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How to Identify, Understand & Overcome Mental Blocks & Limiting Beliefs

By Amber Clarke.

Let’s think back to when we were kids. Think of your oldest memories of when you were young. I bet they are memories of you being fearless. Diving into the unknown without the stress or worry. You just did the thing. You jumped into the water or you picked up a lizard (although, I’d strongly advise to leave the old lizards alone). You get my drift. It helps that that part of the brain, the part that makes us worry wasn’t fully formed yet. So as children, we are out here living our best lives because we are so damn happy. We have zero worries!

As we begin to age, the world around us starts to supply the rules. You’re told what you should and shouldn’t do. Particularly for us females, there are certain things we shouldn’t say (you know, it isn’t very ladylike *eyeroll*) and there are certain ways we should dress.

I won’t dive too deeply into the patriarchy (that’s a whole other ball game) but these rules, that you live by, they’re likely to have created mental blocks and limiting beliefs and they’re stopping you from reaching your highest potential.

What are mental blocks and limiting beliefs?

Mental blocks and limiting beliefs are negative thought patterns that can prevent us from achieving our goals. They are usually rooted in self-doubt and can lead to cognitive distortions like overgeneralising, catastrophising, and jumping to conclusions.

These mental blocks can cause us to become overwhelmed with fear and anxiety, leading to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. By recognising these mental blocks and limiting beliefs, we can begin to challenge them by questioning the validity of our thoughts.

This process allows us to break down the barriers that keep us from living our best lives. By recognising our own negative thinking patterns, we can start taking steps towards creating a more positive mindset that will help us reach our goals.

Uncovering the root causes of your mental blocks & limiting beliefs

Mental blocks and limiting beliefs can be a major obstacle in the way of personal growth and development. It’s important to identify the root causes of these mental blocks and limiting beliefs in order to overcome them. Whether you're feeling stuck in your career, struggling with low self-esteem, or facing any other kind of personal development challenge, it's important to take a step back and look at the root causes of your mental blocks.

There are a range of different areas in life that have influenced your mental blocks and limiting beliefs. Below, you’ll find a few you might resonate with.


Growing up, it is likely your parents and family instilled their own beliefs and morals onto you. That could have been influenced by religion, culture, parenting style and even by their own upbringing. They may have wanted you to see the world in a certain way, have certain behavioural characteristics or perhaps your career path was decided for you at a young age.

For example, if you have critical parents that tend to find something small that is wrong or incorrect in everything you do (even if this is not malicious), this could instil in you the limiting belief that you are not good enough. As a result, you hold back from opportunities or procrastinate because you think it won’t be worth it and will end up in failure.


You are who you surround yourself with. It is said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Our friends can have a huge influence on our lives and can help shape our beliefs and values.

While it is important to surround ourselves with people who will motivate us, it is equally important to be aware of how our friends’ limiting beliefs could be affecting us.

We need to make sure that we are not allowing ourselves to be influenced by those who have negative outlooks on life, as this could lead to us developing limiting beliefs that may prevent us from achieving our goals.


Everyone has experienced moments of doubt, fear, and hesitation in their life. These experiences can lead us to develop limiting beliefs that hold us back from achieving our goals. When we recognise these beliefs and take steps to challenge them, we can open up a world of possibilities for ourselves. By understanding how our experiences have shaped our beliefs, we can better understand why we think the way we do and start to break down the barriers that have been holding us back.

By uncovering the underlying issues that are causing your mental blocks, you can begin to take actionable steps towards overcoming them. This will help you move forward on your journey towards personal growth and success.

Overcoming Mental Blocks and Limiting Beliefs

Please ensure you have some paper and a pen - activity ahead!

Isn’t it incredible how our perceptions are at play here? How one moment in time can be remembered differently for people involved. How one moment in time could be life-changing for some but of no importance to someone else? For example, imagine you were play-fighting with a sibling at a family gathering and suddenly you fell over in front of the entire family. The sibling you were play-fighting with might remember this as a bit of rough and tumble when you were kids or perhaps they may not even remember it at all. But for you, the feeling you associate with this memory is heartache, embarrassment or fear.

I want you to think about eight defining moments in life. These are the moments that when you recall, it has a strong emotion connected to it. They can be positive or negative but usually in the case of mental blocks and limiting beliefs, they’re often negative. Write these down. This will help you to understand yourself a little better and give you further insight into how your current identity was formed.

Now, narrow this down to three big defining moments and jot down your answers to the following questions. Do this for each of the three defining moments.

  1. Close your eyes and take yourself back to the moment. Where were you, who were you with, how old were you, what do you look like?

  2. What makes this a defining moment for you?

  3. What emotions are you noticing you feel? Write down the first three that come to mind.

  4. How would you change this situation if you could?

  5. What would you say, who would you say it to, how would you want them to respond?

  6. Was this a positive or negative moment? What did you gain or give up/surrender in the form of power and self determination?

  7. What ways has your interpretation of this defining moment impacted your life?

  8. Do you think or believe this belief of yourself is accurate?

  9. If you found out that your old view was skewed in some way, what has that old view cost you?

  10. What have you decided you want this to be instead?

  11. With the benefit of hindsight, what could the event mean for you instead?

  12. What will your beliefs about this become now?

How to create a positive mindset & reframe negative thinking patterns

You can’t control everything in your life, but you can control your mindset.

The way you view the world is what dictates how you respond to it. If you believe everything happens for a reason, then you will be more likely to find meaning in all of your experiences. If you believe the world is out to get you, then every obstacle will seem like an attack on your self-worth.

Positive thinking isn’t just something that occurs when things are going well for someone; it’s also about how we process challenges and setbacks. If we view challenges as opportunities for growth and self-improvement, then we are more likely to solve them with less stress and anxiety than if we see them as threats to our happiness or identity.

Here are three different ways to generate a positive mindset.

1. Practice gratitude.

The first step to changing your mindset is practicing gratitude. Gratitude is a powerful tool that can help you shift your perspective and create a more positive outlook on life. It's also a great way to reconnect with yourself, which will help you feel more grounded and balanced.

Write down three things you are grateful for each day in a gratitude journal or on your phone (you can use an app like Gratitude Journal). This helps keep track of how often this exercise happens and how long it has been since the last time you did it!

2. Do something every day that makes you feel good about yourself and that contributes to your mental wellbeing – even if it's just a simple thing like brushing your teeth or taking a bath.

Just like your body, your mind needs daily attention. The more you care for it and make sure it's in good shape, the more likely it is that you'll be able to cope with life's challenges.

3. Focus on what you can control, not what you can't.

You can't control what other people think of you, but you can control how you react to their opinions. You can't always get what you want, but if you focus on what's right in front of you, like the positive things that are happening in your life, then it's easier to be grateful for what does come along.

You don't have any say over when or where a disaster might strike next time around, so why spend time worrying about something beyond your control?

Finally, one system I love to use to reframe negative thinking, is Gabby Berntstein’s Choose Again method. Check it out!

In order to stay upbeat and healthy mentally, it's important that you take steps to create and maintain a positive mindset. You can do this by practicing gratitude, writing down three good things that happened each day for a week (or more), reminding yourself of your goals and reasons why you want them as often as possible, focusing on what you can control instead of what isn't in your control at all times – even if it feels like there's nothing good happening right now! A.C.

Amber Clarke is the founder of Miracle Mindset Coaching and a certified coach with over 12 years' experience in marketing and communications. Amber is offering Mavens readers a 20% discount on The Pheonix Program, helping business leaders develop their workplace culture. Learn more about the program here or contact Amber directly to book (mention Mavens to receive your offer).


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