Many failures and disappointments come from limiting beliefs we have about ourselves and our lives.
The sad part is, that we grow up with lies about how things are. Since we are little, we are fed the images how other people around us see life, not the way life truly is. We grew up listening to parents, siblings, friends, teachers, media, and religious leaders believing that all they say about us is true. They are not doing that to hurt us, they actually thinking they are helping us.
When we were treated in unloving ways as children, we thought that is was our fault. And in the most loving family there are still episodes of unhappiness. I am sure you heard before that in case of divorce children think that their parents splitting because they didn’t behave.
When we were children, for survival purposes, we needed to feel in control of all that is happening around us. We needed to believe that we are in control of avoiding pain, staying safe, getting love and attention. In order to have this sense of control, we needed to believe the lie that we caused others to behave in the way they did.
So when we were abused, neglected, shout at, we felt safer believing that we cause it. And if we caused it, we can control it by changing our behavior. In result, we grew up thinking that there is something very wrong with us, that is why we are not enough, unlovable, unimportant, and bad. We accepted the lie of our shame in order to feel safe.
With time, we lost our true self. That is where all our troubles started.
But there is hope! Here are simple ways how to disarm the lie and judgments and find a way to inner peace and acceptance.
1. Acknowledge that you are feeling bad. Stop yourself for a second and ask yourself how you are feeling. It is easy to notice when you are feeling sad, depressed, and stressed and so on.
2. When you become aware of your negative feelings, ask yourself what are you thinking the moment. What are your thoughts about particular issue that is making you feel bad?
3. Ask yourself if what you are telling yourself truly true? Did somebody told you about it? Or you came up with that idea yourself?
4. Play with your mind; try to keep a conversation with yourself. Ask yourself what is the reality? Listen to your inner voice and try to reason with it. Is it true what you are telling yourself?
5. Find at least 5 statements how you can prove to yourself that what you were thinking is actually not true.
For example, let’s say your partner came back home, and somehow you feel bad. Ask yourself why you are feeling bad. You might answer “I said or did something wrong and that is why my partner is upset at me.” Then think is that really true? Did he tell you that you said something wrong? Try reason with yourself by realizing that if he is not in a good mood, it doesn’t mean that it is your fault. Tell yourself “he is having a bad day, tired after work, and it has nothing to do with me.” Keep on thinking something like “We had plenty of wonderful moments together and there is no reason why he would think twice about being with me.” Add “I am wonderful person with so many great qualities.” Think about qualities you love about yourself. In addition, remember other episodes when you thought you said or did something wrong, and at the end turned out to be not your fault. Reason with yourself, and let those negative thoughts to disappear.
Keep practicing this routine until it will become second nature to take care of thoughts that make you feel bad. Pay attention during the day why you think particular thoughts. Acknowledge them, accept them, and release them by seeing the true.