Have you ever stopped and wondered where all your beliefs and thoughts came from?
Ever wondered if they genuinely belonged to you, as in something you thought of organically, came to a conclusion about and decided on your own – that it were true?
If these issues and beliefs were true, representations of objective lived reality then yay! But most, if not 99% of the time the beliefs we unconsciously take on are a mish-mash of negative messages that serve to keep you small and take away your power.
So where did these thoughts and beliefs about ourselves and the world around us spring from then?
Well, much of it was:
- Passed down from a family member which you inadvertently “absorbed” in your younger years – children are wonderful sponges (for better and sometimes for worse)
- Intergenerational trauma – also passed down from family, but this is a little deeper and more buried in our family psyches. If you are spiritually inclined, you will also recognise that trauma carries – heavy – energy and when it is passed down to you, it usually gets unconsciously buried and rooted in your psyche.
- Upheld and perpetuated by our cultural and societal values and standards
Let’s look at some of these messages I’ve heard clients tell me.
- I am not good looking enough for a relationship
- I should never have taken on the manager role because I can never be a good leader
- I will never be able to own a home in this lifetime
- I’m 30 and never had a partner, nobody wants me
- I am not good enough for this role/relationship/project
- I will never get to live the life I want because well, nobody around me is doing it
Does any of that sound.. familiar? You may have had similar thoughts in the past about yourself (or maybe still do…?) I know I did.
Do you know how these thoughts keep you small and invisible? Each time you repeat any of the above statements to yourself, it gradually eats into your subconscious and your self-esteem, and overtime, it becomes a thought of habit, a belief that you take to be the truth.
Storytime – money and me
I didn’t grow up in an incredibly rich family and money was a constant source of stress and strife in my parents’ volatile relationship. We wouldn’t eat out much or shop much because of my dad’s incredible dislike of “spending money on businesses”. It was because of my mum that I managed to enjoy a semblance of a fun childhood, with enrichment activities and classes she paid for out of her own savings. I always admired the rich girls in my class, they could afford better-looking things, eat at expensive places and never seemed to struggle with money.
That affected my money beliefs as I grew up thinking that:
- Only certain people could be wealthy (but not me)
- Rich people are evil so being rich isn’t good (passed down from dad)
- Wealth is incredibly hard to accumulate (years of watching my parents work for not alot of money)
How did I overturn it?
It took years, a decade at least, and I’m still having to remind myself at every turn that involves a financial decision – even eating out at an expensive cafe or shopping for a new pair of shoes – can take days of thought and anxious mulling before I took any action. It was gradual but I had to not only question my beliefs about money and wealthy people, but even around beliefs of enjoying myself. Here are some things I did:
- Allowed myself to have small doses of fun every other month. Like spending a little more on expensive but tasty coffee (one of my vices)
- Invested in items that had value and which I took good care of (i.e. clothing, shoes)
- Allowed myself to buy things I needed, that I knew will improve my quality of life significantly, by cutting out time (i.e. steam iron, hair curler)
Many of the solutions involve being aware of where you are being held back by your beliefs and then giving yourself the permission to turn those beliefs on their head. Ask yourself if there are instances of an opposite belief (there usually always is). And how can you then start taking small gradual steps to get to a place where those beliefs start feeling very plausible and comfortably within reach.
Your turn – what beliefs about yourself/your life you’d like to start letting go of?