Have you made New Years resolutions year after year, but fail to actually achieve all of them? You might be committed to really wanting the change, but can't understand why the new habits or change don't stick. Perhaps you even started implementing a new habit, but found your motivation dropped off within a few weeks into the new year. Regardless, New Years resolutions rarely work as often there is a hidden block or self-limiting belief that is stopping you from achieving your goals and it is likely to be buried very deep in your subconscious. If you struggle to achieve your goals, whether it is to lose weight, be more organized or be kinder to yourself, you may need to do some work to uncover the limiting belief and resolve it so you can actually achieve your goals. Once you learn some strategies on how to do this, you will be able to uncover more self-limiting beliefs and finally start living the life you want. Word of warning though, sometimes these limiting beliefs have been there for a very long time, often since childhood, and we have continuously reinforced them over the course of our life, so it may take some work to get rid of them. Limiting beliefs usually tend to serve a purpose for us, often keeping us in our comfort zone and that is why we subconsciously hang onto them. Yes, it seems a little messed up, but that is why we want to bust those beliefs and develop a new mindset to serve us in a better way. The first step is to find them and acknowledge that the belief even exists, without judging yourself for having it or trying to analyze why its there. Follow the steps below to uncover your limiting beliefs and resolve them for good.
Grab a notepad and pen so you can jot a few things down as you work through this activity. Think about the goal that you want to achieve. Perhaps it is to lose a certain amount of weight or to get active and fit. Now, close your eyes and picture yourself with that outcome – think about being your best looking, slimmest and sexiest self. Note how this makes you feel, do you feel elated and fulfilled or is there a part of you that feels anxious at the thought of having that? If you feel nothing but happiness, then start to think about the steps that it would take to reach your goal. Go through them in your head e.g. get rid of all of the junk food in your house and stock your fridge and cupboards with fresh, healthy food; start putting together healthy meal plans; enroll in a fitness program or join a gym; schedule your workouts into your weekly plan etc. Think about any of those steps and see if any part of you feels anxious at the thought. If you feel any anxiety at all, then you’ve pinpointed a limiting belief.
Dig Even Deeper
Write down how reaching that goal or going through the steps makes you feel anxious (or whatever feeling that arises for you). Note any other feelings that might come up for you. This step may be a little confronting and you may initially resist some of what comes up as we often prefer to push our emotions away as to not feel them if we don’t have to. Try to push through the resistance as it’s a necessary step to be able to move past the limiting belief.
Some examples might be:
1. I don’t have enough time to do a workout or go to the gym (feeling a lack of time abundance)
2. I’m not sure how to even plan healthy meals or what to cook (this could be lack of confidence in ability to learn new skills)
3. I don’t really want to be more attractive and get more attention (this could be a fear of truly being seen)
4. I don’t have the right support from my spouse, family or friends (this could be playing the victim and not wanting to take responsibilities for your own actions or people pleasing behavior)
Strategies to Resolve
Once you have your list, now you can start to work on getting rid of that belief. There are many different techniques to doing this, but I’ve listed just a few below. Over the years, I’ve studied techniques that teach you how to reframe limiting beliefs. While I do find reframing useful, using it alone has never quite worked for me. Cognitively, I understood that I should believe something different and I really wanted to, but no matter how much I tried to reframe my beliefs, they were just too ingrained to change without additional support. That being said, I encourage you to reframe your limiting belief initially, then use one or two of the techniques below to truly change what you believe.
Reframe Your Belief
Think about your limiting belief, let’s say it is lack of confidence in learning new skills and your belief is 'I can't learn new things', ask yourself “is this true”? If your immediate response is “yes”, ask yourself again, “do I know this is really true”? The answer here is no of course, because you have been able to learn new skills throughout your life, otherwise you wouldn’t be where you are now. If you need some additional help in believing this, write down all of the evidence i.e. times you have been successful in learning something new. So now reframe that thought with something more positive e.g. “I can easily learn new skills”. Once you have reframed it, using one or more of the techniques below to work on eliminating the limiting belief and instilling the new belief.
Tap On It
Use the Emotional Freedom Technique (aka Tapping) to reprogram your belief. This is one of my favorite techniques that has helped me immensely. EFT is a mind/body connection that helps us change our thoughts behind our emotional experiences using our energy network called the Meridian Points (which is a concept in traditional Chinese medicine). It can also heal chronic pain as often the source of the pain is related to a deeper, unconscious emotional issue. You can then tap on the limiting beliefs that you uncovered e.g. I'm not good at learning new things, I'll never have enough time, I'm not lovable, I am a failure, I don't deserve what I really want, People always reject me, I'm never going to have enough money, I'll never be good at my job etc. Often when you tap on one limiting belief and it subsides, you may have another one pop up. This is normal and it's actually a good thing so you can keep finding all of your limiting beliefs and resolve them once and for all. Try to make tapping a daily practice as you can tap on many different challenges around mindset and health and even just tap to instill a positive mindset. If you want to find out more about tapping, search The Tapping Solution or download their free app. You can tap for 5 - 15 minutes and see a huge benefit, so it is easy to fit into your day.
Meditate On It
Until a few years ago, I never felt I could meditate. I always felt like I failed at it or couldn’t sit still for 10 minutes let alone try to switch my brain off. But once I learned that you can’t fail at meditating and that I had a misconception about turning my brain off during that time, I started practicing it every day and it was a life changing experience. I now combine my meditation practice with tapping, which I find to be even more effective. You can do this by doing both throughout the day or I often will tap into my meditation as I find it helps me to quiet my racing mind before I meditate. Although you don’t actively address your limiting beliefs throughout meditation, after starting a regular practice, it changes both your physiology and mindset and as long as you’ve acknowledged what your limiting beliefs are, they will start to change. So if you’ve ever felt like you can’t meditate, see my guide on Meditating Made Easy and give it a try again.
Focus on the Physical Feeling
This one may sound a little crazy at first, but as I mentioned before, we will often avoid or push our feelings aside when they arise as they can be too uncomfortable to deal with. However, that is actually the opposite of what we should be doing. As humans we are emotional beings, so we should acknowledge our emotions when they arise. It doesn’t mean we should act out on them, but suppressing them isn’t effective at all. So, once you’ve identified your limiting belief, think about how it makes you feel. For example, if you are afraid of being judged, think about a time when you felt others were judging you and identify where in your body it feels the most intense for example, do you get butterflies in your stomach or feel a pressure in your chest. Now, just sit with that feeling and focus on it without being in your mind or wrapped up in the story of why you have the limiting belief, just tune into the physical sensation. Sit with it for as long as it takes for the feeling to disappear or reduce significantly. Do not put pressure on it to go away, just let it be. You can rate the intensity on a scale of 0 – 10 at the beginning and when you feel like it’s gone. Once you feel it’s gone, you can then think about yourself being back in that situation and see if it triggers any more feelings for you again. One of the places I learned this method was from Christian Mickelsen who coined it the Peace Process.
There are other techniques out there that I have personally used like hypnosis and subliminals. If you plan to try either of these, be careful where you get them from, make sure you do your research and find someone reputable with integrity that has the right intentions. Breathwork is the last technique I recommend, although I have personally not used but I have heard it has helped so many people. It is designed to connect the mind, body & spirit to help the emotional state and decrease levels of stress and anxiety.
If you need additional support or are ready to go deeper, schedule your free breakthrough coaching session where we will explore your vision and goals and uncover your hidden challenges. You can book this free session at www.liveyoursensationallife.com