This is the third part of a series on the importance of knowing and loving the self. I will share a bunch of self-exploration and empowerment techniques and tools. In part 1 we discussed theimportance of self-love and part 2 covered meditation techniques. Please be warned that this series might drastically change your life so fasten your seat belts and lets get started
Do you find that you hold yourself back when it comes to certain things in life? Asking for that promotion? Attracting a good partner? Submitting that piece of poetry to the local magazine? Striking up a conversation with a stranger? What would life look like if that inner voice didn’t hold you back from following your heart?
This is not always our fault. Without intending to do so, our caregivers passed on their ideas of lack and limitation on to us. These limiting beliefs could be about our personal potential, money, sex, relationships, health, work, religion and spirituality or any thing else that defined their life. As we grow older we unconsciously allow these thought patterns to guide our lives as well.
‘Only dishonorable people get rich’
‘You’ll never amount to anything’
‘You are a sickly child’
‘Don’t talk to strangers’
‘You can’t trust anyone’
‘Being a musician/artist/writer/____ never makes a living’
As women we are raised on an additional set of negative beliefs about our body, our sexuality and our femininity. We are taught that speaking up for ourselves is wrong. We are taught that every woman’s role is to keep others around her healthy and happy. We are taught that ruffling feathers should be avoided at any cost….
I call this the ‘toxic inheritance’, one that slowly erodes our inner light and wisdom. Before we know it, we begin acting out in exactly the same fashion as our parents or caregivers. This, in my opinion, is a disservice to our authentic self. Like a cyclical pattern, it is our responsibility to break free from these limiting beliefs – without blame or resentment -and give ourselves the opportunity to live a life of love, joy and creativity.
As I became aware of these patterns in my life, I yearned for techniques to dissolve them. Then I came across a book called ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ by Louise Hay. In this book was a list of ailments with corresponding affirmations for each of them. I was intrigued. I always believed in the mind-body connection, and here was a book dedicated to the subject. Page after page, Louise shared generously from her life’s experiences, forcing me to look at my own life and the limiting beliefs that I held close to my heart.
The words that shook me up the most were:
“I know, you want everybody and everything to change. Your mother, boss, friend, sister, lover, landlord, neighbor, minister, or government official must change so that your life can be perfect. It doesn’t work that way. If you want change in your life, then you are the one who must do all the changing. When you change, then all the other people in your world will change in relation to you.”
After finishing the book, I began writing down affirmations for myself every morning. Then I recorded them on my iPhone and listened to them during my walks or travels.
Slowly but surely hearing my own voice affirming these positive thoughts began to shift my sense of self. I realized I had so many limiting beliefs about my body, creativity, health, finances and professional capabilities that I was my own worst enemy! Coupled with other holistic healing techniques, affirmations became an integral part of my life.
Want to get started on affirmations? Here are some examples. You can make your own and repeat/write them down everyday to unlearn the limiting beliefs.
Do you use affirmations or find yourself stuck in the same patterns again and again? Please share!