Limiting Beliefs

what they are and how to overcome them 

As a child, you experienced the world without a filter. You saw life without prejudices, or opinions, as you freshly met everything for the first time.

But growing older, you developed a conceptual self full of worldviews, mental models, self-images, and beliefs that helped you to make sense of your life and your place in the world.  

Such beliefs helped you. They stopped you from saying something inappropriate during a meeting, or from crossing a road without looking in both directions. However, many of the beliefs you developed over the years likely unnecessarily restricted you, and negatively affected your life and your sense of self. 

We call these limiting beliefs.


Limiting beliefs are beliefs that limit your growth.

We all have ideals that we fall short of. For example, you wish to be a virtuous person, but find it hard to do so all of the time. And you should have such an ideal, even if you can’t realize it at every moment in every situation.

But a limiting belief tells us that you will ‘never’ achieve your ideals or that you ‘absolutely can’t’ fulfill your human potential.

We must have faith that we can achieve what we want to achieve, however audacious that achievement might be.

On the other hand, you can ruin your life by claiming to be successful in areas where you’ve failed. Because without acknowledging the facts of your life, you live in a delusion that, in turn, makes you—and others—suffer.

You don’t want a person to operate on your brain who isn’t —in fact—a brain surgeon, however much they may want to be a brain surgeon!

To believe that a fact is not a fact is a limiting belief because it prevents you from taking the right, effective, action at the right time—a skill that’s necessary for success. 

Therefore, you must always live with the paradox of having to believe in your ideals while at the same time facing the brutal facts that keep you from realizing them. 

If you cannot cope with the tension between what’s real and what’s ideal in your life you will likely fall into cynicism and fail to grow, strive, and live a heroic life.

Such failure is something like the despair Kierkegaard describes in his work The Sickness Unto Death.

Learn more about what limiting beliefs are.


There are many examples of limiting beliefs.

One good example of a limiting belief is the false dichotomy between ‘either /or’. 

One common manifestation of this limiting belief is that “I must do one thing or another,” when, in fact, it may be possible to do both. 

For example, you may have a passion for teaching wellness, but there is always more to know about wellness because the subject of healing contains an amount of knowledge that’s impossible to master in a single lifetime.

If you’re starting out as a wellness practitioner, the ‘either/or’ limiting belief says that you must either keep studying to master your art or start your practice. But, in fact, you can do both: keep studying and start your practice. 

Unfortunately, you might feel like an imposter and fail to see “the genius of the AND.” Consequently,  you never begin your wellness practice, depriving the world of your gifts and passion for healing. Such a halt is the result of another familiar limiting belief: Perfectionism.

Perfectionism tells you you must know everything about wellness before you start teaching it. 

Instead, you can think that it’s possible to teach wellness without knowing everything there is to know about it. 

In order to do this, you must hold the paradox referred to as the Stockdale Paradox that, “I can be the best wellness teacher in America” while also being aware of the fact that  “I’ll never know it all.”

Therefore, perfection is, oddly, more often than not, a limiting belief.

And yet—you must know something to start. You have to face the brutal facts and train, enough, at least, to be of service to those you’re teaching. 

You have to be perfect and imperfect at the same time—and you can do both!

Here are some other examples of limiting beliefs.


One of the best ways to identify your limiting beliefs is to read widely.

Ask yourself how your life stands up to the people whom you admire in your readings. Then, hold yourself accountable for having a better life than theirs.

In general, you can figure out a good way to live by thinking about three concepts:

  1. What you’re passionate about;
  2. What you can be the best in the world at;
  3. How can you make money in a way that supports what you’re passionate about and what you’re the best in the world at: i.e. how can you share the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired pursuing your passion.

This sounds easy, but it’s not.

One of the best ways that I’ve found to accomplish this goal is by working with a good teacher or coach.

A good coach holds you accountable to your own high standards and doesn’t let you ignore the facts while helping you identify what you have to offer the world. A life coach works with you to cultivate and nourish your vision for success, which often involves helping you have insight into what beliefs limit you, and what beliefs help you flourish.

Here’s more on how to identify limiting beliefs.


With enough sincerity, passion, honesty, and internal motivation, you can completely eliminate your limiting beliefs and become the person you want to be.

This is what great people throughout the ages have done—not just great spiritual leaders such as Buddha.

Thousands of personalities throughout the ages including Julia Child, Dolly Parton, Shakespeare, Goethe, Cervantes, Martin Luther King, and others about whom we’ve never heard—because their passion was to live a deep, sincere, modest life, unconcerned with the public eye—realized their best selves by passionately tending to their community, friends, or family.

Generally, heroes base their work on high spiritual principles and an optimistic view of what human beings are capable of creating in the world.


The best way to destroy a limiting belief is through action.

By beginning to ask yourself difficult questions, focusing on creating alternative beliefs, and truly putting your beliefs to the test you will begin to see and overcome the beliefs you’ve imposed on yourself.

Limiting beliefs grow stronger with inaction. Without action toward ambitious goals, you’ll never face the kinds of challenges that bring your limiting beliefs to light.

Sometimes making excuses and not taking action is a way of indulging the limiting beliefs that keep you from doing and moving on.

Fortunately, it’s possible to destroy a limiting belief with three straightforward steps that anyone can do:

  1. Believe in yourself
  2. Face the brutal facts
  3. Take action

. . . and your limiting belief will be gone.

Learn more about overcoming limiting beliefs.

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6 Reviews on Bodhi Heart

Unfortunately, Yelp doesn’t show all of our client’s reviews on their website. 18 of 50, almost half of them, are hidden. But we want you to be able to see them all. See the excerpts below or read the full review by clicking the “Read on Yelp” button and logging into your Yelp account.

Joshua Levy
Joshua Levy
I have bee seeing Soken for while now. If you have some sort of lingering physcial malady go see him, don't wait. He's pretty busy and it might take some time to get in so call right now. Some of my injuries and pain that I have had for years have been greatly relieved by his rolfing work and he's also just a great human being. I would totally go see him for his other services as well. Rolfing doesn't need to be super intense though it can be. He will calibrate to what you need
Philippa Newman
Philippa Newman
I cannot recommend Soken highly enough. He will literally transform your life. I first came to meet Soken for his Rolfing services when I had been living with unbearable lower back pain for over a year. Numerous visits to doctors, various x-rays and months of physical therapy later, I was no better off and desperate to find an alternative solution. Having read about Rolfing as a technique, I discovered Soken's practice in NYC. I am now back pain free and able to do things I thought no longer possible. As I learned more about Soken during our Rolfing sessions, I became interested in his spiritual life coaching /contemplative guidance program. His carefully tailored program has given me enormous insight, and I am a better person, mother and leader as a result. Soken has a calming, peaceful and reassuring presence, and I am extremely grateful to have met him when I did.
A Rice
A Rice
Soken is an amazing coach that will get to the essence of your issues. Difficult issues seem to become easier handle talking to Soken. He is a great coach to have, especially in these times. He is clear and ensures you leave each session with an understanding and a plan of action.
Maya Kumits
Maya Kumits
I’ve been going to Soken for years for my bodywork and sending everyone I know to him too. The work he does with his hands is incredible - I cannot say enough good things. This review, however, is for life coaching. I was faced with a decision recently that I was having trouble making. I was going in circles. I kept changing my mind because I ultimately had no idea what to do. I felt lost and confused. I reached out to Soken for help and was so glad I did. After struggling for weeks trying to figure out the right thing to do, a 1-hour call with him gave me the clarity I needed. By answering a series of thoughtful questions and hearing my answers reflected back to me, I was able to untangle the signal from the noise. By the end of the call, the answer revealed itself. It’s been a few weeks since our call and I still feel great about the decision. I’m so grateful to Soken for helping me with this and won’t hesitate to reach out again for more life coaching.
Marni Gordon
Marni Gordon
I highly recommend Soken as he's a fantastic coach! Soken really helped me set clear goals and measures, helped me to get to insight, and ensures that I have a strong action plan with accountability in every session. Soken's coaching helped me overcome the fear of taking the next step. Soken is sensitive and provides compassionate support through the process.
faraz khan
faraz khan
Soken is an exceptionally intelligent person who seems to understand any multiple of bodily issues. I've been struggling with a reoccurring injury the past few years, and already after the first session I can sense a lot of good has been done. I highly recommend him to anyone 😊
Shonni Silverberg
Shonni Silverberg
I got to know Soken as a client of his Rolfing practice, where his expertise was immeasurably valuable in treating my plantar fasciitis. During the COVID crisis, Soken introduced me to meditation. Practicing under his guidance has been extremely helpful in these turbulent times. Shonni J. Silverberg, M.D., New York, NY
Anaina Mascovich
Anaina Mascovich
The meditation guidance and talk last night was phenomenal. I have had instruction on Metta meditation before, but your explanation offered so much wisdom and direct understanding. Much Gratitude to You Soken.
Lena Elkousy
Lena Elkousy
This review is long overdue, and I would give 10 stars if I could. I cannot recommend Soken's work highly enough. Rolfing is an investment in my physical and emotional health that I wish I had made long ago. To put it quite simply, Soken has changed my life. When we work together, he listens to what I say and what my body says, and works with me right where I am. He is a true healer. In our first series of sessions, he permanently relieved shoulder/neck pain and unfurled a chronic knot that no amount of years of deep tissue massage could even touch. One side of my ribcage was bound with fascia and scar tissue from physical and emotional trauma, to the point that I couldn't breathe into my lower right lung without feeling cramping in surrounding muscles. Over a few sessions, he set me free, and you can actually see the difference in the shape of my ribs. In a series other sessions, he relieved sharp cramping in my feet that I've dealt with since childhood. As a yogi and meditator myself, I find Soken's integrative approach quite profound. Do yourself a favor and an act of self love: and go see this wizard.
Stella Nyla Jules
Stella Nyla Jules
Soken has been transformational in improving and diminishing the increasing pain in my neck and shoulder that traditional physical therapies failed to resolve. His patience, caring, and intuition are top notch.


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