Your entire life is a reflection of your beliefs.
You can either choose to breeze past that sentence or pause for the “Whoa.”
Science explains this connection (thanks, science) by describing beliefs as filters for our perception, which determine what type of information enters our brains. Contrary to the long-held opinion on beliefs, they are very much fluid and biased concepts.
They originate from the thoughts we think and the stories we were told by others, mostly our parents, peers and teachers. The early, formative years in child development are critical for our later emotional, mental and physical health. Therefore, each idea formed through the parent’s input in early childhood can seriously affect the future life of their children.
(To current parents: sorry for all of the extra pressure.)
What’s more, “belief perseverance,” our tendency to look for evidence to support our beliefs, will prolong them until we become aware and start the necessary task of mind declutter.
If you are on a mission to eradicate limiting self-beliefs, the following can help you clear your mind of the burdens that are preventing you from achieving your life’s purpose.
Imagine all the room you will have for your new awesome thoughts.
1. I’m Alone
Especially if you’re going through a rough period (recent break-up, job loss, the death of someone you love) it may seem like you’re the only one suffering in this way and that no one can understand or relate to you when it comes to the issues at hand. In reality, there are so many people that have experienced the exact same feelings as you.
We are all connected and one of our primary impulses is to help one another to feel accepted.
Do this: open up to someone you trust or find a community or support group that can provide you with an ongoing feeling and sense acceptance and relief.
Say this: I am connected. I am accepted.
2. I Can’t Change
As our learned ways of acting in certain situations and our beliefs have been so long-held, we may believe we were born like this and we can’t change, even when we know these thoughts are holding us down. Change and growth are the only two constants in our lives, and resisting them due to limiting beliefs only brings suffering and pain.
As we move through life, we experience challenging situations and we learn new truths, which cause our perspective to shift and our consciousness to expand.
Do this: It is only natural to question and adjust some of the old principles that no longer serve our growth. Remind yourself that change and growth are your primary purpose.
Say this: I am change. I am growth. I am expansion and joy.
3. It’s Impossible
How many times have you let this limiting belief stop you on your way towards an important achievement? In order to get the job you wanted, you had to move to another city or country and bring your family with you. Or, for a date with the person you like, you had to get over your shyness and actually make the first move. It seemed risky, uncomfortable, unsafe or unwise, therefore you labelled it “impossible.”
Think of how many people did and are still doing the things that seem impossible to someone else. The only thing to lose is fear itself.
Do this: You don’t always need to know where the road may take you, but you can choose to have faith and let miracles reveal themselves to you.
Say this: I am courageous. I am bold. I am capable.
4. I Don’t Like How I Look
How you look today is most definitely someone’s ideal way to look.
Nowadays, we tend to let the images we are exposed to daily on social media completely screw with our idea of beauty.
Do this: focus more on the most beautiful features of your face and body that make you uniquely you: beautiful and exceptional. There is no judgment if you feel the need to correct the small imperfections, as long as it doesn’t mean changing your entire appearance. It’s all about your perception and self-acceptance. Being yourself and loving yourself are the most important and beautiful missions in your life.
Say this: I am unique, I am uniquely beautiful.
5. I Have to Be Stressed About the Important Things in My Life
Stress may seem crucial to function, because, if you don’t worry and stress out over everything, it means you don’t care, right?
The worst thing about this belief is that in the end, we always regret the time we spent agonizing about an outcome that either went really well or really bad. Our anxious thoughts didn’t have any effect on it, except for making us miserable.
Do this: Spend that time enjoying your life and being grateful for each experience and lesson. You GET TO clean the dishes, water the plants, and grab delicious veggies from the store.
Believe that you are capable of choosing the more positive thoughts that are able to anchor you in the now.
Say this: I get to _____. (fill in the blank)
6. I’m My Past
Except, spoiler alert, you’re not.
We all made mistakes in the past that we are not proud of right now. Yet those mistakes and the lessons we learned have helped us become more open-minded, empathetic and better people. Reflecting on your past actions is constructive only if it makes you appreciate the progress you have made as a result. Otherwise, it only leads to depression, self-loathing and mental health issues. Even though some of your current life circumstances came as a result of your past decisions, your life is happening now, and you only have the power of making your now better.
Do this: Claim your past, learn your lessons, then let it go.
Say this: I am here today, for today.
7. I Should Be Perfect
There’s a fine line between being hard-working and diligent, and striving for perfection in a manner that causes obsession and compulsive behaviour. Choosing to always find the faults with yourself is not an act of love but rather leads to destructive thoughts and actions. You shouldn’t be perfect, because no one can be. It is the little imperfections that make us so interesting and human.
Do this: Adopt a more light-hearted and carefree approach towards life and yourself. Again, be uniquely, beautiful you.
Say this: I am human. My imperfections are my perfections.
That’s the closest to perfection anyone can get.
Rebecca Brown is a translator by day and a traveller mostly at night. She is an expert on living with jet lag – and packing in tiny suitcases. You can read more of her exploits at RoughDraft.