Limiting Beliefs List: 31 Beliefs That Limit Your Earning Potential

You’ve landed exactly where you need to be in order to grab your limiting beliefs list.

Here’s a question for female business owners. Do you believe that your success comes down to your beliefs? We wondered, specifically regarding female entrepreneurs, what kind of effect our thoughts and beliefs have on our success.

So, we did a thing. A study, to be more specific.


Limiting Beliefs List and Female-Owned Businesses

In this study regarding the limiting beliefs of female entrepreneurs, we covered the following:

  1. The Data about female business owners and their limiting beliefs.
  2. The obstacles female business owners navigate.
  3. How limiting and interfering beliefs can be overcome.


Our Study Found

Female entrepreneurs limit their business success because they hold beliefs that lead to small actions instead of big ones.




We concluded this article with a complete list of all 31 questions we asked participants during this study. For all the Type A’s like us, you can jump to the bottom if you’re itching to know. We see you! Wink wink.

Female-owned businesses are a passion of mine. I have run a few different businesses myself and have operated RebelFish Local, jointly with my husband, for the past 10 years.

I’ve had ups and downs as a business owner, and I’ve often wondered how limiting beliefs have played a role in my overall success. It turns out I’m not the only female entrepreneur ruminating over this very question.

So, I joined together with five other female business owners to conduct a study.

Six female business owners conducted a study to investigate the beliefs that hinder small actions and prevent significant progress in business growth. The aim was to understand the barriers that prevent female business owners from reaching their full potential.


The Data about female business owners and their limiting beliefs.


The top five limiting beliefs of these female business owners were:

  1. If I haven’t put in the time, I’m not going to get the return.
  2. I have never built a business bigger than the size I am now.
  3. There just isn’t enough time in the day/week.
  4. I am afraid to raise outside capital to fund my business growth.
  5. I am the only person in my business who can do important tasks the right way.


Interestingly, these top limiting beliefs match the top five answers to the second question, “To what extent does each belief (below) interfere with your ability to take action in your business?”


The top five interfering beliefs were:

  1. If I haven’t put in the time, I’m not going to get the return.
  2. There just isn’t enough time in the day/week.
  3. I have never built a business bigger than the size I am now.
  4. I am afraid to raise outside capital to fund my business growth.
  5. I am the only person in my business who can do important tasks the right way.


Study participants acknowledge that their limiting beliefs are affecting the actions they take in their business and that their beliefs “interfere” with the necessary next steps toward business growth. Data from the open-ended questions in the survey reinforced the effects of the owners’ beliefs.


It’s interesting, isn’t it? It’s as if we get stuck in a cycle of thoughts and can’t quite figure out a way to escape from that. Generally speaking, female entrepreneurs are Type A all the way. So, I found these beliefs both relatable as well as surprising; once I saw them on paper.



The obstacles female business owners navigate.

Our study demonstrates that the limiting beliefs held by female entrepreneurs affect their actions and business results. We also found that interfering beliefs create a cyclical belief-results pattern, correlate with revenue earnings, and diminish confidence.

  • The belief-results cycle

The beliefs that female entrepreneurs hold can limit their ability to take immediate and decisive actions to grow their businesses.

Their concerns are influenced by their perspectives on time, the concept of borrowing money, delegation (or lack thereof), and their professional experience in building larger businesses.


There are countless iterations of these belief-results cycles. Why wouldn’t there be? We all create our own narratives as we navigate through life. These are the stories we form and tell ourselves repeatedly without even realizing it. This is powerful stuff right here!


  • The revenue roadblock

Limiting beliefs seems to have an impact on the revenue of businesses owned by women. It was observed that the most severe limiting beliefs were linked to the lowest revenue. This observation prompts the question of whether the owners of smaller companies are small due to these beliefs.


  • The confidence conundrum


When asked about the challenges of building their businesses, the participants mentioned various factors such as time constraints, energy levels, emotional resources, sales, and marketing issues, business ownership skills and confidence, and the process of hiring staff as their primary concerns.

In a subsequent question, participants were asked to envision their ideal scenario. The survey inquired, “If there were no obstacles and you had unlimited financial resources, time, and confidence, what changes would you make to promote the growth of your business?”



Participants outlined in great detail the exact steps they would take if they knew they couldn’t fail. Their answers fell into the following categories:

Limiting Beliefs List (page 15) for these inspirational answers!

Limiting Beliefs List


How limiting and interfering beliefs can be overcome.

The identity decision-making model, introduced by James March in his book “Primer on Decision-Making: How Decisions Happen,” suggests that individuals make decisions based on their self-perception. Unlike a strictly factual approach that considers pros/cons and risks/benefits, identity-based decisions are influenced by personal beliefs and values.

Making decisions about one’s identity can be challenging as it may seem like rational choices are being made, but in truth, these decisions are often influenced by personal beliefs of acceptability or unacceptability.


The process of changing personal identity involves taking action and being influenced by the principles of behavior change. That’s what the study covers next.

  • Take one small step–and gain positive momentum.

Psychological momentum happens when thoughts, feelings, physiology, or behavior change. This momentum shifts perception, releasing neurochemicals and improving performance and outcomes.

James Clear’s book “Atomic Habits” explains the Habit Loop, which includes triggers for positive behavior and rewards for completing it. Triggers prompt action, and rewards make it appealing.

  • Surround yourself with success to make what seems impossible possible.

We become similar in behavior and success level as the five people closest in proximity to us. Surrounding ourselves with successful individuals can lead us towards success as well. Our environment has a significant impact on our behavior.

To develop a new habit, it is crucial that we make some meaningful changes in our surroundings.

  • Reframe your thoughts to achieve better outcomes.

Thought reframing is a powerful tool for changing thoughts and behaviors. One technique is replacing limiting beliefs with liberating truths. Michael Hyatt, a best-selling author and business coach, discusses this concept in his books “Your Best Year Ever” and “Free to Focus.”

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) often incorporates this practice. The theory is that changing thoughts can change your point of view, leading to different feelings and behaviors.


For more complete information and details on this study, download our Limiting Beliefs List PDF.


31 Survey Questions were asked during this study:

Question 1) To what extent do you believe this statement to be true? (1= Not at all 7= Very Much) add 1 through 31 Question 2) To what extent does this belief interfere with you taking action in your business as an entrepreneur? (1= Not at all 7= Very Much) add 1 through 31

1. I don’t know enough to grow my business.

2. I’m not smart enough to be in charge.

3. I have trouble choosing the right team.

4. I don’t have enough experience managing other people.

5. My health problems hold me back.

6. I do not have the right personal habits to be successful.

7. I am unclear about the value I bring to the workplace.

8. I don’t know what my purpose is in the world.

9. I’ve never built a business bigger than the size I am now.

10. I can’t be trusted because I tend to make bad decisions.

11. There is too much competition in my field to grow bigger.

12. I am the only person in my business who can do important tasks the right way.

13. I can’t handle massive success.

14. My success is predetermined by God/The Universe/Fate.

15. I am unsure how to brand myself/my business effectively.

16. I’m not good enough with money to be the boss.

17. I can’t charge enough to grow my business to the next level.

18. There is a finite amount of money in the world.

19. I am afraid to raise outside capital to fund my business growth.

20. There just isn’t enough time in a day/week.

21. It is going to take too long to train additional staff

22. If I haven’t put in the time, I’m not going to get the return.

23. I’m too old to build something significant now.

24. I have to choose between being a successful business leader or having the family role I want.

25. I worry my business success will complicate family relationships.

26. I am afraid I might outgrow friendships as my success grows.

27. I wonder if my confidence is perceived by others as bossy.

28. I think that business success is more socially acceptable for men than for women.

29. It is more socially acceptable for women to be a VP instead of CEO.

30. My family will expect financial support if I am more successful.

31. Other people question my abilities to lead because I am a woman.


Check out 90 Day Marketing Plan To Get More Local Clients. Break Things Down into steps so you’re not too overwhelmed while trying to juggle the intrusive thoughts that plague all of us.

Remember this… you’re not alone! There are so many of us going through the same challenges every day. Be sure to breathe and take time for yourself. You’ve got this!