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What's A Limiting Belief

Updated: May 21, 2022

What's A Limiting Belief?

A limiting belief is something you truly believe with all of your heart, that seems infallible to you, but in fact technically is not true at all. Limiting beliefs are usually formed in us when we are young, and we may learn them through parents, schools, relationships, and work environments. Sometimes we learn limiting beliefs because they are directly taught. Other times, we learn limiting beliefs indirectly based on the social pressure of how we "should" be, in order to be accepted. Again, the biggest challenge of limiting beliefs is that we rarely recognize them for what they are, until they've been pointed out. At the same time, a limiting belief keeps us from truly living out our greatest potential, so it's important to identify and clear them as quickly as possible.

Some limiting beliefs are so commonly used, you may not even realize it's a limiting belief. Here's an example:

"I don't have money for that. Once I make more money, I can do that."

It may be true that you want to do something that you don't currently have money for, but the reason this is a limiting belief, is that it's usually not money that's the culprit. The lack of money is an expression for some other aspect of a lack mentality.

If you find yourself longing to do something, but you are constantly saying you don't have the money, ask yourself: Could you actually save up the money? Borrow the money? Is there a way to eat out less, or skip a less important payment to do this thing? Can you work overtime to make more money so that you can now afford it?

Many times, people say they don't have money as a way of avoiding a deeper feeling, such as not feeling worthy of what they want, or believing that if they receive what they want, that it will create more issues.

The "not having money" is a limiting belief in this case that covers for other limiting beliefs; fear of actually receiving, or fear of not being worthy to receive. When we start to strip away limiting beliefs, we have more space to look at what truth's we're really holding. If we say, "I do have money. I can find the money for anything," then we are forced to consider the opportunities that come up from a deeper vantage point. We have to ask if we truly want to experience them, and face the resistances that limiting beliefs impose.

Common core limiting beliefs are usually linked to some terrible unspoken outcome:

  • I'm not got enough (so I will fail and everyone will ostracize me and I will die alone).

  • People will judge me if I do it, and then I will be ostracized and die alone).

  • Someone else is already doing it better than me, and if I try, I will fail.

  • If I am my true self in front others, I will be judged and rejected.

  • If I open myself up to my true desires, I may be heartbroken and I couldn't survive.

  • If I succeed, others will become jealous or angry, and I will lose those I love.

  • If I do better than those who raised me, I will outshine them, and that will hurt them.

As you can see from the short examples above, many limiting beliefs are connected to our emotional experience of being human, and connected to safety. Part of how we have survived for thousands of years, is by relying on community to stay alive in harsh times. Because of this, social and familial conditioning can have a deep impact on how safe we feel, doing things. Even if your brain knows that you are perfectly able to success and be yourself, if your emotional body (or inner child) feels that there is any danger whatsoever, then this danger becomes amplified, making it hard to trust your path and do you work.

Because of this, it's important to address limiting beliefs as soon as they are recognized. Be kind and gentle with yourself in clearing them.

How To Clear Your Limiting Beliefs

You can clear limiting beliefs using the nentatsu-ho exercise taught in Reiki training. You can also write down a belief once you recognize it isn't serving you, and then re-work your mindset around those beliefs. Replace the old beliefs with new affirmations. Use Reiki to help clear the old mental pathway.

This may include beliefs around money, self-worth, love, what you are allowed to receive in relationships, work, etc. If you didn't have at least one good role model in childhood, it's likely you have limiting beliefs that were passed on by authority figures. Take time each week in your healing practice to identify and clear whatever beliefs are stopping you from creating a long term stability and foundation of well-being. If you need more support, you can always reach out to me for a private session.




DAILEY LITTLE is a healing practitioner, transformational life coach, ordained Priestess, and teacher who founded Healing Heart Reiki to help others navigate life with joy. She offers private sessions, and teaches classes in healing and mindset from a magical peaceful corner of the world in Northern California. For more info see:

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