In 2013, Indian mountain climber Arunima Sinha scaled the daunting slopes of Mount Everest, becoming the world’s first female amputee to achieve this feat.

Her will, commitment and endurance pushed her to achieve her goal, while drowning out all the voices—internal and external—that could have pulled her down. She defeated the limiting beliefs in her life to persevere against all odds. Let’s look at the meaning of limiting beliefs to understand the concept better.

What Are Limiting Beliefs?

Many times, during the course of our lives, our beliefs prevent us from seizing opportunities. We hold back from doing what we love simply because we believe it’s impossible. You may limit yourself from going out into the world or showing people what you’re capable of. These are your limiting beliefs.

Thoughts like “I’m not good enough for my partner”, “I’ll never get accepted because that school is so competitive” or “I can’t leave this job because I won’t find anything better” are a few common examples of limiting beliefs.

If you’ve experienced similar thoughts, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Everyone goes through phases when they’re feeling low and dejected. But the important thing is to recognize that your self-limiting beliefs may be keeping you from realizing your hopes and dreams.

List Of Limiting Beliefs

Acknowledging your limiting beliefs is the first step to overcome them. You may not be aware that your thoughts are standing in the way of you achieving your goals. Let’s look at a list of common limiting beliefs:

  1. Fear Of Failure

Most of us have experienced a fear of failure that keeps us from taking a step in the right direction. You may be averse to taking a test or applying for a job believing that you won’t do well anyway.

  1. Fear Of Being Disliked

This is apparent in social circles. One or two people will always be shy and keep to themselves. People who have a fear of being disliked prefer not to socialize because they think others will judge them.

  1. Thinking That You’re Incapable

When you don’t believe in your abilities and skills, you’re afraid to take on new roles or seek new opportunities. You may believe that you don’t have what it takes to do a good job. It can affect your self-confidence, work performance and career growth.

  1. Focusing On What Others Think Of You

Constantly worrying about how others perceive you can be debilitating. For instance, say that you want to share an idea with your team. But you’re afraid that your team members might think it’s stupid. This can make you feel discouraged and disheartened.

  1. Not Recognizing Self-Worth

Limiting beliefs about yourself may include not recognizing your self-worth. We tend to forget that we are our own cheerleaders. You have to believe in yourself before others can believe in you. If you think you don’t deserve something, in all likelihood, others will think the same way.

Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

Once you’ve recognized your limiting beliefs, it’s time to find ways to defeat them. You have to rise above self-limiting beliefs to accomplish your goals. Nothing is too difficult if you put your mind to it. Whether you think others are putting you down or it’s your own thoughts, there’s always a way to get out of it.

You can transform self-limiting beliefs into positive drivers. One way to do this is by using a variant of the Iceberg Model, developed by author and coach Michael Goldman. According to Goldman’s Iceberg Model, the human mind is divided into two:

  • what you say or do—actions and words or visible elements

  • what you don’t—thoughts, feelings and emotions or invisible elements

Other people can only see the tip of the iceberg, while all your thoughts, feelings and emotions are locked under the surface. Observing your behavior, reflecting on your past and sifting through your thoughts can help you understand and overcome your limiting beliefs. You’ll be compelled to dig deeper and get to the root of why you think a certain way.

If you want to become the best version of yourself, you should be able to influence and mitigate your limiting beliefs. Learn how to understand the negative thoughts that hold you back with Harappa Education’s Leading Self course. Overcome both internal and external obstacles so you can sail through your professional journey. Arming yourself with the right skills and developing a growth mindset will encourage you to overcome challenges.


Explore topics such as What is Self-Esteem, How to Build Self-Worth, Importance of Self-DisciplineHow to be Mentally Strong from Harappa Diaries and learn to trust and value yourself.

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