In Snow White, when the Queen asks her mirror : "Who in the land is fairest of all", the mirror replies : "You are". And the Queen believes it. Until one day, the mirror responds : "Snow White is fairer". And the Queen believes it too.
We all have an inner mirror in our head and we all indulge in chattering with it. And the result is our Belief System. Some of our beliefs about ourselves are positive, some are negative. All operate at a deep level and affect our journey through life, including the way we manage change. Visualizing the destination, setting goals and building steps for an action plan are all useless efforts if the starting point – our belief system – is limiting.
Limiting beliefs come from parents, society, coping mechanisms we develop to protect ourselves each time we are exposed to adversity . But we tend to hang on to them, failing to notice that they are no longer appropriate to the circumstances. They become outdated software, blocking our growth and discarding all possibility of a major life change.
Things just happen. Life is like this. No pain no gain. You have to grab what you can… And also : You are not beautiful enough, not smart enough, not educated enough…
"No use in trying", concludes the inner mirror. "Remember? You tried once and failed". Thus, our limiting Belief System forces us into actions leading to self-punishment, self-sabotage, self-defeat. Updating the system is easier said than done. Why? Because it validates our procrastination, our fear of failure, our reluctance to leave our comfort zone for the "great unknown".
Ask yourself :
1. Which are the top 5 things that I control in my life?
2. Which are the top 5 things that I cannot control in my life?
3. Which are the things that I am not sure I can control and why?
4. Which are the 5 most important choices I made in the last 12 months?
5. Am I getting closer to or farther from my vision of successfull living?
6. Is my goal possible? Desirable? Worthwhile? Why?
7. What is holding me back?
8. What propels me forward?
9. Which are the areas in my life that bring me joy? Pain? That I try to ignore?
10. Am I satisfied with my creativity?
To effect change :
- Accept that your beliefs are not permanent.
- Understand that they are not based on evidence but on assumptions.
- List past decisions for your life that did not work.
- Analyze how they were influenced by beliefs.
- Congratulate yourself each time you identify negative beliefs.
- Recall when, how, why you adopted them.
- Start training your mind to say "CANCEL" when they manifest themselves.
- Stay away from toxic, "can't do" people.
Above all, stop acting according to what you think is true - your beliefs - and start acting according to what you know is important to you - your values.