How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs and Negative Thought Patterns
How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs and Negative Thought Patterns

How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs and Negative Thought Patterns

Strategies to Shift Your Mindset and Attract Positivity


I am not sure about yourself, but for me, I have spent far more time thinking and dealing with negative thought patterns that I really would like to admit. Regardless if you have been dealing with breakups, setbacks, pitfalls and a host of other day to day crap that life can throw your way, the chances are that you have had to deal with how to overcome limiting beliefs more then you want to admit as well.

We all have negative thoughts and beliefs that can hold us back from achieving our goals and living our best lives. These limiting beliefs can come from past experiences, childhood programming, or societal conditioning. However, they don’t have to control us. By shifting our mindset and adopting new strategies, we can overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns, and attract positivity into our lives.

During this article, we will look at some of the first steps that you can implement into your life, use to change your habits, and alter your thought patterns to overcome and push forward past these blockages. These steps are going to serve as a foundation, as stepping stones to what we often find as a journey of a lifetime. There will be a large number of ideas presented that we hope you will find both useful and encouraging.

Defining Limiting Beliefs

Before you can overcome limiting beliefs, you must first take a look at what those “limiting beliefs” are, where they often come from and how we get them in the first place.

Limiting beliefs are beliefs we hold about ourselves, others, or the world that restrict us in some way. These beliefs are often negative, and they can hold us back from achieving our goals and reaching our full potential. Some common limiting beliefs include “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not smart enough,” or “I’m not deserving of success.”

Many of these beliefs are unfortunately installed within us at extremely young ages. These can often be seen with a simple observance of those around you. Just watch as a parent tells their child “they can’t do something”. or when a teacher inadvertently tells a student “they are not good enough”. The entire process of bullying in fact often deeply employs such teasing and berating behavior patterns among one’s own peer group.

In many cases, these beliefs are done on purpose, such as from those who might be jealous, envious, or cruel, such as a girl telling a boy “he’s ugly”. While in many other cases, they are simply the cause and effect of someone else’s own negative belief patterns that have been transferred to us through normal day-to-day contact, such as when a well-meaning grandmother tells you “Money doesn’t grow on tree you know”.

Identifying Negative Thought Patterns

Because limited and negative belief patterns can in fact be applied to us throughout our lifetime, and by just about anyone we interact with, being able to identify their source may in fact be harder then we would like to assume.

Negative thought patterns are recurring patterns of negative thinking that can reinforce limiting beliefs. These patterns can include catastrophizing, black-and-white thinking, and negative self-talk. For example, if you make a mistake at work, you might think “I’m a failure,” or “I’ll never be good enough.” These thoughts can then lead to feelings of anxiety, self-doubt, and depression.

As an adult, I have often found myself thinking back upon this concept often. Which beliefs are mine and mine alone, or was I told something based on someone else’s limiting beliefs? Let’s consider for a moment, a persons mindset when it comes to money.

In his book, Dr. Stanley tells the story of a man named Tony, who grew up in a low-income household with a father who constantly told him that “money doesn’t grow on trees.” Tony’s father was a hardworking man, but he believed that money was scarce and that it was difficult to earn a living. Tony internalized this belief and carried it with him into his adult life.

Despite working hard and earning a good income, Tony struggled to accumulate wealth. He always felt like he was living paycheck to paycheck and never had enough money to invest or save for the future. It wasn’t until he attended a financial seminar that he realized how much his father’s limiting belief had held him back.

T. Harv Eker, in his book “The Secrets of The Millionaire Mindset”, shares a story about a woman named Lisa who had trouble accumulating wealth despite earning a good income. Lisa grew up in a family that always struggled with money, which made her believe that money was scarce and hard to come by. But when Lisa attended a seminar on financial success, she realized that her childhood programming was holding her back. She learned how to adopt a new belief system that emphasized abundance and opportunity. By taking action and creating a new, empowering mindset, Lisa was able to pay off her debts, save money, and even start her own business within a few years. Her story shows how our beliefs about money can shape our financial reality and how it’s possible to overcome limiting beliefs and attract success by shifting our mindset.

While money is not the only limiting belief that we can have, it often is one that is easiest to relate to. If you were to search for more then a few moments, you too will likely find tons of examples within your own childhood where you were likely to be bombarded with these same concepts. Or even worse, as an adult you may see that you yourself have spent much time passing these same negative thought patterns down to your own children.

The Impact of Limiting Beliefs and Negative Thought Patterns

But so what. We all have limiting beliefs, what else is new? Why should it matter that I have a limiting belief? Well, because it prevents you from being the best version of you that you can be. That’s why.

Limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns can have a significant impact on our lives. They can hold us back from pursuing our dreams, damage our relationships, and cause us to feel stuck or trapped. They can also lead to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

I know it is tough to want to think about this topic, believe me, I have been there so many times within my own life. However, let’s do just a moment of deep thinking here for a second. I want you to imagine any one limiting belief that you might have. For the sake of this test, let’s pick one of these three commonly felt limiting beliefs listed below:

  • Lack of Money: Your not made of money, money doesn’t grow on trees, your broke, you’ll always be broke.
  • Relationships: Your not my type, you’re a dweeb, you are an ugly duckling.
  • Self-Image: You’re not good enough for that job, you’ll never be a good dad, your so dumb.

Chances are you can relate to onw or more of those. I know I have been there on all of them at one time of my life or another. Now, I want you to imagine how much your life could or would have changed if you had the “opposite viewpoint” of whichever belief you resonate with.

I know it can be a leap of faith for many, but let it sink in for a moment, as it will impact your life going forward. You are capable of changing any and every belief that you presently hold. They are after all, your beliefs, or are they?

Strategies to Overcome Limiting Beliefs and Negative Thought Patterns

Much like the above section where we have to be able to identify that we have these limiting beliefs, we have to recognize that we can in fact change any belief that we are not happy with. Consider that this is about you, not me. I am not interested in changing your beliefs to match my own, but to guide you into understanding that the beliefs you might have, might not in fact be yours either. If you are happy being broke, lacking self-confidence, or dragging yourself through the drudgery of existence, then by all means you are welcome to stay there.

Author Dale Carnegie, in his book, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, said:

“If half a century of living has taught me anything at all, it has taught me that “nothing can bring you peace but yourself””

Source: Carnegie, D. (1990). How to stop worrying and start living. Simon and Schuster.

It’s not up to me to change your mind, but in fact it is up to you to change your own thought patterns and to decide if you want more out of life then you already have. Should you want more, then please continue reading as we look into what steps you can take to continue this journey of inner growth.

Here are eight strategies to help you overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns:

1. Challenge Your Beliefs

The first step in overcoming limiting beliefs is to identify them and then challenge them. Ask yourself questions such as “Is this belief true?” or “What evidence do I have to support this belief?” You may find that your limiting beliefs are not based in reality, and that they are holding you back unnecessarily.

2. Practice Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk involves replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Instead of saying “I’m not good enough,” try saying “I am capable and deserving of success.” This may feel unnatural at first, but over time it can help rewire your brain to think more positively.

3. Visualization

Visualization involves imagining yourself achieving your goals and living your best life. This can help you stay motivated and focused on the positive outcomes you want to achieve.

4. Gratitude

Practicing gratitude involves focusing on the positive things in your life and expressing gratitude for them. This can help shift your focus away from negative thoughts and towards the good things in your life.

Additional resources on Gratitude:

5. Affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself. For example, “I am worthy of love and happiness.” Repeat these statements daily to help reinforce positive beliefs about yourself.

For more on Affirmations check out these additional resources:

6. Journaling

Journaling can help you process your thoughts and emotions, and identify negative thought patterns. Write down your thoughts and feelings, and then challenge any negative beliefs you have.

7. Seek Professional Help

If you are struggling to overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns on your own, consider seeking professional help. A therapist or counselor can provide you with the support and tools you need to overcome these obstacles.

  • Psychology Today – This website provides a directory of licensed therapists and counselors who can help individuals work through limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – NAMI is a national organization that provides resources and support for individuals dealing with mental health challenges, including limiting beliefs. They offer support groups, educational resources, and a helpline.
  • International Coaching Federation (ICF) – The ICF is a professional organization that provides training and certification for coaches who can help individuals identify and overcome limiting beliefs. They offer a directory of certified coaches on their website.

8. Surround Yourself with Positive People

Surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. Avoid people who are negative or critical, as they can reinforce your limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns.

“Your mindset matters. It affects everything – from the business decisions you make, to the way you interact with your loved ones, to your overall happiness and well-being. If you want to overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns, start by recognizing that your mindset is not set in stone. You have the power to change it, and when you do, everything in your life will change for the better.” (Burchard, 2020, p. 25)

Source: Burchard, B. (2020). High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way. Hay House.

Tips for Shifting Your Mindset and Attracting Positivity

Here are five tips to help you shift your mindset and attract positivity into your life:

1. Cultivate a Positive Attitude

Focus on the positive things in your life, and try to see the good in every situation. This can help you stay optimistic and hopeful, even in difficult times. Having a positive attitude is crucial when it comes to overcoming limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Focus on the positive aspects of your life, rather than dwelling on the negative.
  • Try to see the good in every situation, even if it seems challenging.
  • Maintain a sense of optimism and hope, even during difficult times.
  • Cultivate a gratitude practice by regularly acknowledging the good things in your life.
  • Surround yourself with positive influences, such as supportive friends and family, uplifting media, and inspiring role models.

2. Focus on Solutions Rather Than Problems

When faced with a challenge, focus on finding a solution rather than dwelling on the problem. This can help you stay proactive and in control of your life. Instead of getting caught up in negative thoughts and emotions when faced with a problem, try to shift your focus towards finding a solution. By doing so, you’ll be more proactive and take control of your life.

  • When you encounter a problem, acknowledge it and assess the situation.
  • Rather than dwelling on the problem, start brainstorming potential solutions.
  • Consider the pros and cons of each potential solution and choose the one that seems most effective.
  • Take action and implement your chosen solution, and stay open to making adjustments if needed.

The book by Dale Carnegie listed earlier, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, touches on these concepts in great detail. There are far to many key concepts to list in this article, as the book covers many relevant topics to prevent you from worrying about those things that you cannot change.

3. Practice Self-Care

Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. This can include things like getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and practicing mindfulness. One of the ways to overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns is by practicing self-care. This involves taking care of oneself physically, mentally, and emotionally. It includes various activities such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and practicing mindfulness.

  • Prioritize self-care to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
  • Get adequate sleep to promote mental clarity and focus.
  • Eat a balanced and nutritious diet to fuel your body and mind.
  • Incorporate regular exercise to promote physical health and release endorphins that improve mood.
  • Practice mindfulness to cultivate a sense of peace, focus, and awareness.

Do not automatically equate this with “going to the Gym”, or becoming a “gym-rat”, but consider just taking a more active role in “preventative maintenance” of your own body, mind and soul. We often forget that we have but one body in this lifetime. Until science catches up with science-fiction, we are stuck with the body we take care of for the rest of our lives. We really should do better at taking care of it.

4. Set Goals and Take Action

Setting goals can help you stay motivated and focused on what you want to achieve. Break your goals down into small, manageable steps, and then take action towards achieving them.

  • Set specific, achievable goals
  • Break down your goals into small, manageable steps
  • Take action towards achieving your goals, even if it’s just a small step

Hopefully there have been moments of achievement during your lifetime so far. Often we immediately feel better once we accomplish even the smallest of “wins”. What you may find out is that as you begin removing your limited beliefs, practice more gratitude, and become more positive, that you begin reaching more goals. This has the benefit of an “upward spiral”. The more times you “win”, even those small win, will in fact boost your confidence, increase your self-esteem, and ultimately lead to even greater success. This positive cycle will continue as you gain momentum, and your beliefs about what is possible for yourself expand. With persistence and determination, you can continue to achieve more and more. Remember, success breeds success.

As the author T. Harv Eker said in his book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”:

‘Whatever you focus on expands. When you focus on the goodness in life, you create more of it.’ ” (Eker, 2005, p. 71)

Source: Eker, T. H. (2005). Secrets of the millionaire mind: Mastering the inner game of wealth. Harper Collins.

5. Surround Yourself with Positive Influences

Surround yourself with people, activities, and things that bring you joy and positivity. This can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals, and can help you maintain a positive attitude.

  • Surround yourself with positive people, activities, and things that bring you joy and positivity.
  • Avoid negative influences that can bring you down and make it harder to maintain a positive attitude.
  • Seek out sources of inspiration and motivation to help keep you on track towards achieving your goals.

Much like the previous section, the more positive people that you hang around with, the more that positivity rubs off on you. One of my favorite motivational speakers, Jim Rohn, was quoted on many occasions with:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Source: Rohn, J. (1981). Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle. Jim Rohn International.

This is often meant to look more at a personal finances, such as “broke people have a tendency to have other broke friends”, such as te adage of “a birds of a a feather, flock together”. When you consider that limiting beliefs are often conditioned responses to those you are associated with, you may need to spend some time looking at those around you and how their beliefs affect your life.


Well, folks, we’ve covered a lot of ground today. From the power of positive thinking to the importance of self-care, we’ve explored some of the most effective strategies for overcoming limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns. We’ve heard from some of the greatest minds in the field, from Jim Rohn to Dale Carnegie, and we’ve learned that it’s never too late to start living the life we want.

But here’s the thing: all the books, quotes, and strategies in the world won’t help us if we don’t take action. It’s up to us to challenge our beliefs, cultivate positivity, and surround ourselves with supportive influences. It’s up to us to take care of our bodies, minds, and spirits, and to set goals that inspire us. And it’s up to us to celebrate our wins, no matter how small they may seem.

So, my friends, let’s make a commitment to ourselves today. Let’s commit to living with intention, to pursuing our passions, and to being kind to ourselves and others along the way. Let’s challenge our limiting beliefs and embrace the possibility of a brighter future. And let’s remember that the power to create positive change in our lives is always within our grasp.

Thank you for joining me on this journey, and I wish you all the best on your path to personal growth and fulfillment.


  1. How do I know if I have limiting beliefs?
    • If you find yourself repeatedly telling yourself negative things or feeling stuck in certain areas of your life, you may have limiting beliefs.
  2. How long does it take to overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns?
    • The time it takes to overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns varies from person to person. It can take weeks, months, or even years to fully overcome them.
  3. Can I overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns on my own?
    • While it’s possible to overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns on your own, it can be helpful to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor.
  4. How do I stay motivated to overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns?
    • Setting goals, surrounding yourself with positivity, and practicing self-care can help you stay motivated and focused on overcoming limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns.
  5. Can I use these strategies to help others overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns?
    • Yes, these strategies can be helpful for anyone looking to overcome limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns. However, it’s important to approach these conversations with empathy and sensitivity.


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