How are limiting beliefs created in the mind? -

How are limiting beliefs created in the mind?

6 Answers

Lisa Philyaw
You can do your work, your way, with soul. Learn to trust yourself and tap into your inner wisdom so you can fully show up in your work with confidence. I'm a Career and Life Coach, and I can help

A belief is a thought that we see as true and that we continually reinforce.

So then, how do these form?

This is both conscious and subconscious.

Below I'll explain the process of how we come to think what we think. Then, I'll guide you through how this creates limiting beliefs and what you can do to break the cycle.

Let's dive in!

It is estimated that our brain takes in over 2 million bits of a data at a time. This is way too much to consciously process at once. So it filters out the input.

It does so through 3 primary approaches:
1 - Deletes: Data that doesn't match our past stories is filtered out and deleted so we don't have that input brought to our conscious attention.
2 - Distorts: data gets adjusted to match what happened to us in the past and our past interpretations as a means to prove ourselves right and make sense of the world.
3 - Generalize: Data that could be similar to past situations we've been in gets generalized so the same conclusions we made in the past can fit the situation we're in now.

Through this filtering, we then come to a conclusion and have a thought about the experience we're in. But this thought isn't objective - it's based on the filtering process we just went through. So if our past experiences, memories, interpretations, and thoughts were not supportive, and we are using that to determine and filter how we think now, then our result is we end up further supporting past limiting thoughts. The thought gets repeated and strengthened, becoming our beliefs.

You may be wondering, where did these thoughts and beliefs that we filter our experiences through come from?

Here's where it all started.

Between the ages of 0-7 our brainwaves are not the same as when we are adults, and those brainwaves are set up so that we easily take in information around us. This is evolutionary to help us quickly learn and grow and survive - but it also means that we aren't questioning what we're taking in. We learn from the authority figures around us what is right and what is wrong, and we don't have the prefrontal cortex developed enough to consciously decide if we want to take in that approach. So, we end up adopting the mindset (aka thoughts and beliefs) of those around us.

And those mindsets become our memories that we then use as our filters throughout our lives to take in more data.

But we aren't trapped by this programming. We can break the cycle.

It starts with awareness.

This doesn't mean we have to know the specific memories or reasons behind each limiting belief. Instead, we can simply know the themes of what is showing up for us. How we're thinking and feeling in a particular moment. I help my clients do this by helping them see the stories they're in - stories they believe are reality, but are simply the beliefs they didn't know they had.

Then, we need to do subconscious release work. This means releasing the emotional and mental patterns of the past. This is where coaching can be incredibly beneficial. As a Coach, I help you bring some of those patterns to the conscious level.

Finally, the third step is change from a soul-aligned space. This is where you get to adopt your new beliefs. Ones supportive to you that align with your soul and your inner guidance system. Here, I work with clients in Inner Voice sessions. This is where I guide you through a process that allows you to tap into your Inner Voice (also referred to as the Higher Self, True Self, Inner Soul, Inner Being). In this way, you break past the limits of the past and instead live from a soul-aligned space.

This is how limiting beliefs form and how to break free from them.

If this is resonating with you and you are ready for guided support, then schedule a free 60-minute consultation with me. We'll dive into your mind, uncover some of the limits you're placing on yourself, and develop a tailored coaching program to support you.

Go to and click "Free Consultation" to schedule your consult.

Elizabeth Sherman
Ceritfied Life & Weight Loss Coach

Let's define beliefs first - beliefs are sentences in our brain that we think over & over again. Beliefs become the lens that we view the world from. Often, we think that beliefs are facts, but most of the time, they're opinions. Limiting beliefs are beliefs that don't serve us. And often, we don't even realize that we have these thoughts - or that they're keeping us from achieving our goals. The majority of our beliefs are given to us from parents, teachers, friends or others before the age of 7. We absorb the beliefs of authority not questioning it. But now that we're adults, we get to decide if those thoughts are helpful - and if they're not, we can choose to adopt different beliefs - ones that DO serve us and our goals.

Sabina Maez
I am an acupuncturist. I inspire and support people to live at their highest potential by transforming their health and life experience.

I agree with Ian Hymans. We are programmed during childhood. We often take on similar limiting beliefs as our parents, care givers and society/culture we grow up in. These aren't easy to unlearn, but definitely possible! We have so much potential as human beings and can get to where ever we choose.

Body Whisperer

A belief is a belief, if it is limiting you, you want to ask yourselves why you have put that limit on your life and if it's not you, it was educated by your parent, educators, or culture you live in. It can be tricky to reprogram the mind, you need to address the multiple facet of the belief ( physical - yes our body holds memory, emotions and mental).
I have a short online program that can help you.

I'm a passionate hypnotherapist and integrative life coach. I love what I do! This work transformed my life and can do the same for you!

Hypnotherapy is a wonderful way to explore and rewire subconscious "scripts" and beliefs. Using a combination of CBT and hypnotherapy is a wonderful way to facilitate deep, sustainable transformation.

Ian Hymans
My goal is to empower you by learning to love who you are now and support your growth to reach your maximum potential.

Limiting beliefs are developed during the early childhood years. At that age we absorb information like a sponge but are not taught or told how to process these events. Typically, 4 to 6 childhood experiences involving an intense emotional atmosphere coupled with a traumatic event is what causes the limiting beliefs to be formed on a complete unconscious level. In most cases, people have no idea where the beliefs have come from. Working with a CBT Practitioner to explore, debunk, and take immediate action to reverse these unhealthy habits can have amazing results in a shorter amount of time than some other modalities. Pairing this process with a support system to stay on track can have an amazing impact.

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