While I don’t do “book reviews”, I often will share my insights from books I’ve read. My recent read of Own your Own Shift by Stacey Ruth, recommended by a friend, highlighted for me some additional insight into shifting beliefs. And interestingly, there was some “how to” on building up intuition – an area I am personally exploring. As an analytical critical thinker (engineer trained), I’ve wanted to get more in touch with my own intuition. As it’s been said, the teacher comes when the student is ready.
As part of my own retirement transition, I’ve been working on personal development and shifting self-limiting beliefs. For me, retirement has given me time to explore who the authentic me is, including digging deep into what is my own truth and what is just societal, cultural, and even family conditioning.
Underneath our thinking lies a set of fundamental beliefs – beliefs about the self/our identity, our relationships, and the world. These are our “truths” — our story — even if they are not true! They frame our perception of our reality. They come from parents, teachers, culture; they can be baseless or even unintentionally transmitted. Some common fundamental beliefs that we have could include: whether we are capable or incompetent, good at something or not, creative or not, attractive or ugly, stupid or smart, have abundance or scarcity. Also we can believe certain people are better than others or we can believe with certainty our failure or success. But we need to recognize that the beliefs are CHOICES. You can choose a different belief.
Beliefs are highly emotional – they are not of the conscious, rational mind. We often will choose things (to do/not do) or see/hear things in a way that support the story we are telling ourselves. These fundamental beliefs are deeply ingrained and feel familiar. They have become our Inner Guidance System and then we put up self-imposed limitations or have negative behaviors to stay within our story. Keeping these deep habitual thought patterns feels safer – familiar is comfortable! They take time and effort to change.
Understanding how to shift your mindset on beliefs in retirement can be helpful. You might need to rethink your identity, adjust to new routines, adopt new behaviors, create new social networks, or accept new physical limitations. Becoming aware of what your beliefs are in relation to any of these, especially if they are limiting you, and then deciding to change that belief to change your story, requires both VISION and INTENTION. You have to want the change and you need to see the (different, positive) future.
First, really decide if you want to shift your belief. Are you willing to entertain a different belief? How would your life be if you changed that belief? What is causing you to resist the change and what if you stopped resisting the change? Are you afraid of losing something with the change of belief? While you might think , “Of course I want to change that belief, it’s limiting me” I recently had a friend tell me she honestly didn’t want to change some of her self-limiting beliefs because she felt they motivated her. Self-limiting beliefs can also feel familiar and comfortable. Think about, “What am I giving up (by shifting this belief) and what am I gaining?”
Second, imagine yourself in the after and be vivid in the imagining! The more familiar you become with the end result, the more easily you become it. Focus not on what you want gone (the don’t, the not), but on what you want to be. Shift from problem and negative thinking to the positive and future solution. Articulate it as reality – I am — and understand how that feels.
Change is hard. If awareness were all it took, change would be easy! (I’m fond of saying, “The knowing doesn’t make the doing easier.”) Change demands moving out of our comfort zone. But where we focus, we flourish. So when we focus on the familiar of what we lack, the negative, what is wrong… we build it up! When we can see the positive, we can then think the positive, we can be the positive. The more you think it, the more you find/see reinforcement to support and validate that story.
So, do you want to be thinking and finding reinforcement of the self-limiting, negative story or the self-empowering, positive one? The HOW TO is:
– Name and claim what you want (without judgment or qualification) → Write it down in positive self-empowering language
– Consider, what is stopping me?→ Write it down and let it go
– Vividly envision the future → however it works for you – write it down, create vision board, create affirmations
– Micro steps – find time to be in your future state (explore a possibility with one small step), add in meditation (the type best for you), use affirmations daily.
Becoming More Intuitive
I’ve been working on shifting self-limiting to self-empowering beliefs for some time now. I’m better, but change is hard, so this is a work-in-progress for sure. For me the AHA Insight in reading this book became, what exactly is my future vision for who I want to become – What is “being intuitive” really like? What does “having a feminine consciousness” feel like? What do I mean by “unlock my feminine intuitive energy“? What does being connected to spiritual energy/vibrations feel like?
I also had to explore why am I being resistant to this shift of using my intuitive nature/my inner energy? I discovered that I personally place a higher value on cognitive, rational, logical thinking! So now I am trying to think about this as an AND, not an OR? How can I leverage both aspects of the mind so they function synergistically? And even harder, how can I shift to value both the feminine principles (intuitive insights) as well as masculine principles (analytical logic)?
I was also able to identify some specific Intuition Building Practices:
- Creativity – whether it’s gardening, cooking, crafting, writing, drawing, collaging, or some other creative outlet.
- Mindfulness – be fully present, aware of breath, spend time being still
- Awareness of intuitive moments – become aware of when I am compelled to do something, feel a connection with someone, have a strong feeling about a situation
- Observation skills – multi-sensory noticing – consider doing nature Awe Walks
- Body Scan – awareness of what the body needs and then do it, Consider mindful eating, jet baths, massage, stretching
- Compassion for others – build the skill of lovingly detachment
- Dream Awareness – dream journaling & ask for meaning (“I will be aware of my dreams”): look for metaphors and symbols
- Awareness of emotions – let go of negative self talk, build positive mindset, reframing stories, gratitude lists
- Watch for symbols, signs and repeated patterns (subconscious mind seeing)
- Meditation – loving kindness, chakra, Yoga, rooting
Many of these practices are part of my daily/weekly routine and I will continue to build others into my lifestyle activities.
So, change is hard. Shifting beliefs is hard. Learning to be more intuitive is hard. But with WILLINGNESS, PERSISTENCE, PATIENCE, I will make progress!
What beliefs are you working to shift? What aspects of your future self are you working to become?
Picture Credit: my newest plant purchase for the patio – a desert rose. Now to keep it alive!