Life is hard. I should have achieved more by this time in my life. People will take advantage of me if I let them. I can’t do anything right. Are any of these thoughts yours? If so, and you find them coming up regularly, it’s possible you have beliefs that are sabotaging your efforts to create the life you desire. Often, we aren’t aware of these beliefs because they have been our “truths” from a very young age.
The good news is that we have the ability to change those beliefs that are undermining our goals and dreams. The first step is to identify them.
Call to mind (or better yet, write down) your thoughts regarding money, spirituality, relationships, career, and family. This will allow you to uncover your core beliefs. Although you may not remember when or how you adopted these beliefs—which most often happen in childhood—the important thing is to gain awareness of what they are. Once you have, you can determine if these beliefs are supportive or sabotaging.
Let’s say one of your beliefs about career is that the only way to advance or get the position you want is by working very hard and working long hours. It doesn’t seem like a self-sabotaging belief; in fact, it seems like a noble one! However, if this is the only way you believe you can achieve the ultimate job, can you see how this “truth” might set you up for either burnout or the inability to reach your career goals? Instead, what if your belief was that you have a successful career when you are passionate about what you do? The focus shifts from expecting hardship and inconvenience to that of fulfillment and gratification from what you do. If you are passionate about your job, you will put in the effort and time required, and although the work may still end up being challenging and time-intensive, you will experience more enjoyment, satisfaction, and positive results.
Think about your perception of the world around you. What are your thoughts when something doesn’t go your way? Is it this? “Life is unfair. Nothing ever works out for me.” What if it you shifted your thoughts to this? “Life is an adventure, it is interesting. It has its ups and downs and I choose to learn and grow from both. I am fascinated with being able to see and experience all that is happening.”
You can choose how you interpret what you see and experience, and you can manage your expectations of life. You can focus on the positive or negative in life. Wherever you place your focus, it feeds and grows. Concentrating upon the positive doesn’t mean ignoring the negative but rather dealing with it in a positive, constructive way. Will you choose to see the world for its good or will you choose to see the negative?
Identify beliefs that do not serve you, and then either let them go and adopt new beliefs, or reframe negative beliefs into supportive ones. Doing this important exercise will help you achieve the life you dream of and would like to create for yourself.