Free Your Mind… And the Rest Will Follow
In his book, Psycho-Cybernetics, Maxwell Maltz talks about how our behavior comes from sub-conscious beliefs that we have about ourselves. These beliefs are very powerful and can lead to our success or continued failure.
Is there some goal you have for yourself or some status that you would like to reach, but always seems to be outside of your grasp? Maybe you have tried again and again to achieve this goal only to have it slip away just as it is within your grasp.
Let’s use weight loss as an example. Let’s say that for instance that Jane has always wanted to lose 50 pounds so that she could have a body weight under 200 pounds. This is what would make Jane happy, however she never seems to be able to get below the 200 pound mark. It’s not due to lack of motivation that Jane doesn’t reach her goal.
In fact she’s had several stretches where her diet and exercise were perfect for months and she got all the way down to 210 pounds. However, she could never break through with that last 10 pounds and something always seemed to happen that would knock her off track. She would get sick for a week or have a really bad weekend of eating and abandon the habits that led to her success.
After these experiences Jane decides that she’s just not meant to be under 200 pounds or it’s just not in her genetics etc. Have you ever experienced yourself thinking this way after a failure or just about a certain area of your life in general? Do you think Jane is actually incapable of weighing under 200 pounds or do you think she has a false sub-conscious belief that tells her she will never weigh under 200 pounds?
My bet is on the latter. Perhaps deep down Jane doesn’t feel like she is worthy of having a good body or that she doesn’t deserve to be happy. Perhaps these reasons she gives herself for not achieving her goal stem from this belief that she has that she doesn’t deserve to be happy with her body.
Well the good news is that Maxwell Maltz tells us that we can change our deep beliefs with our own conscious thoughts. Examine your own beliefs about yourself. Do you beat yourself up about certain things? Is there something about yourself you would like to change, but feel you have no control over it? What is something that you would love to be able to do or achieve for yourself, but you don’t believe it is possible?
Maybe you believe that you are doomed to always be alone or that you will never be wealthy. These self-limiting beliefs can extend to all areas of our lives. This might sound silly, but one big one for me was dancing. I always believed that I couldn’t dance and would always shy away from it when the opportunity arose. Then last year at my good friends’ wedding, I was doing my usual act of sitting at a table when everyone else was dancing and having fun. And I finally just got fed up with myself for not even trying and you know what? I got up and danced and had a great time.
So the next time you encounter a belief you have about yourself that is holding you back, ask yourself, “Why do I believe I can’t?” and “Is this belief based on an actual fact or is it just based on an assumption?”
Then I want you to ask yourself these 4 questions:
- Is there any rational reason for this belief?
- Could it be that I am mistaken in this belief?
- Would I come to the same conclusion about some other person in a similar situation?
- Why should I continue to act and feel as if this were true if there’s no good reason to believe it?
Think hard on these questions and actually answer each one of them with detail. I think what you’ll realize is that you have been selling yourself short based a false belief.
Now get angry about it! Maltz states that indignation and anger can act as liberators from false ideas or beliefs. In Jane’s case when she reaches the realization that she has been sabotaging herself, she becomes angry that she didn’t reach her goal due to a false idea about herself. She feels indignant about her previous mindset and vows to never think about herself in that way again. In my case, I became angry at myself for not allowing myself to have fun, because I thought I couldn’t dance.
Use this empowering information to form the beliefs you want to have about yourself. When negative thought start to creep in, recognize them for what they are and think rationally about the situation. Are you really incapable of reaching your goal or is this just a bump in the road on your way to success. Remember your thoughts create your beliefs and your beliefs mold the person you become.
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