How to Cultivate a Positive Mindset and Overcome Limiting Beliefs with Self-Affirmations

Woman sitting on rocks and journaling. Image: Pexels - Kevin Malik

Setting The Stage

A positive mindset functions as the cornerstone of any personal transformation and is critical when it comes to making wellness and nutrition improvements. Whether it’s pursuing physical fitness, achieving nutrition goals, or an overall healthy well-being, mindset ultimately is what will determine our success or failure. This is because wellness is never just physical; it’s profoundly psychological and emotional.

Mindset encompasses the attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives that we adopt towards ourselves, our circumstances, and our goals. It profoundly influences our actions and behavior as well as shapes our habits and our decision-making processes.

When our mindset is positive and growth-focused, we are far more likely to successfully navigate the setbacks that arise in the form of plateaus, self-doubt, and inevitable unforeseen circumstances. It helps promote resilience and perseverance.

As an example, it can be easy to view exercise, mindful nutrition, stress management techniques, and other self-care activities as burdensome; yet another list of tasks to accomplish in an already full day. A positive mindset helps reframe these same tasks as acts as investments in our long-term health and happiness and make engaging in these healthy behaviors much more likely.

If you’re reading this and have started to realize that your mindset may not be as positive as you’d like it to be, fear not! It’s totally possible to overcome a negative mindset and work on cultivating a more positive one through some practices and strategies that I will briefly cover here.

How Can We Affect Our Mindset?

We have already determined mindset to be a collection of beliefs, attitudes, and perspectives that shape our world, but have you ever wondered how we developed our current mindset? It’s a complicated combination of several factors including genetics, childhood experiences, the culture we grew up in, the people we surrounded ourselves with, the role models we had in our lives, significant life events, and so much more. It’s important to acknowledge just how deeply ingrained our personal mindset is.

So many of the current beliefs, attitudes, and perspectives we currently have are ones we “adopted” and took on as our own. As children, we naturally absorb beliefs and attitudes from the influential figures in our lives, such as parents, teachers, and peers. Through observation, imitation, and social interaction, we internalize these perspectives, forming the foundation of our own worldview without even knowing it.

But we can change the ones that no longer serve us, once we become self-aware and examine what our current beliefs are.

Here are a couple of ways to non-judgmentally explore our mindset and uncover them:


It can be helpful to do a “brain dump” occasionally — especially when you are struggling with something that repeatedly comes up. Allow yourself to free flow without making any edits or judgments about what you are writing. Come back to it later and see what stands out.

Self-Reflection Questions & Exercises

We can challenge our limiting beliefs with questions like “What evidence supports this belief” or “When did I first start believing this”. Your answers may be very enlightening! If you ask better questions, you will always get better answers.

Mindful & Curious Observation

Be an observer of yourself! Act as a detached and curious onlooker and start to question some of the things you do and say.

Feedback from Trusted Friends, Family, and/or Colleagues

Because limiting beliefs are so ingrained, you may find it difficult to be that detached onlooker. You might need some help from people in your life who know you well and want the best for you. Ask them what they observe as roadblocks that you seem to regularly come up against.

Strategies for Growth

What did you discover? It’s important to maintain a self-compassionate approach as you explore your current mindset and beliefs. The negative ones manifest in various forms such as self-doubt, perfectionism, or the fear of rejection, just reinforcing the negative loop over and over and again.

The good news is that the mere act of objectively looking at your limiting beliefs can begin to weaken their hold on your mindset and creek open the door to exploring new possibilities. But that alone is not enough. We must then create new, more empowering self-affirmations and use them regularly.

Self-Affirmation Technique

You might wonder what self-affirmations are. Quite simply, they are positive statements aimed at reinforcing (and reprograming) desired beliefs. These are meant to replace old, unempowering, and unhelpful limiting beliefs that have been “running in the background” for too long.

By repeating affirmations regularly, we can start to re-wire our neural connections in a direction we want, focusing on our strengths, values, and potential rather than our limitations.

I invite you to visualize a path in the forest. Paths are easy to spot and navigate because they have been worn down by constant use. For that very reason, they are often the most obvious ones to take. But what if that easy path leads you to a dead end or a spot that you don’t want to be? In this case, you may be forced to forge a new path!

To create a new path through a dense forest, you would need to clear away obstacles such as thick underbrush, and fallen branches, and carefully navigate the terrain. It would require perseverance and determination, breaking through existing barriers and venturing into uncharted territory. It’s the very same for creating new neural pathways in your mind.

New Belief Technique

To reduce the resistance to brand new, often opposing affirmations, I really like this tool from John Assaraf, NY Times Best Selling Author and Mindset & Behaviour Expert. He has a template that he recommends using so that when we start to work on developing new beliefs, our brain doesn’t disregard them. Here’s his template:

“I am so happy and grateful for the fact that in the past, I used to believe ______, and now I am choosing to believe _______.

What might you use in this sentence?

Reframing Technique

Like the exercise above, the work we do on our mindset and limiting beliefs must be at least somewhat believable. After decades and years of running a belief like this: “I am overweight, I have tried everything and I will never be able to lose this weight”, you’re not going to believe an affirmation that’s the complete opposite of that. Our brains will come up with thousands of thoughts to support the belief that has been running for years. So, what do you do instead? You reframe. Here are some examples of what it may look like:

“I have successfully faced challenges before, and I am capable of discovering new healthy approaches to achieve my weight loss goals.”

“It’s actually not true that I have tried everything. It might feel that way, but I recognize that there are always new methods and strategies to explore. I am open to discovering what works best for me.”

“Instead of focusing on past setbacks, I choose to concentrate on the present moment and the small steps I can take each day to improve my well-being.”

As you can see, there are many possibilities. Write your own and see how you can start to shift your perspective in the right direction.

Incorporating Positive Self-Affirmations, New Beliefs and Reframes

This is the tricky part! You need to be consistent with the implementation to start shifting new beliefs into your life. Here are my top tips:

Create a Routine

Your ability to be consistent with practicing new and positive affirmations will largely depend on the routines you “habit stack” them with. I recommend incorporating your affirmations into morning or bedtime routines that you are already super consistent with. One example is to repeat them daily after you brush your teeth. Repetition will help with reinforcement!

Surround Yourself with Positivity

It’s hard to work on changing your internal world when your physical environment wants to keep you where you are. You may need to seek external support, surround yourself with a group of people who are positively working towards similar goals or remove yourself from others who you know always bring you down — even temporarily.

Celebrate Progress

Get in the habit of celebrating small steps along the way — like a week of consistently doing your affirmations in the morning. Acknowledging and celebrating your progress, no matter how small can help boost your motivation and reinforce the effectiveness of your efforts.

Be Patient and Exercise Self-Compassion

Changing deeply ingrained beliefs and thought patterns takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself and practice self-compassion along the way, recognizing that it’s okay to have setbacks and moments of doubt. Each step forward, no matter how small, brings you closer to the positive changes you seek.

The Role of Nutrition & Wellness

Nutrition and wellness also play a crucial role in maintaining a positive mindset. Research has shown that certain nutrients and dietary patterns can impact mood, cognition, and overall mental well-being. For example, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, nuts, and seeds have been linked to improved brain health and mood regulation. Likewise, a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins provides essential nutrients that support optimal brain function and emotional resilience.

In addition to nutrition, regular physical activity and adequate sleep are vital components of a healthy lifestyle that contribute to a positive mindset. Exercise releases endorphins, neurotransmitters that promote feelings of happiness and well-being, while sleep allows the brain to rest and recharge, enhancing cognitive function and emotional stability. Exercise is my all-time personal favorite mood booster!


Cultivating a positive mindset is a journey that requires commitment, patience, and self-awareness. Give yourself grace along the way. By overcoming limiting beliefs and embracing a positive mindset, we can transform our lives and unlock our full potential. Incorporating principles of nutrition and wellness further enhances our mental well-being, providing a solid foundation for personal growth and fulfillment.

You do not have to “do healthy” on your own. In fact, research tells us that you are much more likely to succeed if you have accountability layered in.

Let’s face it — healthy eating and healthy lifestyles can be boring and require a lot of patience. Having the support of an accountability coach and a community of like-minded individuals on your team can make all the difference. Share paths with a practicing holistic nutritionist, receive one-on-one coaching regarding your meals, and be connected on the app with my other clients and Ambassadors. You will have fun, stay motivated, and feel inspired!

Find out more by visiting my website

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