Aug 8, 2023

4 Toxic Limiting Beliefs Holding You Back from Success

Have you ever caught yourself thinking thoughts that limit your future possibilities? I know I have. In fact, most of us do at some point or another. I’m not sure why or when those thoughts started for each of us, but somewhere along the way, we heard messages that planted limiting beliefs deep into our psyche, preventing us from reaching our aspirational goals.

Today we will explore a few limiting beliefs that might have crept into your mind and some ways we can counteract those beliefs with what we call “expansive beliefs” so you can reach your fullest potential.

Please know that we are not licensed mental health counselors or life coaches. However, we are fellow women sojourning with you in this life on a mission to allow our inner lights to shine bright as we encourage others to do as well.

Middle Eastern woman in gray sweater and white curtain background; Boudoir for Life Coaches by Lindsay Hite

What are limiting beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are suppressive recurring thought patterns that prevent us from pursuing our dreams to the fullest. They might have initially come from parents, societal conditioning, friends, religion, or even a stranger’s comments. They sit there, in our minds, lurking under the surface of our being, telling us that our ideas of who we are and who we can become are unachievable.

It’s time to shatter the glass ceilings of our own making. 

We’ve all heard the phrase “the sky’s the limit” alluding to the concept that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. Unfortunately, for many of us, there is a self-imposed glass ceiling to our dreams rooted in limiting beliefs. I chose the phrase, “glass ceiling” purposefully, as it is often associated with women who are breaking the patriarchal mold and accomplishing their dreams. 

Let’s take a twist on this illusion. As children, we were taught that we can accomplish anything we can dream of, to the sky and beyond. For many of us, at one point we believed that. But in the reaching, we found ourselves up against invisible barriers buried in our own minds, confining us and preventing our expansion. We could see our dreams yet were blocked, unable to see the barricade.

Our limiting beliefs are glass ceilings of our own making.  

It’s time to make a shift. It’s time to think beyond the glass ceiling, through the sky, and into the very stars themselves. For that to happen, we must examine and dismantle the internal, and often subconscious, narratives that hinder our expansion.

Can you imagine the kind of world we can create for ourselves as individuals, as women, and as a community if we succeed in releasing our limiting beliefs? I get goosebumps just thinking about it!

As we look at just a few of the limiting beliefs you might encounter within yourself, we encourage you to pause and reflect on the source of that messaging and how you can counteract those ideologies. 

Woman in black bra against a black background with stars projected on her.  Boudoir Photography by Lindsay Hite

Limiting Belief #1: “I’m not _______________ enough.”

This limiting belief is quite pervasive. It can include ideas such as “I’m not tall enough, short enough, talented enough, tough enough, funny enough, kind enough, feminine enough, brilliant enough, etc.”  

We encounter this idea in our minds on repeat and in the messaging we receive. Our lack of enoughness motivates us to purchase that product, invest in that program, and remake ourselves in order to fit the mold. This limiting belief prevents us from believing in our worth, our skills, and our unique essence that is to be shared with the world. 

It preys upon the idea that perfection, not only can be achieved, but must be achieved. The beauty of life, however, is that we are all wonderfully messy and imperfect with something unique and special to share with our communities. We are truly enough, just as we are, right now. We are enough for the task before us at this moment, for the dreams we have, and for the challenges that might arise in our future. We are enough right now.

Counteract this limiting belief with the following expansive thoughts (that may become beliefs).  

I am enough just as I am.  

In my enoughness, I matter and have a uniqueness that deserves to be shared with the world.

Woman in black bra on belly with a black background.  Boudoir photography by Lindsay Hite

Limiting Belief #2: “I’m too __________________.”

The limiting belief that “I’m too __________________.” speaks to the idea that we are “more” than what has been deemed acceptable by those around us. It gives the idea that we have taken up more space than we have a right to take and that we must shrink ourselves in order to fit into society. If we buy into this limiting belief, we might think we are too tall, big, loud, quiet, weak, strong, patient, angry, assertive, confident, shy, insecure, and so on. Very deep in this limiting belief is the idea that to be “successful” we must look like carbon copies of the best versions of each other- a carbon copy of a person that isn’t rooted in reality!

Counteract this limiting belief with the following expansive thoughts (that may become beliefs).  

I am perfect just as I am. 

I am allowed to take up space and play big in this world.

Artistic nude of a blonde woman over 40.  Boudoir Photography by Lindsay Hite.

Limiting Belief #3: “I can’t ____________________. “

We hear this limiting belief often in casual conversations. “I can’t cook. I can’t sing. I can’t take photos. I can’t dance. I can’t write. I can’t start my own business. I can’t travel. I can’t do this on my own. I can’t _______ .“ 

Again, at some point this idea of incapacity became planted in our minds either from the statements of others or from past experiences, leading to core beliefs in our inabilities. This limiting belief narrows the array of future possibilities and shrinks our comfort zone. Believing “I can’t ___________” feeds our insecurities and fear of failure. It keeps us playing small. It is also an obstinate declaration against the possibility that things could be different or that we could grow beyond the confines of who we think we are and what we think we are capable of becoming. 

Counteract this limiting belief with the following expansive beliefs. 

I can make small progress today toward something bigger in the future

I can start here with what I have now

I can teach myself new things and expand beyond my current borders.

Woman in a brightly colored dress sitting on the floor against a teal sofa.  Boudoir photography by Lindsay Hite.

Limiting Belief #4: “I’ve never _____________ .” or “I’ll never______.”

Most of our limiting beliefs are rooted in the past through experiences, messages we’ve received, or ideologies passed down generationally. This limiting belief of “I’ve never done ________” or “I’ll never_________” ties us to our past, unable and unwilling to expand beyond what has always been. In this limiting belief, we find the underlying idea that our past behaviors predict our future. It does not take into account our evolution, expansion, growth, healing, or enlightenment journeys. By living in the “nevers,” the world becomes closed with no room to experiment, gain unique life experiences, or try new things. 

Counteract this limiting belief with the following expansive beliefs. 

I am open to new ideas and experiences. 

My past does not determine my future.

Side by Side image of two separate woman again a rose and black background. On the left, a woman in black lingerie and red heels standing.  On the right, a woman in a blue body suit sitting in a red velvet chair.  Boudoir photography by Lindsay Hite.

Replace Your Limiting Beliefs with Expansive Beliefs

We invite you to spend some time sitting with these ideas, rooting out their source, identifying them in your current mental narrative and external dialogue, and beginning to take steps to counteract them. 

As you do so, we encourage you to observe your body’s reactions and responses to kinds of thoughts and feel your way through the emotions of both. At first, the expansive beliefs might feel uncomfortable. That’s okay. Sit with that and ask yourself why. Then, envision a future where you reside more often in the expansive beliefs than the limiting beliefs. 

Here are a few thought prompts that you can use to guide you in the process:

  1. When did I first hear or begin to believe this limiting belief? Whose voice is that belief coming from? How does that belief feel inside my body? Where does that belief live inside my body?
  1. What expansive belief can I use to counteract this limiting belief? When I declare the expansive belief, what is my body’s response? Where do I feel that response in my body?
  1. When I envision a future based on expansive beliefs, what do I see? What am I doing? How am I “being” as a result of those expansive beliefs? What does it feel like to be in those expansive beliefs? Where in my body does that expansion live?

Remember you are strong, courageous, and one of a kind. Never stop showing your spark! 

Side by side of two different women wearing body jewelry against a black background.  Boudoir photography by Lindsay Hite

We can help!

If you are ready to set aside some of your limiting beliefs and embrace the fullness of yourself through photography, contact us! We would be honored to help you see yourself through different eyes. A Spark Session might be just the ticket to helping you set aside your limiting beliefs once and for all!  At Show Your Spark, our mission is to empower women to tap into their confidence, strength, and intuition through empowering photography sessions that help women see themselves for who they really are without the limiting beliefs broadcast to us by society and culture. 

Here’s what to expect when you contact us

  1. Schedule a free consultation call to have all your questions answered and start planning your Spark Experience.
  2. Select a Spark Session date that fits your schedule.
  3. Rock the session like the bright light you are, and create beautiful, tangible artwork to inspire you for the rest of your life.

Curious about having your own empowering session?

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