I came across a quote this week that I wanted to talk about. The quote was "life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it".
Now, I don't know if I completely agree with the statistics in this quote, but I definitely believe life doesn't happen "to" us, life is something that simply happens and goes on, whether we like it or not, so I truly believe that how we react to something is going to determine how we experience life and this all comes down to the beliefs we hold.
The beliefs we hold, both positive or negative ones, make up our reality. Our lives are determined by our subconscious belief systems, so how we see life, how we feel about life and how we react to experiences in life all comes down to our beliefs.
So basically, our beliefs are our entire life.
Most of us don't actually make a conscious decision on what our beliefs are, they are determined by our pasts and the so-called 'evidence' we have collected over the years, the way we were raised, our caregivers beliefs and society. And a lotttt of these beliefs are cemented when we're kids.
There are two types of beliefs. Limiting beliefs and empowering beliefs.
A limiting belief is, it is a false belief that is preventing us from doing, feeling, achieving or being something. They basically hold us back from who we truly want to be. A lot of the time, limiting beliefs are about ourselves, about the world or about life overall.
An empowering belief is a belief that is the opposite, so it's essentially a helpful belief.
Our beliefs, both empowering or limiting are very personal to us, but some commons limiting beliefs that come up in sessions with clients are:
I'm not good enough, or pretty enough, or skinny enough or whatever enough
I'm not worthy
The world is an unsafe place
People won't like me
I can't do XYZ because it's already been done
I'm too busy
Money grows on trees
Sometimes we can even use our emotions against ourselves with beliefs like I'll never have a partner because of my anxiety or I won't get that job because I'm too shy
If you continue to hold and tell yourself the same beliefs and stories about yourself, the world and your life, it will continue to be true for you BUT if you change your beliefs and your stories, you can change your life too. And to change those beliefs and stories, you need to deal with those limiting beliefs by shifting and reconditioning your mind to have empowering beliefs instead.
I'm going to share a few steps you can take to shift into empowering beliefs instead, but please know and understand that it isn't quite as simple as just thinking something different and the jobs done. If you're new to looking at your beliefs, there's a big chance you have been holding the same beliefs for decades, so it's going to take a little time to shift them.
The first thing I want you to do is find some time to consider what limiting beliefs you hold. To do this, you can consider what you want to achieve or do in life and remember, there's nothing too big or unachievable, and if you think there is, that's a limiting belief… and then you would look into why you may not be working towards that thing or why you may not have achieved it yet, and this is usually where your beliefs are going to come through. There could empowering or limiting beliefs.
Once you have determined your limited beliefs, I want you to ask yourself three questions.
The first is: is this a universal truth? And what I mean by that is, does every single person in the world agree with this belief? Is this belief true for everybody? Chances are, it's not.
The second is: how is this belief serving me? Why am I holding onto this belief? A lot of the time the limiting beliefs we are holding is protecting us in some way, so why are you holding onto this particular belief?
And the third question is: what empowering belief would I prefer to hold instead?
You can then really work to continually choose the empowering belief instead, and this can be done in many different ways, but some quick and easy ideas for this blog post are:
Setting the belief as your phone wallpaper or putting it on your fridge
Catching yourself out in the moment and choosing differently
As I mentioned earlier, of course this isn't a simply choosing a new belief and your job is done, but by continually questioning our beliefs and finding new ones to replace them will recondition our mind over time.
I wanted to give an example for you all as well to help the process make a little more sense and I was deciding whether to use a personal limiting belief or make one up, I chose a personal limiting belief because I want to show you how I shifted my limiting belief into an empowering belief.
I have had quite a funny relationship with money, living alone at such a young age and needing to pay bills really gave me a lot of evidence that I had to work really hard for my money, and that is something I've carried into adulthood.
So what I've really wanted to achieve is to earn a certain amount of money, while still being able to spend time with my family and have time to rest and be alone. I had SO much evidence showing me this was impossible. I had many limiting beliefs around this. Some of them were:
I have to work hard to earn good money
Earning a lot of money means I'm never home with my kids which means I'm a terrible mother
My family would treat me differently if I earned a lot of money
If I earn more money, I will be a bad person
For the basis of this exercise and blog post, I'm going to work with the limiting belief that “if I am earning a lot of money means I'm never home with my kids which means I'm a terrible mother”.
When I asked myself is this a universal truth the answer was and still is absolutely not! There are so many mothers who earn a lot of money and are incredible mothers.
When I then asked myself how this belief is serving me, I got a little stuck because this part is hard. But after a lot of journaling, it came to me… if I hold onto this belief, it keeps me small and safe, because if I'm earning less money, not as many people will know my work or story, which means there are less people to criticise me. It also kept me safe because if I were to earn a lot of money means more responsibility like taxes and more employees, which I don't really want.
Do you see how the reason I was holding onto this limiting belief actually had nothing to do with being a mum, just more about me being seen and having more responsibility? This is how tricky our limiting beliefs can be!
And finally, the empowering belief I'd rather hold was, and still is, "I get to earn great money while being a great mother". Simple and straight to the point.
Like I said earlier, it didn't magically change this belief system, I had held these money thoughts since I was a little kid and sometimes the limiting beliefs will pop up again and again, but the more you can explore them and then rewrite them, the easier of a process it will be for you.
If you have any limiting beliefs that are really hard for you to process and move through, please of course seek professional help from a counsellor or coach. If you would like to work with me, please reach out today or book a session.
With love & support,
Shorina | Mindful Soul Collective
Counsellor & Wellbeing Coach