Resolution time. I hear the groans.
You either really love this time of year, plan and create all the visions for the life you truly want to lead.
Or you are in the opposite camp. You hate it. You are ready for the talk of resolutions to be over so we can all go back to living our lives already.
I’ve found as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gone from really loving the new year and new possibilities to feeling like there is never a time of year when that isn’t possible. There is never a time of year where we can’t just wake up and have it be a new day, and be ready to move forward with new ideas for our life.
Whenever you decide is time to make some shifts in your life, most likely you will run into the same patterns that will bring your old self back. To make real change, we have to get to the cause and work from there.
There are clear ways to identify what is holding you back and to make adjustments so you no longer suffer from those ties. You have the power already to make the changes you may so desperately want and need. You just have to know how.
Identify the obstacle in your way
Negative self-talk, mismanagement of your time, focusing on the wrong things, fear and complacency are at the root of most struggle and stagnation.
At the bottom of these is a limiting self-belief and that is where we’ll begin. A belief is simply something you think about the world. It can be anything. I believe it’s warm in Atlanta. I developed that belief because growing up I learned the south had a warmer climate than the north and when I moved here, I experienced the temperature for myself, forming this belief. As you can see, there can and usually are, multiple layers to each of your beliefs. This adds to the complexity and difficulty in recognizing the source and nature of what really think and what directs our actions.
How to identify limiting beliefs?
Getting to the root of your beliefs, good or bad, is a great habit and practice to get into. Each morning, I choose a topic to write about in my journal. I examine what the belief is and see if I am able to peel back the layers to find the core. If that core serves me, awesome. If it does not, I work to change it.
To get started, get an idea of something you believe and start writing how you feel. If you don’t know what to write, then ask yourself what you wish you had in your life and write about that.
‘I wish I could go on vacation with my husband this year.’
‘I wish I didn’t have a crappy boss.’
‘I will just never lose the weight.’
‘I wish I got along better with my teenager.’
When I journal, I try and remember the first time I felt this way. What was happening in my life? Did I hear someone else, like a parent or trusted friend, say something similar that would make me think this is how they believed too?
When I’ve identified the core, I ask myself, Is this true? Is this supporting my goals?
If it’s not, work to change it.
To make true life changes, you have to change what you believe about yourself and what is possible for your life. You can look at weight loss, a common resolution, but if you are only focused on the weight, the outside stuff, the surface stuff that everyone can see, your change won’t be long term.
If you are looking at your core, the beliefs that make you who you are, and you can change your belief into one that says you are someone who lives a healthy lifestyle and makes healthy choices every day, now that person is a person who will make lasting change.
Our outside reflects what our inside thinks, so we must be aware of what beliefs we have.
How to change your beliefs
Uncovering them is the first step, and if you’ve journaled and investigated, then hopefully you’ve got the core belief to work with. The next steps are simply about practice.
Chances are, if your belief is deep-rooted, from years and years of telling yourself the same thing, it will take some practice to reverse the belief in your mind.
- Affirmation: One simple way to change your belief is to find another belief that supports you. Our beliefs can simply be a habit because we’ve never thought of things in a different way.
Getting to the core of ‘I wish I could go on vacation with my husband this year.’ May have broken down into ideas about money, worth and the type of person who gets to go on vacation. To make it into something more believable for you, an affirmation may be something like, ‘I deserve to have all the experiences in life that I desire.’ You can’t argue with that, right?
Write your affirmation down, say them in the morning and remind yourself of them every time you hear this negative belief pop up in your life.
- Take that core belief and write a different way to look at it. Perhaps you never went on vacation as a kid because your family didn’t have the money, and your parents told you that ‘people like that don’t have to work has hard and have jobs that rip people off.’ Step back and see the situation as a ‘witness’ instead of as a ‘doer’. What could have been really happening in your parents minds? Perhaps they felt guilty for not being able to bring you anywhere new. Maybe they wanted to vacation too and were angry they didn’t get a job that allowed that. It could be any number of reasons, but think back to what could have been the ‘real’ reason for their beliefs and see if you can help shoot holes in your own theory’s by better understanding theirs. Creating a new story can help calm your brain and allow you to accept the new belief that you want to support you.
- Start small: Start taking small actions toward your new belief. When you do small actions, you create a structure in your mind that says this is true for you. If you do something small, it begins to be believable without alerting your amygdala (Your freeze, fight or flight response that says ‘NO! That’s not true!) and you begin to create new pathways that promote that your new belief IS true. Small steps could include: looking up places you’d want to vacation, keeping your ear open for that voice in your head that says, ‘No, not me’, say your affirmation and move forward. Creating a bookmark list on your computer or Pinterest with places you’d like to visit. Small things that help shift your belief and build something new in your mind.
Ready to get started?
Download my workbook to walk you through the path to new clarity and new beliefs for the new you, any time of year!