There are two wolves at war for your soul and the one that wins is the one you feed. There is a positive, constructive and determined one and a negative, counter-productive and hopeless one. Like all wolves, they hunt in and are reinforced as a pack. If you surround yourself with negative thoughts and people, then you will fall prey to that mentality. You will see hopeless situations everywhere you look. You will give up before the contest has gotten properly started. If you cultivate positive outlooks, identify and dismiss negative thoughts or viewpoints and surround yourself with other positive people, then you will find yourself empowered and motivated.
So, how can we identify and eliminate negative and limiting beliefs or thoughts? Well, here are some methods to try.
How to Identify (and Get Rid Of) Limiting Beliefs
1. Identify Which Wolf You Are Feeding
The easiest way to do this is to write down how you feel about situations in your life that you wish were better. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to find the love of your life? Or, do you want that better job / promotion? Write down what you think about your situation and how likely that situation will turn out positively or in your favor. This should be your stream of consciousness; don’t overthink or analyze your thoughts just yet. Put it away for a day and look at it tomorrow with fresh eyes. Find all of the negative statements, thoughts or feelings you put down and highlight them. How much of what you wrote is negative or self-criticizing? If it is mostly negative thoughts, then you are feeding the wrong wolf.
2. Find The Truth In Your Thoughts And Feelings
Just because you feel it is true doesn’t make it objectively true. Be brutally honest with yourself here. Look your feelings right in the face and stare them down. You might feel that there are no good men/women left in the world, but is that really objectively true? The world’s population is going up exponentially, so there are people finding love and making babies. Maybe you are holding onto a fantasy version of love that isn’t real and that fantasy is limiting your choice of partners. Most of the time, those negative thoughts are just other emotions masquerading as truths. Anger, bitterness, and frustration can all lead to us justifying our failures to ourselves with thoughts that, when viewed from a distance, are objectively false. Strip yourself of unrealistic fantasies. Take a hard look at your strengths and weaknesses. Find the areas you want to improve and write down your objectives.
3. Flip The Script
Once you have identified those negative feelings and thoughts and confronted the truth of your situation and what you realistically want, then you can start to flip the script. Take each of your negative thoughts and write out a positive version of those thoughts and feelings. Go from “I could never lose 20 lbs” to “I will lose 20 lbs in the next six months”. Turn your negative thoughts into positive ones with realistic and achievable goals. Do not set unachievable goals for yourself. Those things that seem unachievable when looked at as one large long term goal can be very achievable when broken down into much smaller, near term and very achievable goals. How do you move a mountain? One spoonful at a time.
4. Do The Work
Now that you have identified your negative thoughts, reasoned that they are false and set yourself positive achievable goals, you can begin doing the work necessary to achieve those goals. You cannot sit on the couch and expect to lose weight. You cannot find love if you don’t put yourself out there and go on dates. You will never get that dream job if you don’t educate yourself and work hard to get it. If you free your body then your mind will follow. If you fail – and you will from time to time – do not get discouraged. It is just an obstacle in your path. Walk around it, climb over it or push it out of the way. Improvise, adapt and overcome. Everyone is powerful when they set their minds to a task and don’t allow themselves the luxury of giving up or turning away. There is no quitting. Your life is, quite literally, on the line.