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  • Writer's pictureJustin Tilghman, Ph.D.

Overcoming Limiting Beliefs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Unlocking Your Full Potential

Self-imposed restrictions known as limiting beliefs prevent us from realizing our full potential. In this blog post, we'll go through a step-by-step process for getting over limiting ideas so you can break free and experience greater growth and development in your life.

What are Limiting Beliefs?

We all have limiting beliefs, which are ideas or opinions we have about other people, ourselves, or the world in general. They frequently result from our upbringing, previous experiences, or cultural influences and might be about our capacities, worthiness, or possibilities. Gaining personal and professional success requires recognizing and dispelling these ideas.

A 4-Step Process for Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

Step 1: Recognize and Identify Your Limiting Beliefs

To overcome limiting beliefs, you first have to become aware of them. Pay attention to your thoughts and language, both internally and externally. Notice when you're using words like "can't," "shouldn't," or "never." Identifying these beliefs is the first step to ultimately being able to break free from them.

Step 2: Challenge and Question Your Limiting Beliefs

Ask yourself if the belief is true and what "real" evidence supports or disproves it. When I say "evidence" I mean concrete evidence, not just feelings. Often, when we examine our limiting beliefs, we find that they're actually based on assumptions, fears, or misconceptions rather than concrete facts. Challenging these beliefs helps weaken their hold on us.

Step 3: Replace Limiting Beliefs with Empowering Ones

Once you've identified and challenged a limiting belief, you also need replace it with a more positive, empowering belief. Frame it in a way that feels authentic and achievable to you. Then, practice referring to that thought, rather than the old, limiting belief. With practice and repetition, the new belief will become more and more second nature.

Step 4: Take Action Based on Your New Beliefs

If you want to break free from limiting beliefs, you have do to more than just change the way you think. Overcoming limiting beliefs requires taking action to reinforce and solidify those new beliefs. For example, if you're working on improving your public speaking skills, join a local Toastmasters club or sign up for a public speaking course. These actions will help you gain confidence, build competence, and reinforce your new, empowering belief.

Reframing Common Limiting Beliefs

So, what does this look like practically? Below, I've provided three of the most common limiting beliefs I've encounted in my life or the life of my clients. With each thought, I provide a quick way to reframe or replace them:

  1. "I'm not good enough" - Replace it with, "I am deserving of success and happiness, and I bring value to the world."

  2. "I don't have enough time" - Reframe it as, "I can prioritize my time to focus on what truly matters to me."

  3. "I'm too old (or young) to start something new" - Replace this belief with, "It's never too late (or too early) to start something new and make a positive change in my life."

Overcoming limiting beliefs is a critical aspect of personal growth and self-improvement. By recognizing and identifying our limiting beliefs, challenging and questioning them, replacing them with empowering beliefs, and taking action to reinforce those new beliefs, we can break free from self-imposed barriers and reach our full potential.

This is one of the key areas in which I provide coaching. If you'd like help overcoming limiting beliefs through one of our coaching programs, click the button below and schedule a free initial call!


Justin is a Board Certified Advanced Life Coach with the Board of Christian Life Coaching, a division of the International Board of Christian Care and the American Association of Christian Counselors. He has demonstrated knowledge and application of biblical integration in coaching, the ICCA and ICF Core Competencies, the Code of Ethics, and the ICF definition of coaching.


Justin is a Board Certified Master Mental Health Coach with the Board of Mental Health Coaching, a division of the International Board of Christian Care and the American Association of Christian Counselors. He has demonstrated knowledge and application of biblical integration in providing ethical and competent mental health coaching.

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