How to Quit Holding Yourself Back with Self-Limiting Thoughts

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Over the years, I’ve shared a bunch of ‘trainer talks’ on our FitRV Facebook page; quick pep talks revolving around healthy mind & body topics. I’ve never bothered to share them here; but I’m changing that today. Here’s my latest social media trainer talk—and something that’s been on my mind a lot lately: how we hold ourselves back.

There’s James, walking the edge of Cinder Cone trail in Northern California.

We can be so good about talking ourselves out of things. Our beliefs about ourselves and what we’re capable of can get so skewed. Maybe it’s “I could never run 5 miles,” or, “There’s no way I could handle a solo cross-county RV trip.” It’s not just you; thoughts like these are actually a survival mechanism. Your brain feeds you self-limiting thoughts as part of its master plan— to keep you alive and safe within the confines of your comfort zone.

When you catch yourself having any limiting thoughts, here’s what you can do. Think of alternatives to that thought. Instead of thinking “I’m not brave enough to take a cross-country trip,” think “I could have an amazing adventure. I just need to practice with shorter trips.”

That’s the key here, looking at alternatives and then practicing the thing you feel you can’t do. You keep practicing, pushing yourself, and taking risks until you get more comfortable. It’s not easy proving the inner voice wrong, but you can do it.

Always remember, you aren’t those thoughts—that’s your brain just doing its trickster thing. The real you is the one watching those thoughts. You don’t have to blindly accept them. And each time you’re successful at proving them wrong, well that right there is where real growth happens.


Something to ponder. Be well, all! ❤️



After 15 years as an educator in both the public K-12 setting and the University level in Special Physical Education, Stef made the leap to her true passion… the fitness world. She’s currently a personal trainer and wellness coach specializing in seniors, medical conditions, and injuries. Stef loves running, cycling, and being “Mugga” to her two favorite mini-humans — Punky and Marshmallow. ❤️

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