“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
While the beginning of the year launched with fresh motivation, mental roadblocks inevitably emerge as we tackle our biggest hurdles to our goals. Mental roadblocks often reflect outdated or unhealthy belief systems that we have subconsciously incorporated into our choices. They might stem from past experiences, internalized criticism, or long-standing fears.
Maybe you are hesitant to pursue a new fitness goal because you believe you are weak, or delaying the launch of your business because you believe you are inexperienced. The truth is, your goals can only go as far as your belief systems will allow.
The great news is that self-awareness is a sign that you are ready for progress. Try these 3 steps to change the course of your outdated belief systems and re-align your mindset with your true potential.
1. Reverse Your Belief
Taking responsibility over your story starts with altering the story lines inside the mind. What manifests in the mind will affect everything ranging from the way you speak about yourself, pivotal choices, and ultimately the people and opportunities that you attract.
Try this technique for flipping an unhealthy belief system around: Make two columns on a sheet of paper. On the left side, write down each negative self-destructive comment that comes to mind. Then immediately to its right hand side, craft a strong and opposite statement for its replacement. For example, beside “I am inexperienced and have no idea what I’m doing”, write instead “I am a exceptional learner”. Read out-loud the right hand column each morning or whenever needed and toss away the left column of old stories.
Practice saying these new affirmations both with yourself and to peers. The active change in the words you use to describe yourself will project confidence and clarity.
2. Use Pain and Pleasure
In order for a belief system or habit to change, the associations we have with the harmful cycle must be altered. The world-renowned high performance coach and author, Tony Robbins writes in Unleash the Giant Within, “the secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.”
For example, I quit drinking alcohol 4 years ago and everyone wanted to know how I did it. Looking back, it all came down to one simple concept. I attached painful memories to alcohol, whether it was financial, emotional, or physical and I re-categorized my choices associated with drinking. On the other hand, I highlighted positive memories with the mornings I woke up after an alcohol-free night, pumped for a hike with glowing skin, and other rewards from not drinking. Every time these new associations are reinforced, the easier the next time to make the right choices again.
What is a task that you may have been procrastinating by telling yourself that you are not “good enough” or “ready”? Choose to see the pain in delaying the life that you want to live or the goals you want to achieve. Take control over your decisions by doing the work and rewarding choices that bring you closer to your goals. Entire belief systems change by utilizing our natural desire to chase pleasure rather than pain.
3. You Are The Average
…of the five people you spend the most time with.
The fastest way re-wire unhealthy belief systems and habits are to surround yourself with only ambitious and supportive individuals. Whether it takes the form of a friendship, mentorship, or a role model, the energy and standards that high performers project can immediately elevate what you think is possible.
With a strong community, you can borrow the energy of someone who you admire, power through with a new attitude, and gain diverse feedback. Work or live with someone who naturally sets higher standards for their own work ethic, habits, and relationships. At the same token, distance yourself from those who criticize and harbor harmful habits. And if you’re unable to change your environment right away, find speakers, creatives, and entrepreneurs that inspire you. Watch and comment on their videos, interviews, and articles, engage with their community, and attend meetups or conferences.
Cultivating healthy belief systems can make the difference between complacency and achievement. Develop positive and productive beliefs about yourself and the world around you to push towards your biggest goals this year.