leading to avoidance or hesitation in taking risks or pursuing goals. It’s rooted in the apprehension of experiencing disappointment, embarrassment, or negative judgment from oneself or others due to perceived shortcomings or mistakes.

Examples of How This Belief Manifests:

  1. Career: Fear of failure can prevent someone from applying for a job they desire or taking on challenging projects at work due to the worry of not meeting expectations or making mistakes.

  2. Education: It might lead students to avoid difficult courses or challenges that could potentially result in failure, hindering their academic growth and exploration of new subjects.

  3. Relationships: Fear of failure can manifest as reluctance to enter into new relationships or commit fully to existing ones out of fear of rejection, heartbreak, or inadequacy.

  4. Entrepreneurship: Individuals may hesitate to start their own business ventures due to concerns about financial losses, public scrutiny, or the possibility of the venture not succeeding.

  5. Personal Development: Fear of failure can inhibit personal growth and self-improvement efforts, as individuals may avoid trying new hobbies, learning new skills, or stepping out of their comfort zones.

Strategies for Overcoming the Fear of Failure:

  1. Reframe Failure: Instead of viewing failure as a negative outcome, reframe it as a learning opportunity. Understand that setbacks and mistakes are natural parts of the learning process and can provide valuable insights for future success.

  2. Set Realistic Goals: Break down larger goals into smaller, achievable tasks. Setting realistic and attainable objectives can help alleviate the pressure associated with the fear of failure.

  3. Cultivate Self-Compassion: Practice self-compassion by treating yourself with kindness and understanding, especially in moments of perceived failure or disappointment. Acknowledge your efforts and progress, regardless of the outcome.

  4. Challenge Negative Thoughts: Identify and challenge negative beliefs about failure by examining the evidence supporting them and considering alternative perspectives. Replace self-limiting beliefs with positive affirmations and realistic self-appraisals.

  5. Take Action Despite Fear: Instead of allowing fear to dictate your actions, practice courage by taking small, deliberate steps toward your goals, even if they feel daunting. Embrace discomfort as a sign of growth and progress.

  6. Seek Support: Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, mentors, or professionals who can offer encouragement, guidance, and perspective during times of uncertainty or setback.

  7. Visualize Success: Visualize yourself overcoming obstacles and achieving your goals. Engage in visualization exercises to reinforce a positive mindset and build confidence in your abilities to overcome challenges.

By addressing the fear of failure and implementing these strategies, individuals can cultivate resilience, confidence, and a growth-oriented mindset conducive to personal and professional success.


Perfectionism is a mindset characterized by setting excessively high standards for oneself and striving for flawlessness in tasks, accomplishments, or personal qualities. While striving for excellence can be admirable, perfectionism becomes a limiting belief when it hinders productivity, creativity, and well-being. Perfectionists often fear making mistakes, criticize themselves harshly for perceived shortcomings, and experience anxiety or procrastination due to the pressure to meet unrealistic standards.

Real-Life Scenarios Illustrating Perfectionistic Tendencies:

  1. Work Projects: A perfectionist might spend excessive amounts of time obsessing over minor details in a work project, leading to missed deadlines or burnout. They may struggle to delegate tasks or seek help from colleagues out of fear that others won’t meet their standards.

  2. Academic Pursuits: In academics, a perfectionist might avoid submitting assignments or participating in class discussions unless they feel confident that their work is flawless. This fear of imperfection can prevent them from taking risks or exploring new ideas.

  3. Personal Relationships: Perfectionism can manifest in personal relationships as an unwillingness to show vulnerability or make mistakes. A perfectionist might fear rejection or criticism from others and struggle to establish authentic connections or express their true emotions.

  4. Creative Endeavors: In creative pursuits like writing, painting, or music, perfectionism can stifle creativity and innovation. A perfectionist may struggle to start or complete projects due to the fear of not meeting their own lofty standards.

Tips for Embracing Imperfection and Taking Action Despite Imperfections:

  1. Set Realistic Expectations: Challenge the notion that everything must be perfect and acknowledge that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Set realistic, achievable goals that allow room for experimentation and growth.

  2. Focus on Progress, Not Perfection: Shift your mindset from striving for perfection to valuing progress and improvement over time. Celebrate small victories and milestones along the way, recognizing that each step forward is a success in itself.

  3. Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion when faced with setbacks or perceived failures. Treat yourself with the same empathy and understanding you would offer to a friend experiencing similar challenges.

  4. Challenge All-or-Nothing Thinking: Recognize and challenge black-and-white thinking patterns that equate success with perfection and failure with anything less than perfection. Embrace the idea that imperfection does not diminish your worth or value as a person.

  5. Experiment with Imperfection: Intentionally seek out opportunities to embrace imperfection and step outside your comfort zone. Take calculated risks, try new experiences, and allow yourself to make mistakes without harsh self-judgment.

  6. Seek Feedback and Support: Surround yourself with supportive friends, mentors, or colleagues who can offer constructive feedback and encouragement. Remember that seeking help or collaboration does not signify weakness but rather a willingness to grow and learn from others.

  7. Practice Mindfulness: Cultivate mindfulness and present-moment awareness to help alleviate perfectionistic tendencies and reduce anxiety about the future or past mistakes. Focus on the task at hand without judgment or attachment to outcomes.


Self-doubt is the lack of confidence in one’s abilities, judgments, or worth. It manifests as uncertainty, hesitation, or skepticism about one’s capacity to achieve goals or handle challenges effectively. Self-doubt can significantly impede personal development by limiting ambition, stifling creativity, and hindering decision-making. It can lead individuals to second-guess themselves, avoid opportunities for growth, and settle for less than they are capable of achieving.

Common Situations Where Self-Doubt Arises:

  1. Career Transitions: Self-doubt often arises when individuals are considering career changes, promotions, or pursuing new opportunities. They may question their qualifications, skills, or suitability for the role.

  2. Public Speaking: Many people experience self-doubt before public speaking engagements, workshops, or presentations, fearing judgment or criticism from others.

  3. Relationships: Self-doubt can impact interpersonal relationships by causing individuals to question their desirability, worthiness of love, or ability to maintain meaningful connections.

  4. Creative Pursuits: Artists, writers, and musicians may struggle with self-doubt when sharing their work with others, fearing rejection or criticism of their creative expression.

  5. Decision-Making: Self-doubt can paralyze individuals when making important decisions, leading to indecision, over-analysis, or avoidance of taking action.

Techniques for Building Self-Confidence and Overcoming Self-Doubt:

  1. Challenge Negative Self-Talk: Identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to self-doubt. Replace self-critical statements with positive affirmations and realistic self-appraisals.

  2. Celebrate Achievements: Acknowledge your accomplishments and successes, no matter how small. Celebrating milestones reinforces your capabilities and boosts self-confidence.

  3. Set Achievable Goals: Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks. Setting achievable objectives allows you to experience progress and build confidence over time.

  4. Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, especially in moments of self-doubt or failure. Cultivate self-compassion by offering yourself the same empathy and support you would offer to a friend in need.

  5. Seek Feedback and Support: Surround yourself with supportive friends, mentors, or colleagues who can offer constructive feedback, encouragement, and perspective. External validation can help counteract self-doubt and bolster confidence.

  6. Visualize Success: Use visualization techniques to imagine yourself succeeding in challenging situations or achieving your goals. Visualizing positive outcomes can enhance confidence and reduce anxiety about potential failures.

  7. Take Action Despite Fear: Embrace discomfort and take deliberate steps toward your goals, even if you feel uncertain or afraid. Action breeds confidence, and each small success builds momentum toward overcoming self-doubt.

  8. Practice Self-Care: Prioritize self-care activities that nurture your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Engage in activities that recharge and energize you, such as exercise, meditation, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones.

Scarcity Mindset

A scarcity mindset is a belief that there will never be enough resources, opportunities, or success to go around. It leads individuals to perceive the world through a lens of lack and limitation, focusing on what they don’t have rather than what they do. This mindset can have detrimental consequences on both personal and professional levels, fostering feelings of anxiety, competition, and insecurity. It can also hinder decision-making, creativity, and the ability to form meaningful relationships.

Examples of Scarcity Mindset in Decision-Making and Relationships:

  1. Financial Decisions: Individuals with a scarcity mindset may hoard money, resist investing in themselves or their future, or make impulsive purchases out of fear of scarcity. They may struggle to trust that there will be enough resources to meet their needs in the future.

  2. Career Opportunities: In the workplace, a scarcity mindset can lead individuals to view colleagues as competitors rather than collaborators. They may withhold information, resist sharing credit, or undermine others’ success out of fear that there won’t be enough recognition or advancement opportunities for everyone.

  3. Relationships: In personal relationships, a scarcity mindset can manifest as jealousy, possessiveness, or insecurity. Individuals may fear losing their partner’s love or attention to someone else and may engage in controlling or manipulative behaviors to maintain a sense of security.

  4. Time Management: People with a scarcity mindset may perceive time as a limited resource and feel pressured to constantly multitask or overcommit themselves. They may struggle to prioritize tasks effectively, leading to burnout, stress, and feelings of overwhelm.

Practices for Cultivating an Abundance Mindset:

  1. Practice Gratitude: Cultivate a sense of gratitude by focusing on what you have rather than what you lack. Regularly acknowledge and appreciate the abundance in your life, whether it’s relationships, opportunities, or personal strengths.

  2. Shift from Competition to Collaboration: Embrace a mindset of abundance by recognizing that there is room for everyone to succeed. Instead of viewing others as threats or competitors, seek opportunities for collaboration, mutual support, and collective growth.

  3. Visualize Success: Use visualization techniques to imagine yourself achieving your goals and living a life of abundance. Visualizing positive outcomes can help reprogram your subconscious mind and attract opportunities for success and fulfillment.

  4. Practice Generosity: Cultivate a spirit of generosity by giving freely of your time, resources, and talents to others. Acts of kindness and generosity not only benefit those around you but also reinforce the belief that there is plenty to go around.

  5. Focus on Solutions: Instead of dwelling on problems or obstacles, focus on finding creative solutions and taking proactive steps toward your goals. Adopting a solution-oriented mindset empowers you to overcome challenges and seize opportunities for growth.

  6. Invest in Self-Development: Invest in your personal and professional development by seeking out opportunities for learning, growth, and skill-building. Recognize that investing in yourself is an investment in your future abundance and success.

  7. Surround Yourself with Abundance: Surround yourself with people, environments, and influences that embody abundance and positivity. Limit exposure to negative news, toxic relationships, or environments that reinforce scarcity thinking.

Fear of Rejection

The fear of rejection is a common psychological barrier characterized by the avoidance or reluctance to pursue opportunities, express oneself authentically, or form meaningful connections due to the fear of disapproval, criticism, or exclusion by others. This fear stems from a deep-seated desire for acceptance and belonging, and it can significantly limit personal growth, interpersonal relationships, and professional development.

Instances Where Fear of Rejection Hinders Growth:

  1. Career Advancement: Fear of rejection can prevent individuals from applying for job opportunities, seeking promotions, or pitching innovative ideas at work. The fear of being rejected or judged by colleagues or supervisors may hold them back from pursuing their full potential.

  2. Social Interactions: In social settings, fear of rejection may lead individuals to avoid initiating conversations, attending social events, or forming new friendships. They may fear being judged, ridiculed, or excluded by others, leading to social isolation and loneliness.

  3. Romantic Relationships: Fear of rejection can sabotage romantic relationships by causing individuals to avoid expressing their feelings, making themselves vulnerable, or initiating romantic pursuits. They may fear rejection or heartbreak and therefore hesitate to pursue or commit to relationships.

  4. Creative Expression: Artists, writers, and creators may struggle with fear of rejection when sharing their work with others. They may fear criticism or rejection of their creative expression, leading to self-censorship or a reluctance to share their talents with the world.

Strategies for Overcoming the Fear of Rejection and Building Resilience:

  1. Challenge Negative Beliefs: Identify and challenge negative beliefs and assumptions that contribute to the fear of rejection. Recognize that rejection is a normal part of life and does not define your worth or value as a person.

  2. Build Self-Confidence: Cultivate self-confidence by focusing on your strengths, accomplishments, and positive qualities. Practice self-affirmations, visualize success, and engage in activities that boost your self-esteem.

  3. Face Rejection Head-On: Confront your fear of rejection by deliberately putting yourself in situations where rejection is possible. Practice asking for what you want, taking risks, and accepting that rejection is a natural part of the process.

  4. Develop Coping Strategies: Develop healthy coping strategies for managing rejection, such as practicing mindfulness, journaling, or talking to a trusted friend or therapist. Find healthy ways to process your emotions and bounce back from setbacks.

  5. Reframe Rejection as Feedback: Reframe rejection as feedback rather than a personal failure. View rejection as an opportunity for growth, learning, and self-improvement. Ask for constructive feedback and use it to refine your approach or skills.

  6. Focus on What You Can Control: Focus on aspects of situations that you can control, such as your actions, attitudes, and responses, rather than worrying about external factors or others’ opinions.

  7. Seek Support: Surround yourself with supportive friends, family members, or mentors who can offer encouragement, empathy, and perspective. Sharing your fears and experiences with others can help normalize your feelings and provide valuable support.

Comparison Trap

The comparison trap refers to the habit of constantly measuring one’s own abilities, achievements, or qualities against those of others. It often leads to feelings of inadequacy, envy, or self-doubt, as individuals perceive themselves as falling short in comparison to others. This mindset can have detrimental effects on mental health, self-esteem, and overall well-being, as it fosters a cycle of negative self-evaluation and undermines appreciation for one’s own unique strengths and qualities.

Examples of How Comparing Oneself to Others Impedes Progress:

  1. Career Advancement: Constantly comparing oneself to colleagues or peers in terms of career achievements, salary, or status can breed feelings of resentment, jealousy, or unworthiness. This may lead individuals to feel discouraged or demotivated in pursuing their own career goals.

  2. Social Media: The rise of social media platforms has exacerbated the comparison trap, as individuals often showcase curated versions of their lives highlighting achievements, possessions, or experiences. Comparing one’s own life to others’ highlight reels can lead to feelings of inadequacy, FOMO (fear of missing out), or depression.

  3. Personal Relationships: Comparing one’s own romantic relationships, friendships, or family dynamics to those of others can erode satisfaction and contentment. It may lead individuals to question the quality or validity of their relationships and foster unrealistic expectations of perfection.

  4. Body Image: Constantly comparing one’s appearance to societal standards or idealized images portrayed in the media can lead to body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, and disordered eating behaviors. This comparison often overlooks the diversity of body types and perpetuates unrealistic beauty ideals.

Ways to Break Free from the Comparison Trap and Focus on Personal Growth:

  1. Cultivate Self-Awareness: Become aware of your tendencies to compare yourself to others and recognize the negative impact it has on your well-being. Acknowledge that everyone’s journey is unique, and external appearances may not reflect internal experiences or challenges.

  2. Practice Gratitude: Cultivate a sense of gratitude for your own strengths, accomplishments, and blessings. Focus on what you have rather than what you lack, and regularly express appreciation for the unique qualities that make you who you are.

  3. Set Personal Goals: Define your own definition of success and set goals based on your values, interests, and aspirations rather than external expectations. Focus on progress and growth rather than comparing yourself to arbitrary standards or benchmarks set by others.

  4. Limit Social Media Consumption: Be mindful of the impact of social media on your mental health and self-esteem. Limit exposure to content that triggers comparison or negative self-evaluation, and curate your online environment to prioritize positivity and authenticity.

  5. Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, especially when faced with feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt. Practice self-compassion by acknowledging your struggles and offering yourself the same empathy you would offer to a friend in a similar situation.

  6. Celebrate Others’ Success: Shift your perspective from competition to collaboration by celebrating the successes and achievements of others. Recognize that someone else’s success does not diminish your own worth or potential for success.

  7. Focus on Personal Growth: Direct your energy toward personal growth, learning, and self-improvement rather than comparing yourself to others. Embrace challenges, celebrate your progress, and focus on becoming the best version of yourself.

Fixed Mindset

A fixed mindset is a belief that abilities, intelligence, and talents are fixed traits that cannot be significantly changed or developed. Individuals with a fixed mindset tend to avoid challenges, give up easily in the face of setbacks, and view effort as fruitless. This mindset can significantly impede learning and growth by fostering a fear of failure, limiting resilience, and inhibiting the willingness to take risks or try new things.

Instances Where a Fixed Mindset Limits Potential:

  1. Academic Performance: Students with a fixed mindset may avoid challenging subjects or coursework that they believe they are not naturally talented in. They may interpret setbacks or low grades as evidence of their lack of ability rather than opportunities for growth.

  2. Career Development: In the workplace, individuals with a fixed mindset may resist taking on new responsibilities or seeking out learning opportunities that could enhance their skills and knowledge. They may prefer to stick to what they know rather than risk failure or embarrassment.

  3. Creative Pursuits: Artists, writers, and creators with a fixed mindset may avoid experimenting with new techniques or styles out of fear of criticism or failure. They may feel pressure to produce perfect work rather than embracing the iterative process of creativity.

  4. Interpersonal Relationships: A fixed mindset can impact interpersonal relationships by fostering a reluctance to apologize, seek feedback, or compromise. Individuals may struggle to accept criticism or admit fault, believing that doing so reflects negatively on their inherent abilities or character.

Techniques for Cultivating a Growth Mindset and Embracing Challenges:

  1. Change Your Perspective: Recognize that abilities and talents are not fixed but can be developed through effort, practice, and learning. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth rather than threats to your self-worth.

  2. Learn from Failure: Embrace failure as a natural part of the learning process and an opportunity to gain valuable insights and feedback. Instead of viewing setbacks as evidence of your limitations, see them as stepping stones toward improvement and success.

  3. Focus on Effort and Process: Shift your focus from outcomes to effort and process. Celebrate your efforts, persistence, and progress, regardless of the outcome. Value the journey of learning and development as much as, if not more than, achieving specific goals.

  4. Seek Out Feedback: Be open to receiving feedback from others and view it as an opportunity for growth and self-improvement. Actively seek feedback from mentors, peers, or colleagues, and use it to identify areas for development and refinement.

  5. Challenge Yourself: Step out of your comfort zone and take on challenges that push you beyond your current abilities. Embrace the discomfort of uncertainty and risk-taking as opportunities to stretch and grow.

  6. Cultivate a Positive Inner Dialogue: Monitor and challenge negative self-talk that reinforces a fixed mindset. Replace self-limiting beliefs with positive affirmations and realistic self-appraisals that reinforce your potential for growth and development.

  7. Practice Resilience: Cultivate resilience by bouncing back from setbacks, adapting to change, and persevering in the face of challenges. View obstacles as opportunities to build strength, resilience, and character.

Victim Mentality

A victim mentality is a psychological state characterized by a pervasive sense of powerlessness, blame externalization, and a belief that one’s circumstances are determined by forces beyond their control. Individuals with a victim mentality often perceive themselves as helpless victims of their circumstances, blaming others or external factors for their problems and avoiding personal responsibility for their own actions or choices. This mindset can lead to self-sabotage by perpetuating feelings of hopelessness, resignation, and passivity, ultimately hindering personal growth and success.

Real-Life Scenarios Illustrating the Victim Mindset:

  1. Career: A person with a victim mentality may blame their lack of career advancement on factors such as their boss’s favoritism, office politics, or external economic conditions, rather than taking proactive steps to improve their skills or seek out new opportunities.

  2. Relationships: In interpersonal relationships, someone with a victim mentality may constantly portray themselves as the victim, attributing relationship conflicts or failures to their partner’s behavior or external circumstances rather than acknowledging their own role in the dynamic.

  3. Health and Well-being: Individuals with a victim mentality may perceive themselves as helpless victims of their health issues or personal challenges, attributing their struggles to genetics, fate, or external stressors rather than taking ownership of their choices and behaviors.

  4. Financial Situation: A person with a victim mentality may blame their financial struggles on factors such as the economy, systemic inequalities, or past circumstances, rather than taking responsibility for their spending habits, financial decisions, or efforts to improve their financial situation.

Steps for Shifting from a Victim Mentality to a Mindset of Empowerment:

  1. Take Ownership: Acknowledge and take ownership of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Recognize that you have the power to choose your responses to life’s challenges and take proactive steps to create positive change.

  2. Practice Self-Awareness: Cultivate self-awareness by reflecting on your thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. Notice patterns of victim thinking and challenge them by exploring alternative perspectives and taking responsibility for your choices.

  3. Focus on Solutions: Shift your focus from dwelling on problems to identifying solutions and taking action. Instead of feeling helpless in the face of adversity, adopt a problem-solving mindset and explore practical steps you can take to address challenges.

  4. Challenge Negative Beliefs: Challenge negative beliefs and assumptions that reinforce a victim mentality. Replace self-defeating thoughts with empowering affirmations and realistic self-appraisals that affirm your agency and potential for growth.

  5. Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries in your relationships and interactions with others. Assertively communicate your needs, values, and limits, and prioritize self-care and well-being.

  6. Seek Support: Surround yourself with supportive friends, mentors, or professionals who can offer guidance, encouragement, and accountability as you work to shift away from a victim mentality. Seek out resources, such as therapy or support groups, to help you develop coping strategies and build resilience.

  7. Practice Gratitude: Cultivate a sense of gratitude for the blessings and opportunities in your life. Focus on what you have rather than what you lack, and appreciate the moments of joy, growth, and connection that come your way.

These beliefs can be deeply ingrained and hold us back from reaching our full potential. But remember, you have the power to challenge and replace them with empowering beliefs. It’s essential to recognize that personal growth is a continuous journey, and it’s never too late to start challenging these limiting beliefs.

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