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How to Stop Creating Stress in Your Life

How to Stop Creating Stress in Your Life

(AKA give yourself more brain space so you can grow your business!)

Cool, Calm, And Confident
Cool, Calm, And Confident

Most clients I work with are stressed out and say their heads feel full. They get stuck in their business and say they don’t have time to work on it. They can’t progress because they can’t see where that time will come from, much less where it’s all going. And it stresses them out. And that stress is the problem. But there’s no magic pill to take to remove stress. Something else has got to change.

Typically, we’re responsible for creating stress in our lives. I know that is a controversial stance to take. But I urge you to keep an open mind. I aim to change your mind.

You see, I see this responsibility for our own stress as good news actually. Because if we are responsible for creating most of this stress, that means we have the power to STOP creating it. Am I right?!

Busy-ness Does Not Equate Productivity

So just how much do you have going on right now? 

If you’re like most people, your schedule is probably pretty full. Between work, family, and other obligations, there’s always something to do. With busyness, though, comes stress. Even when you’re doing things you enjoy, having a lot on your plate can create stressful situations. 

So how do you put an end to creating more stress in your life, but still get done the things you want to do most? I know you like the idea of taking things off your plate, so let’s look at how you can take some things off your plate…without actually removing anything from your plate.

Stop Creating Stress By Being so Goal-Oriented

If you’re rushing around trying to get everything done at once, micromanaging, and insisting on being in charge, you’re going to be stressed. It’s easy sometimes to get so wrapped up in accomplishing things you forget to breathe. Anytime you’re too goal-oriented, you need to ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place. Is it possible you’re setting some goals which are too lofty? Are you involved in things you shouldn’t be wasting your time on? 

Sometimes goals conflict. Or they have conflicting priorities. So take some time to assess the activities that make it to your calendar and sneak into your day. It’s important to know which goals are most important and which ones can wait. I recommend limiting yourself to 1 big goal and 3 smaller supporting goals at most at any given time. This is especially important to help you stay focused with growing a business or making changes to your habits. 

Balance Does Exist

Another way to look at this is through the balance you have in your life right now. I know this is another controversial statement. Many coaches right now are alluding to the fact that there isn’t ever really any balance in life. I disagree. You don’t need to hustle and rush your way through life to grow the business of your dreams and have the family and health and marriage and spiritual relationships you desire too. I firmly believe there is a way to have all of that WITHOUT the ongoing overwhelming stress. It’s why I do what I do.

Download my Life Balance Wheel exercise to find where life feels out of balance for you. Then work on adjusting your calendar to support the balance you seek. *Remember…balance looks different for everyone and it won’t necessarily be equal attention to all aspects of your life. But if there are areas you are neglecting and you feel stressed, that means a change is in order.*

Cool, Calm, And Confident
Cool, Calm, And Confident

Quit Talking Down to Yourself

It’s incredibly stressful when other people put you down. When this happens you might find yourself stewing on their comments for weeks on end. It’s an all consuming place to be in. It’s no different when we do this to ourselves. When your internal dialogue is full of failure, negative comments, and reminders of past mistakes, it’s tough to get things done, or even to feel good about your efforts.

Raise your awareness to catch yourself doing this. And when you notice it, give yourself grace. Beating yourself up for beating yourself up serves no one. Shift your internal dialogue to a more understanding or neutral tone if shifting immediately to a voice of love is difficult (which it often is). Get curious and to the bottom of why you are talking to yourself like that and make a commitment to yourself to reduce your stress by NOT talking to yourself like that. 

Learn to Better Handle Conflict 

Few people enjoy confrontation. If you’re not handling conflict well, you’re going to be stressed out. The solution? Learn necessary communication skills. 

Start these conversations with neutralizing comments like, “I see we disagree” “I’m sure we can come to a mutual conclusion”, or “Let’s figure this out together”. No matter what, it’s important to prioritize dealing with conflict. 

Similar to speaking poorly about yourself, conflict that is left to fester will create internal stress and consume your thoughts until it’s handled. Skillfully verbalizing your point and managing difficult conversations is crucial to reducing stress.

Stop Expecting Failure

This has been touched on before when discussing negative self-talk. Expecting failure runs deeper, though. This kind of reasoning can stop you from trying in the first place. Even if you do try, you’re going to be so stressed out, you’re likely to self-sabotage and wind up failing after all. 

Instead, try expecting nothing. I know it doesn’t sound super inspiring and (once again) steps outside the box of what you hear most coaches preaching, but it’s a shorter leap between failure to nothing than it is from failure to success. 

Another option is to play the “what if” game. Ask yourself “what if this does fail?” And then write down everything that comes to mind. Get it all out. Is it really as bad as you think? Are the things you wrote down realistic or pretty far-fetched? Are they tolerable consequences and risks you’re willing to take?

Stop Creating Stress By Doing Too Much (AKA Not Doing Enough of the Right Things)

Here is the heart of the matter. Most people tend to overcommit. When your schedule is booked solid, it’s normal to feel stressed out. Here is where a reality check helps. Write out your schedule for the next week, and ask yourself which of these items or truly expendable and which of these are truly necessary. It might be time to reassess your priorities.

And if you don’t have down time and self-care scheduled in, it’s time to make room for that. No arguments allowed here. My coach has taught me very well that you simply cannot pour from an empty cup (1).

While there is no cure-all to getting rid of stress in your life altogether, by following these steps, you can reduce it. Remember, the key lies in being intentional and refusing to let stress take over your life.  Let me know in the comments how you plan to stop creating stress in your life and grow your business. And don’t forget to grab your free ebook to help you find your calm!

Cool, Calm, And Confident
Cool, Calm, And Confident
Get Better Business Results With These High Impact Baby Steps

Get Better Business Results With These High Impact Baby Steps

Everyone wants better business results. But when you’re stuck or struggling, you tend to look for what’s easy, the low-hanging fruit if you will. Which makes the most sense because if you’re already on the struggle bus, anything complicated just isn’t going to get done. 

But what’s easy for one person, may be hard for another. And when you’re faced with the busy-ness of life where every second counts, the steps you do take need to be high impact.

Below you’ll find 5 high impact baby steps you can take to move the needle forward ever so slightly.

Give Up Perfectionism 

If you find yourself spending more time getting ready to do work than actually doing the work, you might be over planning. If everything has to be just so before you begin, it’s very likely that you might be a perfectionist. And typically, this is a self-esteem problem. When you lack confidence in your abilities, you overanalyze everything and second guess everything you do.

The remedy for perfectionism is a multistep process that starts with acknowledging the low self-esteem and analysis paralysis and connecting them to real-life results. Everything you do has an impact on you, your relationships, your life balance, etc. Try reframing your thoughts of missing the mark (not putting out “perfect” work) into a learning opportunity. Agree to experiment with something less than perfect. And watch for real-life results of putting it out to the world. How does your so-called “less than perfect” work impact you, your business, your relationships, your life balance, etc.? This is a messy process, but if you keep your eye on the goal of better business results and learning from your work and actions, you might find you enjoy this imperfect process more. 

Procrastination Can Get You Better Business Results 

Ever find yourself putting off something until the last minute, and then working fast and furious to get it done? Doing this once in a while isn’t necessarily problematic. But when it becomes a regular daily way of life, it leads to stress and sets you up for failure. Typically procrastination comes about as a result of fear. You don’t feel like you know what you’re doing, so you put it off. You’re afraid of what success might mean and how it might change your life. You’re afraid of being a failure. This is definitely not a confidence boosting way to live. 

You Are Not A Failure

Getting past the great wall of procrastination involves first separating your identity from the results of your actions. Failure is not an identity, it is a result. And it is temporary. Every major professional and successful business owner has failed their way to the top. The difference is they did not identify themselves as failures, rather they viewed their failures as a result of their actions, and instead of letting those failures stop them, they simply changed their actions.

Work From Your Strengths

So your first high-impact baby step that you can take to get results in your business is to identify your failures for what they are instead of as a part of who you are. The next high-impact baby step when it comes to procrastination is to use your tendency for this to your advantage. I totally relate to not feeling like working on my business sometimes. On days I have slated for writing, I may not feel like it. On days I need to post on social media, that may be the farthest thing from my mind. But instead of letting it stop me, I use that time to get other things done.

The small act of starting to do something can shift my brain into work mode (a load of laundry, answering some emails, planning out some blog post articles, whatever doesn’t feel hard in the moment). And then before I know it, I’m sitting down with my computer writing.

Shift Your Negativity to Get Better Business Results 

Are you someone who indulges in negative self-talk? Do you hear yourself saying things like, “There’s no point in trying” or “I’m not as good as they are at this”? If this is you, you’ve already convinced yourself that whatever you try won’t succeed. Negativity lives in a fixed mindset and fixed mindsets don’t grow businesses. And the good news is it can be changed through one small yet highly effective action. Ask yourself “what if?” What if I was as good as I needed to be? If I did try and succeeded, what then? What might happen if I did this? These two words, this one small question, opens up a world of possibility and opens up a world of better business results. And suddenly a negative attitude shifts into neutral and possibly over into excitement.

Set Boundaries With Helping Others

Sometimes you never get your work done because you’re so busy helping others. You go out of your way to provide answers when you have them or find them when you don’t. And it drains all your energy. Typically this is a sign that you’re trying to win approval from others, especially if you are feeling you have something to prove. But it’s not as easy as Nancy Reagan says it is. Just saying no can be a real challenge. Setting proper boundaries will help with this.

One simple small activity you can do that will show up as better business results is to fully understand your time. Take a look at your calendar and all of your responsibilities for the day. Add in time for those things in life that bring you balance (family time, meals, sleep, exercise, etc.). When that’s all been added, how much time do you have left? That is the amount of time you have available to help others. That’s it. Understanding how and when your ability to help others fits INTO and works AROUND your regularly scheduled programming will enable you to say no to anything that doesn’t fit BECAUSE you truly are already busy. 

Use Your Defiance To Your Advantage 

I believe Gretchen Rubin terms this defiance as the rebel personality type. No matter what you’re told to do, you will do absolutely the opposite, or nothing at all. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that fighting against our personality is not only brutal, but pointless. We will lose every. single. time.

Typically though, this personality trait can also be a path to better business results if you use it right. A few suggestions are:

  • Call up your rebel personality to help you say no and set appropriate boundaries (just do so politely).
  • Use your defiant tendencies to pave your own path. If defiance seems to be holding you back from doing something everyone else is telling you to do, instead of not doing anything, find a way to make it your own and do it your way.
  • You likely value freedom and owning your own business is the epitome of that. Lean into this when you need the motivation to get moving in your to-do list and day-to-day action steps that feel hard or boring.

Anytime you find yourself unable to move the needle or not getting the results in your business you desire, it means there’s something going on which needs to be worked on. Working through these situations will help you to find success, even if you’ve had a bumpy ride. 

Self-Defeating Behavior: 14 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Business

Self-Defeating Behavior: 14 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Business

Crazy as it sounds, the most common reason people don’t succeed is that they’re engaging in self-defeating behaviors. If you’re not performing at the level you think you ought to be or parts of your life feel completely neglected and out of that so-called elusive balance (hint: it’s not so elusive), you might want to consider whether or not you’ve become your own worst enemy.

Believe it or not, the world today is not easy for women. Even in the workplace where women are supposed to be equal, they are not always treated as if they are. This kind of treatment from others starts when you’re small and sometimes becomes pervasive in our lives. We embed it into our psyche and it becomes a routine part of how you think. But it’s not serving us. This way of thinking is not serving you and it’s leading to self-defeating behaviors that you will need to stop to make room for your dreams.

How to identify self-defeating behaviors

In order to stop self-defeating behaviors, you have to know what they are and be able to recognize when they are happening. Some questions you can ask yourself to help with this are:

  • How are you feeling right now? 
  • Are you happy with where you are physically and emotionally? 
  • Would you be considered healthy by your doctor? 
  • Are your relationships supportive to your happiness?
  • Does your faith feel strong and helpful to your positive mindset?
  • Are you happy with your business and how much time you are investing in it?
  • Why is it you’re not getting ahead? Take some time to journal on this one if you can’t answer it right away.
  • Are you having difficulty in finding opportunities, or could it be you’re not taking the opportunities when they come to you? 

These are essential questions. The answers to them will identify your level of risk of falling prey to self-defeating thoughts that lead to actions that don’t serve you.

The problem is, much as you have good intentions regarding our health, business, family, marriage, faith, and just life in general, sometimes you sabotage ourselves. It’s not as though you want to be unhealthy or unbalanced in life, but subconsciously there might be something holding us back from becoming the healthiest and happiest versions of ourselves.

Awareness Is Key To Changing Self-Defeating Behaviors

Perhaps the most important step in any behavior change is knowing what needs to change. Awareness alone can prompt massive improvements in your world. Having awareness causes you to stop in your tracks and realize self-defeating behaviors and creates a space (albeit small) for you to make a decision and CHOOSE differently. Let’s raise your awareness of some common self-defeating behaviors.

Making Excuses Is a Self-Defeating Behavior

There’s always a reason for not getting something done. Especially true when it comes to taking care of ourselves, you say you don’t have time to exercise, or you don’t have the money to eat right. You become so good at making excuses that you don’t need to try at all. How do you stop it? Instead of stopping at making the excuse, take it a step further and ask yourself what will happen if you stop with this excuse? How will life look? Will anything be different? Will you reach your goals using this excuse?

Going It Alone

When you start doubting ourselves, you start thinking it’s better not to let anyone else see what you’re doing in case you mess up. This means you do a lot of things alone. What you don’t realize is how vital a healthy support system can be. By allowing people into your life, you’ll get much further than if you keep trying on your own. 

On the other hand, staying in relationships that are harmful or not supportive sabotages your progress. Not everyone is on a journey to better health. Hanging around with people who are opposed to your goals is a sure way to keep from reaching them. What’s worse is when your friends sabotage your attempts by putting down your efforts. At the worst levels, the people around you become abusive; they hurt your health, both mentally and physically. Put necessary boundaries in place to create necessary space between yourself and people like this.

Worrying What Other People Will Think

Are you afraid of looking foolish? One of the most common reasons people avoid sharing about their new business is because they’re afraid others will make fun of them.  This is especially a problem in regards to mental health. In many religions and cultures, it is still considered shameful to seek out counseling or intervention for mental health issues. The only way past this? Focus on you because those other people are not living your life.

Believing the “I’m Not Good Enough” Lie

Sometimes it’s hard to get started because you feel like you’re going to fail right away. You’d like to join a bowling league, but you worry you won’t be as good as the others. You want to try out yoga, but you think you will be clumsy. When your expectations are too high for yourself, it’s very easy to defeat positive efforts towards self-care before you even begin. The cure is setting better, more realistic goals.

Believing the “Self-Care Is Selfish” Lie

Why should you get to spend time on yourself? Too often, you start thinking you’re selfish if you spend time or money on yourself. But since when is taking care of you a bad thing?  

Not Dreaming Big Enough

How often do you catch yourself feeling like you’re not good enough? Thinking this way too often establishes patterns in your belief system that results in making your dreams too small. You think you shouldn’t have big lofty goals because you don’t think you can reach them. This is not true. After all, how can you attain great heights if you never try? 

Let’s face it; you’ve been taught not to show the world how great you are. You’re taught it’s not nice to boast or show off. As a result, you don’t succeed. You hold back because you worry about what other people think. It’s time to step up and show the world you’re made to shine.

Emotional Overwhelm

Any time you let your emotions run away with you, you stop yourself from making forward progress anywhere else. Worry, anxiety, and fear will trip you up every time. It’s time you realize you’re more competent and capable than you ever thought you were.  

Lack of Clear Vision is Actually a Self-Defeating Behavior

How do you know where you want to go? You might have a pretty good idea of your strengths, but how well do you know our weaknesses? It’s hard to be honest with yourself, especially when looking at your own “flaws” (btw, “weaknesses” and “flaws” are really only areas of lower strength and you must decide if it’s prudent to improve them or not). 

But when you’re not able to face the facts, it’s easy to get in over our heads. When this happens, you pull back and stop trying, guaranteeing failure.

Making Others Feel Small 

Sometimes you become so worried about our success that you start feeling threatened by the success of others. When this happens, it’s not uncommon to try to make the other person feel small. This seems especially true among women. We need to start realizing there is enough success to go around. The more you build others up, the more you guarantee your success.

Using the Emergency Exit

Do you tend to come close to completion of a project only to back out at the last minute? When you feel the need to bail, it’s typically because you’re afraid to take the last step. Either you’re too worried that it won’t work out, or worse, you’re worried that it will. It’s not uncommon to back away from things that frighten us. This is why you tank a relationship the moment you start to feel close to the other person. It’s also why you sabotage yourself at work when you hear you’re being considered for promotion, or routinely bail on the launch date for your business. 

Procrastinating

When you put things off, it typically means you are feeling unsure about what you’re doing. If you feel like your skills are not up to the task, or you’re not confident regarding the next step, it’s natural to put things off, hoping that they’ll seem more apparent later. The problem is this clarity rarely comes. In truth, you only wind up sinking yourself when you should have been asking for help. 

Burying Yourself in Something Else Entirely

Are you easily distracted? If you’re worried about the outcome of one project, it’s not uncommon to throw yourself into another. This helps you keep your mind off of what worries you. It also keeps you from getting done what you need to.  

Giving Yourself the Wrong Pep Talk

Instead of using some positive self-talk to get things done, are you by any chance using negative self-talk to keep you from trying? After all, it’s very easy to convince yourself that you’re a failure. Why do you do it? Because if you know it’s not going to work out, you never have to try in the first place. 

Not Taking Care of Yourself Is the Most Damaging of the Self-Defeating Behaviors

This may be last on the list, but it is perhaps the most important of all. Believing you can live on minimal sleep, believing you don’t have time to stop to eat, or thinking you’ll get some exercise when your business is making money are sure fire ways to kill whatever efforts you are putting forth. 

Science tells us how important sleep, nutrition, and physical activity are for our brain function. When you ignore these aspects of yourself, you set yourself up for failure. (1, 2, 3)

Instead, as you plan time to work on your business, put together your family’s schedules, and in general make sure everything is running smoothly, be sure to create space for adequate sleep, meals and snacks, and getting your body moving.

All of these behaviors can have a seriously detrimental effect on what you’re doing. But the flip side of each of them can alternatively lead you to your dreams. Indeed you can either choose to be the best expert at being your own worst enemy, or you can craft your behaviors to support the life you want to live. 

In every one of these methods, the cure is relatively simple. You need to realize just how wonderful you are. You are worth the effort! End of story. As a woman, you need to start holding yourself to higher standards. When you do this, you help not just ourselves to find success, but you help other women to get there too. 

How Wearing Comfortable Clothing Has Saved Me Time and Money

How Wearing Comfortable Clothing Has Saved Me Time and Money

Wearing comfortable clothing doesn’t come about as easy as you might expect. On the surface, the concept seems pretty simple. Wear what feels good, right? Not so fast. When your history includes restrictive dieting behaviors and attempt after attempt to shrink your body, wearing comfortable clothing means giving up a lot. It means giving up old visions and ideals. It means replacing those visions with a new reality. And it means facing the musical emotions of all of it. But this is my intuitive eating journey. It’s boosted my confidence and been a journey I will never regret. 

I’m heading on a quick impromptu vacation with my sister this week to visit our parents at their winter place down in Arizona. I looked at my weather app the other day and it told me it will be more like a full on Minnesota summer while we are there…just not as humid, thank goodness. 

Time to face the closet

This trip though has forced me to face something I’d been putting off most of winter. And that’s trying on my clothes from last summer. 

I have fully embraced an intuitive eating lifestyle, and that has brought with it some weight gain. I knew this weight gain was likely inevitable given my restrictive diet culture practices of my past. And I also know I’ve been moving very slowly into adding back in physical activities. That’s because most of the physical activities I’ve done in the past carry with them the “shrink your body” mindset. So I’m easing into principle #9 slowly and with lots of grace. 

Relying on the past to move forward

But the trip is coming, and I need some things to wear while I’m there, so I pulled out my work from principle #8 this past week to ensure I was treating myself with respect. As I tried on clothes, I discovered most of my old items don’t feel comfortable anymore. I knew this would be the case as they were already starting to not fit towards the end of last summer. Ultimately, I purchased new clothes that do feel comfortable. 

I’m calling the experience another intuitive eating success for myself, but know full well that’s not always the case for everyone. And your mindset is what’s stopping you. If you need a few extra reasons or mindset shifts to help you, check out these benefits of having a wardrobe (or even just a few items you can count on wearing regularly) that fit you well. 

Comfortable Clothing Saves you time

Think about it. When your closet has only clothes in it that actually really truly fit you and feel good on you, you can stop wasting time trying things on only to take them off and pick something else. Instead, you can grab items that coordinate with each other, get dressed, and be on your merry way

Comfortable Clothing Saves you money

Not only could you say that time is money, so every minute you’re not picking out something to wear and finding what fits is time you could be investing in growing your business or playing with your kids or getting more laundry done. Also, keeping your closet stocked with clothes that don’t fit leads to you wanting to go shopping to buy more clothes. And if you’re not quite accepting yet of purchasing sizes that do fit, it could end up as a waste of money. So make sure you’ve got clothes that feel good on you, feel like yourself when you wear them, and pull everything else out. 

Comfortable Clothing Boosts your confidence

This may feel a bit materialistic to the person not used to believing it’s OK to look and feel good in clothes, but it’s such an important factor. Confidence breeds things like productivity, solid decision making, and taking more calculated risks in your business (risk is important growth). 

So how do you approach shopping? 

Ok, so we’ve addressed a few reasons you want to fill your wardrobe with comfy clothing. Now here are the three main mindset approaches I took to keep myself moving forward in my body respect journey while shopping for new clothes. 

Focus on the feel, not the look

While trying on the clothes from last year, if there was something I knew just looking at it wasn’t going to fit, I set it aside and didn’t make myself try it on. And with the rest I did try on, I didn’t look at myself in a mirror while I did it. I did this not because I was ashamed of how my body looks these days, but rather because when you’re wearing clothes that are too tight, it’s not a flattering look for anyone and I saw no need to put that image in my head. Besides, my goal is to find clothes I like, in my style, that feel good on my here and now body. 

Remember your style when choosing comfortable clothing

I know my style and what I wanted to purchase. Personally, I am pretty simple, so a pair of shorts and coordinating top was the extent of what I was looking for. And that’s what I focused on at the store. I stayed away from looking at the thin-ideal mannequins because that’s not MY body. I chose colors that I like and that I know others have said look good on me (I’m personally a terrible judge of coordinating colors…my daughters and one look at the decor in my house will tell you that). Focus on what you enjoy and you won’t go wrong. 

Budget is important 

Because I’m not sure what my body will be doing further into summer, and for sure not sure what next summer will bring, I stayed budget-conscious with my choices. I was luckily able to shop at a local discount department store for everything. But I encourage you to consider yard sales and consignment shops too, especially if shopping local is something you value (unfortunately early spring in Minnesota there aren’t a lot of yard sale options yet). 

I’d love to hear from you. Are you struggling with the idea of shopping for new clothes? Or are you so done with waste bands that pinch and shirts that stretch a little too far? Share with me in the comments. 

How to Shift Your Limiting Beliefs to Boost Your Productivity

How to Shift Your Limiting Beliefs to Boost Your Productivity

We can either be our own best source of inspiration, or we can be our own worst enemy. 

Naturally, we want the former. Unfortunately, the stress and struggles of life, growing a business, marriage, and parenting can push us over into enemy territory (1). 

How are your limiting beliefs your own worst enemy? 

You live in your head and come up with all these ways to keep yourself from getting anything accomplished. Even though deep down you know you’re good enough, and how much you’re fully capable of getting things done. 

deep down you know you’re good enough

The only way to get past this self-sabotaging thinking is to take active, intentional steps. Let’s look at 4 steps you can take to shift your limiting beliefs for good. 

Stop limiting beliefs from taking control

No, I don’t mean to just stop thinking this way. I know better than anyone that taking a “just do it” approach to things like this won’t work. Similarly, “just don’t do it” won’t work either. 

So what DO I mean? I mean for you to take a break for a hot minute and notice what you were thinking. If a thought feels negative or defeating, it’s time to stop and examine this idea much closer. Is this perhaps a self-limiting belief? 

Give yourself grace. Knowing these thoughts will happen and committing to not judging yourself when they do happen will help you keep an open mind and better understand where the thought is coming from. 

Stopping when you notice the limiting belief creates space between the thought and your response. It’s in this space that you can then contemplate what you’re telling yourself. 

Ask yourself the right questions 

Where is the lie in this thought? How is this thought serving me or harming me? These are the questions you must ask yourself. 

You’ve already figured out there’s something wrong with it, or you wouldn’t be going through this process. This means something about it is not ringing true. When you understand where the lie is, it becomes easier to know how to counter it.  

Additional questions you can ask yourself to help you better understand the source and reason behind your limiting beliefs:

  • What other belief systems do I have that are feeding into this belief? 
  • Is this always true or only true some of the time or is it a complete lie? 
  • Am I thinking this way simply because I don’t know how to do what I want to do? What education or training can I seek out to help? 
  • Are my thoughts related to my emotions from another source (ie. am I tired, overwhelmed, fearful, etc.)? 
  • Is there any proof this self-limiting thought is true? Is there any grain of truth in what I’m thinking? 

Taking the time to (as impartial as possible) assess your answers and find the potential new thoughts you can use to help shift your beliefs. 

Take back control of all of your beliefs

If what you were thinking is a lie or is because of beliefs you were taught earlier in life, it’s relatively easy to counter the false aspects of the statement with the truth (or a different truth). 

But what if this thought was at least partially true? When this happens, you will start by reminding yourself this isn’t always the case. For example, you might be thinking you are always late. Maybe you are, in fact, late sometimes. To perform this step, you would need to recall various instances when you were on time. By countering the lie, you are taking control of the situation, and not allowing the limiting belief to have any sway over you. 

By countering the lie, you are taking control of the situation

Let’s look at another example. What if you are telling yourself the limiting belief that you don’t like what you’re doing? You think it’s boring. This thought might be true, but if it’s a necessary task, you still need to find a way to shift this belief. To do this you might need to enlist some creativity. Is there any way you can do the task differently to add a little fun factor. Is the outcome enough for you to focus on to help you shift that thinking? 

In the end, you may need more help than you’re able to give yourself. 

Get help

Sometimes it can be challenging to remove limiting beliefs by yourself. In these instances, it can be beneficial to talk to a friend, or even a counselor, to help you see the truth. There is nothing wrong with getting help, especially from someone who is in a position to be impartial.

Sometimes helping yourself means setting boundaries around what you expose yourself to (both limiting negative influences and increasing positive influences). 

So that means help can also look like listening to podcasts, reading personal growth books, or using journaling and mindset tools like affirmations. It could be choosing who you spend your time with, what social channels you follow on media, and carefully selecting the type and amount of other media exposure. 

Self-limiting beliefs don’t have to control your life. By examining your thoughts, especially those that seem to hold you back, you will find it much easier to move forward toward your goals. Soon you will realize success.