Unlocking Potential: Identifying and Overcoming Your Limiting Beliefs

Jul 06, 2023

When was the last time you second guessed yourself, told yourself you couldn't do something, or thought that (promotion, opportunity, conversation) is not for me?


 In the realm of leadership, the impact of beliefs cannot be underestimated. It begs the question what do you believe to be true about yourself?


Our beliefs shape our thoughts, attitudes, and actions, directly impacting our ability to lead ourself and others. While some beliefs empower us to reach new heights, others act as invisible barriers or speed bumps. These are our limiting beliefs and they have the ability to hold us back from realising our full potential. As a leader, the ability to identify and challenge our limiting beliefs creates a path for growth, both for yourself and your team. In this weeks Evolved Leader, we will explore the concept of limiting beliefs, their potential impact, and strategies to identify and overcome them, enabling you to become a more effective and impactful leader.


Understanding our Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs are deeply ingrained thoughts or ideas about ourself that limit our thinking, behavior, and decision-making processes. These beliefs often stem from past experiences, cultural influences, societal norms, or fear of failure. They create (unrealised) self-imposed barriers that restrict our personal and professional growth, stop us from exploring new opportunities and fulfilling our true potential. The thing is that we all have them, we just need to tune into what they are and where they are keeping us safe.

Limiting Beliefs and Leadership

Limiting beliefs can undermine our self-confidence, leading us to get stuck in self-doubt and be reluctant to take risks. As a leader, this can impact your ability to make decisions, grab opportunities, and drive innovation within your team.

Beliefs and self talk such as "no-one listens to me" or "I'm not good with numbers" can restrict your ability to envision new possibilities or see how they may be possible for you and find innovative solutions to complex challenges.

Limiting beliefs can unknowingly influence your interactions with team members, resulting in limited relationship building, low trust, and a lack of collaboration. Recognizing and addressing these beliefs can foster a more inclusive and empowering work environment.

Not only can limiting beliefs affect what we see for ourselves it can impact what others see us being capable of.


Identifying Limiting Beliefs

To overcome limiting beliefs, you must first be aware where they exist for you.

To identify and challenge your own limiting beliefs there are some simple things you can do:

-      Dedicate time for reflection and examine your thoughts, emotions, and patterns of behavior,

-      Pay attention to recurring negative thoughts or any instances where you feel restricted or held back,

-      Seek Feedback: Engage in open and honest conversations with trusted colleagues, mentors, or coaches who can provide objective insights and support you to identify patterns or beliefs that may be holding you back,

-      Maintain a journal to capture your thoughts, doubts, and fears. Reflecting on your thoughts can help reveal underlying limiting beliefs and enable you to challenge and reframe them.

Overcoming Limiting Beliefs:

Once you have identified your limiting beliefs, it's time to take action and reframe them into a different perspective that gives you a foundation of continuous improvement:

1. Reframe and Rethink: Challenge the validity of your limiting beliefs by questioning where they came from, what evidence supports them, and their impact. Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations and reframed statements that reflect what is real.

2. Embrace Growth Mindset: Cultivate a growth mindset that thrives on continuous learning and improvement. Believe that abilities and skills can be developed through effort and dedication, allowing you to break free from self-imposed limitations and reframe failures as opportunities to learn.

3. Take Small Steps: Begin by taking small, manageable actions aligned with your desired outcome. Each step forward will reinforce your confidence and gradually reduce the impact of your limiting beliefs.

4. Build Self Belief: Surround yourself with a supportive network of individuals who believe in your potential and encourage your growth. Collaborate with mentors, coaches, or like-minded peers who can provide guidance and accountability.


As a leader, understanding and addressing limiting beliefs is essential for personal growth and effective leadership. By identifying and challenging these beliefs, you can expand your horizons and realise the full potential for you and your team.


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