What if I told you the only thing stopping you from being the person you want to be is the mindset you hold? Have a moment? Perfect – lets do a small little exercise. Take a moment and visualize the life you want to live. Think about the type of person you want to be, the things you’d like to experience, and the goals you want to achieve. Really zone in on this idealized version of yourself and your life. Now, why are you not already living this life? Why are you not already this person? I know you may be able to name tons of different reasons for why you can’t do certain things, but the only thing holding you back is the limiting beliefs you hold.
“Uh what are limiting beliefs? I would never choose to believe things that hold me back!”
Our minds, while such beautiful and complex things, can really set us up for failure when we aren’t checking in on it. All of our experiences help shape the way we think, our outlooks on life, and different motivations. That’s not always the best thing, as limiting beliefs can form from moments of failure or insecurity and paralyze us (but only as long as we let it).
Limiting beliefs are simply beliefs about ourselves and identity that constrain you in someway. Living in our subconscious mind, they influence every decision we make! Trying to protect us from future failure or pain, we basically brainwashed ourselves into thinking we are incapable of doing certain things or that you will ultimately fail. The way we present these limiting beliefs though really isn’t all that complex.
✩ IDENTIFYING LIMITING BELIEFS ✩
Lets say the idealized version of yourself is someone that runs a mile every morning, or eats a plant based diet? Tomorrow morning, get up early, stretch, and go run! After, head to the grocery store and get balanced, vegan options! Have you already found an excuse to why you can’t start now?
“I’m too lazy”, “I wont be stick to it”, “I can start next week”
You’re allowing yourself to identify with excuses to not do the thing that you know will ultimately help you reach your goal. Really, why do you think you are unable to work on your goals now? Why cant you start being the best version of yourself now? Let that thought sit. Try to recall when you first told yourself this thought was true. Do you see how that is holding you back now?
I have been trying to actively pay attention to my thoughts fully, and this act has made me realize I allowed myself to think my way into holding myself back. When I know I need to be doing something like working on the blog, but instead turn on South Park and feel bad about myself I focus on why I think I can’t be doing so. A simple excuse as to “I’m too lazy” can really be me being afraid to fail, not trusting my creativity, and not giving myself permission to be me. Recognize that this is no longer something you want to identify with and let it go, and you can replace them with more empowering beliefs instead.
✩ REWIRING YOUR BRAIN WITH EMPOWERING BELIEFS ✩
My favorite way to replace limiting beliefs is by using affirmations. Affirmations are positive reinforcing statements that can help drastically change your thought processes when said to yourself regularly and repeatedly, especially in moments when your thoughts are aligning with the limiting beliefs you’re trying to get rid of. Each morning when I wake up I say to myself that I am going to have a great day, that I will do something to work on my goals, and I will take care of myself in each moment.
Then simply begin living as if those affirmations are already true – because honestly, they are. The only thing that stopped you from living this life were mental barriers. Choose to free yourself of old beliefs and excuses and actively make choices that align with that person you want to be. It’s easy to fall into habits you once excused with those old limiting beliefs, but remind yourself that you deserve more than that. You will yourself naturally thinking in a more optimistic, confident way and that will reflect in your daily life.
✩ BE PRESENT IN EVERY MOMENT ✩
Stay in the moment. Allow yourself to listen to your soul and do what is necessary for it right then and there. If you slip into old behaviors that are attached to the limiting beliefs you put on yourself, forgive yourself in that moment and decide that in the next moment you will try again. Don’t dwell or beat yourself. We are creatures of natures, and we had those beliefs and habits for a while! Pay attention to your thoughts and do each thing mindfully and with intention. Looking at each moment as an opportunity to be your best self gives lots of way for growth and joy. Staying in the present stops any excess judgement or stress you might place upon yourself from happening because you are only focusing on doing what you can and being who you are in the now.
Erasing these paralyzing mindsets will take a little bit of time as well, but zoning in on this process and following through with these “exercises” will cause your state of living to drastically improve almost instantly. Right now I am focusing on thoughts that will help me become a healthier and more creative person. What empowering beliefs do you use in your life?