Blog: Limiting Beliefs

LTD runner iconThis blog has been produced as part of a new program being developed by Be Awesome called ‘Living the Dream’.

‘Living the Dream’ is a twelve-week program that supports people like us (you and me) to gain clarity on our goals and ideal life and develop the habits and beliefs to experience this life, one day at a time, in reality. To learn more on how you can participate contact us at

A few weeks ago we defined a “value”, as an “enduring belief”. So, what then is a belief?

The Oxford Dictionary defines belief as:

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Another way of looking at our beliefs is as a personal framework for viewing reality; guiding our thoughts and actions based on what we believe to be possible.

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination- John Lennon

However, as John Lennon suggests, there is a lot of room to move between what is “real” and what we believe.

Sure, there are things that we believe are real because we see the proof every day. I believe that the world is round; not many arguments there.

But as we start to move away from what we might call “objective” reality to more subjective areas, things start to become a little more interesting.

Two beliefs

Take for example two identical people. Both are average looking and of average intelligence. One however believes that they are attractive to others and that they deserve to be successful. The other one believes that they have no appeal to others and that they don’t deserve to be happy.

Which one of these two people’s beliefs are true?

In a way they’re both wrong, however one set of beliefs is clearly more useful than the other. Just imagine how differently these two people will experience “reality” based on their different beliefs.

So, it’s clear that some beliefs can support us, while others can limit us.

What is a limiting belief?

A limiting belief is something that we believe about ourselves, others or the world, that prevents us from experiencing the life that we desire. One way to identify a limiting belief is to ask: “was there ever a time that I or someone else proved this belief to be wrong”? If the answer is yes, then we know that this is a limiting belief.

Any time we tell ourself that we “can’t” do something that is within the realm of human possibility then we are reinforcing our own limiting belief.

Here are a few examples of some common limiting beliefs:

  • I’m not good-looking enough /  rich enough / popular enough
  • Everyone is looking at me, judging me and making fun of me
  • I don’t deserve to be happy
  • I’m not qualified enough to be here / I don’t belong here / I’m an imposter
  • Some people are just born successful / happy / mentally balanced / talented / (insert anything else you can think of). I just wasn’t born that way.
  • I can’t tell the truth because I may get judged
  • If I get close to this person my heart will get broken
  • I can’t ask for what I want because I will get rejected
  • I can’t trust people because I’ve been betrayed before
  • I can’t pursue my dreams because I don’t know what I’d do if I fail
  • When I feel hurt or threatened the safest thing to do is to hide myself from others
  • The rich earn their money by deception
  • Money is hard to come by and there is never enough
  • The more I have, the more I stand to lose
  • I’m just unlucky

From Little Things Big Things Grow

Some limiting beliefs might not seem too harmful at first. Let’s say we have a habit of telling ourselves that we’re not good enough (fit enough, good-looking enough, successful enough etc.) to be in a relationship at the moment.

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This might not bother us too much in the short-term but imagine carrying this belief forward six months, then a year, then 5 years and then 20 years! Imagine experiencing an entire lifetime with the belief that we’re not good enough, and imagine the massive impact that this belief will have had on our entire life! Like a snowball over the years growing bigger, stronger, deeper, heavier.

However we don’t tend to experience this kind of urgency on a day-to-day basis. We struggle with changing our limiting beliefs because we get stuck in ambivalence. In the short-term we find that our situation isn’t good but it’s also not bad enough to make a change.

Change only happens we aren’t willing to tolerate our current situation any longer.

Often our biggest challenge is arriving at the “aha moment” that will compel us to make a powerful choice to change. We all know stories of where this has happened serendipitously, from health scares to lucky escapes.

We don’t need to wait for 20 or 30 years to pass or for some kind of wake up call from the universe to propel us toward change. We are so lucky to be in the here and now where the future hasn’t yet happened.

There will never be a better time or an easier time in our life than right now to change a limiting belief.

The future is not set in stone and we each have the freedom in this moment right now to make a choice.

Be Awesome!


During the Living the Dream 12 week program you will be guided through a powerful process to sustainably transform your limiting beliefs into new supporting beliefs. Contact us to express your interest in being a part of the program when it officially launches in January 2016.

DSC_0441About Christian Duell

Christian is the founder of Be Awesome and currently has the song ‘No Limits‘ stuck in his head. He is passionate about sharing the best of what he has learnt to allow others to experience more freedom and greater quality of choice in their life.

Since taking the “red pill” in 2010 and departing from a traditional career as an architect, Christian has explored a weird and wonderful career path involving teaching, community engagement and cultural management. He uses design thinking to help individuals and organisations act more creatively and gets excited about the opportunities that arise through travel, collaboration, chance encounters and new relationships formed across a range of creative fields. To work or play with Christian contact him here.

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