20 Self-Limiting Beliefs That Prevent You From Reaching Your Full Potential

Breaking free from self-limiting beliefs is key to achieving one’s full potential. However, these thoughts, often based on fear or past experiences, can be hard to overcome. To rise above them, we must recognize that we, as people, can steer our lives in the direction we want. Remember that no one and nothing else can dictate how successful we are!

“I’m Not Worthy of Love.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Everyone is worthy of love, and the statement above is simply untrue. However, if you believe this statement, it will be harder for others to show you they love and care for you. You are worthy of all the good things on this planet, most especially love. So, don’t limit yourself by thinking otherwise.

“I Don’t Have Enough Time.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

While we don’t know exactly how much time we have left on Earth, it’s simply untrue that you don’t have enough time to do what you want. You just have skewed priorities in life! Saying you don’t have enough time is just an excuse because you’re afraid or not confident in stepping outside your comfort zone.

“I’m Not Good Enough.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pressmaster

We often believe that we fall short of what’s expected of us. However, this negative thought is mainly fueled by our emotions and insecurities rather than concrete evidence. Psych Central advises, “It’s important that you challenge these thoughts because if you dwell on them for too long, they can turn into full-blown beliefs and negatively impact your self-esteem.”

“I Don’t Deserve This.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Unfortunately, people are typically critical of themselves more than others. They are insecure about themselves and feel unworthy of the good things in life. However, according to the Global Association of Independent Advisors, “This self-deprecating belief can spring from insecurity or feelings of unworthiness. Left unaddressed, it can evolve into self-sabotage.”

“I Can’t Do This.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

When you tell yourself you can’t do something, especially if you haven’t tried it before, you’re being too critical of yourself. You’re setting too high expectations of yourself and believing that trying something new might lead to inevitable failure. You then feel as if trying a certain thing will taint your perfect record.

“I’m Too Old or Too Young.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images

We’ve been taught that you can or can’t do certain things depending on age. However, this just limits people’s capacity for bigger things. Age discrimination is, sadly, too common nowadays, leading people to believe that they aren’t capable of doing certain things because of their age.

“I’m Too Fat or Too Skinny.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / TommyStockProject

When you deem yourself incapable of something just because of your body image, then you’re limiting yourself. Remember that it’s always mind over matter. So, what you believe about yourself will come true for you. Don’t let negative thoughts such as this one cripple you and prevent you from doing what you want and what you need!

“I’m Not Ready Yet.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Krakenimages.com

Who will ever be 100% ready for life? No matter how much you prepare for something, unforeseen circumstances will always exist. If we think this way, we’ll be constantly held back from doing more and moving forward.

“I Can’t Change. This Is Just Who I Am.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jelena Stanojkovic

This statement is wrong on so many levels because change is the only constant thing in life. Changing who you are, your mannerisms, or your mindset would be challenging, but it’s possible. Psychology Today explains, “People have the capacity to change. However, they must choose to do the work needed to make change happen; exposure to new ideas, experiences, or information often inspires change.”

“I’m Not Smart Enough.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Anatoliy Karlyuk

This self-limiting thought consumes one’s mind once they compare themselves to others. Comparison is harmful, no matter what aspect of life you view it through. In this case, however, it will make one feel inferior to others, and as it persists, one’s view of themselves will worsen.

“Others Are in My Way.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pheelings media

Others are not in your way; you just need to figure out your own path for yourself. You are an individual separate from others, and you are living your own life! So, don’t pressure yourself with the achievements of others. Remember, they are not trying to block you; they are on their own journey, too.

“This Is Too Hard.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / M Isolation photo

What you believe in your head will undoubtedly manifest itself in real life. So, instead of telling yourself things are too hard, tell yourself you can do it! Life is full of challenges, and it’s only by going through these things that you can succeed. Don’t give up, especially if you haven’t even started yet!

“I’ll Never Be Successful.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

You will never be successful if you stay where you are now. So, scrap this belief out of your system because it’s probably holding you back from becoming the best version of yourself. Just try, do your best, and don’t give up; all will be worth it in the end!

“It’s Too Late.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / andreonegin

This belief holds you back from so many things you can do in life. If you stop thinking this way and adopt a more positive mindset, you can start focusing on the things you want to do. Whatever you want to do—pursue a new career, embark on a new journey, find love, or start a family—-it’s never too late!

“I Don’t Have Enough Experience.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / pixelheadphoto digitalskillet

The Treasure Within views this statement as just another excuse one tells themselves so they can stay stuck in their comfort zones. In many ways, this statement emphasizes one’s fear of trying new things.

“I Don’t Have Enough Money.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / tanja-v

No one really has enough money at the beginning. At the start of every venture or endeavor, you start with close to nothing. It’s up to you to put in the time, effort, and hard work to make something out of that nothing. It’s especially important for young entrepreneurs to veer away from this self-limiting belief because they might get discouraged even before trying.

“I’ll Never Be a Great Leader.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture

People who lack confidence usually limit themselves by using this tactic. They shy away from new and bigger responsibilities because they lack the confidence to succeed in certain aspects of their work. However, the most important thing is believing in oneself; let go of this thinking now and know that everyone is given a learning curve in life. Strammer says, “One reason why building and maintaining good self-confidence is important is because this plays a significant role in key leadership competencies, such as the ability to communicate effectively and to motivate and influence others.”

“I’m Not Popular Enough.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Popularity is not a marker of success. Following this, one doesn’t need to be popular to achieve great things. In many ways, popularity can even be harmful to one’s growth—especially for teenagers. If you care too much about your popularity and what others think, you can be led astray and begin to act fake to live up to others’ expectations.

“I Fear Failure.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Shift Drive

Failure is a normal part of life, and it’s only through failure that one can grow and improve. If you fear failure and do all you can to avoid failing, you’re also stopping yourself from growing and becoming the best version of yourself. Mind Tools explains, “Often, valuable insights come only after a failure; accepting and learning from those insights is key to succeeding in life.”

“Rich People Hold All the Good Cards.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / WeAre

People are all required to make an effort and work hard to achieve something. If you think that rich people hold all the good cards in life, then you’re limiting yourself because you automatically believe that nothing good will ever happen to you because you’re poor. You’ll stop making an effort and stop working hard because you think you have little to no control over your opportunities and successes—or lack thereof—in life.

Author: Stanislav Lem


Stanislav Lem is the founder of Big Time Living, where he provides tips for gardening, traveling and lifestyle. Stan is an entrepreneur, journalist and traveler.
His mission is to provide information to help people become better planters, travel more and live a happy life. His blog has been featured on Huffpost, Yahoo and MSN.