An Update on my WOTY

My chosen 2020 Word of the Year (WOTY) was RELEASE (see original post here).   I wanted to focus on releasing self-limiting beliefs and long-term resentments.   I didn’t realize I would also have to release parts of my self-created retirement lifestyle. But life happens.

This post is an update on releasing self-limiting beliefs. After reviewing a number of different tools and approaches, I created my own Release Workbook approach.   For self-limiting beliefs, here are the basic steps I took:

  1. Wrote down my self-limiting beliefs and then for each detailed it out – when did it start, what emotions it elicits, how is it holding me back, what value do I gain by holding onto it (yes, value! feeling of specialness, avoidance of failure & judgment). How is it manifesting in my life – how is it supporting my retirement lifestyle vision? How is it impeding it?
  2. Acknowledge it is a belief and not a truth – identify life experiences when it was not true, any validity / facts from friends.
  3. Create a corresponding Empowering Belief – write it down, imagine how life would change if I believed this, benefits of new belief, how new belief will make me feel. “I choose not to believe X anymore. It is not true. I now believe Y.”
  4. Daily Affirmations of new Empowering Belief. This allowed me to recognize the voices challenging my new beliefs and say to them, ”I am responsible for the change – the power to change rests in my hands.
  5. Create actions and goals to confirm my Empowering Belief is new truth. Example, if I believe I am a healthy eater, what am I buying at the grocery store? If I believe I am a good friend, what is my new intentional connection plan?  What trigger responses do I need to be aware of?


Step 1 was challenging. I spent a lot of time journaling what do I believe about myself. Yes, I wrote it all down, from when I first began to think that way, to how it impacts my life. Some of it was from my memoir work and some of it was allowing that inner critic full voice. I realized some of my self-limiting beliefs are (currently) an integral part of my identity. And then, I spent time countering those beliefs with what is the reality of my experience? This journaling was literally pages and pages of writing – a wonderful example of my over-thinking.

Three areas that I think have really helped in this release work are:

  • Doing the in-depth thinking about my self-limiting beliefs has increased my awareness of when I think them or unconsciously react to situations based on these beliefs.
  • My affirmations ended up using in a few simple approaches:

“I release X. I embrace Y.”

“I choose to be X.” Or “I am Y.” Or “I accept Z.”

  • I created an Authentic Me statement where I used my empowering belief statements, as well as articulating my strengths and retirement lifestyle vision. Notably, this statement is all in the present tense. I had to go back and take out “wishy-washy” words. It’s full of, “I am. I choose. I will.”   It was uncomfortable to create; my inner critic squirmed. I read this statement often!

Have I given up all my self-limiting beliefs? No. Have I shifted some to empowering beliefs? Yes! I will continue to read my Authentic Me statement, use my affirmations, and focus on actions to live my empowering beliefs.

My next step, which has been procrastinated now for months, is to release resentments, to forgive, and to accept. I am unsure as to the root cause of this procrastination, since I’ve found the release of self-limiting beliefs quite powerful.

Have you ever worked to shift beliefs? What tools have worked for you?

11 thoughts on “An Update on my WOTY

  1. Wow, Pat you are really doing the work on this! I have examined my self-limiting beliefs, and I think of them quite often, but I have not been nearly as organized and thorough in attacking them as you have been. I have been able to change some beliefs, but others stick. It is hard to give them up when they have become part of your identity. I need to dig a little deeper and work at it more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michele, Agree totally on them being part of my identity. I’ve had to say which ones I want to keep (I’m always going to be a list-making planner) and which I want to drop. Then whenever the ones I want to drop surface (awareness), I kick in with “I used to be that, but not any more!” Not perfect yet, but it is shifting. And I’ve found myself acting the new beliefs more and more.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Pat, I’ve used similar tools to those you have suggested in your post. I love the feeling of the load being lifted when limiting beliefs are conquered and removed. This is not always easy but having a process certainly helps. Thanks so much for sharing at #MLSTL and have a beautiful week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue, it has been a super busy week and just getting in to make comments on last weeks post… sheesh! You are right – I do feel a sense of lightness when I read my new Authentic Self statement! Some is still a work-in-progress, but it is definitely getting better.


  3. Hi Pat – I love how you delve into things and really drill down to what the underlying factors are and then start knocking them over one by one. I had Release as my WOTY a few years ago and didn’t go in this deep – it might have been good for me if I had – might have saved me some of the pus and pain of allowing myself to go down the rabbit hole of my last job!
    Forgiveness is an area I’m working on atm too – but probably taking it to the next level – the idea of completely letting it go and not ruminating or hoping for “karma” to happen etc. I listened to a sermon podcast recently that talked about this and that holding on leads to bitterness – something I’m well aware of and am now proactively working on – nobody wants to be the bitter old woman who resents the happiness of others (deserved or otherwise!)
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leanne, Sorry it’s been awhile and just getting to comments. We had a busy week, even in this time of shelter-in-place… we moved our “place” temporarily.

      Since I’m a process-girl who needs to overthink things, this approach worked for me. And yes, it is hard to let go of things that currently “defined” me. For me working on finding replacements (new empowering beliefs) helped. Working in forgiveness is next and I’m trying to figure out something similar there!


  4. Big stuff here today! I must admit my first thought is “wow, I don’t want to spend that much time trying to do all of that!”. I’m mean my life is so busy right now. Oh wait, or not. Honestly, though I think I would need that life-help coach to get me through it. I would be a perfect procrastinator. Wanna begin therapy with me? Now maybe I just put my finger on something…..maybe your next career?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Candyse, It did take time. I tend to be an over thinker, so that did help. And yes, I’d be more than happy to help you think though it. We can plan a wine date next week if you’re serious.


  5. I have allowed one person to affect my life through compare and despair thoughts and resentments. I so want to let go of this but I don’t know how. You seem so disciplined in your approach. Not sure I could do that. Does it mean I really don’t want to move on? As you point out, am I getting some value from these thoughts? I wish it would motivate me to change the parts of me that I don’t like but it seems to do the opposite. Pretty pathetic, huh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get it! I realized that I am keeping some of the resentment (like a few self-limiting beliefs) because it currently defines who I am. That is hard to admit, and hard to let go. I am finding affirmations helpful… Like “I am choosing to release this”. It’s not completely there… but it is helping.

      Liked by 1 person

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