• Iain Adenis

Limiting Beliefs



So, you have a passion, a career idea, a moment of clarity about your life, or a moment when you recognise that you really fancy someone! You’re all set to take some action and move toward this rewarding and magical future. Suddenly, you’re stricken with doubts, second guesses, fear and paralysis. What’s happened? Why have you moved from a place of vision, motivation and pulsating energy to a paralysing stop?


Many of us hold onto old and outdated ideas that actually hinder our progress. At some point in our life, these beliefs have served a purpose, usually one of protection from a perceived risk or danger. The old reptilian part of the brain is wired to be 70% negative, to protect us from falling into swamps or the mouths of sabre tooth tigers. But we no longer live in the ice age and our modern-day threats are less life threatening!


Limiting beliefs are beliefs based on a decision we have made about the world or ourselves. They stop us from getting what we want from life by placing blocks in the way of our progress. They can manifest in any time of our lives, but the standard notion is that “if its powerful, it's old.” We often tell ourselves a story about ourselves and how our world looks during very impressionable periods of our life. It’s like putting yourself in front of a powerful computer and programming it with a potent set of instructions…….. commands that will run for the rest of your life. The problem is that the person writing the programme is only 8 years old!

Here are some examples of limiting beliefs:

“I can’t experience warm and loving relationships because I never experienced love as a child”

“My parents were over critical and it has left me feeling unworthy and inadequate”

“I can’t succeed in life because I’ve been told that I give up when the going gets tough”

If we leave these unchecked, they will keep running and popping into our lives to block our progress. We often forget that the things that posed a risk for us in earlier life are no longer a problem, and as a result, we keep doing what we do……. And keep getting what we get! Our progress is slow, often fear based, and those fears are no longer relevant, playing no part in our lives.


So, what’s the solution? First and foremost, you need to become aware of your limiting belief. They are often deep-rooted turning up in all areas of our lives, sometimes so habitually that we can’t even see them! Finding your limiting belief is not time consuming or painful, it’s just about asking the right questions. NLP offers a way to uprooting this, such as Meta framing, where one asks specific questions to look at the precise nature or root cause of your limiting belief. In finding this and understanding how it has an impact on your life, you give yourself wiggle room, and potential to see things from another perspective. You start to see it for what it is (an unhelpful, repetitive mantra) and understand the limitations it places on your life. With some powerful and effective NLP techniques, you can offer your unconscious mind other ways of meeting the need that the limiting belief served. You suddenly have options and opportunities, more useful ways of managing your life, and a freedom from the chains of old and unhelpful thought patterns


Contrary to popular belief, emotional change is not painful, gruelling or time consuming. It is not a hit and miss exercise of looking for possible insights. It is not a matter of re living painful experiences on the hope that you can grow from this pain. It is one of the most magical gifts we can offer ourselves, and by understanding that our emotional growth is organic in nature, we give ourselves permission to flourish as balanced individuals, free from the pains of our past.

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