What are they and where do they come from?

A limiting belief is a state of mind or belief about yourself that restricts you in some way. Everyone experiences limiting beliefs, but learning how to recognize them and trace their roots can help you proactively prevent these beliefs from limiting you.  

In the context of women in medicine, a limiting belief can be “I can’t control what is happening in my career” or “I need to just do everything they ask me to do in my current position as that’s just what doctors are supposed to do”.  These are just examples and many other limiting beliefs exist that can keep us stuck in an unhappy position or career choice.  

Limiting beliefs can come from our family backgrounds, our education, our experiences, and even our relationships.  Our family backgrounds can contribute to limiting beliefs in many ways.  For example, we could be from a family that did not have any formal education or well-paying career options, and thus we believe we are lucky to be a physician and lucky to have our salary.  Or our parents/home life may have taught us that we should follow the rules and stick with the safe choices.  Our experiences can teach us not to stray too far from the traditional path, as risk can create failure.  Our education can limit our beliefs significantly, particularly our education as female physicians, we are taught to do what we are told, regardless of how much this may negatively impact our mental or physical health (I was trained in the early stages of the 80-hour workweek and this was looked down upon by the more senior docs!).  

To identify your limiting beliefs you can start by looking at, and writing down, your negative or toxic situations and all of the details that were involved.  Continue to ask yourself “why” in regards to your behavior or responses in this situation.  

You can also explore counseling and coaching as these services can help you dig deeper into your unique background/experiences and how they can bloom into limiting beliefs.

Limiting beliefs can cause you to feel stuck in an unhealthy job, relationship, career….you name it….but stuck is not a good place to be!

I invite you to join me in the coming weeks as my YouTube channel pivots to reach women in medicine that might be struggling, or just looking to learn more and be inspired by other female physicians.  I will be interviewing so many amazing women, I can’t wait to share their stories (podcast recording simultaneously so you can listen or watch)!