Coachable logo blue

The Blog


A coachable graphic string
Back to All Posts

Overcoming limiting beliefs

March 25, 2024

Whilst clients come to us with a real breadth of goals they want to achieve in coaching (everything from leadership style, communication to transformational change) often there is something bubbling beneath the surface that’s holding them back:

Limiting beliefs. Self sabotage. Lack of confidence. They sound a bit like this:

🚫 "I'm no good at..."

🚫 "I don't have the time..."

🚫 "I don't have enough experience..."

🚫 "They'll think I'm stupid if..."

🚫 "Nobody cares what I think..."

These are what we call limiting beliefs; they're negative beliefs that we hold about ourselves and our abilities. They come from messages we’ve received as children, past experiences, our culture and our media. These beliefs live in our brain rent free (thanks v much 🙃) and pop up whenever we’re doing something that feels too stretchy, or we’re feeling under-resourced and under energised to try. Their goal is to stop us in our tracks and prevent us from harm. It's often here where our flight, fight, freeze response kicks in. Which is what the panic zone feels like. 

The truth is, that you are the only person limiting you. Once you realise you’re doing this, you can change the way you’re thinking and overcome some of the biggest hurdles you’ve put in your own way. 

Reframing Limiting Beliefs

Our goal as your coach is to use challenging (and sometimes a little provocative!) questions to explore whether those beliefs are real and to find evidence that proves or disproves them. We can then help you use this to reframe that belief into something that is more true, positive and empowering. Let’s reframe those original beliefs:

🚫 "I'm no good at..."

✅ “I’ll only get better if I try and learn”

🚫 "I don't have the time..."

✅ “I want to prioritise this”

🚫 "I don't have enough experience..."

✅ “I have to start somewhere”

🚫 "They'll think I'm stupid if..."

✅ “I don’t have to have all the answers”

🚫 "Nobody cares what I think..."

✅ “Other people want to hear what I have to say”

Self Coaching Exercise

Think of something at work that you’re holding back from. It could be applying for a promotion, speaking up in a meeting, challenging upwards - anything! Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What assumptions are you making about this activity that could be holding you back? 
  2. Are these true? What would be a more empowering way of looking at this for you?
  3. What one thing could you set as a challenge to build your confidence with this activity?

We’re just scraping the surface when it comes to limiting beliefs - and it’s a meaty old subject. It’s something we’d describe as “advanced coaching” so it’s something you need to tread carefully with, especially if you want to help your team work through limiting beliefs they might have. 

>>> The Little Book of Coachable Questions is a great place to start as it’s packed with over 100 pages of coaching questions, including a whole section on limiting beliefs. You can order your hard copy here. 

Want Coachable Moments in your inbox?

You're on the list! Watch out for a confirmation email
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
HomeFurther ProgrammeBespokeBlog

Copyright Coachable Partners Limited. 128 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX

Read our Privacy Policy
LinkedIn logo