Five Steps To Shift A Limiting Belief

Alissa Finerman headshot[1]Many people think one little tiny thought really doesn’t make that much of a difference. Guess what?? It does!

You decide how you think and what becomes a can or can’t. According to research, our brains can produce upwards of 50,000 thoughts a day. Ninety-nine percent of these thoughts are repeated daily. Your thoughts become your beliefs, which, in turn, become your mindset. Depending on what you believe is possible, you will or won’t take certain actions, which then lead to specific results (e.g., if you think you have no future as a writer, good chance you won’t enroll in a writing class, start a blog or write a book).

Here’s how a belief impacts your results:

Thoughts -> Beliefs -> Mindset -> Actions -> Results

SO for those of you who want different results, you’ll have to start to be more aware of how your thoughts and beliefs impact your choices and actions.

When you have a positive belief, a belief that helps you move toward your potential, versus a limiting belief, a belief that moves you away from your potential, you alter the direction of your life. Sometimes it’s a small curve and other times it’s a major rerouting. Please know that we all have limiting beliefs. You are not alone on this one. The only difference is some people are better at identifying them and re-wording them.

Your individual beliefs are similar to chapters in a book. When you put them all together, you have the belief system that becomes your story. The more you repeat your story, the more you believe it. The more you believe it, the more you become it (e.g., I’m not the type to start a business). Therefore, one seemingly insignificant belief repeated over and over can be the catalyst for all you create in your life or don’t.

Here are a few examples of limiting beliefs:


– The only way I can be happy is if I’m in a relationship

– Relationships are not my thing

– I’m not worthy of having a partner

– I don’t like being vulnerable

– It makes me uncomfortable to ask for something

Healthy Living/Well-being

– I can’t workout in the morning

– I’m not that good at staying on track

– Working out is too hard for me

– I’ll never be able to get in shape given all of my commitments


– I will be successful if I make over a certain amount of money or fill in the blank _______

–  I will be happy when I change jobs

– I’m not good at marketing (I’ve said this one)

– It’s hard to find a job with a boss who is a good manager

– I’m not the creative one

– Being a manager is not for me

The list goes on and on for all of us. What’s interesting is we have different beliefs in different areas of our life, meaning we can have a positive belief in our career (e.g., give me any problem and I can figure out a solution) and then a completely limiting belief about our relationships (e.g., I’m not good with relationships. But you just said in your career that you can figure out solutions).

5 Steps to Shift a Limiting Belief:

1. Take five minutes and write down at least three limiting beliefs you may have in any area of you life (career, relationships, finance and health).

2. Does the belief add or detract from achieving your goals, exploring your potential and enhancing the quality of your life? Please be honest.

3. Does the belief support/align with your core values? (So if health and family are core values, does your belief that working out is too hard for you honor your values?)

4. Fast forward three years and ask if you keep honoring this belief what will it cost you? For example, how will your belief that you’re not good at marketing impact your business longer term?

5. Then rewrite the belief as one that brings you toward your potential.

For example: Marketing is a key component to growing my business and I will find the right people to help me be successful in this area. I’ve overcome other challenges and I can do this as well. *

* Now, of course, you need to take small steps each week to make this happen and keep yourself accountable

Based on our beliefs, we take certain actions. If you don’t think you’re a good public speaker you probably will not apply for your dream job if it involves any speaking requirements – and that would be a shame because we can all improve. You can definitely learn to be a better speaker with effort and practice. Limiting beliefs actually help us get better when we have the courage to face them and change our perspective.

We’d love to hear your success stories of re-wording your beliefs so they empower you, help you believe in yourself and fuel positive actions.

Believe in yourself,



Alissa is a Business/Life Coach, speaker, and author of the book Living in Your Top 1%. She traded in a Wall Street career so she could give back and inspire others to do what they love and raise the bar in their life. She coaches individuals and organizations to help them redefine success and achieve meaningful goals. She has worked with Neutrogena, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Milken Institute, Pepperdine Law & Business School and Dress for Success. Alissa has an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA from UC Berkeley. To learn more and to take the Living in Your Top 1% quiz, please visit

*Alissa will be giving coaching classes via the phone starting January, 2014. To learn more and sign up please email [email protected].

  • Mona

    Loving these tips. Being aware of our limiting beliefs is not enough so thanks for providing a road map to kick them out.

    • Alissa Finerman

      Wonderful Mona, thank you. I agree, awareness is the first step then it’s a question of what steps we take to shift something. xo, Alissa

  • Lisa Bova

    Thank you, great idea’s to move you beyond the beliefs. I am going to use it on myself with a few I am holding and with my clients! Printing this one out and putting it in my toolbox!

    My recent one is, working hard for money. I have been putting a lot of effort in without a lot of results. I have been rewording that with money comes easily and effortlessly. It’s easy to say the affirmation, but you really do have to believe, so I have been noticing where money is coming into my life without effort. And bigger and smaller amounts are coming in from different avenues by just being open and aware. I then thank the uni-verse and am grateful for what comes in.

    • Alissa Finerman

      Hi Lisa, thank you. Love that you are printing it out 🙂 And with my clients I always encourage them to focus on “why” the money or goal is important to you, ie the end value — security, serving others, freedom etc. Wishing you success!

  • Rita

    It’s so sad that I have held on to so much pain and doubt in my heart, mind and in my life. I have allowed this pain and self doubt sabotage my happiness and success. This message has helped me to tap into and refocus my thoughts and beliefs. Exposed the negative thoughts and shed New light on my thought process and refreshing sense of hope.
    “There is someone for everyone. If you open your heart to love you will find love. Love will find you”
    Thank you for helping me find my positive thoughts.

    • Alissa Finerman

      Hi Rita, I’m happy the post could help. Sometimes we just need a little wake-up call or reality check to get us back into gear. This may be yours 🙂 And it’s fair to say we all have negative thoughts that creep into our minds, what we need to work on is training our mind not to give these thoughts any energy. We let them come and go without judgment. Then we start to notice our wins, small or big accomplishments we feel good about, to build confidence. And most important, the past does not equal the future. Every day is a new chance. Your choice is to take it. Love, Alissa

  • Madison Abraham

    I love this post!! Right now I’m going through a breakup (my first love) and I’ve been working on healing. I have realized lately how my limiting beliefs have been holding me back from the life and love I’m looking to attract.

    This was just the encouragement I needed to rewrite my limiting beliefs and re-frame my thoughts! I am looking forward to owning all I am and attracting love, light, and success into my life in 2014!

    • Alissa Finerman

      Hi Madison, thanks for sharing. It’s a big step to be aware of our beliefs. That starts the healing. Sometimes a tiny shift in our perspective makes a very big difference in moving forward. You’re in a transition and we all have them – part of life and growing. Sending love and encouragement you way. xoA

  • samantha merchant

    Thank you Alissa. One of my limiting beliefs, (after divorce) is tthat I just cant find a man who will undrstand me. I will begin practising the steps of rewording beliefs which will empower me and help me fuel positive actions.

    • Alissa Finerman

      Hi Samantha, I hear you and I have said that too about finding someone who understands me. The belief could be, I am willing and ready to open my heart to my wonderful partner to help him understand me. Sounds authentic and loving to me. Sending love, Alissa

  • Anna

    I just got out of an abusive relationship. I truly believe I am not worthy of love or of having anyone who treats me well. I really hope to shift this limiting belief, but I fear so much that it’s true. I guess I just need to act like it’s not true and maybe it won’t be. Who knows?

    • Teresa

      It IS NOT TRUE… You are a gift from God. God doesn’t create junk. God creates beautiful valuable beings who have a divine purpose to fulfill so it is your job to find out what that purpose is… You are love. You were born worthy already without having to do anything. Our parents are imperfect human beings who tend to make mistakes. Just because they are our parents doesn’t make what they say or do right. My dad is a selfish narcissistic individual who loves in a very conditional controlling way… I have had to grieve the death of him even though he is still alive. He is an emotionally sick individual who is cruel. His opinion of me does not matter. I say that because if I listened to him, I would be a worthless person who should commit suicide which is absolutely, positively ridiculous. I am a good person who lives from a place of kindness and love. I have raised three amazing human beings by myself who are wonderful people. My dad has missed out on all of their beautiful moments because we are not Jehovah Witnesses. I feel sad for him. It is pity that I feel. I write this to you because it sounds like your lack of self worth comes from your childhood. I want you to know that you are not alone and you can rise above. You are unique and special. There is not another you on the face of this Earth. Remember you are a precious gift from God. I wish you all the best:-)

    • Alissa Finerman

      Hi Anna, thank you for sharing. First off, sending you a hug. And second, that takes a lot of courage and I think it’s important to recognize getting out of that relationship of protecting yourself is a big accomplishment. The past absolutely does not equal the future. It is possible to turn around a limiting belief that no longer serves us. I think a good place to start might be to list out the POSITIVE things that you believe. And just to be clear, shifting a limiting belief is not something we HOPE for, it is something we do. So when you are ready you will do it. You may want to have a friend you trust help to reword some of the beliefs. It can be nice to have the support. Sending you much love. xo, Alissa

  • Casey

    Thanks for this, Alissa. I’m struggling with the idea that just rewriting beliefs changes them, though. For example, I’ve never been in a “real” relationship, and I worry that there’s something wrong with me for that to have happened. I can rewrite it as I’m picky and I know what I want, but it doesn’t resonate as being true. How do I make the rewritten belief something that actually rings true for me? I know I want to be in a relationship–to meet the man of my dreams–and I know this limiting belief is blocking that. What now?

    • Alissa Finerman

      Hi Casey, forgive me for suggesting it’s a simple process to identify and re-work limiting beliefs. It is not. I just worked with a coaching client yesterday who is focused on leadership and healthy living. One of his beliefs in healthy living is that everything good for him tastes bad and anything that tastes good is bad for him. Well this really isn’t true and this becomes a limiting belief and gets in the way of making any positive changes. So the first step is to understand your belief, then to re-write it until it rings true for you. And this is not an easy for process for any of us. As I mentioned, marketing is a challenging area for me. My new marketing belief, is that it’s an important area and one that I need to put together an outside team to be successful (this rings true for me). Making the new belief feel right is the work and what I spend time on with clients. It always sounds easier than it is. In truth, it takes work. Your belief, is that you want to be in a fulfilling relationship with the man of your dreams. Now the work begins, what does a relationship mean to you, what does the man of your dream look like, feel like etc, and what do you need to focus on internally to be ready and what steps do you need to take to work toward this vision? I am starting classes in January which may be helpful if you would like to check them out. All the best, Alissa

  • broken heart

    Thank you for this post…. I have been apart from my husband for 4+ years and he is with someone else.I have been so broken by this that I feel like I will never find love again.I don’t want to be alone.