202: Tackling Your Self-Limiting Beliefs | Tanya Dalton Skip to the content
Tanya Dalton quote on limiting beliefs
December 8, 2020   |   Episode #:

202: Tackling Your Self-Limiting Beliefs

In This Episode:

Did you know that you are the architect of your future? You hold all of the power within you to achieve your deepest desires, not to mention the ability to shift how your thinking works. In this episode, we’ll dive into tackling the unconscious mind that loves to play it safe. You’ll also learn how you can overcome the limiting belief that’s holding you back so you can instead start embracing the empowering belief that will propel you forward!

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

Limiting beliefs can shift into empowering beliefs.

Questions I Answer

  • What are my limiting beliefs?
  • How can I overcome my limiting beliefs?
  • What can I do to feel more confident?

Actions to Take

  • Think about a challenge you’re facing and ask yourself, “why is this a challenge?” Until you get to the heart of that limiting belief.
  • Flip that challenge on its head and make it an empowering belief.
  • Take that empowering belief, write it down, and post it somewhere you can see it!

Key Topics in the Show

  • What is a limiting belief

  • Common limiting beliefs

  • Creating the life you want

  • How to discover limiting beliefs

  • How to change a limiting belief to an empowering belief

Resources and Links

  • Related Episodes: 201: How to Train Your Brain to Overcome Bias
Show Transcript

This is The Intentional Advantage podcast with your host, Tanya Dalton,
entrepreneur best-selling author, nationally recognized productivity expert, and a
mom of two. On Season 16, Tanya is taking real to another level, sharing more of her
story and opinions, and engaging in conscious conversations to start bringing more
women together. Are you ready? Here’s your host, Tanya Dalton.
Hello, hello, everyone. Welcome to The Intentional Advantage podcast. I’m your host,
Tanya Dalton, and this is Episode 202. And right now, it’s December. So it’s the time
of year where we’re reminding our kids, you have got to believe to receive. And in
fact, one of my very favorite scenes from a Christmas movie is Miracle On 42nd
Street, when Santa is on trial and the whole town of New York shows up and they’re
all wearing buttons and they’re holding up posters and there’s signs saying, ‘I
There’s something about that moment in that movie that just gets me fired up
because I love this idea of feeling so strongly in our beliefs. There’s something to be
said about believing isn’t there. Our beliefs are so strong. They can root us when we
need it. They can root us when we don’t need it as well. Keeping us tied to the
ground when really we want to expand, we want to grow.
Our beliefs are setting the course for our destiny. They’re the compass that we use
when we find our way through life. We’re all fumbling through and our beliefs are
what show us where we want to go. And it’s funny as I’ve been working on this
episode and preparing for this, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve been writing
in my book.
And as I mentioned, my manuscript is with my editor right now; the book doesn’t
come out until next October, October 12th. But one of the hardest parts about
having a book coming out is that I know it’s not going to come out for some time
and I can’t talk about all the things I’ve written about, but I felt really compelled
because we do talk about this idea and this concept of beliefs in the new book.
So you can consider this a little bit of a sneak peek. Something that I wrote in the
book that I feel really strongly about is this, what we tell ourselves is what we believe
and what we believe is what we receive. Our beliefs become our reality. It’s a strong
statement. I know. And we go in-depth in this, in the book, but the reason why it’s a
strong statement.

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It’s because it’s true, and here’s an even deeper, kind of darker truth: we often don’t
even realize what we believe or rather why we believe it. We’ve kind of been dancing
around this idea the past few weeks, all season long, if we’re being honest. I mean,
we talked about bias last week, and John and I talked about some of the big lies that
we tell ourselves in our marriage, back in Episode 198.
We have these things, these stories, these lies and patterns of thoughts that quietly
sit in our subconscious, and they’re directing our actions and creating a filter for how
we view our world, which means, ultimately, how we view ourselves. And these lies,
these patterns of thought these stories. This is what becomes our limiting beliefs.
And that’s really what I want to focus-in on today.
Beliefs that constrain us and confine us, because if we’re not careful, we can allow
our limiting beliefs to rule our subconscious controlling us, even when the stories are
based on lies and half-truths. You know, most of those beliefs, as we talked about
over the past few weeks, they’re so set in our subconscious and they’re set there
when we’re young and impressionable, when we don’t have the viewpoint of
adulthood to help us cope with the events that we’ve had to deal with as a child.
So we have these beliefs that are rooted inside of us and they can be positive. There
can be some great self-beliefs, right? There’s a lot that are negative as well. And we
all have both. We all have a little bit of good, a little bit of not so good in there. And
it’s when we focus-in on those negative beliefs and we let those rule us, that’s when
we start to feel frustrated and worn out and burned out and overwhelmed.
It’s when our beliefs are largely negative, that we run into a lot of the problems and
challenges like confidence in ourselves or confidence in what we’re capable of, or
struggling with making decisions in our personal lives, our jobs, and our businesses.
And even with how we view and deal with change, including the choice to even
make the leap at all or stay small.
All of that is happening in our subconscious, which is why it’s easy for a lot of these
beliefs to just fly under the radar. They go unnoticed. But when we stop and we step
back and we pause and we really take notice of our behavior and notice what our
challenges are and how it relates to that inner voice inside of our head that tells us or
convinces us what to do, that’s when they become easy to spot.
So yes, they’re a little bit sneaky because they’re, they’re buried deep in our
subconscious, but again, when we stop and take notice, they become easier to kind
of pull out and bring into the light. And I think that’s really what’s important because
what happens is our limiting beliefs can be like getting in a car, setting the car on
cruise control, and then just setting your course around a track in a big circle. Or
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even, you know, not even paying attention to where you’re driving and setting a
course straight for a brick wall.
Instead of putting us on the fast track to success that we want, they keep us
stagnant. You know, like our biases do, which we talked about last week, or they pull
us to self-sabotage ourselves and they track us not to where we want to go, but to
failures and challenges that we don’t really want. I don’t think anyone’s like, ‘Gosh,
you know what? I could use more challenges in my life.’ None of us think that, so
that’s what I want to dig into today.
I want to talk about some examples of limiting beliefs. And then I want to figure out
what we can do about this because I want to talk about how we can totally
transform our limiting beliefs by flipping them around and changing them into
empowering beliefs that propel us forward. That sounds a lot better, doesn’t it? I
don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be going around a track over and over
again, I want to propel myself forward.
But here’s the thing; here’s the, here’s the catch–there’s always a catch: there’s no
magic button. There’s never a magic button; you gotta do the work. You’ve got to
dive into your own limiting beliefs because they’re very personal. It’s the events, the
challenges that the traumas that you’ve been through in your own life, that’s what
sets these limiting beliefs within you.
And these things that we tell ourselves limit our abilities. They hold us back from the
success that we truly deserve. So all we need to do is take notice of them and flip
them around. So let’s start by taking notice of them. Let’s figure out what your
limiting beliefs are. And I want to give you a couple of examples, just to give you an
idea of what some very common limiting beliefs are.
So here’s a statement that a lot of people use that’s a limiting belief: ‘I’m not a
morning person. There’s no way I can get up any earlier than I already do.’ Limiting
belief right there. I mean, granted, this is a fairly small, pretty common limiting belief,
but it’s a really good example of how that’s what enables us to stay right where we
are in that tiny little box we have a tendency to create for ourselves. And other
people like to create that box as well. So that’s a limiting belief.
Another example would be, ‘I’m not great at confrontation, so there’s no way I could
ever lead a team.’ Yeah, that’ll hold you back. Just that belief holds you back from
leading a team. Okay, let’s give one more, something that I’ve heard time and time
again: ‘I don’t know what I’m doing, so there’s no way I’ll be able to scale a business.’
All of these beliefs are holding us back.

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You know, we begin to identify ourselves by our limiting beliefs. And what we don’t
realize is we’re creating our own predictable future. Even if it’s a future we don’t even
like or don’t want, we’re destined to never be a morning person. We’re destined to
not ever be a leader. We will always fail because we don’t know what we’re doing.
We’re all architects of our future. You choose how you identify yourself. You
determine what role you play.
So if we let go of these limiting beliefs, if we choose to identify ourselves differently, if
we choose to flip those over on their heads and make them into something
meaningful, something that builds you up instead of tearing you down, don’t you
think that would help you step into the future you truly want? All three of those
examples I just gave are things that many of us tell ourselves every single day that
ultimately serves no purpose.
Well, the only purpose, really, is to help us feel safe and comfortable, even though it
means we’ll never be able to reach the next level and achieve our goals and our
wildest dreams. And that’s because our subconscious mind loves playing it safe. It
loves familiar spaces. And that’s why these limiting beliefs and negative thoughts,
you know, that’s why they exist in the first place.
We’re creatures of habit. Our species has survived on the planet for this long because
of our subconscious brain. It wants to keep us safe; it wants to keep us away from
danger. The unconscious mind is all about survival, so it likes familiar destinations
that feel so good and safe. Familiar feels so good. I mean, think about this.
Everything your brain has done for you to this point in your life, even if it’s not
healthy, has worked.
It’s done its job; you’ve survived. So it wants to do the same thing over and over and
over again to keep you safe. Maybe not happy, but safe. So consciously, yes, you may
have a genuine wish or desire to wake up early, maybe so you can sneak in some
personal time before your kids get up or get a workout in before heading to the
But to your subconscious mind, hitting the snooze button, staying with that current
habit of just staying under the covers, it’s easier because you already know what
that’s like, and you understand how to do it. So it believes staying the course is the
best route. Even if it’s not effective or even if it’s not even what you want yourself.
That’s the thing with these limiting beliefs is they’re all about keeping us safe. It’s all
about keeping us in the same space we’ve always been in so we can survive. What
about those other limiting beliefs we talked about, about being a leader or scaling
your business? Yeah. Maybe that’s really what you want, but maybe your
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subconscious mind thinks, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re going to have to really work on your
communication skills. You’re gonna have to figure out the steps you need to take in
your business.’
Ooh, scary stuff; change is scary. And your subconscious brain is like, ‘I don’t want
that. Let’s just stay right here where we are. This is safe. This is secure.’ We don’t just
stick our necks out; it wants to stay where it feels good. But luckily you and I know
better than that by now. We’re way past playing it safe and sticking with the old
familiar thing, because we understand that change, scary or not, is essential.
It’s time to shake things up a bit because, quite frankly, yes, being safe is
comfortable, but it doesn’t make you happy. It really doesn’t. Doing the same things
over and over again is not going to bring you the joy that you want. It’s not going to
bring you the happiness and success and the fulfillment that you really desire.
And here’s the truth, the main takeaway that I want you to remember from our
conversation today: untangling our limiting beliefs frees ourselves up for living fuller,
more fulfilling, happier lives where we feel competent and full of purpose. Taking the
time to understand our limiting beliefs and throwing those doors wide open,
allowing the sunshine in, that’s what’s going to allow for success for you.
But more than that, it’s going to allow you to feel good at work, at home, in your
business, and everywhere else. And this is why it’s essential that we say to hell with
all of that and turn those limiting beliefs into inspiring, powerful messages that we
can lean into and use as a catalyst for real growth, real change and real success. Let’s
stop limiting ourselves and our businesses and our personal lives, and let’s start
leaning into the future that we want on our truest, most authentic terms instead.
It’s time. And I mean, it, it is time to shake things up a bit; and by a bit, I mean, let’s
really shake some stuff up. Let’s dig in, figure out what those limiting beliefs are, and
let’s flip them over on their head. I want to do that with you in just a minute, but
before we do, you guessed it, time for mid-episode break.
As I mentioned at the start of the show, we are rounding out towards the end of a
year, and this is a great time for us to stop and reflect and really think about what we
want to do to invest in ourselves and in our own growth. And one of the ways that
you can do that, which is a free and easy way to do, is by joining my Facebook group.
It is a great space for women who are interested in growing themselves personally
and growing their businesses and really finding other like-minded women to
support them and encourage them. I would love to see you there. We talk and go
deeper with what we talk about on the podcast and beyond.

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So if you haven’t joined my Facebook group, go to Tanyadalton.com/group; register
to sign up. It’s free, but we do very carefully screen everybody who comes in. We like
to have a really supportive group that’s trouble-free, and it’s a space where you can
come and share, encourage, and support one another. So go to
All right, let’s get back to that idea of limiting beliefs that we’re talking about during
this episode because I want you to understand how you can figure out and discover
your own limiting beliefs. And I truly believe that a great place to start is by focusing
in on the areas where you feel challenged.
For example, maybe it’s your business, which is already fairly successful, but maybe
you’ve hit some sort of plateau. Maybe you’re not hitting your goals or your customer
base isn’t growing as quickly as you hoped it would. Write those challenges down
and start taking notice of how these could be tied to deeper beliefs that you’ve been
holding onto.
So for example, with that challenge we just talked about, about your business
plateauing; maybe you figure out that you struggle with outreach and marketing. So
your limiting belief could be, ‘I’m not good at marketing. I need special equipment,
or I need special training to promote myself, or I need to figure out how social media
works or I need a lot more money with my business.’
Dive into it, figure out what is that challenge telling you? What’s the root? What is
the deep belief that you’re telling yourself that’s tied to that challenge? You know,
oftentimes our challenges are byproducts of these limiting beliefs. These limiting
beliefs, they take root–we’ve talked about that. But what they bear fruit on is
challenges. So we have to dig into those challenges, and then we work our way
It’s a lot like that idea that we talked about of A-B-C-D. We talked about that several
weeks ago. Sir Richard Branson, that’s one of his mantras: Always Be Connecting the
Dots. So digging into our challenges gets us to the root of those limiting beliefs;
connect the dots, going backward, and start to really understand, What’s the story
I’m telling myself?
What’s the pattern of thought here? And it’s from there, we can really figure out how
to flip them on their head. You know, we can transform them from limiting beliefs
into empowering beliefs instead. So here’s the thing: we’re totally able to do this. We
can take those lies and flip them into truths.

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So I want to focus on that for our momentum builders because I want to push you to
do a couple of things. I know you’re ready for it, I really do. And the best part is it’s not
super difficult. It’s not something that is terribly hard to do. It literally is giving
yourself space to really pause and take a look and dig into the challenges you’re
experiencing. It’s as simple as that.
And then having an open mind, understanding that we all have limiting beliefs,
every single one of us. I’m here talking to you about limiting beliefs; it doesn’t mean
that I’ve conquered all of mine. Nobody has. I mean, you find one limiting belief and
there’s another one behind it. But the deeper we go, the more whole and fulfilled we
can begin to be, and the more we can step forward into the life we truly, not only
desire but the life we were designed for, the purpose that has been set for you.
And we can do that when we free ourselves up of the chains of these limiting beliefs.
So it’s going to take some digging. It’s going to take some thought, it’s going to take
some uncomfortable conscious conversations with yourself about where is it I want
to go and why is it I feel this way. So that’s what we’re going to start with in our
momentum builders.
Momentum Builder Number One: I want you to think about a challenge that you’re
facing, something that feels like it’s an obstacle in your path. Maybe it’s in your path
on the way to success. It can be anything I want you to think about. What’s
something that’s really just frustrating to you right now, or irritating or challenging?
And then I want you to ask yourself, why is this a challenge? Why is this so difficult
for me? And then I want you to dig deeper. And I want you to ask why again, and
then I want you to ask why, again, until we get to the heart of that belief. I find that it
takes about five times of asking why to get to the heart of that limiting belief.
So what I’d love to do is actually, I’d love to share with you a quick example of how I
did this with my son, Jack. You know, Jack is a senior and we’ve actually just decided
he’s graduating in a few weeks from high school because I mean, we all know what
2020 has been like, right? And so his senior year hasn’t quite been what we thought
it would be.
And so he’s actually getting ready to graduate. But several months ago, his girlfriend
was graduating from high school and he knew that her graduation wasn’t going to
look anything like she had dreamed it would. So he wanted to do something really
special for her. And so he thought, you know, what can I do to really make this day

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So he said, you know what I want to do, Mom? I want to make a giant sign. And I
want to hang it outside of our house for graduation day. He really had this great idea
of what he wanted to do and he could picture it in his head, but then he couldn’t
start. He procrastinated on it, he put it off and he didn’t do it and he didn’t do it. And
he was getting really frustrated with himself. This was a challenge.
So I sat down with him and I asked him, you know, what’s going on? So I’d love for
you to listen in on what that sounded like as he and I dove together into his limiting
[Tanya:] Okay, Jack, do you want to do this poster for AJ?
[Jack:] Yeah.
[Tanya:] But you haven’t started it. You’ve been talking about it for weeks, but you
haven’t started it, right?
[Jack:] Yeah.
[Tanya:] Okay. Why haven’t you started it? Why haven’t you worked on anything?
[Jack:] I don’t know.
[Tanya:] Okay, ‘I don’t know’ is a cop-out right? Like, that’s an easy answer. So I want
you to dig in a little bit deeper. Why? Why do you think you haven’t started?
[Jack:] I guess I’m just, I’m afraid it’s not going to look good.
[Tanya:] Okay, you want it to look good. So why wouldn’t it look good? You’re an
artist. You do amazing paintings and drawings. Why wouldn’t it look good?
[Jack:] I dunno. I’m afraid it’s going to look messy.
[Tanya:] Okay, well, why would it look messy?
[Jack:] I have no idea what I’m doing.
[Tanya:] Okay. Honestly, none of us know what we’re doing half the time, so that’s
okay. Why is that stopping you? Why is you not knowing what you’re doing keeping
you from putting the markers on the page?
[Jack:] I guess I’m overthinking it.

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[Tanya:] You overthinking? That never happens. Why do you think you’re
overthinking it? What are you thinking about, like, when you are in this spiral of
thoughts about this poster for AJ? Why are you overthinking it?
[Jack:] I dunno. I just want it to be perfect. I don’t think she’ll like it, how it is.
[Tanya:] So you’re worried she’s not gonna like it?
[Jack:] Yeah.
[Tanya:] Do you think she’s gonna like it? Think about it. You’re going to go make a
big poster for her for graduation as something special. Why would she not like it?
[Jack:] I don’t know.
[Tanya:] This is the thing, you’re telling yourself this story that it has to be perfect for
her to love it and, therefore, for her to love you.
[Jack:] Yeah.
[Tanya:] Is that true? It’s not true. You and AJ have been together for over a year,
right? And she loves you regardless. If you color outside the lines and the poster, is
that really gonna matter?
[Jack:] I hope not.
[Tanya:] Do you think it will?
[Jack:] No.
[Tanya:] No, I don’t think it will either. So what do you think you need to do to get
started? What do we need to tell ourselves? Does it need to be perfect?
[Jack:] No.
[Tanya:] What does it need to be?
[Jack:] It just needs to be good.

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[Tanya:] It just needs to be good. And what do we always talk about that matters the
most? It’s the thought, right? It’s the emotion behind it. Are you doing this action for
her out of anger, out of frustration, or out of love?
[Jack:] Out of love.
[Tanya:] And what do you think she’s going to receive it as?
[Jack:] Love.
[Tanya:] Love. So what do you think you need to do?
[Jack:] I just need to start.
[Tanya:] You just need to start.
So, I love that Jack allowed me to share that with you guys because you could see
that limiting belief right there, that little lie he was telling himself that he has to do
everything perfectly or else people, including his girlfriend, won’t like him.
That’s what I want you to do. I want you to think about what your challenge is. Ask
yourself, why? Ask why again, and ask it again, and again. So for your momentum
builder: Identify one of your challenges. And I want you to see if you can dig into that
and find that limiting belief that’s hiding down deep, which gets me to Momentum
Builder Number Two:
I want you to take that limiting belief and I want you to completely flip it on its head.
Instead of a limiting belief, can you turn it into an empowering belief so you can
keep moving forward? You heard how we did that with Jack, how we talked about
why he was doing what he was doing and what AJ really expects and all these other
things. (AJ is his girlfriend.)
And so I want you to do the same thing for you. Can you flip it on its head? And I tell
you what I’m going to do. I’ll post a video. So I gave an example for my personal life,
with Jack dealing with his girlfriend; I’ll post a video and share it with you guys about
how I’ve done this in my work life as well. I’ll take one of my own limiting beliefs and
I’ll work through how I turned it around and turned it into an empowering belief
So I will send that out this week through email. So, if you’re not on the email list,
head to Tanyadalton.com/email, and I’ll walk you through what that looks like for a
work-limiting belief because God knows the limiting beliefs hold us back in our
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personal life, but definitely in our workspace as well. They keep us from growing our
businesses. They keep us from scaling. So I really want you to see how that works as
But that’s it! A momentum builder to take that limiting belief we found in
momentum builder number one, let’s flip it on its head for momentum builder
number two. And then for Momentum Builder Number three, I want you to take that
new empowering belief that you just set for yourself and I want you to write it.
I want you to post it somewhere where you can see it. Write it on your planner, put it
on a post-it note, stick it on your computer or next to your mirror where you get
dressed each day. I want you to really change the way we look at our limiting beliefs,
and let’s change them into a new belief. Now, if you’re struggling with this, I have the
video that I mentioned I was going to send out this week, but I would also
encourage you to head to that Facebook group of mine.
It’s a great place to talk about what your challenges are, what you think your limiting
belief is, and how to flip it around. Crowdsource: it allows us to help you figure it out
and turn that limiting belief into something empowering. Because truly what we
want to do is we want to take what is unconscious about this limiting belief, and turn
it into conscious thoughts, bringing your attention into the empowering part of our
belief system, allowing us to really drive ourselves forward because that’s what’s
going to allow you to pivot, to embrace yourself authentically as you are.
And that’s what I want for you more than anything. I want you to truly recognize that
you hold the power, yourself, to reach your full potential, the life you dream of, the
future you want. You can have it. It is all within you. You just have to shift how your
thinking works. You can see; you listened, as I worked through it with Jack, it didn’t
take us hours to do it. It just took a little bit of digging.
And it takes a little bit of practice to shift our thinking and to make that journey
towards our true potential. But it’s the ability to shift, that willingness to make the
changes, and to accept responsibility for your own growth and success.
That’s not something that most people do naturally, especially because a lot of these
thoughts live in our subconscious mind, but we can take control of that. We can take
that power back and we can choose how we want to step forward into their future.
That’s what I want you to remember, that you have the ability to transform yourself,
to transform your thinking and shift it from limiting beliefs to empowering beliefs.
because once you truly do believe in yourself, that’s when your predictable future
becomes incredible. That’s when it becomes amazing. That’s when it becomes the
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future that you really, truly want. When we take the time to pause and think about
how we are thinking and about the choices we are making, that’s when we can learn
and adapt and embrace the change we need as we move forward in life. And that is
the intentional advantage.