Your Limiting Beliefs Are Stealing Your Dream Career

All Limitations Are Self Imposed sign on desert road

“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” ~Henry Ford.

Marissa’s Story

Marissa’s dad was an artistic genius who pushed his passion aside to follow the “safe” corporate route.

He repeated to her growing up,“Your work is not who you are.  Suck it up and do what you have to do to pay the bills. If you’re lucky, you can do what you love on the side.”

She watched him come home defeated and uninspired each night.  That’s just the way life was.

Years later, Marissa found herself following a similar corporate route, ignoring her passion to teach music.

When she finally acknowledged the little voice inside her head nudging her to follow her passion, she quickly scolded herself countering:

“It’s too late for a career change at this point.”


“I have to just suck it up and do what I have to do to pay my bills.”  


“There’s no other way to go after this passion and pay my bills.”

Unbeknownst to Marissa, her limiting beliefs were deeply ingrained into her subconscious mind, preventing her from moving forward with any action towards making her career dreams come to fruition.

Marissa didn’t understand the problem was with her thinking; her belief system.  Instead, she blamed it on circumstance. “It’s just the way it is.”

What is a Limiting Belief?

A “limiting belief” is something that you accept about life, about yourself, about your career, about your world, or about the people in it, that constrains you in some way.

A limiting belief keeps you safe and small.

According to Adam Sicinski of IQ Matrix:  “Your beliefs essentially influence 95 percent of the decisions you make and the actions you take. They form the foundations of your self-concept, which determines how you see yourself in relation to the world around you. The labels you give yourself, the limitations you put on yourself, and the expectations you have of yourself are all built upon your belief systems. And if your belief systems are not aligned with the goals and objectives you would like to accomplish, then you will often feel stuck, unfulfilled, and miserable.”

Where Do Limiting Beliefs Come From?

Marissa’s is one example of how limiting beliefs are born.  Let’s take a look at all the factors that could play into your limiting beliefs.

1. Your past

Beliefs are conditioned perceptions that are created from old memories of pain and pleasure and how you have interpreted and emotionalized your experiences over time.

2. Society at large

Your limiting beliefs could be ingrained in your subconscious based on what you read in the media or grew up watching in movies.

They could come from what your country, town, or overall culture has instilled in you.

3. Faulty logic

Sometimes a limiting belief simply comes from over-generalizing a small bit of data.

4. Excuses

According to, “One reason we use faulty logic and form limiting beliefs is to excuse ourselves from what we perceive to be our failures.  When we do something and it does not work, we often explain away our failure by forming and using beliefs which justify our actions and leave us blameless. But in doing so, we do not learn and may increasingly paint ourselves into a corner, limiting what we will think and do in the future.”

Ouch, that one hurts.

5. Fear

Most commonly, limiting beliefs are driven by the fear that if we go against this belief, deep needs will be harmed.

There is also the social component of fear such as fear of criticism, ridicule, or rejection by others.

“The more internal resistance you experience (such as uncertainty or discomfort), the more limiting beliefs are laying dormant just below the surface of conscious awareness.”  (Source: IQ Matrix)

Examples of Career Change Limiting Beliefs:

Recognize any of these nuggets?

  • “I can’t financially support my family AND get into my dream career.”
  • “It’s too late for me to make a career change.”
  • “I’ll never be able to transition into that industry.”
  • “I’m not able to go after the education I need to get certified in {fill in the blank.}
  • “A corporate job is more secure than an entrepreneurial job.”
  • “No one will hire me if I go for that role.”
  • “I don’t have time for this side hustle.”
  • “Money has to be hard work.”
  • “People will judge me for this career change.”

The Million Dollar Question:

Here’s the deal.  If you remember from one of my earlier articles – thoughts are choices.  And it’s your choice to anchor to one of these limiting beliefs.

But here is the million dollar question….Is this belief serving you now in achieving your career goal?  Or is it hindering your progress?

Perhaps it served a purpose earlier in life.  In fact, did you know each of your limiting beliefs stems from good intentions to protect you from pain?

The issue is that these intentions can be misguided. They may protect you from short-term pain, which unfortunately often leads to long-term pain.

It makes perfect sense, that if you cling to your limiting belief… of course you will not take any substantial action towards achieving your career goal.

Now Try This:

1. What limiting belief are you currently holding around your career?  (Here are some thought starters…)

  • What resistance are you feeling inside while you think about achieving your career goal?
  • What excuses do you indulge in and why do you make them?
  • What stories do you tell yourself about what you should or shouldn’t be doing, and about what should or shouldn’t happen?
  • Are your standards too low?  Why?
  • What assumptions or conclusions are you making about your inability to achieve this goal?

2. How true is that belief, really?

3. What evidence do you have to support that belief?

4. Where did you get that idea from?

5. How has that belief prevented you from achieving your career goal?

6. How has this belief denied you the opportunity to become the person you want to be?

7. Why does that belief have to be true for you?

8. How can you let that belief go?

9. How can you put that into action immediately?

Let’s Do This.

Are you reading this thinking YES!!  This makes so much sense! But now what?  How can I really make this concept really work for me… and take this to the next level??

You may want to consider taking the “Get Unstuck” Assessment.

Recognized by Forbes as a Top 10 assessment for understanding strengths and weaknesses, this assessment breaks down your most dominant thought patterns and sorts them into seven levels of consciousness. The results reveal your default behavioral patterns in normal, everyday situations as well as in stressful situations, and gives you ways to consciously create an entirely new playbook for your life and career.

You’ll receive:

  1. A 20 minute online assessment
  2. A 10 page customized report on where you currently are  in the thought/feeling/belief spectrum.
  3. A 1 hour debrief with me where I’ll tell you why you are stuck and actionable steps on how to make a concrete change in your career.


  • Receive an additional $100 off your assessment (bringing the price down to $97) by inputting coupon code “NOV100” here:
  • Expires 11/8/18

Whether or not you choose to take advantage of the Get Unstuck Assessment, my wish for you is that this article will help you acknowledge the role your limiting beliefs may be playing in preventing you from achieving your dream career.

Betty Kempa, CPC, ELI-MP, is a certified career coach helping corporate women transition out of unfulfilling jobs and into their dream careers.

Sources for this article include:  iPEC Coaching, IQ Matrix,

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