Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs have plagued my life for as long as I can remember. The difference between now and the past is that I actually know what limiting beliefs are and how to identify them. The problem today is whether or not I stop long enough to check-in with myself to identify the limiting beliefs floating through my mind.

No matter how much I learn about identifying and overcoming limiting beliefs, I still run into times when I have a light bulb moment and realize that I’ve been living through a season of believing one limiting belief or another. This happened to me recently and I want to share with you what I did once I identified it.

I say it, but actually there are a couple of limiting beliefs that I identified I was believing around the same time. One in my current profession and one for this website and my goals for it. I first identified my limiting belief with Failing Imperfectly.

I’ve been holding myself back in what I share and how I grow this website and the Failing Imperfectly YouTube. Why? A myriad of reasons. Mostly starting with fears that I’m not good enough yet. Yep, I still battle those fears. The fear of not being good enough yet spawns into the fear that I’m not qualified yet. Those two fears grouped together are why I haven’t grown Failing Imperfectly into what I want it to be.

I have kept my website limited and I’ve sure as hell limited my interactions with YouTube. I’ve kept telling myself that I can’t say this or that and that I can’t produce free downloads or programs because I am not far enough along in my own journey and because I have not been through a coach certification program yet.

I sat down to finish uploading a couple of free resources that I made based on one of my first YouTube videos and realized I really didn’t like my website. Why? Because I kept it very basic and refrained from making statements about what the website is about. I was trying to dabble in two completely different directions that didn’t compliment each other. I didn’t want to say that I was here to offer advice because I have not yet done a certification program. I didn’t want to mislead anyone and I didn’t feel qualified. But you know what? I have been misleading myself because I want to be out here inspiring you through real life examples of overcoming all of these challenges I keep sharing, but I didn’t want to consider my learning experiences worthy of being considered advice.

Yes, there are qualification programs for coaches and yes, I will probably participate in one or more in the future. But that shouldn’t stop me from doing what I know I can do today. What can I do? Take everything I learn from other coaches, from my mentors, and share it with you as I apply it to my life. As I learn, I also develop my own methods. I can share those with you. My limiting beliefs had me stuck in a hamster wheel spinning about adding only a small amount of value to your life. The only way I’m going to continue to improve is by doing what I do now and pushing into what I envision at the same time. I don’t need any specific certification to add value to your life by sharing mine and how I overcome challenges.

The second limiting belief I identified was after I had the above realization. I’ve been paranoid about being good enough for the role I have at work and being dedicated enough. Why good enough? I have absolutely no idea. I know I am good enough, even if I have things to learn to be an expert in my role. Dedicated enough? That comes from the current situation with everybody working from home and me not wanting to be seen as a slacker if I took a break. I do this with every job that I work from home with. It’s a recurring challenge for me. This time I identified it earlier.

How does this all connect? The limiting beliefs that I have been living through have been holding me back from the greatness I know I can achieve. How do I plan to overcome these limiting beliefs?

First, I updated my website and finally made some statements about what you will find here. I also uploaded some free resources that you can find here.

Second, I stoked the fire in me that wants to build this website into a coaching business. Yes, I dream of being a respected life coach. I don’t know if I want to be as well known as Rachel Hollis, but I’m not limiting myself to anything less than being a fucking awesome life coach.

And lastly, I need to take breaks while working because if I don’t, I burn out and produce shit for work. I have to take care of myself to be the best at anything I do.

NQTD

When you make a decision, how often do you question it? Are you like me and question most decisions you make? No? Okay, well maybe this isn’t for you then. Yes? Oh then stay tuned.

Why do we question decisions?

I have learned that I question my decisions because I haven’t trusted myself. It’s a sad realization and a challenging one to overcome. It isn’t as easy as just starting to trust myself. There is work to be done to figure out why I don’t trust myself. Then there is work to start trusting myself, one decision at a time. Then there is the work to stop questioning the decisions I make.

I’ve done a lot of this work without realizing I’ve been doing it. In fact, I didn’t realize it until I heard of NQTD. I honestly can’t remember where I heard it, but I wrote it down. I knew this would make a huge difference in how I continue to grow. What is NQTD?

Never. Question. The. Decision.

I chose to eat that cupcake, don’t question the decision.

I chose not to get on the treadmill, don’t question the decision.

I chose to sit on my ass and binge on TV instead of writing or recording a video, don’t question the decision.

I chose to go out even those I didn’t want to, don’t question the decision.

Get the point?

As you start to trust yourself more and more, stop questioning decisions. No, it’s not easy to remember to not question things. If you can start with just one decision, start with not questioning just one decision today. It doesn’t matter what the decision is, just choose one.

Here are some steps that can help you work through why you might be questioning the decision:

  1. Stop yourself in your tracks
  2. Identify the decision you are questioning in detail
  3. Identify what feelings are attached to the questioning of the decision
  4. Write out or think through how it relates to trusting yourself
  5. Write out or think through what would happen if you didn’t question the decision
  6. Seriously, what is the absolute worst that can possibly happen?
  7. Now, stop questioning the fucking decision!!

If only point number seven was that easy, right?!

As you work through each decision that you question, it does become easier. It isn’t a quick process, but it is worth it.

I used to question simple things like telling someone within our family about something in my life, answering a coworker about what I did over the weekend, the food I was eating, or even the color I painted my toes. I look back and think that I started with the little decisions. Those were the easier ones to tell myself to stop questioning.

Something I do to help myself work on things is putting a wallpaper on my phone with a gentle, feeling generating reminder. Here is one to help you to stop questioning your decisions.

What Are You Committed To?

Are you committed to your goals or to your excuses? Do you even know?

I used to think that I was committed to my goals, but I kept making excuses. I had some goals that yes, I was absolutely committed to. I wanted to have a better life than my parents. I wanted to explore the world. I wanted to make something of myself. I wanted happiness and freedom. I pursued all of those goals every single day.

But I kept making excuses. I was committed to the excuses I kept making as to why I would never be good enough, or why I couldn’t do something for me even if my partner didn’t like it or didn’t want to do it with me, or why I kept feeling like I had to prove myself to absolutely everybody in my life.

I was somewhat growing as a person and meeting goals, but my excuses were holding me back from my full potential. One of the excuses I was wholeheartedly committed to was my need to make sure everyone else was supported, approved, and/or wasn’t offended by absolutely anything I did. This excuse ran my life. It was at the center of everything I did. I was committed to this excuse more than I was committed to anything else in my life.

This excuse continually held me back and prevented me from reaching and even dreaming big audacious goals. I was never going to fully meet the goals I listed above if I didn’t uncommit myself from the excuse of needing to look out for everybody else first. I had to commit to my goals, do some difficult internal work, and let go of my excuses.

I have mostly stopped living my life for others. I no longer care if so-and-so likes my posts. I no longer care if my posting or my sharing offends people. I don’t say anything horrible about people, well most people, and I don’t name any names in most of my posts. I started creating and sharing my growth journey on YouTube and don’t care if my family or friends think it’s weird or that I am sharing too much. I don’t share about them unless I am giving them credit for helping me. I take time for me, even when all of the family is together.

Limiting my excuse of needing to do for others before doing for myself has been liberating. I have been able to focus on allowing myself to dream big audacious goals and have started going after them. I have changed my commitment from my excuses to my goals. I schedule time for me to have simple me time and to do activities towards accomplishing my goals without worry of people being offended that I’m not out with them.

Change. Change is how we can be more committed to our goals than our excuses. Nothing can happen without some kind of change.

Which are you committed to, your goals or your excuses? Have you ever thought about it?

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It’s Easy For Her…

…there is no way I could ever be like her.

comparison kills creativity. (1)

Have you ever thought that? I have. It is defeating. It is depressing.

But there is so much wrong with that thought. It took me years to realize it and learn how to overcome it every time that I encountered it.

Now, I see that others might be thinking the same thing about me. No, I’m not getting conceited on you. I’m acknowledging that I am further along in my personal growth journey than some and that might be intimidating.

That thought, “It’s easy for her, there is no way I could ever be like her” is a comparison. It is a comparison that I’ve made for every step of my life. Do any of these sound like things that you have thought?

Yeah, but it won’t be easy for me…

I’m too far gone to be helped…

I don’t know how or where to start…

Self-help/Self-development is for people who are extremely fucked up, that’s not me…

When I first was presented the idea of personal development, I had the last thought. I seriously was of the mindset that only fucked up people read self-help books. I judged them before I ever gave them a shot.

Then people I knew were recommending a couple books in that space and the books didn’t sound like they were weird. So I started reading. All it takes is one step to start.

You have taken that step. You are reading this blog. I share personal development, self-help information. I share my journey through it all.

Personal development isn’t easy. It isn’t because going through the work to truly grow is emotionally and difficult. It takes time. It takes dedication.

In my opinion, nobody is too far gone. Each of us can take a little step every single day. Little steps are how I’ve gotten to where I am. It didn’t happen overnight. 

Again, you’ve already started, you are here. Blogs, books, podcasts, etc. There are so many resources out there depending on what you feel you need to work on. If you don’t know how to determine what to work on, go back to my post about thought work. You can sit and work through your thoughts that are plaguing you. Thoughts always plague us.

I know you’ve probably heard this multiple times, but stop comparing yourself to others. Even as you are growing, comparing yourself to the influencers and to those of us who are a little further along can be painful for you. All you are doing by comparing yourself is strengthening your insecurities. You are making the things that you want to change worse than they already are.

If you want to change something, you can’t compare yourself to someone else. Your journey is different than mine. Your issues (yeah, we all got issues) are different than mine. Your dreams are different than mine. Your situation is different than mine.

It wasn’t easy for me.

I started and stopped in my personal growth journey multiple times. I have battled with some of my issues over and over and over again. There are times that I feel like I’m doing really awesome with one thing and bam! that thing rolls me. Everything I share here is after I’ve done continuous work over long periods of time. I have a lot of life to unpack. I have a lot of work to still grow through.

It isn’t easy for me. I have had to make some big changes in my life just to get to where I want to be. I’ve made big changes to get to this point today. I still struggle with my growth.

It isn’t easy for me and it won’t be easy for you.

Your Thoughts Will Run or Ruin Your Life

Once you can see your thought you can start to change them.

 

I have lived within my thoughts all of my life. My thoughts ran and at some points, ruined my life. We have been programmed without even knowing it and that programming turns into our thoughts, both unconscious and conscious. These thoughts are what contributes to how we act, our anxiety, our depression, and what we pursue.

Kara Loewentheil teaches about thought work and how to differentiate your conscious from unconscious thoughts while being able to release their hold on us. From her, I have learned how to take a step back and really review the thoughts that are hurting me.

Kara recommends taking time each day to simply write, with or without intention. When you write out the thoughts that are stuck in your head, you get to see them on paper where you can review and analyze them. When the thoughts are stuck in your head, analysis isn’t as easy. The process of getting our thoughts onto paper and analyzing them gives us a degree of separation. When we are observing our thoughts purely in our mind, there is no separation.  When we put them onto paper, we are able to separate our thoughts from ourselves.

Kara said, ” Your brain doesn’t know how to stop thinking something. You have to give it something else to think instead.”

By putting our thoughts on paper and then analyzing them, we are able to give our brain a different perspective to think about. We are able to use the analytical part of our brain on the thought rather than just the emotional part. The ability to analyze our thoughts isn’t something that comes easily. This is a practice we must adopt.

After I listened to a training and a few podcasts from Kara, I implemented a half-ass version of her recommendations. Even with doing my half-assed version, I have been able to process my thoughts better and analyze why I’m so pissed off or hurt about situations. I have been able to identify that some situations that I’m ruminating over are really not about me at all. I was able to realize that the lay-off I went through had nothing to do with me. Nothing. It wasn’t a reflection on my efforts in my role at all. I’ve been able to look back and see thoughts that were negative and harming me and where they were coming from.

To be honest, I haven’t done my thought work daily and that’s okay. I do sit down to work on my thoughts any time I have an overwhelming or negative thought. I make sure that if I am hurt or pissed off about something, I do at least my half-assed version. Why? Because if I don’t, those thoughts will run my day or my life and may even ruin a good thing.

I’m not perfect in my thought work and I still have a lot of work to do. What I can tell you is that this practice is worth it and just might change your life or release some of that anxiety you are feeling.

Here are a couple of Kara’s recommended steps and questions to use.

Steps:
1. Set a daily time on your calendar for 5 minutes (Yup, all she recommends to start with is 5 minutes!!)
2. Just write until the 5-minute timer goes off.

Questions to use:
1. When did the thought occur?
2. What was happening?
3. What is the exact thought I’m having right now about this?

Kara recommends getting concrete and specific. I recommend adding another question to ask: Is this thought coming from a place of fear? If so, what is the underlying fear?

When doing thought work, you will start to get really familiar with what your negative thoughts are and where they are coming from. This will give you specific areas that you can work on through your personal growth journey. By doing this thought work, you will be able to realize what thoughts are holding you back from releasing the anxiety you are experiencing.

One last question to ask yourself, “What would it feel like to show up and feel absolutely confident about yourself?”

**You can find out more about Kara Loewenthiel’s teachings on thought work at her website or on her podcast.  I listen to her podcast through Google Podcasts.