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Many of us have been brought up to believe there are some opportunities in life that are just not for us. It’s true to say that that not everyone has the skill or committment to play a musical instrument or run a marathon, but perhaps we want to try something just for the sheer joy and pleasure of trying it. So we don't necessarily need to be first in a marathon, we don't even need to run a full marathon, we can run a half marathon or even a fun run and gain a enjoyment from the training and experience.  


So what is it that stops us trying new experiences, is it that critical voice that holds us back and stops us going for it? Perhaps you remember the time when someone laughed at you or bullied you when you were younger. Or you didn’t get the support you needed to feel confident enough to throw yourself into new experiences. Perhaps we have unrealistic expectations or have a critical parrot on our shoulder, which tells us we might fail. This behaviour may have left us feeling stuck in a sort of habit, in which we limit the possibilities of new experiences and growth.


We may have spent years telling ourselves we can’t sing, so if someone asks us to join the local choir, or we like the look of a new a job, that internal voice says “it’s not for you” and puts the breaks on. This stops us taking risks, or going into the unknown. If we decide "yes I am going to go for that role", we then spend wakeful nights, feeling anxious and worrying if we are good enough, or feel a fraud, or tell ourself we won't get the job anyway.


These self enforced beliefs reinforce limitations on us, leaving us feeling frustrated with life, they stifle our ability to reach our creative potential. We become confined by our beliefs, and this prevents us being open to new experiences. Examples of limiting beliefs might include, I can’t drive I am too nervous, I can’t apply for promotion, they won’t want me, I’m too old to go trekking; I can’t go into a freelance role it’s too scary, I might fail.


The thought of moving from limiting beliefs to a place which frees us further can be frightening. After all we didn’t cultivate this protection overnight, so taking a leap and going beyond our limits, means taking risks and going into unknown territory. However without risk or change we can't grow.


Overcoming our limiting self talk and beliefs


  • Visioning: this involves creating a picture or knew vision of what your goal or step into the unknown could look like. This can enable steps forward so that steps become more concrete and achievable.


  • Spend 5-10 minutes every day, writing down what is going well and what has been positive today. This might be just that the sun shone, or they spent time with a good friend. But it helps remind you of the positive things.


  • Notice positive influences around you such as friends and family, and use them as models for developing such behaviours.


  • Pay attention to your thought patterns and try and reframe these.  Instead of a limiting belief such as – “I cant do that”, work on what is possible, or how you can they cope with manageable steps in order that you can cope with carrying things through.


  • Use YouTube, books,  exercise, breathing techniques, meditation and affirmations to support positivity.


  • Find what makes you happy and energised and this will enable you to work through any limiting beliefs.



Nothing is written in stone, if we try something and dare to move forward and its not for us we can always changed direction or revise our strategy. Use the support of those you trust, they can be your cheer leaders and keep you motivated when you lose confidence, try small steps and offer yourself little rewards or treats.


Create a vision of the steps you need to take to get towards your new found creative experience. See yourself in your imagination doing the thing, try it on for size really see yourself in a new job or singing,


If you would like to talk about these issues in depth with a counsellor please contact Ebb & Flow Counselling where we can explore these issues further,  


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Limiting self talk


Ann Rapstoff, Individual & Couples Counselling,

Psychotherapy, Mindfulness & CBT

T: 07703 182 186 E:

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