“I can’t do it.”
“I will never be good enough.”
“I don’t have what it takes.”
“I don’t deserve to be happy.”
“I am doomed to fail. Everyone else in my family has.”
“I will never be successful.”
“I made too many past mistakes. I can never move past those.”
“I will never make it like my peers have.”
Do you catch yourself saying or thinking anything like the statements above? If so, you are not alone. Many of us have what I call ‘gremlins’ that hold us back from accomplishing our goals and dreams. And often it is because of these gremlins that we are sometimes even afraid to voice the dreams and goals that we do have and know deep down in our hearts that we want to accomplish. “What is the point?” we might ask ourselves. We won’t ever get there anyway.
I used to think this way. I used to doubt myself a lot and question whether or not I was capable or worthy of being successful and happy in the way that I knew deep down that I wanted to be. Sometimes, even now, after having come to a place where I believe in myself and am confident and directed in a way that I never thought was possible, I still question myself when I am feeling a bit insecure or down. The good news is, I know that these beliefs or thoughts, are just that – only beliefs and thoughts. And I have the tools to get me out of these funks that used to last weeks, months, and even years (at a certain, confusing and difficult stage in my life.) These tools that I have put into practice and incorporate on a regular basis help me to get out of these ‘funky’ states of questioning my own ability very quickly.
Here are 4 steps that I follow and teach my clients that I want to share with you to help you get rid of your own limiting beliefs and thoughts so that you can move toward accomplishing your goals and dreams.
Step 1: Recognize Your ‘Gremlins’ and Limiting Beliefs
The first step is to become aware of the ‘gremlins’ and negative thoughts you are telling yourself and believing. Recognize that when you think and believe these thoughts, it is also impacting how you are behaving. For example, if you allow yourself to believe and live by the thought “I am never going to make it”, chances are you are not going to get up and take the steps toward accomplishing your goals and dreams. Yes, it is that simple. It all depends on the story we tell ourselves. If we continue to tell ourselves the story of “I can’t…” or “I will never…” then we allow that ‘story’ to have control over us and define our choices and the steps (or lack thereof) that we choose in life. So, even if everyone else around you tells you you’re crazy for thinking that way or that you have so much potential and that you can do anything, nothing is going to change unless YOU yourself change the way that you think and believe about yourself. It always begins with you. So, first make a list of what these thoughts and beliefs actually are.
Step 2: Accept What Is
Instead of denying the truth, accept it. If you regret some or even all of the choices you made in the past, accept it. If you don’t hold an academic degree, acknowledge it and accept it. If you have been in failed relationships, accept it. The more you deny what is real, the more frustrated and stressed you will be. It is always less stressful to accept what is real, honest and true, than it is to deny or try and push away what is real, honest, and true. So, instead of thinking or believing, “I shouldn’t have been in that awful relationship” or “I should be doing what all my peers are doing right now” and other such should and/or have to thoughts, accept what is. Yes, you were in that awful relationship, and yes you are not doing what your peers are doing right now. Accept it. Acceptance will allow you to take control over these thoughts and disarm them of their control over you. (This is a delicate step, I know. And I am here to support you and answer any questions you may have about it.)
Step 3: Ask Yourself “Now What?”
Now that you have recognized and become more aware of your ‘gremlins’ and the thoughts that hold you back AND have accepted where you are really at right now, it is time to move forward. So simply ask yourself “Now What?” Now that you know you made choices you are not too happy about, or were in that awful relationship, or you are not doing what the rest of your peers are doing, what will you do? What will you do to move forward? Get clear on what YOU want and what YOU want to accomplish and ask yourself what steps you will take (starting today!) to get there. Make a plan for yourself and outline the steps you require to get there.
Step 4: Take the Steps Toward Accomplishing Your Goals
Get out of your mind and into your body. Stop thinking about all that you want or wish you could do, or of all the things you think you should be doing, and just start doing them! What usually gets us out of our funk, is getting up and actually doing the things we say we want to and are going to do. So, take a look at the list of steps you created in step #3 above and start putting them into action. Make a schedule for yourself and create deadlines for yourself for when you will accomplish what, and do them.
And then, please do, let me know how it goes!
If you have any questions, or want any more support about any of the suggestions I wrote about in this article, please do get in touch. Contact me anytime to ask me a question by email or to set up a FREE consultation if you want more detailed guidance and support and to find out more about how I can help you.
In support and admiration,