Overcoming Self-Limiting Beliefs

In Emotions by New Moon Holistic Life2 Comments

The most important relationship that you will have in your life is your relationship with yourself. Your self-talk, self-esteem, self-respect, self-identity, and your attitude toward yourself all create the reality that you are living in.

When you feel stuck, or you feel like you cannot create a better life than what you are currently living, you are under the control of your self-limiting beliefs. A self-limiting belief is an assumption or perception that is holding you back from achieving and experiencing more in your life. We set these limits in our minds for what we believe we can do, what we can accomplish, and what we are capable of. These limits are set out of fear and the fear of failure, as well as our thought programming. Thought programming is everything that we learned growing up from our family, friends, teachers, society, etc. This programming created the thoughts, beliefs, and habits that we have today. 

Today on The Healing Corner Blog, we’re going to dive deeper into how thought programming creates our self-limiting beliefs and perceptions. We’ll also discuss what understanding self-limiting beliefs may look like and how to overcome them on our journey.

What is Thought Programming?

Every experience and everything that you have been told and have listened to has shaped you into who you are today. It has shaped your memory and your beliefs, and it has created some of the habits you have as well. The subconscious mind stores all the information and programming that you have taken in throughout your life, and it puts your brain on autopilot. 

Perceptions and beliefs that we have of ourselves from when we were younger sit in our subconscious mind. A belief is a thought that has continually been repeated until we perceive it to be true. Whether you know it or not, all of us hold many false beliefs that were programmed into us at a young age. For example, if you got in trouble for getting bad grades when you were younger, you may have the perception of being a failure stored in your subconscious. Or, if you were yelled at for doing something, you may have the perception of not being good enough stored in your subconscious. It’s not that anyone was trying to make you feel this way, but depending on the language that was used and your ability to handle and interpret the situation, this is often how we store such negative thoughts about ourselves.

Our brain tries to predict our futures based on our past, keeping us in a safe “bubble” and holding onto the need for some sort of control, thus we create a predictable outcome based on our past experiences. So, if you perceived things negatively in the past and you have programming that is telling you that you are unworthy or you are a failure, your subconscious mind causes you to expect those same outcomes, and those outcomes will continue to happen because that is what you are expecting to happen. These trains of thought are what eliminates the possibility of having new, positive outcomes for many people. 

We form habits and beliefs surrounded by negativity, and the body becomes comfortable with the thoughts and feelings we are having because it is accustomed to the routine, even if they aren’t good thoughts. Our subconscious mind represents about 90% of our brain function. So, 90% of your thoughts, beliefs, and habits are literally on autopilot – and they need to be addressed in order to rewire the brain. Our thought programming becomes a filter by which everything we perceive is passed through. 

Think of a filter over a camera lens – that’s what thought programming looks like. Every piece of information that goes in or out of your mind passes through this filter. If you’re unhappy with your life, you need to change the filter that you experience it through. Have you ever encountered someone who makes everything in their life negative? That is the filter by which they experience their life and/or their reality. Everything that happens to them has to be negative because their thought programming and their subconscious mind tell them to make it so.

Perception is Everything

Our perception of situations is everything. When we zoom out and can look at how a situation played out, what our thoughts were about the situation, and the feelings and actions that were created from those thoughts, we can begin to understand how thought programming is coming into play.

The initial thought or reaction that you have to almost every situation, good or bad, comes from your thought programming. Your thoughts are passing through that camera filter on the lens, and it is outputting your thoughts based on everything that is stored in your subconscious mind. When we can become aware of this, and get to the bottom of why our thoughts are coming out this way, we can know that it comes from our deep subconscious mind and that we can change it. 

Another type of self-limiting belief (thought programming) to be aware of are “should” statements. A should statement is when we use the word “should” when we are talking about the way we think something should have gone. They are expectations that we set for ourselves, expectations that we end up judging ourselves for, creating shame, guilt, and disappointment. These statements and beliefs again come from thought programming and looking outside of ourselves, comparing ourselves and our situations to others, and trying to be in control.

Believing in Yourself and Your Journey

What do you want to accomplish in this lifetime? What is fulfilling to you? Really take a moment to consider what your goals are – without thinking of HOW you would get there, and without thinking of the MONEY that may be required to get there. 

Now, do you believe that you can do it? Again, without thinking of the how – can you visualize yourself and picture yourself achieving that goal?

If you can’t picture yourself achieving your goal, your self-limiting beliefs are getting in the way (For a lot of people, this looks like: “Well, I can’t because…” or “Yeah, but…”). Self-limiting beliefs will stop you every time. You’ll always look for the reason it can’t happen, or won’t happen, and you’ll use it as an excuse to stop yourself before you even try. This line of thinking works with your thought programming, using your past to predict your future, and trying to keep yourself safe from experiencing disappointment.

If your current circumstances are not ideal, you do not need to agree to them, but you do need to redirect your energy towards creating a better future. You need to find gratitude for all that you DO have in your life right now, rather than focusing on things that don’t serve you, because you’ll attract more of what your attention is focused on. When you focus on what is good, you will attract more of what serves you. Basically, pessimism and negativity is a magnet for fear and stress, but also negative outcomes.

Overcoming your self-limiting beliefs is all about believing it is possible, believing in yourself, and taking action to remind yourself of this everyday. It takes a lot of hard work, practice, and consistency to change the thought programming that is currently in your subconscious mind, but science has shown time and time again that it is possible.

You can start to create change by taking passive action and massive action. 

Passive Action is absorbing new concepts, understanding your thought programming and believing in your ability to rewire your brain. You cannot solve a problem or create a new future based on your old techniques.

Massive Action is applying the new skills and concepts that you have learned. Nothing will change without a shift in your thoughts and behavior, first. Massive action then requires you to make a plan, set goals, and take steps every single day. Most importantly, believe in yourself.

You can literally do anything you want in life, and we’re fortunate to live in a time where most of us get to choose that. However, you must CREATE the opportunity, and that means defining the steps to get there – designing and building a plan to manifest your future.

We all have choices and we have to choose to empower ourselves. Some ways that you can begin to empower yourself and overcome your self-limiting beliefs are:

  • Self Awareness – Do your actions, thoughts, behaviors, words, or even relationships support the life that you are creating?
  • Solution-Based Thinking – Don’t spend your time fixating on the problem, but rather focus on creating solutions, and stay positive.
  • Self-Talk – You have to build a positive relationship with yourself and have compassion, patience, and respect for yourself. What you say to yourself about yourself ultimately impacts what you think, feel, and manifest.
  • Visualization – Picture yourself accomplishing your goals and really feel the emotion that you wish to feel when they are accomplished. Carry intention into your life and in your experiences.
  • Meditation – Meditation slows down your brain and allows you to tap into your subconscious mind. When you meditate, you create inner peace and strip away the old programming, it teaches you to focus on the positive and wire a healthier brain.
  • Mantras & Affirmations – As part of your self-talk, use mantras and affirmations to create positivity in your life. For example, if you’re struggling with confidence, this might mean looking in the mirror everyday and saying “My name is {Name} and I am confident.”

I hope this article serves as a resource for you to start overcoming your self-limiting beliefs and live the life you want to live. I help my clients reach their goals and overcome their self-limiting beliefs and thought programming by designing a plan that works for each individual. Please reach out if you’d like to start your journey!


  1. If what I want is a clear picture in my head, how do I react when thing don’t work out the way I envision? Often, I become angry, or reluctant to believe that I can make what I think come to pass.

    1. Author

      We can’t become attached to the outcome of a situation, we have to be flexible and trust that things happen for a reason. If we get angry or upset, we have to take that as a lesson and try to understand what this situation is teaching us. Also, when you have a clear picture of what you want, which is using visualization, you have to think about what emotions you have been having and what you are putting out into the world, and thus, what is being attracted to you.

Leave a Comment