Do you have subconscious beliefs that are limiting your weight loss success? Where do they originate? Are your beliefs Psychological, Global or Convictions? Can you change them?
Types of Beliefs
Rules that support your beliefs. The rule makes sense and therefore you see something as truth.
- I am not good enough to do this…
- I don’t deserve to be successful…
- I am a failure…
Therefore your rules might be:
- I should never do anything I’m not capable of doing…
- I must never take a risk that is beyond my ability…
Generalizations about things, people and your life.
Global beliefs are assumptions you make that begin with:
- I am…
- Life is…
- People are…
The strongest beliefs and are often immune to logic and many times people do not even realize they have them.
Here are some examples of limiting beliefs (with a little bit of commentary!):
- I am fat so no one will marry me. (You must change that “stinkin” thinkin!)
- I am not lucky; I won’t get the job. (as a man thinks so is he!)
- I lack motivation. (kick yourself in the pants)
- I procrastinate too much. (stop it!)
- I don’t have time. (You can make time for what you really want!)
- I am too old to change. (you aren’t dead yet!)
- I’m just a bad writer. (Says who?)
- I can’t do yoga because I can’t touch my toes. (Huh?)
- Everyone in my family was an engineer, and I’ve got the same genes. My path is decided. (Since when is your profession determined by your genes?)
I need more money to be happy. (Can you be happy first then get the money?)
It’s too late for me to start a new career. (Is there blood flowing through your veins? Then it ain’t late yet!)
From the list, I think you can see how negative these beliefs are and how they have your head “programmed” to not be successful. Let’s take a look at some positive thoughts and how they can change your life/outlook and your path to success!
Try turning some of your thoughts upside down or sideways and make them empowering beliefs. Here are a few samples for you to try out. Notice how positive, encouraging and hopeful these are! Changing from a negative mindset to a positive one is difficult but it can be done!
Empowering Beliefs to try:
- The past does not equal the future.
- There is always a way if I’m committed.
- There are no failures, only outcomes—as long as I learn something I’m succeeding.
- If I can’t, I must; if I must, I can.
- Everything happens for a reason and a purpose that serves me.
- I find great joy in little things… a smile… a flower… a sunset.
- I give more of myself to others than anyone expects.
- I create my own reality and am responsible for what I create.
- If I’m confused, I’m about to learn something.
- Every day above ground is a great day.
Examples of how you can change your beliefs:
BELIEF: “I hate to exercise.”
DESIRED OUTCOME: a healthier body.
- Ask yourself:
“Is this a factor simply something I have thought or said over and over?”
“Does this belief support my desired outcome?”
“What beliefs would support my desired outcome?”
- Create Better Beliefs/Thoughts:
“I believe it’s possible for me to enjoy exercise.”
“Lots of people enjoy exercising. Maybe I’m missing out on something.”
“There are many forms of exercise. There must be a perfect exercise program for me.”
“I’m enjoying the process of learning to enjoy exercise.”
“I look forward to my morning walk with friends.”
“Exercise energizes my mind and body.”
“I love to exercise.”
“I love taking good care of myself.”
Does the “judge” or “victim” in your head keep holding you back? Here are some examples of how your mind can play judge or victim.
|Voice in Head||Story or Belief||Result on Emotions|
|Judge||Body image in the mind.
This is what my body should look like.
|Judge||My body doesn’t look like it should.
(based on the body image above this looks like a truthful statement)
|Victim||“I” don’t look like I should.” (Self-rejection.
Almost the same statement but comes from a different part of our mind that agrees with the judge. )
|Sadness, feeling not good enough.|
Another term you might have heard used which is similar to limiting beliefs is “self-fulfilling prophecies”. These are beliefs based on past experiences which may have once been true but are not necessarily true now.
- First, “I can’t stop eating in the evening.” “Why not?” “Because I always eat while I’m watching TV.”
- Secondly, “If there is a chocolate cake in the kitchen, I know I’ll stuff myself.”
- “How do you know that you’ll stuff yourself?” “Because I always eat too much chocolate cake. I can’t help it.” “Why can’t you help it?” “Because I just can’t — I don’t know why, that’s just the way I am.”
Do you see the negative voices speaking out? “I always” “I know” “I can’t” “that’s just the way I am” Do you see all the excuses in the dialogue? Remember that making excuses is a sign of having limiting beliefs!
A more empowering/positive way of handling eating in the evening might be, “I am going to get in extra steps while I am watching TV this evening so that I can make watching TV a time to move my body because I love me!”
A more empowering/positive way of handing the chocolate cake would be to say, “There is chocolate cake in the kitchen but I choose to not have any so I can reach my health goals faster.”
It might sound a bit hokey but in reality this is how you train your mind. When it comes to changing your thoughts and beliefs inside, you truly do have to “fake it until you make it.” If you say it over and over long enough your mind will start believing it! If you believe it, you truly can achieve it!
This is a supplement to the May 14, 2014 Weights & Balances Newsletter
How can we over-come or cope with self-sabotage?
Here are a few suggestions to help you to become more self-aware and take the steps to overcome this limiting behavior.
Strategies for overcoming self-sabotage:
- Watch yourself; learn to recognize self-sabotage and question your behavior – see what you are doing, ask yourself “What did I do there?” “What was driving it?” Did I do that out of fear, spite, anger, needing control, craving excitement (drama) through conflict, or attention through sympathy? Be objective. Get to the root of the behavior and this might require the assistance of a professional who is either a counselor or a psychologist.
- Don’t be afraid or doubt your Success. Success isn’t hard and fast; it’s relative. Don’t’ let success feel strange or odd, practice how feeling how you think it will feel. Keep your mind thinking of possibilities. Don’t let doubt and fear come in.
- Be Yourself and Be Open – Accept experiences both good and bad don’t be afraid to get out there and experience life! It is a big world, do not limit yourself. Be aware when you are seeking approval of someone and ask yourself why you need their approval, what are you feeling.
- Stop the negative self-talk/self-judgments: This negativity will quickly sabotage your weight loss efforts. Sticks and stones may break your bones but words oh how deep and long they can scar you! Give yourself lots of positive self-affirmations. Learn to be kind, loving and forgiving to yourself.
- Set Goals with an Action Plan. Visualize you are successful and think of how you would act, the choices you would make and how you would feel. Set small clear obtainable goals with specific steps on how to get there. Look at the big picture– don’t focus on how far you have to go but how far you have come! Create and nurture a realistic vision of being successful. Develop a list of positive behaviors you can do when you feel tempted to self-sabotage. Do the work until you succeed.
- Take Responsibility/Accountability: Admit to the behavior, say it aloud, you enable yourself to change your behavior and empower yourself and take action to change the behavior. Find someone you can be accountable to for reaching or not reaching your goals; a friend, a family member or a counselor.
- Re-define Success. Challenge yourself to change your ideas of your worth; focus on effort and not outcomes. Define yourself for the loving actions you take for yourself or others; not the results of the actions.
- Bring yourself to the present: take a step back, a deep breath that will keep you focused.
- Stay silent. If you feel yourself trying to explain, justify or make an excuse, just stay silent. Take a deep breath and relax.
- Develop skills to be successful. This might require the assistance of a professional counselor/psychologist to assist you in developing these skills.
Be patient and loving with yourself as you are developing new skills. Change doesn’t happen overnight and do not think you have the problem solved. Things in life can happen to “trigger” these behaviors so be always self-aware, self-vigilant and self-forgiving.