If you heard about a short exercise that you can do on your own (or with a close person around you) to help you overcoming those barriers which are stopping you to achieve your next goal, would you be interested in learning more about it?
Today, I would like to revive the series of Learning Bites which I have started to share last year with the objective to give you concrete action steps to put in place, different to the other articles on this blog.
What are Learning Bites? In this context, Learning Bites are (very) short learning modules or exercises, which have a strong focus on action than on knowledge delivery. They are not magic pills, but if they are done correctly and repetitively, they will help you to transform your mindset. Step by step. If you would like to check out previous exercises from last year, please visit the “Getting Started” section and check out Section #4.
This short exercise is based upon an article called “Are You A Victim of Self-sabotage?” that I wrote last month. The more I get into mindset topics, the more I realize that the only thing or person that is holding you back to achieve what you want is: YOU. Your daily thoughts, your actions, your values. It’s the negative talking in your head that you don’t notice anymore. Your beliefs, which you have grown up to believe to be true. Beliefs that you have not questioned. They are just there.
These limiting beliefs go far. They often stop us from doing what we would like to do. They stop us to reach out for help. They stop us from saying “hello” to a complete stranger. You sabotage yourself with those thoughts, because they not only limit you, but they pull you down. They don’t allow you to go out of that box.
So, let’s address this beast by profiting from the questions provided by Dane Maxwell (Dane, if you happen to read this: You are one of the most inspiring persons I have ever met, thank you!).
“Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” – Michael Jordan
Learning Bites #8: How to overcome limiting beliefs
Part 1 (5 minutes): Self-reflection
Take a piece of paper and a pen, or open up a new document on your device and answer to following questions. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer.
Step 1: Think about one thing that you have been trying to do/get/accomplish in the last month which did not work out the way you wanted to. Write it down.
Step 2: Add any reasons why you’ve come up short, if you can think of any.
Step 3: With the reasons in mind, are there any negative thoughts you notice? Write them down, as much as you can think of. Could be 1, could be up to 10 or more.
Part 2 (15 minutes): Self-reflection (OR Discussion with a close partner/friend)
As negative emotions have the tendency to pull you down, it might be a good idea to do this part with a close person around you to help your reflection. There might be things, which you don’t see. Also, not everyone is perfect at detecting their own feelings, sometimes question from another person can help.
Step 1: Pick one of the negative thoughts from your list above and ask yourself the following question: “Is this belief true?“ What’s your answer?
Step 2: As it is likely that you have answered the previous question with a “yes”, please address this question “Is this belief true beyond a shadow of a doubt?”
Step 3: How does this belief make you feel? – Write down your emotions. Do you feel angry? Or rather disappointed? (Here is a list of all types of emotions, for your reference)
Step 4: What would the opposite thought be? Who would you be without that thought? (Looking back at what you have written under Step 1).
Step 5: How does that opposite belief make you feel? Again, note down any feelings. Does your chest get lighter when you think about a positive belief?
Do you see what is possible with this set of questions? While negative thoughts as well as emotions are as normal as their positive counterparts, sometimes we don’t realize how much they are actually stopping us from achieving what we want. With this exercise you can address every single one of them. No matter when they are coming up.
Sometimes it is possible to reverse them immediately, other times they come back – but the good thing then is – you know how to reverse them!
What’s your feedback on this exercise? Please leave a short comment below!