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How to Eliminate Those Nagging Limiting Beliefs and Self-Sabotaging Behaviors

By Robert Bencivenga


So where did all these limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors come from?

They were programmed into us while we were growing up by our well-meaning parents, friends, teachers, religious leaders and family members. Well meaning, they were simply trying to keep us safe and introduce us to the world. Unfortunately, it was all based on their own beliefs, meanings, interpretations, stories, perspectives and judgements — all of which are untrue and purely speculative based upon their own view of their own world!

I’m going to show you how to identify your limiting beliefs, get rid of them and replace them with beliefs that will give you access to the power, freedom and full self-expression you deserve!  

What Exactly Are Beliefs?

A belief is simply a feeling of certainty about what something means. The reason it can feel so certain is because it’s part of a story we have been unconsciously telling ourselves throughout our lives. We go through our lives vindicating these stories with “proof” because that’s what we are looking for — stories that substantiate our own stories.  The more proof we find, the more certain we feel. 

However, Beliefs are not Facts!  Stop Right Here…Let’s say that again! Beliefs are not Facts! They’re not true or false. They’re just our beliefs. This means we can either create more potential or create more limitations, depending on the beliefs we choose.

Beliefs Are Not Facts

Beliefs, however, are not based on facts, although we understand them to be so. As adults, we wonder where some of our crazy, disempowering thinking, feelings and actions come from that don’t take us in the direction of where we want to go, and leave us feeling stuck, frustrated and unfulfilled in our lives. 

Limiting beliefs become our “inner critic.” Someone along the way convinced us that we were good enough, weren’t capable enough, unworthy, less than and not smart enough.

I understand how it feels to have crippling limiting beliefs and self-doubt. Growing up, I was bullied, which left me with self-doubt that held me back from being all I could be, for a very long time! I never felt good enough, capable enough, or confident enough. I was determined, however,  to learn and grow into all I could possibly be. And I did!

By  identifying and unraveling limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors, we can learn to both release and rewire them in a way that empowers us, we can have the life we really want.

If your beliefs have this powerful influence on your results, can you imagine how much more personal potential you could create and what you could accomplish, if every belief you had really did completely sustain, support and nurture you?

And, can you imagine how much you could be getting in your own way if they don’t? That’s why it’s essential to become aware of what your beliefs are.

I’m going to show you exactly how to do that!

The Relationship Between Limiting Beliefs and Self-Sabotaging Behaviors

It’s important to understand the relationship between limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors, because one feeds on the other. In short, Self-Sabotage can be defined as “working against yourself.”

When we approach things that we either want or desire, our insecurities voiced through our limiting beliefs about ourselves come to the surface. To keep moving forward, we’d have to face those thoughts and beliefs head on. Rather than face them, we choose to sabotage ourselves!

It’s our way of avoiding having to face those false beliefs that seem devastatingly real to us. Sabotage becomes an easy, safe, comfortable and familiar feeling, so we choose it instead of having to face, release and rewire our limiting beliefs.

Remember the old saying, “It’s better to face the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.”

How to Spot Toxic Beliefs

I feel a belief is toxic anytime it impedes our ability to reach our goals, create the lifestyle we desire, be the type of person we want to be, and influences our thinking in a way that isn’t aligned with the vision of the life we really want.

Excuses for not having the life we really want, destructive behaviors, and habits that don’t support ourselves are all signs that something is rotten in Denmark, because we do things for a certain reason with a very specific belief driving it. 

We do things we know we shouldn’t be doing, and we don’t do things we know we should be doing to have the life we really want. What excuses do you use to stay inside your comfort zone? What reasons do you give for not doing what you know you should be doing? How do you justify not having the life you really want? 

These excuses, reasons, and justifications all keep you from your dreams! And are signs of a limiting belief operating deep down in your unconscious.

I Don’t Have Enough Time

Use a spreadsheet to measure the way you use your time and be truthful with yourself about what you find.

As you look closely at how you use time, you will notice patterns of behavior that cause you to get in your own way. Patterns such as doing the easy repetitive tasks first or putting everyone else’s demands or requests first really limit you.

Making a few simple tweaks in your own behavior, you will notice that you “always have enough time” — it’s just your choice as to how you use your time  and you can then begin to nurture that new belief.

I Can’t Because I Am Not…

Adding a reason to “I can’t” gives the limitation even more power, especially when that reason begins with the words “I am.”

When you use the words “I am,” you are making a statement about yourself, your identity and who you believe you are. It’s called an identity belief and this type of belief can be the most self-limiting belief that you can have. Let me give you an example of this. Many years ago, I would frequently say “I am not creative” — it was a belief that I had hung onto since childhood. Because of this, I never attempted anything that had a creative feel to it.

When I became an entrepreneur, I then realized how much that belief had the potential to limit me because entrepreneurship is all about being creative!

Identity beliefs are statements you make about who you think you are and who you think you are not. To give you a few examples: “I can’t get organized because I am not a planner” or “I can’t network because I am not a people person.”

Can you imagine how much these beliefs can hold you back?

You can make gradual changes by looking at different ways of describing yourself. For example: “I am becoming more organized as I learn to plan each day” or “I am learning to network as I meet new people.” Then take the appropriate actions that support those new beliefs.

Which of These Limiting Beliefs Are Yours?

You feel that when you reach this magical place “out there,” then your life will turn out right. 

You feel the life you really want is only meant for other people. 

You play the victim and blame your life on everything outside of you. 

You feel that if you only had (fill in the blank), then you’d have a different life, and you’d be different. 

You’re living in the world of “someday I will…” 

You’re not acknowledging the fact that your current situation is totally of your own doing, and a reflection of who you’re being, the choices you’ve made and the actions you’ve taken. 

You feel you’re too old.

You’re not smart enough or educated enough.

You’re afraid of trying and failing.

You feel you don’t really deserve or are worthy of a good life.

You feel things always go wrong for you.

You just weren’t born lucky. 

You worry about all the bad things that could happen.

You’re busy dwelling on obstacles.

How About These Limiting Money Stories? 

Rich people are greedy.

You have to be really smart to make money.

Rich people are selfish.

Money isn’t spiritual.

You can have only either money or love.

People will be jealous of me if I have money.

People will only like me for my money.

More money means more troubles and hassles.

To have money I have to sacrifice something.

More money means I’ll have less time for myself.

Money doesn’t grow on trees.

There’s never enough money.

Money is the root of all evil.

If I’m rich, someone else must be poor.

Getting Rid of Limiting Beliefs and Self-Sabotaging Behaviors

What keeps you from doing what you know you should do to have the life you really want and what you actually do?

Negative behavior patterns can be traced back to a flawed belief.

We treat our beliefs as facts. We forget they’re nothing more than a feeling about something. Instead, we see them as “reality.” We process all of our experiences through these beliefs, which keeps us from making distinctions that give us access to other possibilities, and the ability to create a life other than the one we already have. We filter all information through them, which determines the information we actually receive (or exclude) from the world around us. They impact our thoughts and actions.

This is why our limiting beliefs are so destructive! They insidiously and almost imperceptibly undermine our efforts, because we treat them as if they’re true. They prevent us from being more, because they operate under the surface, and out of sight. They prevent us from aligning our thinking with the vision of the life we really want to have. 

Trace back your behaviors to their causes, so you can release them, and rewire your thinking. 

When you identify the real reason you act the way you do, getting rid of your limiting beliefs will be easy! 

10 Questions to Help You Let Go of Limiting Beliefs and Self-Sabotaging Behaviors 

WHY would I choose to act that way? 

What would I think I’m gaining by acting that way? 

What’s the consequence of holding on to this belief?

What would I have to believe for it to make sense for me to act that way?

What counter examples exist that prove this belief is false? 

Does everyone who has had success believe this to be true?

Does this belief get me closer to my goals, and the life I really want?

When isn’t this belief true?

What evidence makes me feel this belief is true? 

Which is more important…holding on to this belief, or experiencing the life I really want to have?


Trevor loves buying “resources” for his business. He does this because he believes success comes from having the right resources. He believes the more resources he has, the smarter he will be, and the more successful it will make him in his business. However, what ends up happening is if Trevor keeps on just buying more and more resources, he never gets to actually do his business, he doesn’t use the resources he already has to be successful, never gets started, and blames his success or failure on the resources, rather than an accurate appraisal of best practices.

By questioning the belief you start to sow seeds of doubt. You start to interrupt your pattern, your destructive behaviors and habits. It’s like shining a light on a bunch of rats that then scurry away! When you create enough doubt, the original belief starts to crumble. And can now be replaced with an empowering belief that supports you in getting to where you want to go.

What are the beliefs impeding you from creating what you want to create, or being your fullest self and best life? What specific behaviors and habits are supporting those beliefs?

5 Steps to Establish New Empowering Beliefs

1) Be clear and specific in declaring the new belief you want to establish.

2) What new behaviors and habits will you need to establish to support this belief? Think of the situations in which this will be challenged by your mind and rehearse what you’ll do in those situations to stay on track in establishing these new beliefs.

3) What new outcomes will this new belief result in, and how will those outcomes support experiencing the life and business success you really want?

4) Imagine how your life has improved in the near future, with these new empowering beliefs and behaviors in place. See it vividly and clearly, as if it has already happened and you’re living that life right now!

5) Stand guard at the doorway of your mind! Make sure new empowering beliefs are really true and empowering. All too often, we assume things to be true because “so-and-so” said it. When in reality, so-and-so may not know what they’re talking about or may be wrong in what they’re saying. You must analyze the source. Is the person truly an expert? Do they have an ulterior motive? Does it make logical sense? What else must be true, for it to be true? Is it always true?


In our example above, Trevor would be well served in establishing a new belief that success in his business will come from taking action, being resourceful, and that he has enough resources already to do that. He will need to establish a new behavior of not buying every new shiny object that’s put in front of him, and instead get super inspired and motivated by taking action, and seeing his business finally taking off and becoming successful. 

He loves the new feeling of being focused, and getting things done, instead of being distracted in many different directions by new resources, and imagines reaching the goals and success that’s eluded him. He can now clearly see the life he’s always wanted for himself and his family as a reality.

It Takes Courage

To look the Giant in the face and like David, have the Faith to say not this time! This time I’m going to have the courage to face my demons, recognize them as empty spineless beliefs that aren’t true, and proceed on a path and in a way that takes me to the life I really want!

To learn more, download my Free Ebook “3 Steps to Feel Great Right Now Regardless of Your Circumstances.” Get started mastering your mind and transforming your thinking.

Robert Bencivenga

About the author

I’ll be your guide on this journey.

I want to make sure you don’t wake up one day feeling your life has passed you by, and you haven’t lived your best life to its fullest!

I’ve studied ancient eastern spiritual philosophies, transformational psychology, and brain science for over 40 years. 

I developed simple practices that you can use anytime and anywhere, to help you create the life you deserve.

I share practical tools and insights, so you can live a life of your own choosing, regardless of your circumstances....

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