Four Limiting Beliefs You Should Stop Believing Immediately

Part 2 of a multi-part blog series about your life's calling

What I’m about to share next is arguably the most important few ideas related to your calling.

Many would dismiss these ideas as the sort of “mushy” stuff related to your call. Really, I used to be one of those people. The emotional part of the call was something I didn’t like. Down deep I’m probably a realest, and a very practical, goal oriented type person.

So thinking about things that are emotional or “squishy”, hasn’t been my strong point. But I’ve come to learn that there really are several limiting beliefs that constantly war against your call.

These limiting beliefs have to be overcome.

I will overcome limiting beliefs

If you don’t stop them dead in their tracks they will keep you from living out the call on your life. The people which have been sidetracked by these limiting beliefs are all around you, and you don’t want to become one of them.

So the very first thing you need to do is get rid of every limiting belief inside yourself. You have to replace the limiting belief with it’s counterpart, which is truth from God’s Word.

Limiting belief #1 The negative things people say or think about you are true

I remember the months leading up to the moment where I finally “gave in” to the initial calling on my life.

They were difficult months.

I struggled with negative thoughts and beliefs which had been placed in my heart over the years.

There is a moment I can recall from my teenage years when a person very close to me, someone very important in my life, a trusted family member in fact…told me my calling would never amount to anything.

Essentially that I would never amount to anything.

The feeling of being worthless overwhelmed me. It felt like my life had absolutely no value, and I just didn’t know where to turn.

This statement was simply the culmination of many other words spoken to me throughout my life. Like so many other people now days, I lived in a negative environment. Words had been spoken to me, about me, and over me. Listening to these words created a limiting belief in my life.

Those words seemed like mountains which were impossible to climb over.

[clickToTweet tweet=”God has a call for every person…all they have to do is find it.” quote=”God has a call for every person…all they have to do is find it.”]

So here’s the question:

Why is it so hard to find your calling?

I think it has a lot to do with BELIEVING you are WORTH being called.

If you don’t believe there is intrinsic value in your life, something placed there by God…you are going to find it very difficult to believe God wants to call you and give you a purpose in life.

That’s the way it was for me.

These limiting beliefs held me captive for years.

I felt I was no good, like I couldn’t accomplish anything of value, and I could never understand why anyone would consider me valuable.

Even though I believed God loved me, It was hard to think that He desired to use me or give me a purpose.

This same limiting belief will keep YOU from discovering your call as well.

Thankfully there was a trusted friend that came to my aid.

This man was a Christian. He was older than me and also a pastor.

My respect for him was off the charts…I really believed in his thoughts and opinions. One day I made time to go visit with him. The conversation was hard for me because I had never allowed anyone to see what I dealt with…the feelings of being worthless and devalued.

Most guys can probably relate to this. Men don’t usually get all emotional and “feely”. The guys I know simply take things in stride and deal with it. But we all have our melting point; and I had reached mine.

Words began to pour out of me…I felt I had nothing good to offer anyone.

My friend took the time to encourage me. He reminded me that I AM valuable to God.

Over the course of several hours during this talk I somehow started to believe what he said, even though I still struggled.

During the next few weeks God continued to “speak” to me. The impression that I was created to preach grew stronger and stronger. It was overtaking me. I came to realize I had been believing a lie.

All the negative words weren’t true.

It is very important that you stop believing you’re not valuable. This notion that you can’t accomplish anything, or that your life isn’t quite as important as someone else is nothing more than a lie.

This lie will limit everything good God wants to do in your life if YOU LET IT.

So don’t let it! Stop believing the lie.

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When it comes to your calling in life, there are only two opinions that really matter:

– Yours

– God’s

The things other people say about you is simply their opinion.

You can’t afford to base your life on the things people say about you. You will end up spending precious, irreplaceable time trying to make people happy. People pleasing is a tough job…one that usually can’t be accomplished.

So don’t waste your time on this. You have to simply make up your mind to go forward in what you believe to be the calling on your life.

Ask yourself:


Scripture is a great place to find the answer. In fact, one of my favorite passages of scripture says…

Jeremiah 29:11 NLTse

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

The simple answer is God has a future for you.

It literally took me years to get this belief settled in my heart. For some people, like me, it is really hard to believe God has a great plan for your life. You doubt yourself and don’t see how anything good can come out of you. But you need to stop that sort of belief right now.

God has a call for every person…all they have to do is find it. And the first step to doing just that is answering the question, “what does God think about me?”

Next, you need to answer the question:


Do you believe the negative things other people say about you? Do you base your emotional well being on what others say and think of you?

Many people, actually most people do. Their entire life is tied up to what other people think, say, and believe about them; but this is a recipe for failure in your calling.

[clickToTweet tweet=”You have to get your beliefs about yourself settled down deep in your heart. ” quote=”You have to get your beliefs about yourself settled down deep in your heart. “]

You have to get your beliefs about yourself settled down deep in your heart and stop allowing limiting beliefs to control you.

There are some concrete things you need to believe. These will become your north star as you pursue your calling in life. For me, it was easier to list my deeply held beliefs as statements rather than just answering the question, “what do I believe about myself”.

Years ago as I started this journey of discovering my call, I wrote down several statements describing the person I wanted to BE. These “belief” statements have been an integral part of my life. In fact, I’ve formed nearly everything around them.

Here’s my list of belief statements to use as an example. Maybe these will spark similar statements of your own.

– I will win my battles whatever the cost.

– I will make a difference for the cause of Christ.

– I will fight until there is only one man standing; and I will be that man.

– I will carry God’s vision into every territory and fight until I see it come to pass.

– I will go above and beyond the call of duty.

– I will live with honor.

– I will fight with courage.

– I will rest with hope.

– I will walk with victory.

This simple set of sentences has become a driving force behind anything I may have accomplished in my life.

Before you will become the person you’re called to be, you need to replace the limiting beliefs, negative opinions, and wrong thinking in your life. You replace it with what you feel God believes about you, and then you begin to believe it yourself.

For me it was easiest to do this through statements of belief…my “I wills”.

I encourage you to write some of your own.

Limiting belief #2 You can accomplish your calling by yourself

This is an easy trap to fall into.

It’s YOUR calling, so you should be able to do it alone, right? Wrong!

Your calling in life is something you’ll need others to help you fulfill. Every person needs a support system.

As someone who is called to be a pastor and preacher, I spend the majority of my time living out my call on a platform. Preaching seems to be a one man sport; but in reality it’s not. I have a group of people surrounding me which I draw strength from, encouragement from, and even ideas from.

My wife is the number one member of this team. Without her help and support I would never have the confidence to do what I do. She rallies behind me, giving me the courage to walk this road I’m on.

There are many other people who I consider to be a part of my “team”. In fact, there is even a small group of people who have come together to help me publish this book, and I’m so very grateful for them.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Independence can be admirable; but it is DETRIMENTAL to living out your calling in life. ” quote=”Independence can be admirable; but it is DETRIMENTAL to living out your calling in life. “]

Here’s the thing:

Independence can be admirable; but it is DETRIMENTAL to living out your calling in life.

You are going to need input, help, support, and open doors to live your call. You cannot do it alone. The longer you try the more frustrated you’re going to be.

You need the help and support of others.

God designed it this way. See, none of us were meant to live life alone.

Your friends, family, spouse, and those closest to you should be your allies. You need them. In the long run, those who finish the race and actually live out the call in life are the ones who don’t try to go it alone.

Limiting belief #3 I’m afraid to start

Once you’ve discovered what your calling is (which is the goal of this book), it’s easy to start making plans.

Plans are a great thing. In fact, I love them! I’m a natural planner who likes things to be done in order.

I LOVE lists…they actually bring me comfort. If something needs to be accomplished, just start a list.

Begin writing down the most important imperatives which need to be done…easy right? Wrong again!

You can plan yourself to death if you’re not careful; and your plans can become paralyzing. Many people use plans as a cover for their fear of starting. They rationalize, “this is a big goal I’m about to pursue, I have to make sure everything is just right before I begin”. This sounds like great advice; except it’s not.

[clickToTweet tweet=”When you discover your call you need to jump in head first. ” quote=”When you discover your call you need to jump in head first. “]

When you discover your call you need to jump in head first.

The best way to learn to swim is jumping in over your head.

I’m not advocating that you don’t plan…far from it.

What you need to do instead is plan then act. Plan then do. Plan then jump.

One huge component of this limiting belief is that it seems easier to stay safe where you are. But staying where you are will NEVER get you where you should be.

In fact, the longer you wait to get started with your call the easier it will be to back out of it. I’ve had so many people come to me over the years, expressing what they felt called to do. The majority of these people have all went into the mode of “trying to figure it out”.

They wanted no risk to involved.

The desire for everything to be ready and in place, actually displaced the urgency of their call and every one of them except for one has walked away from the calling they expressed.

I can relate to this because I was afraid to start too; but once I finally launched I found something that satisfied me deep down inside. You will too. Whatever your call is, you just need to start.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Your call isn’t about trying to be something you’re not. It’s about you being something YOU ARE. ” quote=”Your call isn’t about trying to be something you’re not. It’s about you being something YOU ARE. “]

Will everything turn out perfect? NO, no, and no.

You are going to make mistakes, things won’t work out right, and sometimes you’ll get discouraged; but keep on going anyway. You learn as you go, not as you plan.

Another major reason why people are afraid to start is they’re afraid for people to see who they really are.

This is such a shame, because living the life God created you to live is amazing.

We have this belief that people won’t accept our calling…that going out and living in it will somehow reveal a motive in us that turns people off.

You have to get past this! I can’t express this enough…

Living out your call isn’t about you trying to be something you’re not. It is about you being something YOU ARE.

Be who you were created to be

For years I wanted to write and I was always scared to do it.

– Would people laugh at my words?

– How would a book written by me be received?

– Would my friends and those closest to me think I’m trying to be a “know it all”?

– Would people question my motives?

– Would they discount my calling to be a writer?

Finally, I’ve come to the conclusion that if I’m going to write, I have to just do it. You can’t wait on people to pick you because they never will. The fact is, God picked you. He called you. He created you with a powerful, fulfilling call and you need to find it and live it.

[clickToTweet tweet=”You can’t wait on people to pick you because they never will.” quote=”You can’t wait on people to pick you because they never will.”]

Don’t be afraid to start simply because of what others may think when you do.

I have to say this one more time…

Living out your call isn’t about you trying to be something you’re not. It is about you being something YOU ARE.

Limiting belief #4 I’m afraid I will fail

Let me alleviate your fears…


Failure has been the companion of every person who has ever achieved great things in life.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Failure has been the companion of every person who has ever achieved great things in life. ” quote=”Failure has been the companion of every person who has ever achieved great things in life. “]

You will fail; but failure is not the end. The key thing to get right WHEN you fail is your perspective.

The way you see failure, more importantly, the way you USE failure is the determining factor in whether or not you’ll live out your calling.

I certainly don’t know everything; but one thing I’ve learned over the years is failure is just a part of the process when you’re discovering your call in life.

In fact, there are at least three beliefs about failure which usually limit most people:

– If I try and fail people will judge me.

– If I fail I’ll never get another chance.

– My failure is permanent.

Limiting beliefs are something you have to overcome. They will always be part of your process, as it relates to your call. And each of these statements we’ve listed is a real limiting belief that people face on the road to living their call.

So let’s talk about each one just a little…


I going to shoot straight with you…this one is true.

You will only overcome this limiting belief when your desire to live in your call is greater than your fear of what others think of you.

Think of it this way…

– Other people don’t are not the ones living your life.

– You are the one living your life.

– Do you want to live your life for them or for you?

The longer you focus on how people perceive you, the longer it will take to be happy living in your call.

People DO judge a book by its cover…People judge others when they have no right to judge…You have to grit your teeth and bust through this limiting belief.


Rarely is this the case.

I remember the story of a young youth pastor who served in a large church. He had asked for the opportunity to lead a huge outreach event in his community. To this young man’s amazement, he was given the opportunity.

He couldn’t believe it. The excitement and planning seemed to feed his dreams.

During the course of several months leading up to the event, the young pastor spent thousands of dollars which had been allocated to this outreach. All the planning and hard work were finally coming together.

The invitations had been printed and sent (this was before email and the internet). He had personally invested time and effort making sure everything was just right.

One thing he didn’t account for, however, was the weather.

On the day of the event it rained and rained. In my community we might say it “poured and spilled”.

The event was a total wash. Since it had been planned outdoors, no one came.

The young youth minister was devastated. He had wasted the entire budget on an event that never happened.

A few days later he dejectedly walked into the office of his lead pastor and turned in his resignation. The older, more seasoned pastor looked at him in amazement and asked why he was resigning.

He said, “I figured since I wasted the church’s money on this huge event that failed, you would want me to resign.” The old pastor looked over his glasses at the young man and simply said, “son, you can’t help the weather. There is no need for you to resign.”

The young man was over joyed, and he went on to do awesome things for the kingdom of God.

The point is…we usually think we’ll never get another chance. We build up our calling to such a degree that failure seems like the end; but it rarely is.

I’ve found that most people are very understanding if they know you’re putting your whole heart into something. The reason others have the capacity to give you grace is simple…they’ve been there too.

If you will keep your character and integrity above board, even if you face a failure you’ll most likely have another chance.

This brings us to the last reason why most people are afraid of failure…


Listen, you have to get this into your heart…

The only permanent failure is the one you let hold you back.

[clickToTweet tweet=”The only permanent failure is the one you let hold you back. ” quote=”The only permanent failure is the one you let hold you back. “]

Sure there are obvious things that keep people from pursuing their call…things like moral failures or crimes; but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

You are doing your dead level best to discover your call and overcome your limiting beliefs. So what if you fail. We’ve already talked about the fact that YOU WILL fail at some point.

The key is to not let your failure hold you back.

Failure is ONLY permanent if you let it be.

Rick Warren’s “What On Earth Am I Here For” Bible Study – Check it out

Your call is your center

Your call is the place where balance and happiness combine. When you’ve found your calling in life you’ll be a person who feels useful again.

In fact, everything else in your life gathers around your center, so when you don’t know what your center is, there’s no way your life can remain in balance.

I believe you have the power and capacity to overcome every limiting belief in your life. It’s the first step you need to take.

Faith Building Challenge

I would love to help you build your faith. You can do that by joining my free Faith Building Challenge.

Sometimes we know we need a little push, but we can’t seem to do it on our own. My five-day faith building challenge is the little push you need to jump start your faith. In it, you will find easy, actionable, and strategic steps to help you build your faith. I would love the opportunity to help you along the way. To join the challenge, sign up below, and I’ll send you an email to get you started.


Larry Shankle is a pastor, author, and blogger. He helps people get clarity and direction in their calling, purpose, dreams, and leadership.

Larry and his wife (Amanda) live in the Arkansas river valley with their two boys (Braxton and Dawson). He has spent almost two decades in active local church ministry serving in multiple leadership roles. Larry has spent the last six and a half years serving as Lead Pastor of GrandviewChurch in Natural Dam, AR.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Four Limiting Beliefs You Should Stop Believing Immediately

  1. Great post. I found the hardest thing was getting started. Yes I have had a few fails along the way. Oddly enough some of those fails opened the doors to the places that I actually wanted to go!