Wooden blocks with words of limiting beliefs on each one

Limiting Beliefs Transformed: One Leg At A Time

Limiting beliefs—doubts about our abilities, our worth, and our competence—can significantly hold us back.. Time for change!


Embarking on a career change is a significant decision that requires careful, informed planning. It’s important to recognise that one of the major hurdles to a successful career shift often lies within our own self-imposed limitations. These limiting beliefs—doubts about our abilities, our worth, and our competence—can significantly hold us back. They can slow us down or, in more extreme cases, completely halt our journey towards change.

Interestingly, these deeply ingrained beliefs typically stem from our internal interpretations of past experiences rather than factual evidence. At their core, they’re rooted in fear: fear of inadequacy, concern over others’ perceptions, and the dread of rejection or failure. Such fears can be paralysing, preventing us from pursuing our aspirations.

Let’s delve into practical strategies for identifying and reshaping these negative beliefs.

Understanding Beliefs

Tony Robbins provides a compelling analogy for understanding beliefs: envision them as tables. The table top symbolises the belief, while the legs represent the experiences or “evidence” that support it. For instance, beliefs like “I’m too old to start anew” or “Employers won’t hire someone of my age” often reflect concerns about societal norms or perceived age biases. Yet, just as a table requires sturdy legs to stand, a belief needs solid evidence to remain unchallenged.

Repeated experiences reinforcing a belief make it more entrenched, akin to a deeply worn groove on a vinyl record where the needle gets stuck.

Challenging Limiting Beliefs

First, consider how much influence you truly have over societal norms or recruitment biases. While external factors are largely beyond your control, you do have significant control over your internal landscape.

Tony Robbins suggests that to change limiting beliefs, we must “dismantle the legs” that support them. This involves critical self-reflection and questioning the validity of the “evidence” we’ve collected.

I appreciate this metaphor for its illustration of the mutable nature of beliefs. They are constructed from our experiences and interpretations, meaning they can also be deconstructed and transformed. By re-evaluating our experiences or perceptions, we can replace outdated beliefs with empowering new ones.

Identifying Limiting Beliefs

The journey to overcoming limiting beliefs begins with acknowledgment. It’s crucial to recognise these beliefs without shame and without avoiding. They must be confronted directly, as they will continue to impede your growth and hinder your pursuit of change.

Start by listing your beliefs related to career change. What fears or doubts do you have about the industry you’re considering, your transferable skills, or your adaptability? Often, these beliefs manifest as reasons “why you can’t do something.” Pay attention to how these thoughts affect your feelings and confidence.

Recall my own experience when starting an online business, plagued by doubts about my technical skills and marketing abilities. Yet, here I am, more than a decade later, successfully running my business. This illustrates that while those voices and feelings are real, they can and must be challenged if we are to grow.

Questioning Beliefs

Next, examine the strength of the evidence supporting your beliefs. Are they based on personal experiences, or do they echo someone else’s fears? Challenging these beliefs and seeking new, supportive evidence can lead to profound shifts. For example, a client who overcame her fear of career change, previously influenced by her father’s cautionary advice, found new confidence by reframing her beliefs and embracing her potential for creativity and innovation.

Reframing and Rebuilding

If your beliefs are founded on weak or unreliable “evidence,” it’s time for a change. Seek out counter-examples, such as stories of people who have successfully switched careers at various ages. Use these stories to construct new, empowering beliefs.

Creating positive affirmations and taking concrete steps towards your new career path can reinforce this reframing process. Actions aligned with your new beliefs will strengthen them, building confidence in your capabilities.

Cultivating Confidence

Adopting positive self-affirmation as a habit, and continuously challenging and reshaping your beliefs, is vital for navigating career transitions. Celebrating small victories and setting achievable goals will build momentum and confidence.

Maintaining a positive outlook and employing affirmations to combat disempowering beliefs will keep you motivated and proactive. Change is always within reach, and with the right mindset and strategies, you can surmount any obstacle and achieve the career satisfaction you seek.

Are you prepared to reconstruct your belief system?

Links For You

Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! Tony Robbins (1992) Simon & Schuster

Happen to Your Career: An Unconventional Approach to Career Change and Meaningful Work, Scott Anthony Barlow, Happen Publishing 2022

The Squiggly Career: Helen Tupper & Sarah Ellis, Penguin, 2022

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