What’s holding you back? What keeps you from losing weight? Getting the job of your dreams? Quitting smoking or drinking? Saving money? Improving your life or your relationship with your spouse or children? Finding the romantic relationship you’ve always wanted? Cleaning up your house? Breaking free of the holds of depression? There is one common thing that holds many of us back from the things we want the most . . . our beliefs!
What do I mean by this? Exactly what I said, our faulty beliefs keep us from being able to do the things we want to do! For example, if I believe that “I can’t quit smoking because my spouse still smokes”, that is a faulty belief system, and as long as you tell yourself that, it will be true. If I tell myself that “I have bad genetics so I can’t lose weight”, then you will operate as if it is so and your diet and exercise attempts will fail. And why wouldn’t they? How discouraging it is to do something when you know you are going to fail??!! If you tell yourself, “There are no good guys out there.” or “No one would want me at my age.” then you will go around with your eyes down and your head hung low and miss opportunities to meet someone who would want you!
When we tell ourselves that we “can’t”, we rob ourselves of the will to actually do the thing we want. When people come into my office and say, “I can’t”, I stop them and force them to change it to “I CAN, I’m just choosing not to.” This seemingly subtle change in thought can pack a mighty punch! It reminds us that we have a choice. “I can’t” leaves us no choice – and consequently, no hope. Remembering that we have a choice gives us a glimmer of hope that is sometimes all we need to free us from the barriers that are holding us back.
When we tell ourselves things like, “I can’t”, “They won’t”, “It’s too late”, “I don’t have time”, “It won’t make a difference”, “I can’t do it while my kids are little (or while I’m working)”, “I don’t know how”, or “I’ll make a fool out of myself”, we actually put a LIMIT on what we can achieve! Then we become bitter and angry at our plight, but in actuality, we are doing that to ourselves!
These beliefs hold us back, discourage us, de-motivate us, and generally keep us stuck. Most of us complain about being stuck because we can’t see other options. When we get out of our own way, we realize there are plenty of other options and we get to choose which direction we go! Do you want to keep these beliefs? Or do you want to break barriers and achieve things you never thought you could?
If you find yourself nursing some of these self-sabotaging beliefs, I encourage you to explore why you believe that to be true and maybe engage in some new research. Armed with the new evidence, replace the faulty belief with something more encouraging like, “I’m not sure if I can, but I’m going to try.” You will be amazed at what you can do when nothing is holding you back!