7 limiting beliefs that are holding you back

By Annette Paterakis

Most of our beliefs are formed by all the information we get from the people around us as a child. Up to the age of 6 for instance, we don’t have the experience or the knowledge to compare that information or those stories with other information, so when we hear the same stories a few times, we believe them. These beliefs can be helpful but can also be limiting and, growing up, they often become subconscious. So when we go trough our lives with limiting beliefs that are holding us back, we often don’t realize it is just the belief that is blocking us from succeeding or improving. Therefore, I have listed a few common limiting beliefs that might be holding you back. In case you find it hard to turn these beliefs around on your own, it might be a good idea to find a mental coach or therapist you trust to work on them together.

1. I don’t have what it takes

Do you believe you are just not born or destined to become great, successful, or even – extraordinary? If so, this limiting belief is holding you back from reaching your full potential. Think about it, if you believe without a doubt that you are going to be a great and successful rider, you will always look for answers and ways to become just that. The opposite is also true. If you look for it, you will always find reasons why you can’t do something. Either you choose to have an excuse, or you choose to find a solution. The decision is yours.

2. I don’t have enough willpower

When you tell yourself repeatedly that you don’t have the willpower to train harder in order to become better, eat healthier to get more energy, or train your body to be stronger on the horse, then indeed doing whatever it takes will be hard. However, if you decide to go for it and do the things necessary to become a little bit better each day, then you will! Or to quote Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re always right”.

3. I don’t have the help I need

This one probably comes from a lack of belief in yourself. If you feel like the only way for you to succeed is with the help of others, you might be blocking yourself to succeed on your own. Even though successful riders have great teams supporting them, it’s crucial to believe in yourself and to allow yourself to go after your dreams and succeed!


“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re always right,” Henry Ford.


4. I can’t afford the top sport

This is a tricky one. We all know the Equestrian sport is not a cheap one. But seeing the balance in your bank account as proof that you can’t do something is a limiting belief as well. You might have been raised with the idea that you can only truly succeed if you were either born at a yard or have the means ready to buy every horse you like. But there is enough proof out there, even in the top 10 on the FEI ranking list, that money and circumstances do not determine whether you make it to the top or not. Yes, having the means is helpful but instead of finding reasons why you can’t do something, so why bother, become aware of all the resources you DO have at your disposal. Be creative and you will be astonished of what you can do!

5. I don’t have enough talent

This deep-rooted belief that you are not good enough or don’t have enough talent has paradoxically made many riders more successful than they would have been without it, because it fueled their hunger to become better. Though at the same time it has also paralyzed just as many riders to give up and try no more. The secret to overcoming this limiting belief is to let go of the idea that you are not good enough and the need to prove yourself all the time. When your aim is to become better every day and to work on improvement, you are only competing with yourself. In this way, the odds of you succeeding suddenly become much greater!

6. Successful riders are more lucky

Luck is not something that falls out of the sky into the lap of the lucky few. Luck is something you create. The more effort, hard work, patience, and diligence you put into your riding, the more likely it is, that when the time is right, you become lucky. When you believe that others have more luck, better horses, or better resources than you do, you give all your power away. Instead, focus on what you DO have influence over, all the luck that has come your way already, and you will create even more of it.

7. I’m not that kind of rider

It’s funny how we often attribute magical powers to other riders and yet down play what we can do ourselves. We keep track of how such and such wins every weekend, or at least placed often and definitely rides so well on every horse. But we keep track of the opposite when it comes to our own performance in the ring. When doing so, you might conclude that they are stronger, tougher or better than you. But what is reality? It’s the one you BELIEVE to be true. So stop comparing yourself to others and start keeping track of the moments when you DO ride well, are confident, win and succeed!



If you recognize yourself in the above, and you are ready to shed your limiting beliefs and free yourself to achieve anything you set your mind to, it might be a good idea to find a mental coach or therapist you trust to work on them together. We all have limiting beliefs, including myself and many of my clients. I use a technique called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which I have found to be very effective. If you would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to get in touch for a chat, free of charge: ap@annettepaterakis.com.

If you would like to start working on your limiting beliefs straight away, check out my online mental training program. Lesson 7 of the program is all about letting go of limiting beliefs, as well as releasing anxiety and overcome traumas, using EFT: https://annettepaterakis.com/master-your-mind/



“Change your thoughts to change your ride” – https://annettepaterakis.com/2017/10/12/change-your-thoughts-to-change-your-ride/

“Why your mindset controls your riding and 3 steps to change it” – https://annettepaterakis.com/2018/10/24/why-your-mindset-controls-your-riding-and-3-steps-to-change-it/