Where are Your Limiting Beliefs?
When you think of your life, what do you think is possible for you? Those are your beliefs. For many of us, the thoughts we have about our lives are limiting beliefs. Meaning, they are thoughts we’re choosing to think about the possibilities in our lives that are holding us back. Our limiting beliefs allow us to get in our own darn way. Sure we may blame others and external situations, yet, when it comes down to it, how we think about our life determines far more about the results in our life than we are led to believe.
The thoughts we think create the life we are living.
How many of us react and push back to this universal truth? By studying how the brain works, cognitive theory, and behavioral psychology, we know our thoughts are the driver behind the results we see in our life. Time after time after time after time.
We humans argue this. We don’t want to take full responsibility for our addictions, for our strained relationships, for our out-of-shape bodies, etc…. I too used to argue with this reality. I’d come up with examples that I thought would prove this untrue. That it’s not possible. That saying my thoughts created the results in my life was not accurate. Happily, I proved myself wrong (though after wasting a lot of mental energy). Join me in dropping the argument. Suffering is resisting reality. Acceptance is a form of surrender. Remove the fight to remove the drama.
It all comes back to our thoughts.
Doesn’t it make sense that it all comes back to our thinking and our thoughts? We are Homo sapiens sapiens after all. We have evolved to have the ability to think about what we think about.
Why were we given that skill? Why were we given that power? I choose to believe it’s to use it. To think about what we think about. Join me in pushing pause on our busy life to actually think about the answer to this and other questions in this blog post.
Life is meant to be lived in full vibrancy; At full volume. We are not meant to live in busy, stressed out bodies just trying to make it through the day.
We’re not meant to be miserable. We’re meant to experience joy. We’re not meant to be chronically stressed out. We’re meant to live lives full of wonder and excitement.
Part of my mission is to be a vision of what is possible: as a mom, as a working woman, as a married woman, as a human. I want to live a life that allows othersto look at what they think is possible for their life and blow that out of the water.
Drop Your Limiting Beliefs by Expanding Your Lens of Possibility
We view our life through a lens. Sometimes that lens can become quite narrow so that we think that what we see is all there is. It is in all of our best interests to continue to expand that lens so that we continue to uncover our limiting beliefs. When we believe what we see is the only reality, we limit ourselves and tolerate things in life that aren’t necessary to tolerate. For example:
- If we think moms yell, then we tolerate yelling at our kids.
- When we think spouses snap at each other, we tolerate being snapped at.
- If we think we gain weight in middle age, then we gain weight in middle age.
- When we think we need wine to get through our days, we need wine to get through our days.
- If we think menopause will suck, then menopause will suck.
- When we think our best years are behind us, our best years are behind us.
- If we think we’ll only be happy if our body looked a certain way, then we won’t be happy in the body we have.
It’s true warriors, if you think you can’t, you can’t. If you think you can, you abso-frigging-lutely can! Why? It’s simple. The thoughts we think create the feelings we feel which drive the actions we take. If you’ve been listening to me for a while, you understand the thought model. If not, head back to some past episodes. What do you believe is possible for you?
Wait a Minute: What’s a Belief?
“A belief is just a thought you keep thinking.”– Abraham-Hicks
A belief is literally a thought you think over and over until you believe it is fact. It’s important to remember that thoughts are merely sentences in our head. They’re not necessarily true (and often aren’t). They start as things like: “I’m smart” or “I have trouble keeping focus” or “I’m motivated” or “I can’t lose weight”. They’re not in the first line of the model (the circumstance line) because they’re not actually fact. They’re not provable in a court of law. Smarter than who? Less focus than who? Can’t jump or can’t jump yet? They are sentences in our head. It becomes a belief when we’ve repeated it enough times in our head that we believe it to be true. Our brain then takes over and we know from neuroscience, what we look for, we will find.
Beliefs are literally a thought we think over and over until we believe it’s fact. When we think a thought our brain goes to work to find evidence to support that thought. Say I believe raising teenagers is hard. My brain will present a lot of evidence that that’s the case. With four teenage sons, I choose not to think that thought. Rather, I practice thinking the thought that raising teenagers is the best. When I think that thought, my brain goes to work finding evidence for that. And this is where people start to argue with me. They say but it’s not Susie. Raising teenagers is hard. Truth alert….
There’s no judge around the corner that you can go to in order to prove your thought “raising teenagers is hard” is correct and mine “Raising teenagers is awesome” is wrong. Rather, it’s in our control.
Which case do you want to make for yourself?
I choose to paint a picture of the future that’s awesome and then I set to work to make that come true. If you want to commit to your thought that raising teenagers is hard, then it will be. Your brain will find evidence that it’s hard while mine will go to work finding evidence it’s awesome. It’s literally that simple. And yet….we fight for our limiting beliefs all the time.
In my monthly membership group for midlife warriors, we are constantly questioning the thoughts that we’re practicing. We question whether the thoughts we’re thinking about aging are helpful and pointing us towards a future we want to experience. Or are they thoughts put their by society that we can calmly and kindly, kick to the curb?
Here are some thoughts I actively practice so as to wire them into my brain as beliefs. Feel free to borrow those you want to bring into your future also:
- Things work out for me.
- I’m aging well.
- My body is strong and healthy.
- My sons are resilient, thriving amazing young men.
- I’m in a thriving and deeply connected marraige.
- My life is awesome and it just keeps getting better.
Funny enough, saying these sorts of things aloud makes people very uncomfortable. For me to say my life is awesome and it just keeps getting better and better feels oddly irresponsible to some. As if, spending my time thinking more worrisome or anxious thoughts protects me in some way. It doesn’t. Just like someone sitting and worrying does nothing, me future casting doom serves no purpose.
I can’t read the future yet neither can you. Me believing that aging will be easier than I think or that things keep getting better for me sets my brain to look for evidence for that. A belief is literally a thought you think over and over until you believe it is fact. They are sentences in our head. It becomes a belief because we’ve directed our brain to look for evidence to support our thought so many times that we’ve hardwired it into our brain.
Where are your beliefs limiting you?
Today I invite you to kick those limiting beliefs aside. Instead, why not fight for the best possible for you and your loved ones? Go ahead and choose to believe whatever the heck you want to believe!
- You can believe you’re fantastic no matter what anyone else says.
- You can believe that it’s all going to work out wonderfully for you and your kids.
- You can believe that you are aging magnificently.
- You can believe that you are smart, amazing, and capable of anything you set your mind to.
If you think you are, you are. If you think you aren’t, you aren’t.
If you think it’s not possible for you, it’s not. If you think it is possible for you, it is.
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t.
Our lives are a reflection of the stories we tell ourselves.
What are you telling yourself?
What excuses are you making for yourself that don’t serve you? What are your limiting beliefs? What can you tell yourself instead?
Psst: Are you a mom over age 40? Oooh do I have a special opportunity for you! Consider becoming a Midlife Warrior! I have started a movement to change the stories we tell ourselves about aging so that we can change the future for us and for our younger daughters, sisters, humans. The monthly membership program is full of women choosing to believe that it’s possible to live a life they love. We are a movement of women setting an example for others of what is possible in our midlife and beyond. We practice believing life keeps getting better and surround ourselves with other likeminded midlife warriors. It is an amazingly powerful group of women and one of my favorite things to do. I’d be honored for you to join. See if it’s open for enrollment now at www.smbwell.com/membership