top of page

What are limiting thoughts and how do you recognize them?

What are limiting thoughts and how do you recognize them?

We all want to be healthy, feel good about ourselves and be happy. Unfortunately, that is not that easy, but why? Why are we unable to live our optimal life? Limiting thoughts and obligations keep us from living the life we ​​so desperately want to live. Only when we listen to our true selves will we find our lives worth living. But what are limiting thoughts and how do you learn to recognize and accept them?

What are limiting thoughts?

Limiting thoughts are thoughts that keep you from doing what your soul and your core want. These beliefs (voices in your head) say, for example, that it is better not to start a new hobby, because soon you will fail or you will be embarrassed. This is mainly a wrong mindset, a mindset based on fear. This makes you believe the voices in your head that are not true, it's just how you look at it. You can see something as failure, but you can also look at it as a learning opportunity to grow. So it is important not to take these voices too seriously and to follow your heart.

How do we learn to recognize these limiting thoughts?

We live in a time that is rapidly changing, largely due to technology. You would think this would make our lives easy, but it feels like we are experiencing more burnouts than ever before. Due to all these new developments, much more is demanded of humanity, we seem to have to be superhumans. A full-time job of 40 hours a week, where we often work overtime, take care of the children, have to cook, clean, etc. When we are at home, we seem to want to distract ourselves as much as possible with electronics, so that we don't have to think to the daily grind. This rush makes it very difficult to listen to our feelings and be in the moment. It seems as if our feelings are no longer allowed to be there, we should always be doing well. We are constantly in a rat race, a spiral that seems impossible to break. But if you really want it, change is certainly possible!

Limiting thoughts often arise in our youth. For example, if we have learned that we only matter when we please others, this will continue into our adult years. We will then feel like a burden and only good enough when others give us validation. These types of thoughts arise from values ​​that we have learned, for example 'I must obey my parents and others'. If we do not become aware of this, we will believe these values ​​and limiting thoughts all our lives. Tackling this has a lot of positive impact on our lives.

5 tips to recognize and accept limiting thoughts

Book tip (A scheme Therapy Self-Help and Support Book)

Breaking Negative Thinking Patterns by Hannie van Genderen and Gitta Jacob. If you have difficulty tackling persistent (thinking) patterns and keep making the same mistakes, this book is ideal for you! This book uses schema therapy to clarify how patterns of behavior, thoughts and feelings have arisen and how you can break them!


Limiting thoughts prevent you from living from your core. They represent the fears that are deeply rooted in you. These thoughts and beliefs arise from your parents, grandparents, teacher, friends at school and society. You have learned to put a label on what is 'right' and 'wrong'. When your body felt it was in danger from bullying or yelling from parents, these beliefs are even more deeply imprinted. Your body associates danger and pain with it. If you notice that you feel fear, for example, to express your opinion, to indicate your limits or to do what you want. Is it advisable to find out what the limiting thought is, how you feel and when and how that thought originated. Through exercises such as naming the thought or reasoning (is it really true?) we can leave our beliefs behind for good!


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page