How To Overcome Negative Self-Limiting Beliefs - Dr. Duana C. Welch - How To Win a Man's Heart

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How To Overcome Negative Self-Limiting Beliefs – Dr. Duana C. Welch

Interview Summary

Below is the summary of the interview with Dr. Duana Welch on how to overcome negative self-limiting beliefs.

A common barrier women face in attracting healthy love is a litany of limiting self-belief. Things like believing you’re too old to find love, or too overweight, or aren’t physically attractive enough are the most common. Duana Welch has her own insightful and actionable tips to help deal with these limiting self-beliefs.

Confronting Harmful Beliefs

Harmful beliefs derail love. In fact, they are self-fulfilling prophecies. When women or men have harmful beliefs, these prevent them from actions on their own behalf. Science makes it clear that you have to put in some effort and take to help love along. You need to look for it, but first you need to confront these harmful beliefs:

• Harmful beliefs prevent you from doing anything on your own and can end up leaving you to spend years in situations that make you miserable.

• A lot of time they lead to people getting into a Better-Than-Nothing (BTN) relationship.

– The relationship seems like a good thing on a surface level, but in truth it’s not something you would have chosen on your own and you wind up in a relationship with serious problems.

– You eventually start going from thinking ‘This is all I have for now’ to ‘This is all I can ever get.’

• If the beliefs are bad enough to put your self-esteem so low that it’s not where it needs to be, you can end up losing meaningful relationships despite having everything going for you.

– Example: Duana had a friend named Trish who held onto self-limiting beliefs about what she deserved and what she could get, and it turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy. She lost a couple of relationships she valued highly as a result.

• Some experiences, like having cancer, can lead to feeling like other people aren’t going to value the worth you have, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find love.

– Example: Duana had a friend named Bella who had Stage 4 Cancer and the relationship she was in at the time ended with him dropping her off at the hospital and never looking back. She had a reason for feeling like no one would want her, but she ended up getting happily married.

Winning at Love

The stories of Trish and Bella above are contrasts to one another. Someone who had everything couldn’t find love, yet someone who was suffering through a terminal illness managed to find love. The difference was that Bella put herself on the winning side of love, proving there are things you can do to put yourself on that same side even if you have hard experiences or harmful beliefs holding you back:

• Heal what needs healing. Most people have emotional injuries that require therapy to deal with. Don’t shrug these off, science has shown that some forms of therapy really do help—like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).

• Acknowledge the truth in your belief. You need to embrace the truth and admit that some things—like cancer, being older, or being overweight—are things that most men won’t find attractive. It does create a challenge in life, but the flip side of it is that it eliminates those who wouldn’t be sincerely interested in you.

• The matching phenomena show that most men actively select someone at the same level attractiveness as themselves, in addition to having similar interests and beliefs. While there are exceptions if they are wealthy, those who are often go after those who are younger and far more attractive, you need to try and attract someone at your level.

– Men like a variety of body styles and often choose a body style that’s significantly heavier than what women often think.

– If you really think your age or attractiveness is interfering, get involved in groups where you have similar interests and beliefs.

– Studies show men also choose women who they meet repeatedly. This gives you leverage and makes it easier for them to approach you.

• Remember that barriers are anything that makes a relationship harder to have. It tips out people who aren’t serious about you, but those who remain fall for you faster and harder. So think of a barrier in a positive way.

• When you act confident, you feel confident, and when you smile like you’re happy, you feel happy. Desperation isn’t attractive, so acting as if you feel happy and confident will attract others because it’s universally sexy.

• Noticing your negative beliefs, catching them, and then redirecting them by aligning them with reality are the way to turn rid yourself of them. Embrace reality and then confront it with a plan so that you can succeed even with that reality.

• Finally, put all of it together into a plan and work that plan, no matter how you feel. Dating may not feel fun for you, as most people aren’t naturals at dating, but you need to go forward despite feeling as you though you would rather run away.


Bella, had suffered from Stage 4 Cancer but did as Duana said in order to find love, not willing to let fear stop her. She followed a plan—in this case she wrote down everything she wanted in a partner and shared it with her family and friends. Even though she was too sick to do everything she wanted, she still had a lot of people looking out for her.

One of the people she told was her roommate that worked in a high-end clothing store. One day she spotted a man who matched the description that Bella wanted for a partner and struck up a conversation with him on her behalf. Her roommate invited him over, where he fell like a ton of bricks for Bella despite her illness and proposed to her.

Sadly, she died from her cancer. But she had six years of happiness that she didn’t regret; all because she confronted her beliefs.

About Dr. Duana C Welch

Duana C. Welch

Duana C. Welch, Ph.D. is the relationship advice columnist known for applying social science research to reader questions about a variety of romantic-relationship issues.  Her blog, “LoveScience: Research-based relationship advice for everyone” is a best-seller in the relationship and behavioral science categories at, and is also available free at

Duana launched LoveScience in 2009.  She’s also a regular contributor at Psychology Today and eHarmony, where she muses about relationship science.  Duana’s book, Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do, released in January, 2015; it is the first science-based book to take readers from before they meet until they commit to The One.  You can also learn more about Dr. Duana and her book at