While the beginning of the year is launched with fresh motivation, mental roadblocks inevitably emerge at the end of the first quarter as we tackle the biggest hurdles to our goals.
Mental roadblocks often reflect outdated or unhealthy belief systems that we have subconsciously incorporated into our choices.
They might stem from past experiences, internalized criticism or long-standing fears.
Maybe we are hesitant to pursue a new fitness goal because we believe we are weak, or delaying the launch of our businesses because we believe we are inexperienced.
The truth is, our goals can only go as far as our belief systems will allow.
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
~ Henry Ford
The great news is that self-awareness is a sign that we are ready for progress.
Try these 3 steps to change the course of your outdated belief systems and re-align your mindset with your true potential.
1. Reverse your belief.
Taking responsibility for our stories starts with altering the story lines inside the mind.
What manifests in the mind will affect everything, ranging from the way you speak about yourself, pivotal choices and ultimately the people and opportunities that you attract.
Try this technique for flipping an unhealthy belief system around:
Make two columns on a sheet of paper. On the left side, write down each negative self-destructive comment that comes to mind. Then, immediately on the right hand side, craft a strong and opposite statement for its replacement.
For example: “I am inexperienced and have no idea what I’m doing,” write instead, “I am a exceptional learner.”
Each morning (or whenever needed), read the right hand column out loud and toss away the lefthand column of old stories.
Practice saying these new affirmations both with yourself and to peers.
The active change in the words you use to describe yourself will project confidence and clarity.
2. Use pain and pleasure.
In order for a belief system or habit to change, the associations we have with the harmful cycle must be altered.
The world-renowned high performance coach and author, Tony Robbins writes in Unleash the Giant Within:
“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.”
For example, I quit drinking alcohol four years ago and everyone wanted to know how I did it.
Looking back, it all came down to one simple concept.
I attached painful memories to alcohol, whether it was financial, emotional or physical and I re-categorized my choices associated with drinking.
On the other hand, I highlighted positive memories with the mornings I woke up after an alcohol-free night, pumped for a hike with glowing skin and other rewards from not drinking.
Every time these new associations are reinforced, it’s easier to make the right choices again.
What is a task that you may have been procrastinating by telling yourself that you are not “good enough” or “ready?”
Choose to see the pain in delaying the life that you want to live or the goals you want to achieve. Take control over your decisions by doing the work and rewarding the choices that bring you closer to your goals.
Entire belief systems change by utilizing our natural desire to chase pleasure rather than pain.
3. Surround yourself with ambitious and supportive individuals.
Whether it’s a friendship, mentorship or a role model, the energy and standards that high performers project can immediately elevate what you think is possible.
With a strong community, you can borrow the energy of someone you admire, power through with a new attitude and gain diverse feedback.
Work or live with someone who naturally sets higher standards for their own work ethic, habits and relationships.
At the same token, distance yourself from those who criticize and harbor harmful habits.
And, if you’re unable to change your environment right away, find speakers, creatives and entrepreneurs that inspire you. Watch and comment on their videos, interviews and articles, engage with their community and attend meetups or conferences.
Cultivating healthy belief systems can make the difference between complacency and achievement.
Develop positive and productive beliefs about yourself and the world around you to push towards your biggest goals this year.
Author: Joy Lin
Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: J. Wright, via the author (used with permission)