I want to let you in on one of my top coaching secrets. It's part mindfulness, part strategy, and part truth or dare. And it's my favorite tool to find out what the heck is holding us back.
Let me walk you through how to do it with one of my own personal examples that happened to me just yesterday. It started like this:
Eating well is so hard.
The thought came to me early in the morning as I was about to start my day. Strange. I wasn’t hungry. I hadn’t done anything yet, but slightly roll over in bed.
Sneaky little thought.
Had I not recognized it, here’s a likely scenario that may have followed:
1. Hit the snooze button.
2. Skip workout.
3. Eat foods that do not make me feel my best.
4. Become lethargic and tired.
Fortunately, this little scenario did not play out because I noticed the thought just in time.
This here is a limiting belief—an idea we BELIEVE TO BE true that ultimately holds us back.
Most of the time we do not even know the thought is there.
So how do we not get caught up in the cycle of our limiting beliefs?
Here's where mindfulness comes in:
1. start BY paying attention to Your thoughts.
I recommend doing it for 3 days and keeping a log in a notebook or journal [cue strategy]. Make a 3-column chart. In the top left, write “belief,” in the middle, write “true/false,” and in the right column write “new belief.” As you notice the beliefs, record them in the “belief” column and then ask yourself, is this belief true or false? In my scenario above, the belief, “eating well is so hard” is false. It really isn’t so hard. Sure, it’s not the easiest thing to do at first, but really, when it comes down to it, it just takes some practice. [It's truth time!] In the final column, I would rewrite the belief as something I would like to think instead. So for example, my new belief might be, “eating well is a healthy daily practice” or “eating well feels good.”
2. Ask yourself, "how true is it?"
Sometimes we have held certain limiting beliefs for so long that they feel absolutely true to us. So after you deem a belief to be true, be sure you are really considering how true it is. We have to also check in with ourselves how the belief makes us feel. So for example, a limiting belief a client of mine had about her current relationship was that she “can’t fully trust him.” This belief rang very true for her in a former relationship, so it felt scary to abandon it now. It had been protecting her from getting hurt in her current relationship. But it was also keeping her from experiencing all the joy that comes with it. If you don’t go all in, you can’t receive the good (and the bad) that may come with it. So in this example, the belief was making her feel protected, which is why it was there and why she believed it to be true for so long. However, recognizing that the belief was limiting and that it was holding her back allowed her to start rephrasing the belief in her mind when it would pop up. She would rephrase it to, “trusting someone I love and care about is healthy for me.”
3. Anticipate the discomfort of the new belief.
Disclaimer: when we rewrite the script of a limiting belief it can feel like a lie. It takes time to believe the new idea. Know that this is the real work that requires a lot of practice and patience to change old thinking that just doesn’t serve us well.
Try it ON.
Pay attention to your thoughts. Do the journaling activity. Rewrite and tell yourself the new belief you choose to believe instead. Do it for 3 days.
After you're finished, I'd love to hear the limiting belief that’s been on your thought reel and the new truth you choose to hold instead. Find me over on Instagram and tell me about it!