If I was to ask you about your beliefs, you may think of religion, morals, philosophy, maybe even politics. But that’s all about the outside world, what’s around us. So what about you, as an individual? Would you even consider the beliefs you hold about yourself?
Would you dive into the limitations you’ve placed upon yourself, explore all the ways in which you have come to believe you are, or are not, capable & worthy? What sort of person you believe you are and how your beliefs impact you…? It’s kinda deep, so I’m guessing probably not! And you wouldn’t be alone. And the trouble is, we do that thing that humans are very good at, we confuse opinion and beliefs with facts.
We confuse beliefs with facts
So when it comes to what we believe to be true about ourselves, our level of competence or worthiness, or who we think we are, we don’t think it’s merely a belief. We think it’s a fact. And so there it remains, unquestioned.
Think about it this way…… You could just be drifting through life, carrying around beliefs about yourself that are not even true, that don’t serve you and be making pretty big decisions based on beliefs that harm you. Or not making any decision at all, stuck in a sort procrastination purgatory (which in itself is a decision, but we’ll save that for another day!!)
This very concept fascinates me. Not because I don’t understand how anyone could do this, but because I understand all too well. Like so many other women, I hugely underestimated my ability & worth, and as a result made some questionable decisions (oh hey early 20’s!!) And looking back, I clearly missed out on so many opportunities, simply because I believed that I wasn’t smart enough, educated enough, pretty enough, good enough. My self esteem was seriously low. To the point that I didn’t believe things like love, happiness or success were available to me. I thought they were for other people - confident, beautiful, deserving, smart people. And my belief was, that wasn’t me.
We don’t even need to go into detail about exactly why I had come to feel that way, to really see and understand how my beliefs would have impacted my ability to be happy or successful. I mean, you don’t need to be a genius to see that those ingredients do not add up to an abundant, fulfilling life, right?!
The quality of our lives depends on our beliefs
And this is just one example, from my own personal journey, about the connection between our beliefs and the real power they have when it comes the quality of our lives. Now I’ve since spent over a decade on the most wonderfuel (and yes at times painful!) journey, educating myself and working through those beliefs. I’ve gone on to create an entire business designed to help women who struggle with the same issues. And I work with such incredible women, who all harbour beliefs that hold them back, keep them stuck and stop them from living out their full potential, personally and professionally.
And the most bizarre and a incredible thing that I’ve come to realise on my journey, is that it’s a choice. Because we can literally choose different beliefs. I mean…. What?! I don’t know about you, but when I was first introduced to this concept, I thought it was nuts.
But it’s the truth, and if you can accept that you can choose to believe some thing different for yourself, if you can choose to believe in yourself….. you can do anything.
The real question here is, how do we identify what beliefs serve us and what beliefs sabotage us? And what the heck do we do once we’ve figured that out?!
Serve vs sabotage
Developing self awareness is a vital step towards changing beliefs that sabotage you, into beliefs that serve you. I use this expression a lot because I don’t really believe in “good belief” or “bad belief” and I feel that serve or sabotage clearly demonstrates the difference between what helps you, and what harms you.
We can usually find beliefs that sabotage you under the following categories…
I can’t …….
I’m not ……
I don’t …..
And these beliefs make you feel a certain way. Uncomfortable, unconfident, heavy, sad, frustrated - just pick your poison!
Another identifier, is that sabotaging beliefs are the ones keep you solidly in your comfort zone…
“I’ll probably fail” / “People will judge me” / “I’ll look stupid”
And on the opposite side, the beliefs that serve you, generally start like this
I can …..
I will …..
I am ….
And these beliefs will make you feel optimistic, confident, excited, grateful, happy even.
You can also spot the beliefs that serve you because they allow you make progress, to move out of your comfort zone.
“I will learn new things” / “I am capable of creating change” / “I am deserving of happiness”
If you develop self awareness, you can identify the beliefs that sabotage you, and replace them with beliefs that serve you. You can choose to believe that you are capable and worthy, and you make can make different decisions based on that belief. Not only will this change how you think, but it will change how you feel.
Give yourself some grace
But make no mistake, developing self awareness of your beliefs in order to change them, takes time. Think about how long it took for you to establish this belief in the first place. And if you’ve spent years carrying this belief around with you, it’s going to take time changing the narrative of the belief.
So give yourself some grace, be patient, be consistent and trust that if you continue to do the work, you can change your beliefs and in turn, change your whole life. Everything you need to do this is already in you, you just have to believe it!!
I hope this helps you today, please feel free to drop a comment in the comment section below and if you’d like daily inspiration and tips, you can find me over on Instagram @hayleyscottsummers