Today’s blog is about limiting beliefs. What are they? How did I get them? How do I know if I have any? Should I worry about them? How do I get rid of them?
First of all, what are they? Well, a limiting belief is a little voice that convinces us that we can’t do something, or we can’t have something, or we can’t be something – you get the idea.
How did I get them? Throughout our lifetime, we gather limiting beliefs through experience. We are born having complete self-belief, but as we grow into small children things happen that knock our confidence. An adult might tell us that we are stupid, a teacher might say we are no good at maths, we might believe we are not pretty enough, or a peer might tell us we are too fat, we might be told that we are too sensitive, or too shy, or not to do something because we might fall and hurt ourselves, or we might be compared to a sibling and found lacking. Our brains dutifully file these ‘facts’ away to be brought out later, and then busily adds other things that happen which validate this belief. Our brains are very clever like that.
How do you know if you have any? We all have limiting beliefs; the trick is recognising them because they feel like facts. Here are some clues:
- Do you find yourself running negative self-talk through your mind? Do you criticise yourself? Pay attention to the way you speak to yourself.
- Do you have problems with your self-image?
- Do you like yourself?
- Are you quick tempered and critical?
- Are you persistently anxious or agitated?
- Do you suffer from depression?
- How do you talk about other people? Do you criticise them? Pay attention to the way you speak about others.
- Do you carry extra weight?
- Do you have persistent aches and pains for no reason that you can fathom?
- Are you mostly negative or positive in your outlook?
- Are you a complainer? Do you blame others?
What is interesting is that our bodies often demonstrate our limiting beliefs outwardly with physical manifestations of aches and pains, weight gain, and ill health.
People who have less limiting beliefs are mostly happy and confident, walking upright and tall, looking people in the eye, generally have less aches and pains and better health, their emotions are more balanced, less ups and downs. They think positively and are glass half full people
- Are you struggling with your relationship?
- What about your career?
- How are your finances?
- How is your mood?
- How is your health?
Do you have difficulties in any of these areas? What emotion does it stir up in you? Anxiety? Hopelessness? If so then there is an underlying self-limiting beliefs in that area.
Should I worry about them?
If anything I have said so far has resonated with you in a slightly uncomfortable way, then yes, you should worry about them because, frankly, life is so much better without them! I am speaking from experience here.
The good news is that now your eyes have been opened you can start to recognise symptoms of limiting beliefs and you can start to release the limiting beliefs which cause the symptoms.
Limiting beliefs sound true and reasonable to you and you will be able to come up with lots of evidence supporting them! (This is because your brain has been busy collecting data to back up that limiting belief for ages.) However, they are getting in the way of what you want to do, and they are stopping you from living your life and reaching your potential. So unless you’re willing to totally give up on your goals, we need to get rid of them.
How do I get rid of them?
First of all, you need to play detective to work out what the underlying limiting belief is. There are likely to be more than one, so work on the one that is uppermost in your mind, or which is holding you back the most.
Example 1: Perhaps you feel anxiety whenever you check your bank account. There is a limiting belief about money. It may be that your limiting belief is ‘there is never enough money’, ‘I am rubbish with money’, ‘Money slips through my fingers’, I am sure you can find some of your own.
Example 2: Perhaps you are looking for a new relationship, but you aren’t finding the right person. Maybe you were let down before. Your limiting belief might be, ‘I am unloveable’, ‘I have been let down before and I will be let down again’, ‘I can’t trust men’, ‘I will never find anyone again’, ‘I am going to be alone forever’.
Write the limiting belief down. Write down exactly how you feel, and the thoughts and emotions which are evoked as you think about this limiting belief. Write down all the ‘evidence’ and ‘proof’ that you can to back up your limiting belief.
Acknowledge that this is a belief and not a truth. It may be hard for you to acknowledge this because it feels like a truth. However, which would you prefer to choose? The limiting belief or the alternative. It’s your choice, after all.
Ask yourself this question – what do I have to gain by holding on to this limiting belief?
Ask yourself, how would it feel if I change the belief into something else, such as:
Example 1: ‘Money flows to me easily and effortlessly.’
Example 2: ‘I am loveable and I attract the perfect partner.’
Act as if the above statements are true – it may not feel real, but the brain cannot distinguish between fact and fantasy, so allow yourself the fantasy of believing a new truth.
How has today’s blog resonated with you? As a life-coach I help people every-day to free them from their limiting beliefs. If you would like to find out more about how I can help you, then do get in touch.
Thanks for reading!
How To Tame Your Gremlin.
Do you have an inner Gremlin? I do. She appears regularly (mines a she). Although I am pleased to say she appears far less than she used to. She used to pop in many times a day before I learned how to tame her. She is much calmer than she used to be. I am alert to her most of the time, but she’s devious. She now knows to pick my most vulnerable moments, such as first thing in the morning before I am properly conscious, or last thing at night when I am just dozing gently off to sleep. The rest of the time I have her in check these days. When she does appear, wow, she is totally over the top – by that I mean that she is in there for a SERIOUS moan. She criticises, worries, she is very anxious, she pokes and picks at any concerns that might be going on in my life at that time. She catastrophises and is relentless. Mostly her worries are to do with me – my future, my money, my relationships, my appearance, my life. She criticises everything I do, and everything I haven’t done. She is impossible to please and she is always miserable, cranky and unhappy. That is her job and she does it well. My Gremlin is my inner critic, my negative voice, the voice of my brain trying to keep me safe from harm.
Let me tell you some more about your inner gremlin and share some tips and techniques to tame your gremlin that work for me.
- Your gremlin isn’t you, and you are not your gremlin.
Your inner gremlin is just your thoughts. You are not your thoughts. When your inner gremlin pops in for a moan, don’t trust him/her. Separate yourself from your gremlin. One way to do this is give him/her a name. Draw a picture of him/her. Is your gremlin male or female? How old is your gremlin? It will help you to see yourself as separate from your gremlin. Sometimes, when I get caught off guard, I actually believe that my inner gremlin is ME – and sometimes it takes me a short period of time to work out that it isn’t. It’s always a relief to discover it’s the Gremlin.
- Understand WHY your gremlin is there and thank it.
The reason we all have a gremlin is to protect us. Usually they shout and moan the loudest when we have something going on, and when we are stressed. The gremlin’s job is to keep you safe and it has woken up because something has warned it that you are stressed. Your job is to recognise when your gremlin is awake and moaning, realise it isn’t you, and tell it something like ‘Thank you gremlin, I realise you are there to keep me safe, and I appreciate it. I’ve got this, you can relax now.’ I know that sounds daft, but it works!
- What your gremlin is really good at.
Gremlins are great at repetition. It repeats worries over and over like a broken record. Also it loves patterns and it will search through your long forgotten memories remind you of them. ‘Remember when you tried this before and you failed?’ ‘You are going to look an idiot.’ ‘People are going to laugh at you.’ ‘Small businesses fail all the time.’ ‘What makes you think you are special?’ and on and on and on….. It does this to try to make you agree and say, ah yes, that’s right, I did fail before. It’s true, small businesses DO fail. Perhaps I should give up. That’s what the gremlin wants. When your gremlin brings up these memories and facts, you can acknowledge it – hey well done gremlin, that’s clever of you, now you can go back to sleep. Hopefully that should pacify your inner critic and that allows you to get back to whatever you were doing.
- What your gremlin is really bad at
Gremlins aren’t creative but you are! Therefore one thing that helps to quieten your gremlin is to write down positive goals that you want to achieve – do this either before you go to bed or when you get up in the morning. This keeps you focussed on the future in a positive and creative way. Your gremlin can only regurgitate old and limiting belief patterns and thoughts. You, however, can create new positive beliefs and take action. Your gremlin just can’t cope with all that positive reinforcement and he or she will hopefully then be quiet.
- Acknowledge what your gremlin says
I know this sounds counter-intuitive but it works. When your gremlin starts its tirade of negativity, write it all down. Get all that stuff onto the paper. You can shred it or burn it later if you like. Your gremlin will be surprised about this, and happy because you are listening and then it can go back to sleep and so can you. You are taking the words from your sub-conscious, acknowledging them, and releasing them.
- Ask yourself, is it true?
Take one of the thoughts that the gremlin is giving you and ask yourself, is it true? Are you sure it is true? How do you know it is true? For example, if the gremlin says something like ‘you tried this before and failed, and you are going to fail again, so it’s not worth trying – give up.’ Ask yourself, did I fail before? Perhaps you did, so it is true, you did fail before. Is it true that you will fail again? No, it is impossible to know that as truth. It’s not worth trying? Is that true? No, you can’t know that to be true. Also, if you failed before, what did you gain from trying? You may have learned a new skill, or met a new person, or something in that experience was positive even if you ultimately ‘failed’, the experience may have taught you something amazing and valuable.
- Ask yourself, ‘what is my gremlin trying to protect me from?’
It is a valuable exercise to examine why your gremlin is jumping up and down. Is there something going on for you right now? Are you worrying about something? Is your gremlin trying to protect you from doing something which might cause you disapproval, pain, uncertainty, difficult tasks, the possibility of looking a fool, of being criticised, of failing? His job is to keep you safe, remember. It is your responsibility to live your biggest, best most authentic and courageous life, so this means upsetting your inner gremlin from time to time.
Gremlin doesn’t want you to put yourself out there, to be brave, to start a new business, to do anything remotely dangerous! Gremlin wants you to sit home, eat and sleep. Gremlin is like an over-protective parent who doesn’t want her child to play out with the big kids. Heaven forbid you might scrape your knee. Don’t listen to the gremlin – you need to get out there to live your life. You don’t want to get to the end of your life and look back and realise you have all these regrets because you listened to your grumbling gremlin do you?
- Realise how the gremlin was created.
Your gremlin is unique to you – he/she was created from your doubts, fears, insecurities, negative experiences, criticisms from other people, low self-confidence, lack of approval, worry. He remembers it all and is ready to bring it to the forefront of your mind at a moment’s notice to remind you.
When your gremlin wakes up and starts to rattle his cage, just remember that your gremlin is doing the best job he can to protect you from harm, and he uses the only tools he has, your memories and insecurities. Say to yourself, this is not me, this is my gremlin. It’s not real. The bully runs away when you confront him.
These are my favourite ways to deal with my inner gremlin. I hope that when your inner gremlin rattles his cage that you will try these and see which work for you. Keep them in your toolkit ready for when you need them, and change tactics from time to time to confuse your gremlin.
Tell me about the struggles you have with your gremlin – I’d love to know how these tips work for you.
And if you know someone who struggles with their own grumpy gremlin please share this post.
Have you ever set a goal with the best of intentions, and you start off really well, but at some point you feel like:
- This is taking so long.
- I’m never going to get there.
- What on earth was I thinking by even starting this?
- I’m not going to make it.
- I keep failing at this goal.
- I’m getting nowhere.
When you get to this stage, the urge to give up will be very strong. Here are 5 tips to help you for those times when you reach this point. You might want to save this blog somewhere safe in readiness for those moments.
- Decide to have an “I Won’t Quit” Mindset.
Before you even start, make up your mind to have an ‘I Won’t Quit” mindset.
This means that you understand and acknowledge that there will be tough times, but that even though things will get difficult, you aren’t going to quit, whatever. Make yourself some mantras like these examples on post-it notes or on card and repeat them regularly:
- I am not a quitter.
- I persist when things get tough.
- Every day I get stronger and better.
- I will find a way through this.
- Every problem has a solution, and I have the answer.
If these don’t suit your situation, then make your own to find a mantra that resonates with you. Our brains believe whatever we tell them, so repeating it over and over will set up new neural pathways.
- Be aware of why we get the negative thought.
Before you even start, just being aware of WHY we have these negative thoughts is going to be very helpful. Your brain will trick you into wanting to give up. This is because your brain’s primary function is to keep you safe, and it is very good at its job. As soon as something becomes tough or uncomfortable it will start sending you messages such as the ones we have mentioned. Be ready for this! Forewarned is forearmed. Realise before you start that your brain will do this, and then when you start thinking the thoughts such as “I’m never going to get there”, “this isn’t working”, you can immediately recognise the thoughts for what they are and say to yourself, “okay I recognise you are just trying to protect me, but it’s fine, I’ve got this”, and keep going. Read those mantras.
- Motivate yourself by watching other people who have succeeded.
There are loads of stories on the internet of people like you who have succeeded. They also wanted to quit. They may have failed but they picked themselves up and tried again. They persevered. Find your role models and listen to their story. Be motivated daily by other people’s successes. They are no different from you. You can do it too. They didn’t quit and neither will you.
- Find an accountability partner.
Find yourself someone on your wave-length who understands what you are doing and why you are doing it and ask them to be your accountability partner. You need someone who is positive and encouraging, who will talk you out of quitting. They need to understand your ‘why’.
- Be clear on your ‘Why’.
Create a list of all the reasons why you want to achieve this goal. Your ‘why’ list needs to be strong and compelling. If your ‘why’ list doesn’t inspire you then perhaps it isn’t a goal that you really want to achieve. Strong ‘whys’ will motivate you to keep going, even when it gets tough. If you have a strong list of ‘whys’ then keep it somewhere close to hand and then when you feel like quitting look at your list to remind yourself why this goal is important to you. Add more reasons at any time.
I hope this list helps you to motivate you to stick to your goals. It is something I struggle with and these strategies always help me. Remember, we crave the success of reaching our goals because our brains reward us with feel good chemicals. Look back at things you have succeeded at and think how you will feel when you succeed with this goal too.
Thanks for reading!
Habits to Change Your Life – My Favourite Technique.
This week’s theme is ‘habits to change your life’ and so I want to share my favourite technique which has made a massive difference to my happiness levels.
It is something which the most successful people in the world do such as Oprah Winfrey and Tony Robbins. It is simple to do and extremely effective. It is GRATITUDE.
A few humbling facts:
Out of a worldwide population of around 7.4b
- 6 out of 10 people do not have a flushing toilet or access to clean running water.
- 16 percent of the world’s population have no electricity.
- 10 percent of the world’s population live on less than £1.45 a day.
Here’s another fact:
If you earn £20k a year and there are 2 of you living in your home, you are amongst the top 10.6% of the world’s richest population. Not only that you earn more than 11% of the global average.
This is pretty mind-blowing, isn’t it?
The point of this is to serve as a reminder that we are living abundantly even though we might not feel like it sometimes when we compare ourselves to others.
The power of gratitude allows us to be more content and happier. It really works.
The human mind is amazing and complex. The problem is that our thoughts can make us feel happy or miserable depending on the thoughts being processed at the time. The good news is that we can control those thoughts. In my Courage to Change Programme I teach you in depth how to do this, and here is the starting point:
My top technique is to find yourself a journal, a note book, and keep it by your bed. When you go to bed each evening, take a few minutes to write down:
- What you are grateful for.
- Who you are grateful for.
Write everything you are grateful for. Big things and small things. If you are having a bad day you might find it harder to find things, and when you are having a good day it is easier. With practice is becomes much easier to identify things to be grateful for. Some examples might be: your comfortable bed; your friends; your family; your pet/s; the food you have eaten today; the clothes in your wardrobe; your reliable car; the lovely weather; the person who smiled at you today at the bus stop;
Do this consistently. This is a powerful technique which has been proven to improve the quality of life and your contentment and happiness.
I’d love to know how you get on so please do let me know.
If you would like to know more about working with me, do contact me.
Thanks for reading!
My blog today is all about the connection between our body and mind, and especially when it comes to ageing. The important thing to know is that the health of your body is not separate from your mind – by that I mean your emotional wellbeing, your mindset, the thoughts that run through your head and your beliefs. The good news is that our thoughts and beliefs can be changed and therefore when we turn our thoughts and beliefs around then it can’t help but have a knock-on effect on our health and wellbeing.
When we have health issues in our body, we generally don’t understand why it occurred. Our health service is geared to look at one part of the body in separation, so if we have an issue with our heart then we see a cardiologist, or if we have an issue with a trapped nerve we might see a neurologist.
The body parts are looked at in isolation, and there is no holistic view where we look at what is going on in the rest of the person including their other systems and including their life – their thoughts, beliefs and stress levels – which may have contributed to the physical issue.
The holistic view is that our bodies are interconnected, and that the issue or problem is not separate – it is not apart from all the other systems in our body and it is not separate from our emotions.
Our wellbeing is improved by a positive mindset – it boosts our immunity which helps us fight off germs and viruses. When you start to change your mindset, then you start to see real shifts in your health and wellbeing.
If you are anything like me, then you don’t want to spend your time in ill health. There’s far more exciting things to be doing. It’s time to stop living in stress and anxiety and adopt a new ageless attitude where we really embrace the fact that age is just a number and stop fearing getting older.
If you would like to know more about how I can help you make positive mindset changes to improve your health and wellbeing, please get in touch.
Thanks for reading,
Right now, this very minute, in this world we live in, there are people changing their lives and living their dreams. There are people changing their relationships for the better. Someone is starting their dream business. There are people losing weight and becoming healthier day by day. Someone will change their diet for the better. Someone will learn to swim. There are people getting their dream jobs. There are people learning new skills and changing their lives. There are new millionaires being created every day. People who were depressed are dealing with their demons and changing their lives. People in pain are becoming pain free. Someone is catching up with their friends.
The fact is that people change their lives every day and it can be you too.
I have two questions for you:
- Do you find this frustrating or inspiring?
- Do you find yourself asking why not me?
Well, I’m here to tell you that It can be you and here are 3 tips to get you started:
- Commit to working on yourself.
Right from where you are now, regardless of past failures or regrets, make a decision to commit to working on yourself. What do I mean by that? I mean take a look at the things in your life that are making you unhappy. Decide that from this point onwards you are going to work on yourself to make improvements – this might be in learning a new skill, or working on your mindset, or on an aspect of yourself that you want to change to improve yourself.
- Make a plan.
Decide who you want to become, what you want to be doing, what you want to change – it doesn’t have to be massive, it can be simple. You can start small or you can plan big. Set a goal. Future dreams start with small steps. Write it down, visualise it, give it your attention. Feel into it.
- Take action.
Everyone’s greatest idea, without action, is nothing. The key to living the life of your dreams is by taking action. Lots of us have dreams and ideas but how many of us turn them into reality? The difference is that the ones who create their dreams are the ones that take action. It doesn’t have to be perfect. We all have days when we make plans to take action and something stops us – when that happens just start again tomorrow. Don’t beat yourself up, we are only human. Just pick yourself up and start again.
Let it be you.
Stop envying others who are living the life you dream about, and start these 3 steps. Commit to your improvement, make a plan, and start taking action.
Someone is going to so why not you?
Why am I telling you this? I started with these 3 steps and I changed my life so I know you can do it too because, believe me, if I can do it then so can you.
Leave me a comment or If you want to talk to me more about how I can help you change your life, do get in touch.
Thanks for reading!