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:
- 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?
- Acknowledge it is a belief and not a truth – identify life experiences when it was not true, any validity / facts from friends.
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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?