8 Limiting Beliefs That Are Holding You Back from Success
By Nicolette Stinson
You have infinite potential but sometimes your results don’t reflect that potential. Deeply ingrained unconscious beliefs (feelings of certainty about what something means) are influencing these results in ways you cannot see. When you have a deep belief, even unconsciously, it can sabotage your potential through the actions or non- actions you take based on the belief. That then creates the less-than-desirable results that hold you back from real success.
Why is it that in this society we learn early in childhood “More”, “More is better”, “More money”, “More Power”? And we learn that it’s okay to do whatever has to be done to get “More”. “Stab him in the back”, “Lie”, “Cheat”, “Do whatever it takes.” Then we’ll be successful and reap the rewards for doing so.
Shit on ‘em, all of them, for teaching us that. Now I have to unlearn all that bullshit that I’ve been carrying around most of my life.
But because of who you truly are—and your infinite potential—you can learn to move through all that hinders you from living your dharma. In fact, such obstacles can actually be used as opportunities for further expansion.
I’m so glad this old dog CAN learn new tricks and I’ve come to the realization that what does not serve my highest good must be discarded.
What follows are eight common limiting beliefs (https://chopra.com/articles/create-the-next-chapter-of-your-lifes-story) that hold you back from creating success and true fulfillment at work and in life.
New empowering beliefs to replace your old limiting beliefs. New habits to instill your new empowering belief. Inspirational quotes from Deepak Chopra to help support your new belief and habit.
Limiting Belief 1: I Am Not Unique
You may say that you don’t have anything different to offer from others who have the same title or credentials, or who work in the same industry. You don’t believe that you are unique and don’t know how you can stand out from the crowd. This belief can kill your confidence and your ability to believe in your unique gifts and excel. Don’t let it hold you back! The reality is, it’s ENTIRELY untrue! You are unique from every other person on this planet in immeasurable ways and you have the ability to change or affect someone else’s life like no one else can.
OK, I’ve gotta admit that one thing I learned early on while in a recovery program for alcoholism is that I am not unique. My addiction and inability to fight it on my own was not a unique problem. With that I found comfort in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous where like-minded people shared their experience, strength and hope with me, loved me until I could love myself, and wanted nothing in return. This fellowship and its principles have served me well in my recovery. Today, in sobriety, I have a life second to none that I could have never even imagined.
However, while I share my experience, strength and hope with those who enter my “Dee Bubble” today, I do emphasize that we are INDEED unique…that we all have unique gifts and attributes that no one else on the planet has. This belief helped me so tremendously when I had no purpose, no self-respect, no self-worth. Why would I even bother trying to go on? I have nothing to offer. I’m a loser, a waste of space on the planet.
It was the journey through this deep low that has brought me to the light of a meaningful life today! Today I get to share my journey and offer hope and inspiration to those who find themselves in their own deep place. Today I have a purpose!
New Empowering Belief: There is no one else who has my exact experience and knowledge and who can serve in the way that only I can.
In my recovery I have been given the opportunity to create my own Higher Power over to whom I can turn my will and my life. This Higher Power has a purpose for me and has guided me to share my story with others. And when I had a relapse He didn’t give up on me and got me back right-sized, humble and grateful. I cannot take any part of my journey for granted. I am here for a reason!
New Empowering Habit: Write a list of your interests, passions (https://chopra.com/articles/how-to-bring- your-passions-and-purpose-to-life), skills, knowledge, experience, and desires. Each day, read this list and decide one thing you can do that day that uses a facet of yourself to help someone you know or come across.
Inspiration: “Each of us is a unique strand in the intricate web of life and here to make a contribution.”— Deepak Chopra
Limiting Belief 2: I Don’t Know What I Want
You may be able to describe what you don’t want in your life, but when asked what you do want, you become unsure. Staying confused or being overwhelmed and complaining about what is not working can be comfortable because it has the pay-off of not having to take decisive action or responsibility and take what feels like a risk. But repeating this story will quickly put the brakes on your success.
I guess I was lucky to have bottomed out in my alcoholism. Finding recovery and living a life in sobriety made it so apparent what I am on this planet to do. And through meetings and fellowship, volunteering to speak at DUI Classes is just a small way for me to give thanks.
My Higher Power has also given me a creative passion, and with that I create stained glass and mosaic pieces of art that emphasize well-being, self-love, positivity and inspiration. Through the Promises of AA I no longer have to fear finances, future, opinions, anything because I have found that if I remember who is running the show (not me) and have faith that all is perfect at this moment, I receive gifts I never even thought of!
New Empowering Belief: I have a clear vision for my future and the completion of the steadfast actions I take toward my vision is the best measure of my success.
And all I have to do is just my best, give back what was so freely given me when I needed it most, and be rigorously honest!
New Empowering Habit: Research (https://www.naifa.org/news-publications/yat-chat/february- 2016/the-power-of-visualization) shows that keeping visual reminders of your personal goals will help you achieve your results. Create a clear vision for what you are creating as well as a vision board (https://chopra.com/articles/vision-board-101-how-to-use-this-manifestation-tool) and reflect on it daily.
The Secret is an awesome book to help visualize and keep you in focus and on track!
Inspiration: “The more boundless your vision, the more real you are.”—Deepak Chopra
Limiting Belief 3: I Don’t Have Time
This belief can sound like “I don’t have time for <insert self-care habit such as exercise, meditation, or hiking>,” “If I take time off I will fall behind,” or “I must respond to every request right away.” These are all a conversation about lack of time and putting off the things that you “should” do for yourself for another time.
As an alcoholic (in recovery) I can rationalize anything! Procrastination is definitely a rock I need to drop from my life. I am learning more each day how important self-care is. I used to always put everyone’s needs before my own. But that way of living no longer serves me. I can give you the best “me” if I am at my peak. A bit of meditation, exercise, yoga, good eats all help me to perform my best and I find that my list of “to do’s” gets done more quickly and in a more positive way. And, yes, this is easier said that done. We are works in progress!
P.S. I set the alarm for 5AM and went to work out at the gym this morning because “I must”. I must just talking about it, thinking about it, dwelling on it, and just damn “do it”. I’m feeling pretty good!
The key is to turn your “shoulds (https://chopra.com/article/stop-should-ing-yourself)” into “musts.” Investing time in meditation (https://chopra.com/meditation) and self-care allows you to tap into the infinite field of creativity—the place where insight and inspiration lives. Without accessing this space you risk the potential of perpetuating problems, serious burnout, or disease.
I learned early on in sobriety to stay out of HALT…hungry, angry, lonely, tired. When I get all crazy in my head it’s usually because I am in HALT and have failed to care for myself properly. Today I practice nipping HALT in the bud before I ever get there.
New Empowering Belief: Everyone has the same amount of time in the day and I allow infinite intelligence to work when I am connected to the present moment.
Staying in the present moment, or bringing myself back there, always puts me back in touch with my Higher Power, reminds me that I am not in control, and emphasizes the humility and gratitude I have in my life. This moment is perfect. This life is perfect. I am perfect.
New Empowering Habit: Start by tracking where you spend your time. This will help you to better prioritize and schedule your activities accordingly. Begin each day with a plan for what you want to accomplish personally and professionally and schedule in non-negotiable time for self-care.
First thing when I wake up I remind myself that my Higher Power is in control and that I am along for the ride to learn and grow and get done what He sees fit for me. That doesn’t mean I just sit around waiting, but I listen to my gut as to what directions to take. And then I just do my best.
Inspiration: “If you change your relationship with time, you will change your life. The most important time of your life is right now.”—Deepak Chopra
Right now is all we have!
Limiting Belief 4: Inevitable Change Will Make My Skills and Knowledge Obsolete
It’s no secret that this is a fast-paced world where new knowledge or skills can quickly become outdated or even obsolete. For some this can feel disheartening, like the invested time in gaining that knowledge or skill was wasted. The key, however, is to be enthusiastic about the potential these changes have to make things better for you and the world at large. Staying engaged, eager, and enthusiastic about new possibilities and change allows you to apply your knowledge and skills in unique ways that people without that prior experience would not be able to see.
Please do your best to live your passion! The rest will fall into place. Gaining new skills and improving your knowledge will be exciting and not a dreaded task. And as you stay enthusiastic about your growth and learning, you will find yourself at a new level of being in every way!
New Empowering Belief: Change (https://chopra.com/articles/3-techniques-to-help-you-embrace- change) allows myself and the world to evolve in positive ways and my enthusiasm about it brings new opportunities I would never have had otherwise.
New Empowering Habit: Subscribe to blogs and newsletters of leaders in your field or industry and be on the lookout daily for changes or potential changes. Reflect on what excites you personally about these changes and how you can stay ahead of them through training or new experiences.
Inspiration: “There are many aspects to success; material wealth is only one component. . . But success also includes good health, energy and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well-being, and peace of mind.”—Deepak Chopra (https://chopra.com/free-programs/discover-your-purpose-toolkit_ga=2.57344367.498719510.1525121461- 557740326.1524243263)
When I got rid of the notion that prosperity in my business was money, everything changed. I was able to cherish the new bonds made with people interested in my wares and interested in me. I looked at people not as dollar signs but as channels of growth for me. I started to give others the mindfulness, respect and compassion they deserve…we ALL deserve. And the money comes when my Higher Power sees fit. I am not starving. My needs are met.
Limiting Belief 5: Everyone Else Has It Figured Out Except for Me
With social media being such a huge part of life, comparison (https://chopra.com/articles/stop-comparing- yourself-to-others-tips-and-tools) is more rampant than ever before. Ideal lifestyles that can never be lived up to —and which don’t actually exist—are broadcast daily. It’s almost impossible to avoid and easy to start believing that everyone else’s life around you is working out for them perfectly and something is wrong with you. But it’s not true! Focusing on other people’s highlight reels and comparing them to your own experiences—especially when you feel confused or lost—will instantly put you into a downward spiral. The moment you start looking outward at everyone else is the moment it’s time to begin looking inward and owning what is true for you.
I don’t post my shit on social media. Do you? So mainly what we see there is “the good stuff”. It’s so easy to compare our lives with others’, but we haven’t walked in their shoes; we don’t know their whole story. I bet they have other things going on in their lives other than “the good stuff”.
I’ve found that if I am doing my very best, and that by no means implies that I am perfect, then I am dang proud of myself, and thankful, at the end of the day. If I’ve given one person a glimpse of hope today, then my purpose has been served.
Just like watching the news. We’re inundated with madness. Madness and negativity sells news. But it’s just a drop in the bucket of what is really happening here on this planet. There is still so much compassion we have for each other. Most of us still care for our planet and are doing what we can to save it. The majority of us are not money-hungry monsters on power trips. Let’s not compare apples to oranges and continue to live our lives in a healthy and positive way!
New Empowering Belief: The more that I focus on my own experience and truth the more connected with, and certain I am, about my true path.
New Empowering Habit: Learn to let go of comparison by turning your attention inward through a practice like yoga (https://chopra.com/yoga) or meditation.
Inspiration: “Owning your own feelings, rather than blaming them on someone else, is the mark of a person who has moved from contracted to expanded awareness.”—Deepak Chopra
If you find yourself still living in fear and doubt, blame and negativity, I urge you to really delve deep into your soul to find out why. I was fortunate to be able to do this through the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous with my sponsor, someone I trust with my life.
I no longer live in fear nor self doubt. I live in acceptance that I am my best me. I can live my life today moving forward in a positive direction. I can use my experiences to help others achieve this light and freeing way of living.
There are many support groups in your area to help you achieve this new-found freedom. There are doctors, churches, women’s groups, men’s groups, you name it, there’s a group. Be selective. Go with your gut. Shut off your head. And don’t use a bartender to spill your guts out to…
Limiting Belief 6: I Can Do It Myself, I Don’t Need Anyone’s Help
No one has ever created success alone. You are an inherently social creature and must rely on others all the time. There are various reasons you may hang on to this limiting belief. It can come from feeling guilty for, or ashamed of, asking for help or from a fear of being let down by or rejected by others but you need others to do great things in the world.
I used to “think” that asking for help was a sign of weakness. I now “know” and “feel” that the opposite is true. Picking up that 2,000 pound phone to ask for help always amazes me that the act of asking for help is so not the fearful, all-encompassing task that I make up in my head. We’re all human and most of us are compassionate beings that thrive on helping others’ in need. Don’t deprive us of giving the gift of love and service.
Asking for help started when I found I could not go a day in my life without drinking. I couldn’t stop drinking on my own and I tried every way I could. When I finally hit my bottom (and my Higher Power knew I was ready for a new chapter in my life…”When the student is ready, the Master appears”), I found myself in a treatment program for alcoholism. So out of my comfort zone. When I left that program it was suggested I attend AA meetings. Yikes! I’m from a small town. People will find out! I might know someone in those rooms.
This is when I truly discovered the gifts received from being a human being and asking for help. I was embraced by so many like-minded, loving and genuine people who wanted nothing more than to help me through my recovery. And, yes, I did know many people in the rooms that, I realize now, made it that much more special!
New Empowering Belief: It is safe to ask for help. In asking for help, I inherently also help others.
New Empowering Habit: Practice the law of giving and receiving by asking for help, guidance, or simple presence from someone else every other day. On the other days practice giving your own time, kindness, or presence to those around you.
Inspiration: “If you want to do really important things in life and big things in life, you can’t do anything by yourself. And your best teams are your friends and your siblings.”—Deepak Chopra
Limiting Belief 7: I’m Not Good Enough
This belief is embedded in human nature and has a tendency to get the best of you. It can take form in believing you are not skilled enough, talented enough, or even deserving enough; it shows up in life as anxiety, perfectionism, and procrastination (https://chopra.com/articles/how-to-stop-procrastinating). But building self- awareness can help you distinguish the voice of “not good enough” and beat this persistent limiting belief.
Who is the judge of “I’m Not Good Enough”? Before getting sober and working the 12 Steps of AA, YOU were the judge of me. I lived my life trying to win your approval. It was exhausting and unfulfilling.
By asking for help with my sponsor in AA, I found that I lived my life fear-based. I was awarded the task of really delving into my being, finding out who I am and why. And then I started a new journey of ridding myself of all the defects and unhealthy thoughts that were not serving me. I slowly but surely started to get comfortable in my own skin and love myself for who and what I am.
Having a Higher Power in my life today really lightens the load that I carry on my journey through life. Without my Higher Power (my new judge) my head takes over and Dee once again takes control. Not pretty. I have to work on being mindful, being in the present moment, grateful and humble. And then I know and feel that I am, indeed, “good enough”.
New Empowering Belief: I am 100 percent worthy of all of my dreams and desires.
New Empowering Habit: Practice self-awareness and learn to separate thoughts from your truth by starting a meditation practice, reflecting, or talking to a counselor or coach.
Inspiration: “Once you know who you really are, being is enough. You feel neither superior to anyone nor inferior to anyone and you have no need for approval because you’ve awakened to your own infinite worth.”—Deepak Chopra
Limiting Belief 8: I Have to Fix or Change ______ Before I Can _______
One of the biggest barriers to success is believing you are not ready right now—once you are in that relationship, lose that weight, feel better, heal, and so on. Then you can take action toward your dreams and achieve your goals. However, it is the belief that this is true that is holding us back from having what you desire.
I’ll never be ready so I have to act now. If I don’t, I’m depriving myself of the gift of learning and experiencing the hardships…and rewards…of taking that journey towards success. I don’t want to miss anymore miracles because my head told me I wasn’t ready (fear). I’ve reaped so many, many rewards by being imperfect!
New Empowering Belief: I am already perfect and whole; I can create whatever I desire now.
Whoa! This just brought me back to being in treatment where the group would sit around in a circle and repeat an affirmation of their choice everyday for 28 days. I came up with “I am a good person. I am a whole person”.
Only a day or so sober I felt anything but good nor whole. I hated myself for allowing myself to get to this point. I hated that I had to drink everyday and that I was a horrible mother, wife, child, and sister. I was exhausted from lying, hiding and cheating. I was tired of not sleeping forever, but just passing out and coming to. My eating habits were atrocious. But I did wake up most winter mornings to ski!
Anyway, this affirmation I hold true to my heart. I finally believe that I am a good person and a whole person. It all makes sense to me now, this journey I’ve been given. There have been absolutely no coincidences.
Today I get to share affirmations, motivational quotes, and just enlightenment with those who enter my Dee Bubble. I want everyone to feel good about themselves and their journeys and to share that and their gifts with others. I get to do that through my art and blogging and speaking at AA meetings and DUI classes. How do you do it?
I encourage feedback. I would love to hear your story! Remember that you are unique and have gifts that no one else on this planet has. And when you find yourself in a dark place, know that you are not alone. Please share with us and do not deprive us all of YOU! Try to stay in the moment and know that it is perfect. Try to live from your heart and not your head. We’re all in this TOGETHER 🙂
With warmest aloha,
For those interested in motivational and inspirational affirmations, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com. Mahalo and enjoy!
New Empowering Habit: Notice where you tell yourself you are not ready and bravely take action toward your vision and goals (https://chopra.com/articles/accountability-the-key-to-reaching-your-goals) every single day. Make sure to reward yourself for taking action!
Inspiration: “You must find the place inside you where nothing is impossible”—Deepak Chopra
You can find experiences to back up almost any belief, but the key is to make sure that you are consciously aware of the beliefs you are creating. If your beliefs don’t empower you, change them. Will your beliefs be the reason you stop taking action toward the results you want from life? Or will you change them into the ultimate opportunity to create something extraordinary—whether it is a transformation in yourself, your career, or your life?
Harness the power of your emotions and desires to create a life that feels deeply meaningful with the Chopra Center’s Discover Your Purpose Toolkit, which includes a free e-book, worksheet, 1:1 discovery session, and guided meditation. Get your free toolkit now. (https://www.chopra.com/free-programs/discover-your- purpose-toolkit)
About the Author
Nicolette Stinson (/bios/nicolette-stinson)
Certified Coach, Yoga Instructor and Perfect Health Instructor
Nicolette is an online personal brand strategist for coaches and wellness professionals. She is also a Certified Coach, Chopra Center Perfect Health Instructor, and Yoga Teacher as well as an avid student of mindfulness, creativity, personal development, and spirituality. Visit http://www.nicolettestinson.com (http://www.nicolettestinson.com) to learn more. Read more (/bios/nicolette-stinson)
From The Chopra Center