Photo credit: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I borrowed this tongue-breaking term “Figureoutable ” from the well-known coach and motivational speaker Marie Forleo. Marie recently launched a book called Everything is Figureoutable , and that made me question “Everything? Is it really?”

I mean, I’ve not lived long enough to say that statement is true. But I’ve worked long enough to realise and claim that if your job is not your dream job there is a way out – your career problems are figureoutable.

What you probably don’t realise is that if you are in that sticky unpleasant job situation right now, limiting beliefs may be playing you up.

You guessed it, today’s post is going to be about LIMITING BELIEFS. I got reminded about limiting beliefs recently. How? Well, I had a coaching session with one of my wonderful clients who identified a very powerful limiting belief about her dream job – giving up becoming a yoga teacher.

She totally fell in love with yoga but after a few conversations with yoga teachers, she concluded that:

  1. yoga teachers are not making enough money/as much as she would like to earn in that profession
  2. it’s a very competitive industry
  3.  yoga is already available to people for free through online videos so why should someone pay her for teaching yoga?

These realisations kind of led her to form a limiting belief that she doesn’t want to become a “starving yoga teacher”, so she pushed her dream to a very distant future before giving it a try.

Interesting how opinions, experiences and judgments can impact our own aspirations and commitment, don’t you think?

So let’s start with a few simple questions:

What is a limiting belief?

You can find many different professional descriptions for this term but for the sake of remembering I will stick with my explanation – limiting belief is a belief that somehow constrains you in one way or another. They have an impact on your life, on your possibilities and behaviour.

But nothing is lost here. Limiting beliefs can become either your enemy (discouraging you from pursuing your dream) or your friends (raising your awareness and attention to areas where you can expand your potential and overcome obstacles). But before I write about that let’s explore where do they come from.


How am I forming limiting beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are formed throughout life, some were embedded throughout our childhood and school, some sneaked in during our working life. Forming a limiting belief is easy and somehow a natural part of our life/career:
  • Making judgements about yourself – I’m not creative, I’m not academic, I’m not great at selling (writing, this and that) … these judgements are easily formed when you’ve not achieved the outcome you kind of wished for or when you received bad marks/judgement for not achieving expectations of others – for instance at school, at sports clubs or other activities, at work …
  • Making judgements about others – my boss is a d***, that client is a nightmare, that recruiter never calls … these judgements are often formed when the behaviour of other people does not meet our expectations, we are inclined to judge them/give them a label,
  • Adopting observations from others as your own without questioning – I’m sure you already heard this one before … It’s too difficult to break into (such and such) industry … example … I tried to get into writing but it didn’t work out … when hearing such a statement is just natural to think “If it didn’t work for them, it probably won’t for me!”
  • Accepting advice from parents or friends that was well-meant but that is based on their personal limiting beliefs … the creative industry is hard to make money from, why don’t you stick with something more practical and reputable like IT, accounting, law, medicine…? This is a sensitive topic because you don’t want to offend your loved ones but at the same time, it is healthy to question these perceptions with professionals who succeeded in your dream job/industry.
  • Forming beliefs when facing embarrassment in childhood, at school and through adulthood at work – you raise your hand in class/in a meeting wanting to share an interesting fact or idea but others laugh at it (you make it mean they laugh at you) … your teacher/your boss dismissed your idea instantly, you’ve created a limiting belief that it’s better not to speak in front of your classmates/workmates/boss and stop yourself from presenting new ideas,
  • Making conclusions from experiencing failureyou failed at dancing and figured out you’re not good at dancing. You’ve failed at delivering a presentation, and adopted a belief this is not for you … your failure determines what you believe about yourself, your abilities and yourself.
  • Believing in facts that are presented in surveys and industry standards and accepting as your truthyou won’t make it into fashion if you are that big (meaning fat) … yoga teachers are not earning enough money because yoga should be available to all people for free … 7 out of 10 accountants would stick with accounting if they could go back in time and choose a different career – I mean would they really and how can they even make that decision when chances are they didn’t experience another more suitable profession?

How can limiting beliefs show up in my life or career?

Catching your own limiting beliefs is not as easy as many coaches and inspirational speakers claim. This is because most of the time we are not even aware that statements, conclusions, judgements and information that goes through our head are processed into a limiting belief.

I can, however, share one quick tip on how to start identifying your limiting beliefs.

Your behaviour and avoiding to take action in a very important area for you (career, health, relationships) are indicators of your limiting beliefs.

Notice when you have an aspiration but you  catch yourself saying, writing or simply thinking:
  • This is impossible …
  • This is too difficult …
  • That can never work, this would never work for me …
  • I’ll never get a great job because …
  • I am just unlucky when it comes to …
Hand on your heart and honestly answer for yourself – how many times have you caught yourself thinking or saying that something that you really wanted to achieve in your career was just simply IMpossible?

How can I make friends with limiting beliefs?

Simply learn to identify the relevant constraining beliefs and let them show you what is the area that you can focus on improving. It’s a process, so don’t expect to get it right straight away.

As Marie, I too believe that many problems are “Figureoutable “ and this is especially valid for your career challenges and problems, so today I invite you to explore your limiting beliefs.

Treat them as your friend that you are curious to learn more about and ask yourself:

  1. What do I see as IMPOSSIBLE in my career … ?
  2. What do I believe about myself that stops me to follow my career dreams … ?
  3. What do I believe about others that stops me to achieve my career aspiration?
  4. What do I believe about the profession, career or industry that I want to go into that stops me to pursue my dream job?
  5. When it comes to taking action to achieve my career aspiration, when do I get stopped? Why?
What did you find out? What did you limiting beliefs revealed? I am curious. If you find these questions helpful, feel free to leave feedback or share your answers in the comments.


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Author: AdriAna Kosovska

Professional and certified coach & founder of ZERO TO DREAM JOB ACADEMY


I work with employees, couples and organisations that care about

Stress reduction |  Talents and strengths development | Dream job