We react to people or situations without realizing that it’s our past that is still shaping not only our character but our worldview.
What if you realized there was a belief you picked up in childhood that was holding you back from creating and experiencing the life you are longing for? The right job, relationship, home, friendships–what if you felt they could all just fall into place if you could overcome this one belief?
Each time we place our trust in something, a belief is formed. When we’re younger, these beliefs come mostly from our parents, but as we go off into the world, we’re given the opportunity to create our own beliefs. For some, however, those childhood stories carry over into adulthood. Sometimes we continue shaping our behaviour and reactions from beliefs that may no longer serve us.
If you continually create negative thoughts because of your ingrained beliefs, your mind will believe them as the truth. The longer you live out this negativity, the further away from happiness you’ll be. Whether these thoughts are about your appearance, your intelligence or your athletic abilities, you’ve got to leave them in the past in order to thrive in the future.
Letting go is as simple as deciding to do so. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and begin to breathe deeply. Think of just one belief that you’ve held onto, that is no longer serving you, and decide to let it go. As you picture this belief, silently repeat the word "let" on the inhale, and the word "go" on the exhale. Imagine yourself being free from this limiting belief, and feel the happiness that arises from that freedom. Con't.
Imagine this: You’re at a cocktail party, and someone asks you about yourself. Your response might reveal that you’re a wife, mother, runner, chef, yogini, musician or volunteer. Those would be the labels you’d want to share with others–the things you do that you’re proud of, that make you feel good when you talk about them.
On the flipside, pretend you’re privately taking a quiz in a magazine. It asks you to list the top ten things you think about yourself–would your list be the same? Or would it look more like this: the fat one, the dumb one, the short one, the slow one, the one who can’t match her clothes, the one who will never be as good as her sister at anything.
Whoa! Where did that list come from? Is it accurate, or is it full of labels that you’ve carried around since childhood? If so, do these things constitute who you currently see in the mirror, or the incredible person you are on the inside? Do they still realistically define you, or can you just not let them go? Do you truly believe that because someone labeled you as chubby in the second grade that you still need to own that– even if all the women at the gym currently want to look like you in their new Lulus.
When we’re truly secure in our identity–with who we are and what we believe about ourselves–then no comment, no judgement and no label put upon us when we were children can affect us. And when that identity we’re secure in is occasionally confronted, we can be completely neutral, without questioning ourselves. Because your self now, the one that is reading this magazine–that’s your true self... not one that was labeled 20 years ago. All you have to do is let go of the past and believe in the present.
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