Listen to the podcast for this article:

Rewritten with Cynthia Occelli


10 Sneaky Beliefs That Keep My Life Coaching Clients Up at Night

I’ve offered life coaching for over 15 years. I’ve helped hundreds of women solve problems, embody their greatest selves, and create their definition of success. Our work always involves unearthing and transforming nasty false beliefs. These beliefs are old and often in conflict with what one consciously believes about oneself and the world. They’re sneaky, darting around the mind and sabotaging plans and desires by whispering things like, “You’re wrong. You can’t. Not you. You’re not enough. You’ll fail. Don’t risk it. Stay small and stay safe.” You could live your whole life obeying these toxic little lies, and many people do. If you’re reading this, you’re not one of them. Congratulations. You’re one of the brave souls who venture into unsettling places and confront the old and menacing beliefs that lurk in the shadows and undermine your life.

You become what you believe, not what you think or what you want. – Oprah Winfrey

What Keeps My Life Coaching Clients Up At Night?

The hours between 2 am and 4 am are real witching hours. When we’re stressed, we often wake up during this time and ruminate. We might dissect ourselves, a life problem, or anguish over something minuscule under the light of day (i.e., whether we’re using the right laundry detergent, how many days are left next year’s tax season, or the need to find a new groomer for the dog). Behind these stilted and anxiety-provoking thoughts are negative beliefs and fear about how they’ll manifest in our lives. One of the questions I ask new and long-established clients is, What keeps you up at night? The answers help us to shine a light on the limiting and harmful beliefs hiding behind the thoughts. Here are the 10 most common worries and  the sneaky beliefs behind them that keep my life coaching clients up at night:

  1. I’m too old, too fat, too uneducated, too poor, too something to have what I want.
    Sneaky toxic beliefs: I’m not good enough. I’m not acceptable as I am. I am bad.
  2. I’ll never have enough money to be financially free.
    Sneaky toxic beliefs: Money is evil. Money is hard to get. I am incompetent with money.
  3. I have too much to do and can’t handle it, but I have to.
    Sneaky toxic beliefs: I don’t have the power, or I don’t deserve to change my life.
  4. There are no good partners interested in me.
    Sneaky toxic beliefs: I’m not loveable. I am incomplete without a partner. I will end up alone and unhappy.
  5. I sounded so stupid. I looked like such a fool. Why did I say that?
    Sneaky toxic beliefs: I am inherently unacceptable. What others think defines me. I’m not good enough.
  6. I’m so mortified that I made a mistake. I am a colossal idiot.
    Sneaky toxic belief: I must be perfect to be good enough. Mistakes and failures are bad.
  7. Everything is going to fall apart, and I’ll end up alone and with nothing.
    Sneaky toxic belief: I can’t take care of myself. I’m not safe. I’m weak. I’m hopeless.
  8. I can’t let go of what I’ve done. I’m such a bad person. I feel so guilty.
    Sneaky toxic belief: I do not deserve forgiveness or compassion.
  9. I’m always left out, abandoned, or rejected. No one likes me.
    Sneaky toxic belief: I am not worth staying for. I am unlovable. Others are good, but I’m not good enough.
  10. I can’t go on without them. I can’t move on. I can’t let go.
    Sneaky toxic belief: There’s nothing better out there for me. I’m not worthy.

If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become a truth for you.–Louise Hay

Shining Your Light on Sneaky Toxic Beliefs

The wonderful thing about discovering the sneaky toxic beliefs behind your thoughts is that it’s the first step in changing them. What we see, we can change.

“If your mother did not know how to love herself, or your father did not know how to love himself, then it would be impossible for them to teach you to love yourself.”–Louise Hay

This first step of putting our limiting beliefs under the light of awareness (and the light of day) opens the way for you to do the work of rewriting that belief. Most beliefs are old. They were created by your mind before you had the brain development required to make sound conclusions. Instead of seeing that the people around you were living their own dramas and much of the events you endured had little to do with you personally, you thought you were the cause of unwanted outcomes.

A belief is only a thought repeated again and again.

My favorite part of life coaching is the privilege of guiding people through the process of revealing the sneaky toxic beliefs they hold, identifying the beliefs that would serve them in a much healthier way, and then making their chosen beliefs the dominant beliefs in their mind. Here are some of the ways we achieve this:

  1. Identify better beliefs and behave as though you have them. Embody them. Repeat and reinforce them.
  2. Tell yourself the truth by listing ane remembering three things you’ve done well.
  3. Install a watchman and the gate of your mind and stop negative belief behaviors and thoughts when they happen. Then, state your new belief and take a positive action.
  4. Learn how to talk to yourself. Never speak to yourself in a way you wouldn’t speak to a beloved friend.
  5. Visualize and get hyper-acquainted with your best self. Be her now. (Listen to guided meditations about your best self (ask your coach to make you one/make your own).
  6. Read positive psychology books. Start here: Growth Mindset, Carol Dweck, Psycho-Cybernetics, Dr. Maltz
  7. Spend time with positive, empowered, mostly happy people.
  8. Do belief exercises (see books above; work with a coach/listen to my podcast/read my blog).
  9. Be patient and gentle. It took time to get here. No negative self-judgment and criticism allowed.
  10. Craft an empowering mantra and make it the soundtrack to your life. I’ve repeated this mantra for 21 years:

I am whole, perfect, powerful, loving, harmonious, healthy, wealthy, beautiful, loved, and happy.


free email series

Detox your mind of negative thoughts and beliefs.

Make space for your goals and heart's desires.

Free 5-Part Email Series

Thank you!

 In this FREE Meditation, I share my approach

and answer some common questions

about the practice.

Thank you!



Need an answer? Connect with your intuition by listening to the Embrace Your Inner Goddess Guided Visualization (Hay House) (24:29). 

Thank you!


 Five keys to mastering yourself

and freeing your inner wise woman

in this FREE email series.

Thank you!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This