How to Discover Limiting Beliefs?

Would you like to learn how to discover limiting beliefs that prevent you from living the life you desire? If you have ever felt like you are not living the life that you truly want then you might have limiting beliefs that hold you back from achieving your goals and becoming who you really want to be.

What are Limiting Beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are stories we tell ourselves about our lives. These beliefs are subconscious and often we are not aware of them. They are filters through which we interpret our reality and experience the world around us. Beliefs are not necessarily true or false, or right or wrong, they are just opinions that are passed around from generation to generation to us.

Scientists reveal that we are conscious only about 5% of our cognitive activity. About 95% of our decisions, actions, and behaviors are controlled by the programs stored in our subconscious mind, from which more than 70% leads to limiting and sabotaging beliefs.

How are Limiting Beliefs Formed?

“We learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. Look back in your own life and notice how often you have gone through the same experience.”                             ~Louise L. Hay

Our beliefs are formed in three different ways:boys use their senses

  • Verbal programming (What did we hear)
  • Modeling (What did we see)
  • Incidents (What did we experience)

Many of our beliefs we learned from the last trimester of our mother’s pregnancy to the first seven years of our lives when our mind was operating at a low vibrational frequency like hypnosis. After the age of seven, we form beliefs and habits by repetition.

We formed our beliefs by modeling and listening to our parents, siblings, neighbors, and teachers about how the world works and how are we supposed to behave in it. The stories we were told during our childhood form our most deeply held beliefs. What we heard or perceived from others has a direct impact on our subconscious mind all the way through our adult life. Some of us agree with the internalized belief and live a limited life because of it. Others rebel against the internalized belief and go the opposite direction, but the belief is operating in the background, regardless we agree or rebel against it.

We form beliefs from our experiences, by coming to our own conclusions. When we were children, if we were often told something like “You can’t have that”, we might be formed our own conclusion “I’m not worthy of…” If we were often told “Not now, I’m busy, we’ll talk later”, we might be formed a belief “I’m not important”. Something like “You’re wrong”, we might be interpreted “I’m never right. Something like “You’ll do as I tell you” we might be interpreted as “I have no control. I’m always the victim”, and now we act in accordance with these beliefs.

When we do something and it does not work, we often explain our failure by forming beliefs, which justify our actions and leave us blameless. That way we do not learn and may limit what we will think and do in the future.

desperate manWe create our lives from the programs we have got from other people. We live other people’s life 95 percent of the day and that is why our wishes might be in discordance with our behaviors. These programs can limit our abilities and take away our power. If we understand that, we can work on that and change our limited programs with supportive ones.

 Your Beliefs Create Your Results

Many of our beliefs are downloaded into our subconscious mind even before we become aware, so we rarely observe our own subconscious behaviors. We act according to our beliefs. They are the root of all our thoughts, emotions, motives and desires. They affect every aspect of our life.

We interpret our reality using our mental filters or belief system. We see our beliefs as truths. Evidence to the contrary could be sitting right in front of us, but we may not see it because what we perceive is completely different.

We do not understand that we choose behaviors that are limiting and sabotaging, and we tend to blame outside sources for the problems we experience in our lives, completely unaware that our beliefs create our results.


Let’s say you believe that people are generally bad and they want to take advantage of you. Since your mind functions as a regulator between your beliefs and reality, making sure that the experience is coherent, it will constantly look for and find evidence that supports this belief.

But if you truly believe that people are good, kind, and helpful, your mind will constantly look for and find evidence that supports this belief, and that kind of reality you will tend to experience.

If you, for example, have a belief about money, being bad or evil, then that belief will prevent money from coming in or staying in your life. Being considered bad, you will get rid of money fast.

How to Discover Limiting Beliefs

Since 95% of your life comes from your subconscious mind, know that your life is a printout of your subconscious programs. Just look around and notice which parts of your life work and which do not. Things that come easily into your life are there because you have beliefs that support them and things that you have to work hard for or struggle to get them are a result of your non-supportive limiting beliefs.

relationship, fight

So, if you have troubles in your relationship, you have to change your beliefs about the relationship. If you have struggled with money all your life, you know that you have to change your beliefs about money.

The best way to find out what your specific limiting beliefs are is by using Muscle testing.


Muscle Testing or Applied Kinesiology is a tool, which we can use to communicate with our subconscious mind and to identify if our beliefs (subconscious) are in harmony with our wishes and desires (conscious). Since the subconscious mind controls muscle movements, during a muscle testing we get access to information stored in our subconscious mind.

Muscle testing often involves testing arm for strength or weakness. A person will make a belief statement and take a muscle test. If there is a harmony between the conscious and subconscious mind, a muscle will stay strong but if there is a disharmony, a muscle will go weak.

Muscle Testing works similar to a polygraph machine. It is a conflict detector, which measures what your conscious says and what your subconscious believes. When you make a statement with which the subconscious mind disagrees, there is a conflict created in the mind. The signal strength of the body is reduced because there is no file that supports that statement, which results in a weaker muscle response.

Here you can watch a video in which Rob Williams, an originator of Psych-K, one of belief changing modalities, demonstrates Muscle Testing together with Psych-K.

There are two things to keep in mind in order to get an accurate Muscle Test:

  • During Muscle Testing, it is very important to have your head looking straight, your chin parallel to the ground, and your eyes open and focused down. That way you will be more emotionally connected to the statement you make and it will cause a stronger sense of reaction in your body.

According to NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming), when your eyes move up you connect to the visual cortex, when your eyes look straight, you connect to auditory, and when you look down, you connect to your emotions. The idea is that you can fool what you see or hear, but it is difficult to fool your emotions.

  • If the person who tests you is your family, friend or somebody else connected to the outcome of that statement, they can control the outcome of the test and you may not get an accurate interpretation.

If you do not have anyone who can help you test your beliefs, you can do it by yourself. Make a ring with two fingers on one hand. When making a belief statement, try to break the ring with a pointing finger on the second hand.

If you cannot break the ring, a response is strong, which means that your conscious and subconscious are in harmony. If you break the ring, a response is weak, which means there is a disharmony between your conscious and subconscious mind.

To make sure that test works, before testing beliefs try to test the following:

My name is (your correct name). This should test strong.

My name is (a random name, preferably of another gender). This should test weak.


Every one of us has beliefs, which are limiting, sabotaging and disempowering. The problem is that most people are not consciously aware of them so they do not take the necessary steps in order to identify and change their limiting beliefs. Once we become aware of them, we have a great ability to change them. When we change our beliefs, we change our lives. Know that you are exactly where you are in life because of the beliefs that you hold about yourself and the world.


  1. Wow, fascinating article, I had no idea that self limiting beliefs could create such a physical response as shown in the muscle testing technique! I’m definitely keen to learn more about this topic and how it could be used to improve our mindset and positivity. Thank you so much for sharing. All the best, Karen

    1. Hi Karen,

      Thanks for the comment. Muscle testing is a great tool for discovering beliefs! When used properly, you can really feel the difference in an arm. There are many different belief changing modalities, and I’ll be writing about them in my next posts…stay tuned!

  2. Hi Blanka,

    Great post! We have a lot in common. I first saw the muscle test in a book called Power versus Force. Great book and we tested the idea and it works every time. Dr Wayne Dyer also talks about it. He even suggest when we hold a banana close to our heart we will be strong but hold a can of coke and we will be weak.

    I love the way you explain everything about limiting beliefs in your article. Step by step. This is a great post that everyone should read. I will definitely share! Cheers,


    1. Hey Kev,

      I’m glad you liked the article. Yes, you are right, the similar test could be used while testing food for allergies, it’s called energy testing. If we place food which is not good for us in our energy field, we will lose our energy. Donna Eden talks about that in her book Energy Medicine. Thanks Kev!

  3. Hi Blanka

    Excellent read. I am so fascinated on things with the mind and how it really does control our lives. I think the power of auto suggestion is huge, and with enough spaced repletion with feeling, everything in peoples worlds will change, and change fast. But it does take discipline to do the illogical.

    1. Hi AJ,

      Thanks for your comment. Our mind is so powerful, but we can choose what are we going to feed it with. Once we become aware of that, we can change what we don’t like, and yes, it takes some discipline. Cheers!

    1. Hi Vanessa,

      Thank you for your question. First, we have to become aware of the beliefs that are holding us back, because we cannot change something that we are not aware of. When we become aware of these beliefs, we can change them by using one or more belief changing modalities such as affirmations, visualization, meditation, hypnosis, NLP or one of energy psychology modalities. Hope this answers your question. Cheers!

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