I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the things I tell myself – the recording that I have going on when things get hard, a new opportunity comes up, or even when things are going well. Have you ever paid attention to these? We all have programmed thoughts that come into our minds when certain things trigger them: ‘I am not smart enough’, ‘I am too fat’, ‘I don’t have enough money’, ‘I am not good enough.’ They can also be related to health: ‘I have fat genes’, ‘Diabetes runs in the family’, ‘I always get sick this time of year.’ They are deep, and they pop up all the time. You may not even notice them. These beliefs can be with us our whole lives and we may never notice. When we keep telling ourselves these words, what we say becomes our reality, and the evidence starts to pile up, and we start to believe them deeper – and then even more of what we believe happens to us. It is a never ending cycle, and it can be positive or negative. What I love about this is that we are in total control of our lives – what we become, where we go, how it all turns out.

Maybe you have noticed that no matter what you try, you cannot get healthier. It may feel like you are self-sabotaging yourself. If you are in this position, this post is for you!

Where Do They Come From?

As we grow up and watch our loved ones interact with people and life around us, we pick up on the things they say and do. There can be one single moment where you started to believe something negative about yourself and live or it could have been a bunch of little events that led to that belief. Have you ever noticed how certain traits run in families? Maybe everyone in a family you know is super cheap, really smart, or always sick with something. Is this genetics or is it the environment we are raised in? When we are babies, we have not developed the filter that allows us to question the words and actions that are going on around us. We are like little sponges soaking in all that we can with nothing to stop the negative.  We do not develop the filter until we are a little older.

This can result in the thought that we need to be sick to be loved, as an example. Say your parents are really busy when you are little and you do not get much attention. Slowly you start to notice that you get so much love and attention when you are ill. The belief that being sick gets you love is programmed into your thoughts, and each time you get evidence of this, the deeper the belief gets. The illness sticks around longer, and may eventually stay.

As we get older, we need evidence to start believing something bad about ourselves, so when we make a mistake (and of course we do), the negative thought is pushed deeper into our beliefs. By the time we are adults, we have quite the personal belief system.

Questioning & Examining

People can live their entire lives without questioning or examining what they believe about themselves. The words ‘I am worthless’ will keep them stuck in what they do not want and they may never try to make a situation better because they believe that they deserve what they have – even if it is all subconscious. What is great though, is that we can change the beliefs we hold. We can actively change things in our lives by believing that ‘I am worthy’, ‘I am smart’, ‘I am successful’, ‘I am healthy.’
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Where To Start

When we can change these thoughts and beliefs, we can change our lives for the better, but where do we start? Follow the steps below to start your journey today!

Step 1

Pay attention to what your little voice is telling you for 2-3 days this week. Keep notes of what messages you are telling yourself. There is no judgement. Just relay the messages. This exercise will help you identify what thoughts are holding you back from living the life you want. Identifying these messages is the first step to lasting change.

Step 2

When you have a few of your negative thoughts written out, try to figure out what trigger is setting them off. For example, I find that when I am overwhelmed with work and the things I need to do, I start telling myself ‘I am not smart enough’ or ‘I’ll never make something good enough.’ Through this I learned that I have/had perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionism used to be at the heart of all my procrastination.
If I couldn’t do something just right, what was the point? In the end, I didn’t do much and when I did, I was disappointed with it. Now that I am aware of this, I can look at my work from a different angle – the idea that putting something out there that isn’t ‘perfect’ is better than nothing. There are many other beliefs that I am working with right now, and more that will pop up throughout my life. I just wanted to give a small example.

Step 3

Now that you know some of your negative beliefs and the triggers, look at your life closely and see if you can remove any of the triggers. Common triggers can be certain people in your life, situations that come up that spark something in you, a job, a deep memory that needs to be let go and forgiven. Some things we cannot remove from our lives, and that is okay. Work on the things you can change at this point. If it is a person in your life or situation at work, maybe all it will take is an honest conversation with someone. Let them know what is going on and how they can help. If there is something huge deep down inside you, you may want to seek help with someone you trust. There are many professionals out there that will be happy to work with you.
The key is to find someone in a profession that you resonate with. You can see a therapist but there are other areas – homeopath, cranio sacral therapy, reiki, intuitive, etc. EFT (tapping) is also a good technique to try, and you can do this one on your own.

Step 4

You can also formulate some affirmations that are the exact opposite to what you have been telling yourself all these years. Change anything that suggests you are in some way not good enough to ‘I am enough’, ‘I am worthy’, or anything that really makes you come alive! Put these up all over your house in the places you look most often, and repeat these as often as you can throughout your day. Work on really feeling these words. Our thoughts and beliefs dictate what our lives look like, so they are a great area to begin work on when you desire change.

Further Resources

This is a simple breakdown for a deep change, and there are a lot of great resources to check out if this is something that you want to look into more extensively. Here is a list of names and books you will want to check out:
  • Louise Hay – everything she does is gold, so you will not be steered in the wrong direction. She is so full of love. Any book by her is worth it! You Can Heal Your Body & You Can Heal Your Life are my top 2.
  • Creative Visualization – Shakti Gawain
  • Wayne Dyer
  • Jeff Brown
  • The Power Of I Am – Joel Osteen (for people of the Christian persuasion. It is a great book, with great tips. It is a pretty simple read though, so getting it from the library is a good idea.)
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Final Thoughts

What we think eventually becomes what we live, so we might as well think highly of and love ourselves while we are here. Our health can also be affected by our negative self-beliefs, so if you are struggling in this area and you cannot move forward, this would be a good place for you to start. Maybe there are some thoughts and beliefs you have that are attached to your illness. When you feel like sharing your journey with women on the same path, come on over to the Facebook group – Vivacious Vegan Women – and get connected! Yours in plant love, Carly
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