Life is hard. There is no way I can sugar coat or reword that phrase so it is easier to hear and encode into your mind; nevertheless, life is hard but it doesn’t have to be excruciatingly painful. It has been my experience that a few limiting beliefs that we carry around and leave unquestioned can create further unhappiness in our lives. Awareness is the first step to change. What are these limiting beliefs? Is it possible to change your limiting beliefs?
1. ‘The One’ is out there somewhere.
Have you ever experienced the heartache of a relationship ending especially when you felt and thought they were ‘The One’? Your world comes crashing down and you feel that find someone to share your life with is so far in the future or may never happen. A well-meaning close friend comforts you saying, The One is out there somewhere. We are conditioned to believe in the existence of The One thanks to fairy tales, romantic comedies, books and sometimes religion. Labelling someone as ‘The One’ is a lot of pressure to put on a relationship. This label is usually attached to unrealistic high expectations that no one could ever live up to.
A partner does not magically appear as the one but becomes the one overtime. The one is a label that should be given to a partner who has proven their value and that they are worth the long-term investment; this process occurs over time through meaningful experiences, which in turn create an emotional bond. When you get caught up in the hype and romance of a new relationship, it is easy to get a little carried away and to start to believe the person you are with is the one, by doing this you risk the relationship crumbling under unrealistic expectation. A lifelong commitment or believing that a partner is the one is a decision that needs to be made with your head first, then your heart. A partner needs to prove that they are worthy of this title instead of freely given out to someone whom you are deeply in love with.
Ask yourself, does this person adore me, and are they investing into our relationship as much as I am. You deserve to be with someone who adores you and is committed to investing in a relationship long-term.
‘Expectation is the root of all heartache.’ – William Shakespeare
2. It’s all about me.
As human beings our greatest weakness is our capacity or susceptibility to ‘me syndrome’, we all either have been that person or know that person. When you are suffering from ‘me syndrome’, everything is happening to you, people fail to consider you in their decisions and you are always asking what is in it for me. Me syndrome stems from consumerism and it heightens your sensitivity with enables you to take everything personally. The good news is you are responsible for your life and everything in it, including your perception and how you react to change. As human beings we have a tendency to be wrapped up in ourselves, therefore we make decisions based on what is right for us, very rarely do people make a decision because of you. Your son, daughter, best friend or partner is not changing careers, moving away, adopting a professional name or making other crucial life choices because of you. If you find yourself in this trap, be honest with yourself and ask yourself, if I was in the same position what would I do? You may need to come up with a few answers before you start being truly honest with yourself. When you start to see things from someone else’s perspective, you start to realise that it isn’t about you. Upon this realisation, you will start to feel less burdened or discontent and much happier within yourself.
‘Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you.’ – Miguel Angel Ruiz
3. You are making me unhappy.
As a recovering self-confessed control freak, I too have fallen into the trap of allowing the actions of others to create my happiness. I had to learn the hard way that I could not control others and other people cannot create my happiness. The good news is you are 100% responsible for your happiness. In order to be happy, we need to stop surrendering our power to create our own happiness to others. Another person may try to please you and it may seem to work for a while but eventually things will go wrong and you may end up discouraged. Only you know what is going to make you happy because happiness comes from within, it’s a disposition of the mind. Abraham Lincoln once said, most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Make a conscious decision today to be happy despite what is going on in your world.
4. Achievement will make me happy
We have more choices than ever before, a longer list of things we must achieve and coincidently we are also unhappier than ever before. Achievement is a great thing; in fact, I am a big believer in setting goals and achieving your dreams, after all I am a personal development life coach. The biggest trap that high achievers fall into is to single-mindedly pursue their ambitious goals at the expense of life balance. As the afterglow of achievement subsidies they are left thinking, what now. After careful consideration, they fling themselves into they’re next goal and continue to add to the vicious cycle that is unhappiness. In order to feel fulfilled through achievement, you must find happiness from within. A conscious decision to be happy despite your external world needs to be made. Our external world is temporary and can change. Happiness is a state of mind and cannot be found in possessions, relationships or experiences.
5. If I just have x then I will be happy
It is not my intention to be a spiritual leader warning humanity against the endless pursuit of collecting stuff because possessions can add value to our lives nevertheless, seeking happiness through collecting relationships or possessions will never make you happy. You cannot fill your desire to be happy with tangible objects, it will lead to wanting or needing more things. You must be happy within yourself without the new car, dream partner or those pair of Jimmy Choo’s or you may risk creating further unhappiness due to a lack of fulfilment and disappointment. You bring your own discontent or unhappiness into relationships and wherever you go.
The foundations of happiness
Physicist and Author, Benjamin Franklin said ‘Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.’ If happiness comes from within then it makes sense if you do not love or adore yourself first then you may never be truly happy. In a world of 24/7 advertising where we are constantly bombarded with endless images of perfection, youth and success that no mere mortal could ever live up to; it is extremely easy to feel like you do not measure up to these images of perfection. The easiest way to give your self-esteem a boost is to look at yourself in the mirror every morning and say to yourself, insert name, I love you; I realise that this sounds a little woo-woo nevertheless, if you consistently perform this exercise every day in less than 30 days, you will see a transformation in your self-esteem.
Change is possible
Your brain is like a read-only computer, you cannot delete limiting or old out of use files, but you can save them with new ones. How do you change your old limiting beliefs? Positive affirmations are positive I am statements that can change the beliefs in your subconscious mind, through regular repetition. Choose three limiting beliefs that you would like to change, not necessarily from this list but beliefs you desire to change. In a journal write down three positive I am statements that reflect your new beliefs. Repeat them out loud to yourself, three times a day for a minimum of 21 to 30 consistent days. First thing in the morning, when your mind is fresh because it is easier for a thought to encode into your subconscious mind because your positive affirmation does not have to battle your many thoughts to be heard. Repeat your affirmation last thing before you go to bed because your subconscious mind runs through your last thoughts before you fall asleep as well as at lunchtime or any other convenient time during the day. These positive affirmations will become new beliefs over time through repetition.
As always I have to ask, have you recently suffered because of your own limiting beliefs? Have you overcome a few limiting beliefs in your life? What techniques did you use, please let me know by using the comments box below and share as much information as you can or as you feel comfortable?
Photo Credit: Kangah, iStock ID: 16899206