Imagine if we only ever told ourselves that we have the ability to achieve our dreams and that we are able to live outside of our self-limiting beliefs. How much better would we feel; how much more confident would we be when making decisions; when speaking up for ourselves just because we know what is right for us and are committed to following our own path without self-doubt.
This will look and feel very different to each person; some people really do want to aim high and have high flying careers or give it all up to travel the world with their 3 kids or leave a ‘sensible’ job to make cheese. So what is different about those who feel able to achieve their dreams and believe in themselves and those who don’t? It is for sure they will be telling themselves every day, at every opportunity, that they are capable and will not be swayed by anything which tells them otherwise, including their own ‘inner critic’.
I so often hear things like “it’s just the way I am” or “if I’m in a bad mood I can’t just flick a switch” and “I know what will happen, so what’s the point in trying”.
How helpful or kind are these thoughts and beliefs?
How self-limiting and closed are they?
And more importantly, are they even true?
Over time (and through trial and error) I have been practicing challenging these beliefs in myself and recognise that we do have the choice and freedom to think the opposite, to choose if we accept this thinking pattern or replace with open minded, positive and change focused thinking.
For example, there are definitely days when we wake up in a less than brilliant mood; do we accept this and spend the day being a bit short tempered, telling others about how bad things are (and not being great company) and therefore re-affirming in our mind that we aren’t having a good day and we can’t help it, so that’s that?
Or do we acknowledge how we feel but choose not to accept it and move the focus to how we can feel better? Perhaps we can consider how this ‘mood’ might result in negative behaviour towards others, or ourselves, and focus our thinking towards what’s going well for us, what we are grateful for and actively do something nice for ourselves …go for a run, have a bath, etc.
Starting with challenging our day to day thoughts will help to form new thinking patterns so eventually the negative unhelpful thoughts will be fleeting as we choose instead to visualise exactly how we’d like things to be, replacing all the ‘I cant’s’ with I can, I will and I choose …. So whether you are secretly dreaming of leaving the 20 year office job to make and sell cup cakes or train for and complete a marathon or speak up for yourself, then the first and most important factor in achieving this will be if you allow yourself to believe you can.
For inspiration on challenging yourself, both mentally and physically from a different perspective, take a look at this honest and fantastic post on the benefits of letting go of your self limiting beliefs by Ross Malpass.