Welcome to the first installment of New Latina’s new column with “Keepin’ It Real Guru”, Vasavi Kumar. Vasavi is a LMSW, MSEd committed to encouraging people to be totally free in their lives. Her philosophy: true success begins with knowing who you truly are.
In the field of personal growth and spiritual development there is plenty of talk about getting past your limiting beliefs. Listen, we can dissect our beliefs until we are blue in the face (that’s what therapy is for). I’ve been there. I was in 18 years of therapy until one day I realized that I could either spend my time analyzing why I do what I do, or, I could get moving with the innate wisdom that I had been ignoring for so long.
So you want to get past your limiting beliefs? The chatter, the incessant voices, the “mean” girl (or guy) inside your head telling you “I’m not good enough,” “I don’t have what it takes,” or my personal favorite “How dare I dream that big?” These voices ran my life for a very long time. They ran my life so much that I used all sorts of methods to quiet the chatter – cocaine, alcohol, men, people pleasing- you name it, I tried it.
And then like clockwork, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. So on top of the limiting beliefs, I was now slapped with a life-long label. My psychiatrist prescribed (typical of Western medicine) a bunch of mood stabilizers. I’m talking total sedation and apathy. I’m talking gaining a total of 45 pounds. This went on for about eight years until I had a “moment.” Have you ever had one of those moments? Where you don’t need to consult with anyone and you just get that feeling deep in your gut?
My Moment, My Choices
In my moment I decided I was going to be free. Free from societal and medical labels. Free from what I was taught, free from how I thought I “should” be. And, free myself from a diagnosis given to me when i was young and unsure of who I was, and at a time when I made choices driven by who I believed I thought I was. Choices that were made from a place of disrespect and dishonor of my mere existence through drugs, alcohol, and relationships that did not reflect my highest and best self. Choices that I am very grateful for because had I not made those choices I would not be who I am today.
What I’m about to share with you are the steps I took to get past my limiting beliefs. It’s neither a formula, nor a blueprint. It’s a choice to have your life go another way. The most powerful gift you can give yourself is to choose to be happy, choose let love in, and choose a positive thought. Here’s the good news: You get to choose whether you want to allow those voices to run your life. Here’s the even better news: You absolutely have a say in whether or not those voices are going to run your life.
Choose to Leave Limiting Beliefs Behind
1. Notice. Most people are sleeping and aren’t aware that they have limiting beliefs. The first step is to simply notice it. Notice when you are about to play a bigger game in your life, or take a risk, or start that business, or write that book you’ve always wanted to write, those voice will creep in. They’ll show up as procrastination, doubt, judgement, criticism, and eventually total stagnation and inaction. One of my favorite authors, Debbie Ford, says, “It is not in denying our presence of our shadow, but in shedding light on the shadow that its self-sabotaging effects begin to disappear.” The minute you notice your “shadow” or your limiting beliefs, and have compassion for it you are taking the first step towards living your best life.
2. Question yourself. Once you notice your limiting belief, the second step is to question yourself, “Whose belief does this belong to?” Think back to the time where you first heard this voice. I found that typically it belongs to our parents. Our parents didn’t know any better. They parented us with the same type of parenting that they received. Forgive them and kindly give back that voice to its proper owner. This is an opportunity for you to bless and release the limiting belief that has been holding you back.
3. Choose. In every moment you get to choose. Did you know that the conscious mind can only hold one thought at a time? This is why it is so important for you to hold only positive thoughts. Negative thoughts are normal, but with enough training and practice, you can easily start shifting from negative to positive. Try affirmations, or simply by taking a look at the limiting belief and ask yourself, “What thought could I think that would move be forward?” It may seem a bit fake at first, but it’s ok. Your mind doesn’t know the difference.
4. Take action. If you want to see movement and transformation in your life you have to be willing to do the thing that makes you most uncomfortable. What is that for you? Is it starting to write the first page of your book? Is it making calls to potential clients? Is it speaking more in public to get your message out there? Whatever it is that you are resistant to doing- is exactly what you need to be doing.
At the end of the day, you are the creator of your life. You get to choose the thoughts you think, the words you speak, and the actions you take. Choose wisely.
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