Unlock Your Perspective: 4 Things You Can Do TodayOct 11, 2021
Have you heard the term limiting beliefs?
Mark Manson sums it up in a nutshell: “Limiting beliefs are false beliefs that prevent us from pursuing our goals and desires. Limiting beliefs can keep you from doing important things.”
Now limiting beliefs are not always a bad thing. But they ARE bad when they trap us in a false narrative about ourselves and the world.
Ask yourself: what beliefs do you have about your life that have been preventing you from trying something new or pursuing a goal? Some common examples are:
- You’re too old to try something new.
- You’re too young to apply for that high level position.
- You remember that your junior high teacher told you that you’re not creative, so you decide not to sign up for that art class that caught your attention.
- You feel like you are too shy and awkward when you meet new people so you decide to stay out of the dating market.
- You’re too overwhelmed by the chaos of your day-to-day life and are convinced that you just don’t have time to pursue that dream.
If you’ve ever said “I’m too ________ to do ________,” chances are that you’ve experienced a limiting belief.
Those are all simply beliefs – a thought that you keep thinking over & over again – that are just plain not true.
These are perspectives that we pick up along our journeys from experience we have, things people tell us about their experiences, things we witness, and so on. We walk through life holding onto these beliefs about ourselves, our life and the world, and we shape our reality around them.
How are you supposed to realize your full potential when you’ve already put a box around yourself?
The answer? You really can’t.
If you’ve visited my new About section, you’ll notice that Shifting Perspective is the first of the four pillars needed for Living Fully.
When you identify and acknowledge the false beliefs and viewpoints you have about yourself, you can begin to break down the limitations you have unwittingly placed on yourself. This is the first stepping stone to personal development because it allows you to explore the ‘what do I really want?’ without any boundaries.
I’ve witnessed the transformation in my clients. Shifting perspective leads to heightened levels of joy and fulfillment, and new ways of living. I swear, I’m not being dramatic.
When you start overcoming your limiting beliefs, you begin to see the world from a new lens of curiosity and confidence. You can tackle situations with more confidence because you begin to open up to possibility.
This isn’t about just thinking positive thoughts to make everything magically better or that you won’t face challenges. Of course, you’ll face challenges – life is filled with challenges! But they will become much less overwhelming as you release the limiting beliefs around how difficult or impossible something once was to you (almost as if you were betting against yourself and your abilities, right?!)
Seemingly impossible tasks will now feel possible when you shift to a perspective of curiosity and wonder around figuring out the best way to approach the challenge at hand.
Yes, sometimes things are just going to be plain bad and sucky. However, even then we can make a shift to recognize that everything is temporary and liberate ourselves from the depressing burden of feeling like we’ll be stuck in that place indefinitely. We may even choose to use those times as a catalyst to grow into our power and take action.
Okay, okay. I’m sure you are wondering where to even start, right?
Here are four simple ways that I know will help get you moving in the right direction today:
One of THE most powerful ways of shifting one’s perspective is through gratitude journaling. In fact, I credit this super simple practice as the spark that ignited major shifts in my own life. And it’s because of my firsthand experience that I have all of my clients start gratitude journaling from day one.
It’s as simple as writing down five (at least!) things you’re grateful for in a notebook or journal each day. This helps to ground you in all of the goodness in your days and cultivate a more positive lens through which you view the world, your life and all of the possibilities. Gratitude journaling captures what IS happening in your life already, which is undeniable proof.
At this point, I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of being mindful. One of the reasons why it’s such a hot topic is because of how easy it is to simply go through life on autopilot, operating from our subconscious patterns and beliefs. Almost like walking on a treadmill where you are moving, but are doing the same thing and staying in the same place.
When you are mindful in the moment, though, you have the opportunity to recognize how you are feeling in the moment and check-in with yourself to consciously figure out the next right action for you. The autopilot treadmill version of you would open the pantry and mindlessly grab some snacks to munch or be triggered into yelling when someone irritates you.
The mindful you, though, will stop in that moment and consciously think about what you are about to do versus what you want to do. So instead of eating the chips you may realize that you aren’t even hungry but instead you are avoiding working on that project and you can consciously decide to take at least one small step to get the project done instead. Likewise, instead of yelling at someone (regardless of who did what), you can actively choose to address the situation in a much calmer tone, which will lead to a better outcome for everyone.
Another tool you can use to uncover some of the sneakier habits and beliefs is to begin to question everything. When you start to question your default thoughts and actions, you can start seeing patterns and even articulate the whys behind your actions.
We all know that identifying the problem is the first step to solving it and asking questions is how you can start down this path. Let’s revisit the previous example: you generally yell when someone irritates you. Being mindful might help you respond with a calmer voice. But you could go a step further and ask yourself “WHY do I usually respond with yelling?”
Maybe you realize that you think you always get better results when you yell.
Maybe a parent or teacher said you were an angry kid and that became your automatic response.
Maybe you realize that you only hate being questioned because you feel like you are losing authority or respect.
Asking yourself questions is a way for you to dig deeper into understanding yourself and your motivations. From there, you can look deeper at your values and feelings so you can make the choice about if you actually agree with your subconscious thoughts. Remember, these are simply beliefs, NOT FACTS. This is a fantastic tool to use alongside mindfulness.
Choose Your Words Wisely
It amazes me how much of a difference words can make. For example, “that always happens to me” or “that never happens to me.” In the right context, just think about how self-defeating these two statements can feel.
It may seem like this isn’t a big deal, but the word choice here can make a difference.
The words you choose shape your reality. Here are some of the top culprits of limiting beliefs: never, always, have to, should/would, but and can’t. These little words seem insignificant but can rob you of your power.
These words cause stress and tend to make us victims of situations and feel powerless to change. I should workout, I have to work, I never date the right person.
Notice how different it feels to say: I choose to workout, I choose to work, I will date the right person.
The way you think and the way you speak affects how your world looks, how you see yourself, and how others see you. It's your choice how you want to show up and those thoughts shape your world. Start eliminating the limiting words from your vocabulary and see how much it shifts the possibilities in your life.
Shifting your perspective is the greatest gift you can give yourself. It's not about being positive all the time, but it IS about expanding your worldview and living with the knowledge and confidence that you are ENOUGH already. There are so many gifts and opportunities out there, we just need to open our eyes to see them.
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