I limited myself and didn’t even realize it.
I did it by saying 3 words. The same three words that I hear people saying every single day.
When do you find yourself feeling unstoppable? When I was in college, I used to run 3 miles a day. I knew when I was getting close to a mile because without fail, I’d feel myself start to struggle. My muscles would fatigue and my will to keep running would be tested. For me it felt like I was hitting a wall and trying to break through it. I knew that I had to break past that wall before I got my second wind and felt really good. I could breathe, my legs were renewed and for the next two miles, muscle memory kicked in and my legs started to move automatically. That’s when I felt unstoppable. That’s when I really got to enjoy the scenery. Now that I’m no longer running, I still experience the same “hitting a wall” phenomenon, it just presents itself in other ways. If I’m hitting a wall in my business, my desire to keep going starts to fatigue, but then come home from a really motivating conference and I get reinvigorated, and my will comes back online like the power’s been restored. Or even if I’m feeling mentally beat over a situation in my life, but I realize it’s late, so I go to bed. After a good rest, I find myself renewed and ready to keep going.
It feels like I’ve been hitting a really big wall lately and keep hitting it with no luck of breaking it down. I’m still not through that wall, but after a conversation with a coach I realized that I’d been functioning from an unhealthy mindset, which I could sense, but was trying to figure out how I got there. Luckily, I was on my way to a conference, which by the end, had me working back online and in a much healthier mindset. This gave me a unique perspective to really pay attention to my mindset this time and notice how it went from healthy to unhealthy.
At my healthiest, where I felt unstoppable, my mind felt on fire, in a good way. Everything was making sense, I was able to make connections to concepts, I was driven and excited. At my unhealthiest, my mind almost goes blank. The easiest of concepts become hard to understand. About easy things I know I should be remembering, blank again. My thinking becomes all or nothing and continues to focus on the worst case scenario. I’m definitely over sensitive and question everything that everyone does and how that affects my place in their world. I stop paying attention to how I’m caring for myself, at first mentally and then eventually mentally and physically.
So now that I’ve noticed the healthiest and the unhealthiest me, I wanted to better understand the path in between. I don’t usually get from one to other overnight so what’s was going on in the time that takes me from healthy to unhealthy?
I started paying close attention to signs in my thinking that would be pointing me down the path to unhealthy me. Interesting about signs though, sometimes you don’t even know they’re a sign until you’re a mile past it and realize it was valuable information.
That’s how it was with these 3 words I’d tell myself. I was saying them, thinking it was a fact, which, maybe yes, at the time they were true, but each time I said them, it would take me one more degree off my path of living with a healthy mindset.
In my business, something would hiccup with my website and the plugins. Hmm I don’t know. I’d be running test scenarios and tweaking one thing at a time and it wasn’t working. My son walks in and asks what’s for dinner. I look at him and say I don’t know yet. I get up and start to look around and try and figure it out. Dinner’s over and I’m still determined to figure out what’s going on with my website. So I go to the google and ask the people there what their thoughts on fixing it was and I’d try that, but still, no go. I don’t know, I’m exhausted. I’m going to bed. I wake up and again I’m determined to get it fixed, but first, what should I wear? I don’t know. Why is everything so hard!
Have you figured out the 3 sneaky words I was telling myself that so innocently started with something that was hard and not really in my wheelhouse, to becoming a giant stumbling block in an inconsequential decision I’ve been making each morning for decades like getting dressed?
I… don’t… know.
Was it true? Maybe. But how was that helping me? It wasn’t. Every time I said it, I was telling myself that I was a victim and couldn’t figure it out. I sped up the time from my road of healthy to unhealthy, I’ll get more detailed about my path in a minute, but over a period of a week or two, depending on where I started, I would go from saying I don’t know on really hard tech issues to finding what I was going to wear for the day like it was an impossible decision.
I hear a lot of people saying it though. And it’s possible that it doesn’t affect you the same way as me. But there are phrases that your mind offers you that might not be helping you. So for a while now I’ve been thinking a lot about phrases that we say to ourselves that might have seemed useful at one point, but really are hurting us now.
It’s too good to be true!
No pain, no gain
I just look at the food and I gain weight
It’s now or never
It’s a waste of time
Nothing good ever lasts
Enjoy it now
Practice makes perfect
Fake it till you make it
There are also things we may catch ourselves saying and when we stop and think about it, it’s a little easier to see how they could hurt us, but we still find ourselves saying it because well, that’s what we do.
Life is out to get me
I just can’t win
I am unlovable
It’s just one thing after another
This is the way the cookie crumbles
I have no friends, nobody loves me
I never get my way
I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop
Or I always choose the wrong line at the supermarket.
And if you didn’t catch it before, something we say that could hurt us is:
That’s just what we do
I also hear people saying things like they are just facts like:
Illness runs in our family
My whole family is heavy
I have a difficult time learning.
That’s just the way I am.
Yeah, those are tricky ones because I’m guessing you have a lot of proof to back up why those are true. Here’s the thing, whatever you’re believing, is only a belief you learned as a child. Usually what we believe is just someone else’s opinions that we’ve found fits into our belief system.
And at one point, those beliefs may have served you so you hung on to them. Maybe someone you really looked up to said it, so why wouldn’t it be true? Science is finding that from birth to age 7 or 8, our logic brains are very susceptible. So, if we had someone that we looked up to or someone we trusted teach us any of these ideas, we believed it to be true. And we’d only be looking for proof to make them true. However, for the most part, the things they said were their opinions around it that they picked up somewhere in their life and they found to be true. It kept them safe, so they’re passing that info along to keep you safe.
Let’s look at wisdom such as, don’t talk to strangers. Now, as a child, usually very useful in keeping us safe since we were still learning that not everyone has the best of intentions, but as an adult, if you never talk to people you don’t know, it can create isolation and loneliness.
What about a belief that I don’t count. Or sometimes I feel invisible. Maybe you had a rough childhood and so being invisible was actually safer for you. But is it what you want now? Do you like feeling invisible now? Is it creating the life you want by believing that?
Maybe you’ve had circumstances in the past, that created a belief that nobody loves you. Believing this now might create problems in your relationships. It’s possible your relationships are very short-lived because instead of the proof that you’re looking for are ways of how you are loved, you’re seeing all the proof that you’re not. That somehow you are unlovable.
Have you ever sat down and really thought about it? Is that really true? Why do I think that? in what ways is it not true?
Would I be better off if I drop that belief ?
The problem with having these beliefs is that everything we choose to believe, our brains seek the proof to make it true. It likes to help us out in that way. And here’s the thing, sometimes it might be true, and sometimes it won’t, but if it’s hurting you, it will be harder for you to see the times when it’s not true because that’s not what you’re looking for.
Going back to the phrase, I don’t know and my path of a healthy to an unhealthy mindset.
For a couple years now, I’ve been noticing my memory isn’t what it used to be. Also, problems that were easily solvable now seem harder. I’ve caught myself saying I used to be so organized or I was a great planner and now I can’t seem to manage anything more than the day to day.
I’d have conversations with myself and ask myself what’s going on here? Why does it seem so much harder? I used to be able to find solutions easier. I used to be able to hold my focus easier. So my first reaction is, something’s got to be wrong. So I started looking for supplements that I can take, that can help my brain regain what I once had.
Thinking about it more, I noticed that I’ve had laser focus, or I was able to see things so clearly there instead of getting all muddled. But then days later, wondering why I couldn’t grasp such an easy topic.
So I went back to the idea of what we believe, we create for our reality in the world, even if we’re not saying it out loud. And I believe that to be true just because I’ve seen it so many times. The basics are: We have this belief and then this belief literally creates a chemical reaction in our brains which sends feeling to our body and then those feelings fuel what we do next. This phenomenon happens so quickly that we just think it’s happening to us and don’t realize we were the instigator of it.
If I am literally the creator of my life, is there something that I am believing that could be causing me to have less focus and to not be able to grasp concepts as easily? Is there something that I am thinking that is making what would seem to be simple decisions, so much harder? Or not being able to remember things as much as I used to? And my brain instantly went to the phrase, I don’t know. Wait, I don’t know. Wait, Are you serious? Is that really what it’s been this whole time? Sneaky little words!
Now, as a sidenote, this might be the opportunity that I would take to start beating myself up because I’ve realized that I was the cause of all my suffering. So if this is the first time you’ve realized it, and now you’ve just decided to go to blaming yourself for all the problems that you’re having in the world, I’d invite you to, stop it! that’s not going to be useful either. So, let’s just back it up and be curious about it for a moment.
Ok, I’m in the habit of saying I don’t know. I’m guessing it all started with me coming across something that’s hard, and I’d say I don’t know, to myself . And then the more I came across challenges the more I would tell myself I don’t know, because I’ve now built that habit, and then, the challenges didn’t even need to be that hard and I’d still find myself saying I don’t know. Like what items should I pack for this trip? Or what clothes do I think I’m going to need? My kids would ask what’s for dinner or I ask myself what should I make for dinner? What do I need to do in my business today?
Instead of actually thinking it through in my mind, the next thought that pops into my mind would be, I don’t know, and then I’d feel stuck.
If you were to walk into a buffet restaurant with every imaginable food available to you, would you look around at all the food, even your favorites, and say, I don’t know? No! You’d be like, which favorite do I want to start with first!
If I were to walk into the buffet of thoughts, out of all the thoughts I could choose from, why would I go straight to the thought, I don’t know?
This is such a huge breakthrough for me! Because it goes right along with my old beliefs, that I’ll never measure up, like there’s a right and wrong way to do something. And if I do it wrong, then I’m somehow not enough.
Can it be as simple as that? that I’ve spent the past couple of years convincing myself that I don’t know. Not knowingly, of course, but good gravy! That’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve created a habit out of one of the most used phrases in our language of not knowing and so my brain has been slowly offering me proof to make it true, keeping itself safe to prove me right that I really don’t know.
Let’s go back to the buffet of words. Out of all the phrases that are being offered to me, is that the phrase I want to continue to reinforce? To continue to have my brain look for evidence for myself?
What belief would I rather put on my plate instead? Then I remembered marie forleo’s book, everything’s firguroutable. So I decided that every time my brain offers me the thought, idk, then I’m going to follow it up with, but I’m going to figure it out. Or but I can totally figure this out!
And my brain opens up again and starts solving a problem instead of completely shutting down or worrying because something’s gone wrong.
Go back to the phrases I said at the beginning. Maybe they are causing you problems, maybe they aren’t. If what you’re telling yourself is creating the life you want, then totally keep them. But if you’re feeling a little off or even like you keep hitting a wall, and haven’t been able to figure it out, it might be because you’re believing something that isn’t true all the time and so it’s not helping you.
Now when I start to hear myself say I don’t know, I quickly follow that up with, but I’m going to figure it out. I’ve figured out that this is one of the signs that could lead me off the path of my healthy mind.
And even though I can’t always control the thoughts my brain offers me, I can decide if I’m going to allow them to put me in a victim mode or the role of the hero. And that, my friends, is what I want for all of you. To be the hero of your life.
Make it a brilliant week
And remember, you are loved. Bye!
If you’re looking for a life coach, I’d love to be yours. If you want to lose weight, better your relationships, or need help with crafting your confidence, I’ve got you! go to myinnerlove.com and sign up for a free mini-session today.