Welcome back — another episode where we’re going to talk about how to optimize your life. Now the way I like to think about it is that our life is a result of all kinds of things that we do, feel, and think — in reverse order. Our results come from our behaviors and those behaviors are fueled by certain emotions that we get from having certain thoughts. We understand this basic premise. However, what’s so interesting is that all of the ways in which we think about things that are happening in our lives come from this filter or the beliefs that we hold in our subconscious mind. What do I mean by that?
So notice how you might be in a situation with a friend where the two of you are experiencing the exact same thing at the exact same time but are having very different reactions to it. Why is that? Well the way that we see the world impacts the way in which we interpret events that are happening right now. And because you and this other friend of yours grew up in very different circumstances, it makes sense that you would have different world views, different beliefs.
Over time your beliefs become automated. They become so ingrained in you that you don’t even question them. And what is kind of dangerous about that is that we then think in a certain way all the time and we don’t question our thoughts and then we are always finding ourselves experiencing the same kinds of emotions and notice ourselves acting in the same kinds of ways and getting the same kind of results over and over again.
So if you’re somebody who has noticed that you sabotage in a certain way and you feel like he just can’t break that habit or you’re stuck in anxiety all the time and you’re the kind of person who no matter what happens are always finding something to worry about or the kind of person who has negative thoughts all the time — you’re just constantly worried and constantly judging or constantly telling yourself that things should be different or beating yourself up, (these are thought patterns) the reason that you’re stuck in these different patterns — be it thought patterns, emotional patterns, or behavioral patterns is because of your beliefs.
Our beliefs really can take a variety of different shapes. They can be beliefs about ourselves, they can be beliefs about other people, and they can also be beliefs about the world. But what I want to talk to you about today is your beliefs in yourself.
You might wonder, “What causes me to lack belief in myself?” and what we know is that it is our programming. And what I mean by that is, again, it’s these early life experiences that we have. We have interpreted through our five-year-old brain, let’s say, and at that time our brain wasn’t fully developed to really and truly understand how the world works. So we’ve come up with some sort of interpretation. And that interpretation is probably something that if you look at it now doesn’t make a lot of sense.
So I’ll give you an example. I was working with a client who tends to be very perfectionistic. She is a writer and she finds herself stuck in writer’s block. And one of the reasons that she took on this perfectionism in her life is because when she was growing up her mother was a single mom and she was often sick and she had to work a lot and she didn’t actually have a lot of time for her daughter. And so what is her daughter do? She said to herself, “I have to be perfect. I don’t want to burden my mom” who was already struggling so much.
Fast forward: Now she’s in her 30s and what’s happening is she’s having a really hard time with her career. She has constant anxiety. She has his writer’s block because she’s always telling herself, “I have nothing important to say. I actually don’t have any words. I don’t know what to think or what to say or what I have isn’t really that remarkable and people are probably going to judge me for it. I’m going to embarrass myself…” and you can see how these early beliefs and these early habits really are coming forward right now in a way that isn’t serving her.
So that’s why we have these beliefs or these lack of beliefs in ourselves.
Another reason why we might not believe in ourselves this because of other people’s programming that we have adopted. So if you’ve ever known somebody or maybe you yourself have had this experience where you grew up with people who are very negative, very condescending, very judgemental who maybe had really high standards for you and you felt like you couldn’t meet those standards, their programming has become your own. And now you might hear their voice in your head telling you, “You’re not that great. You’re not very smart. People are going to laugh at you. No one’s going to like you.” If you have that sort of voice in your head right now, that’s probably why.
And another reason why we sometimes have this lack of belief in ourselves is because we’ve had some traumatic experience in the past. So kind of like my client who’s a perfectionist — her experience wasn’t necessarily traumatic but imagine that you are growing up in a home, and perhaps you had this experience, where you had some trauma. Kids often interpret those experiences to mean something about them, like “If I was lovable then this person would be beating me up.” “If I was lovable then this person wouldn’t neglect me.”
So the reason why they are beating me up or neglecting me or molesting me or whatever they’re doing to me must mean that I am not good enough, that I’m not lovable. So many of my clients are walking around with this idea in their head that was formulated from their three-year-old or 5 year old or 7 year old brain.
So it really is an invitation for you guys if you have this, something that’s holding you back, an invitation to really take a look at is this worth keeping? Is this even true?
I had a client who was stuck in a holding pattern. She would want things but would not go after them because she didn’t believe that she could do them. She would worry about having the wrong answer or doing the wrong thing. In short, she doubted herself. So I asked her to imagine what it would be like not to have that belief and here’s what she said.
She said without that belief she would:
- Feel more confident
- Have less worry
- Get more done
- Have more energy
- Have more motivation
- Feel more present…and
- Enjoy herself more.
So what I want you to also do is consider what your life would be once you’ve identified your limiting beliefs, what your life would be without those. And then what I want you to do is I want you to visualize yourself being that confident, loving, amazing person who is more than enough. And the more that you visualize it, the more you’re basically tricking your brain — the same brain that believes that you’re not enough, the same brain that is limiting you each and every day in each and every scenario — you are retraining your brain to see yourself differently. So the more you practice the more this is really going to set in.
And what I want you to do is sit down with a notebook and write down any insights that come to you as you’re doing this exercise.
Now people are always saying that you should believe in yourself but if you don’t you’re probably left wondering “How can I do that?” So these are the steps that I really want you to follow and when you do that it is really going to make a massive difference in your life.
So just to recap we’re going to have you think about this as a step by step process.
Step one is to write down all the statements that you currently go through in your mind that lead you to feeling doubtful and fearful.
Step two is you’re going to turn those statements around on paper. So if you’ve written, for example, “I am not lovable” then you will write, “I am lovable.” And you can even go into a little bit more detail about what that looks like and what it means and so forth.
Step three: Then you are going to create that visualization, that image in your mind. We call this a mind movie. So close your eyes, take a deep breath. Really ground yourself and then allow yourself to see yourself as the version of yourself that you want to be in this world.
Step four: The more you practice that, the easier it is going to get to see yourself as that new version of yourself, the more it’s going to get cemented into your brain, and then the easier it is going to be for you to actually feel like it’s true.
Step five: And then sit down with a piece of paper and write down what observations, what positive learnings ,you have come up with as a result of doing this exercise.
Now I also want to let you know that you don’t have to do this work alone. As a matter of fact, I feel this work is so deep and so important and really transformative for people that I’ve been doing this with my clients one-on-one, but I want to offer you guys an opportunity to work with me in a way that is affordable and really transformative. So I’ve created a membership program that allows you every month to focus in on one area of your life.
And so if you want to check that out go to
ThePrimingLab.com and join me. Be part of a community of folks that are just like you, who want to break through existing barriers and truly master their mind. I can’t wait to work with you and have you be part of the tribe.
Have a fantastic week everyone and see you on the inside.