Unlearn Those Limiting Beliefs

Now most people at some point in their lives feel a little anxious about something, whether it be about how they perform, how the look or what they believe to be acceptable and most anxieties are linked to what we believe about ourselves or the world.

If you dread giving presentations or speaking up in meetings it is most likely that you feel you are going to be judged unfairly. So why do many people have a fear of being judged? Why do many people avoid those social situations which many people thrive in?

Well it all comes down to your beliefs and more likely, the beliefs you hold about yourself. If you believe that you are not good enough or that you will always fail, then it’s no surprise that you feel ‘not good enough’ and act accordingly. However if you believe you are good enough, you feel differently about yourself and you behave in a very different way.

Now beliefs are formed in many different ways, usually from past experiences, but the important thing to note here is, just as beliefs get ‘learnt’ at some point in your life, they can be unlearnt too!

A belief is something we believe to be true at our deepest level and unfortunately most humans feel they are intrinsically bad or not good enough. But s this true?

Are you really bad or not good enough or is it simply that you fail to live up to others’ expectations?

I would hazard a guess that you are good enough and that you are a good person. You may occasionally say or do ‘bad’ things but does that make you a bad person? You may be awful at singing and scared rigid of presenting in front of people, but are you really not good enough?

Telling yourself you are good enough or a good person each and every day is unlikely to change your limiting belief of yourself, however bringing doubt into the equation will. Did you believe 100% in Father Christmas? Did you believe 100% that you first love was the ‘one’

When you start to hear different stories about the existence of Father Christmas or see things differently once the ‘honeymoon’ period of the romance is over, you change the way you see things and ultimately your belief system.

It is said that every breakthrough in personal development comes from a change in belief. So how can you change a limiting belief?

By simply following the seven steps below – which are widely used by therapists and individuals alike with a high percentage of success. This works so well as it allows you to begin to doubt those limiting beliefs that have held you hostage for so long. Once you doubt a belief, you can begin to unpick it and then replace it with a new empowering one instead. And it’s important to replace any limiting belief with a new positive one as the old one could creep back into your life and we certainly don’t want that do we?

Belief Change Process

Ask yourself these questions in relation to the limiting belief. It’s more powerful if you write the answers down too – it makes for a quicker belief change process.

  1. Is this belief or statement completely true? 100% true?
  2. Can you be 100% sure that it is true? All of the time? (really???)
  3. What does you keeping hold of this belief do to you? Does it help in any way?
  4. Who will you become in ten years if you continue to hold on to this belief?
  5. What will the costs be to you (and others) if you do not change this belief now?
  6. Who would you become and how differently would you think, act and feel if you let go of this old belief?
  7. Create a new belief to replace the old one. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Daily, hourly or whenever you doubt yourself. State your new belief with feelings. Attach positive emotions to it to make it more compelling than the old belief.

Also, for step 7 make sure you use a belief that you can believe in. If ‘I am amazing’ feels too out there then simply state ‘I am good enough (though your probably are amazing!).

And make sure you have a positive belief statement i.e. I am good enough or I am enough NOT I am not a bad person.

Take time to work through this process and really think about your answers.  If you need to work through this daily until you notice a shift, then do so.  Repeat your new belief when ever you can. Write it down on a card or on your mirror to remind you daily how amazing you are!

Good luck.

Namaste!

 

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Weight A Minute

I have a lot of respect for people who ‘own’ their problems and as a therapist, in order to help people overcome issues in their lives, they have to accept responsibility for them. That does not mean to say that they are to ‘blame’ for these issues, it merely means that they are willing to admit that these issues are affecting their lives.

I work with many people who are overweight and I am more than happy to help people who accept that something they are doing, or not doing, is leading to their weight issues. After all, if people refuse to believe that they are in any way responsible – how can I help them? I can try and tackle the manufacturers of the crap they eat, or the owners of the fast food joints they are addicted to – but seriously, even if I managed to close these guys down, would that really help my client?

I offer free consultations to all perspective clients and I met a woman recently who asked for help with her weight issues. During the consultation it become obvious that she refused to accept responsibility for her being overweight. She failed to see how anything she did or didn’t do resulted in her firstly being overweight and secondly, her inability to shift the excess weight. She had no health related issues that would affect her weight.

Asking about her past it became apparent that she had a lot of unresolved anger surrounding her apparent mistreatment by her parents. Once again, she refused to admit that carrying around anger from her childhood was her choice and hence her responsibility. In fact she was incredibly upset that I was not on her ‘side’ with regards to how she had a right to still feel angry fifty years later.

At the end of the consultation I asked her how I could help her. She stated plainly, ‘by helping me to lose weight.’ I nodded to show I understood. I then asked her how she believed I could help her. She was stumped.

I then went on to explain how I worked with weight loss clients to overcome any emotional attachments they may have to food, as well as poor eating habits and any unresolved issues or misunderstandings from the past that could impact on their eating habits at present. However, as she had clearly (and adamantly) stated during the consultation, that she had no such issues, I was unable to help her at this time.

Needless to say she was less than happy, very angry at the wasted time and off she went, never to be seen by me again!

However, if she had have been open to the fact that something she was doing was causing her issues, like every one of the clients I see, I could have helped her. But how can I help someone who does not want to be helped? How can you help someone if they cannot see their part in the problem, especially when they know there is a problem? You can’t.

Until you appreciate that every issue you have is your issue – regardless of where it came from – you  cannot move on. You cannot resolve any problems until you see that you are responsible for resolving them or dealing with them – no one else. It doesn’t matter how they came about, all that matters is that you realise you have a problem and that it is down to you to do something about it.

I have helped hundreds of people shed their excess weight – and I love seeing how thrilled they are when they get the results they wanted. The best thing is, these clients were totally honest from the start, some embarrassed by their poor eating habits or mortified by their lifestyle choices, but they bit the proverbial bullet and took ownership of their part in their excessive weight and as a result, were rewarded by an amazing and wonderful weight loss experience!

So next time you moan about your weigh,t ask yourself what you can do to help you let go of your excess weight. No one else can lose your weight for you – only you can do that. And you can only lose weight if you are honest with yourself first.

How Much Is Too Much?

Watching ‘Supersize vs Superskinny’ recently I was amazed at how peoples’ perceptions of what they thought was a ‘healthy’ amount of food differed and I wondered if it was really a lack of knowledge or was it denial that their eating habits were so poor?

Ideally we should be eating three meals a day with a couple of light snacks in between if hungry. We should aim to eat every 2 -3 hours or when we are hungry. However those that fail to eat for most of the day need to over-ride their lack of hunger signal and eat at 3 hour intervals to ensure that they adopt a more realistic and healthy eating pattern, likewise so should those who overeat. Over-eaters need to forget to listen to their hunger pangs and eat every 3 hours too and decrease portion size too!

So what constitutes an ideal portion for meals? Well if you consider that your stomach is roughly the size of your fist (go on have a look at your fist now – it’s not that big really is it?) then this will give you an idea of roughly how much food you should eat at every meal. So a packet of sweets isn’t enough (not to mention the sugar content and lack of nutrition!!) and a plate overflowing with roast potatoes, meat and veg followed by apple pie and custard is certainly way too much.

Eating too less or too much ‘trains’ our brain to accept this eating pattern and we therefore get into a habit of eating poorly however just as you once  learnt this poor eating behaviour you can just as easily unlearn it and create a healthier approach to eating. Perseverance is key and by focusing on the end result (a thinner you or a healthier you) you will ultimately feel more motivated.

Unfortunately we are over-faced with large portions everywhere we go so we tend to ‘see’ large portions as ‘normal’ when in fact they are far from it!  McDonald’s small fries were once sold as large fries! Can you image that? Blame the Americans if you like but it’s you that’s ultimately responsible for what you eat and the amount.

If you do overeat a simple trick to help you cut down on portions size is to reduce the size of our plate. Simple but incredibly effective and this is one of the first things I advise all my weight loss clients to do. Not only are you getting a more realistic idea of the amount of food you should be eating (less) but you are also tricking your mind into believing that you are eating the same amount of food as you used to, so you will still feel full! (trust me this really does work!)

Why does this simple idea work? Well your mind is very visual and responds to the images it sees and if it’s used to seeing a plate full of food it will automatically expect a plate full of food at meal times. So if you reduce your portion size and keep the same plate size, it will look less on the plate and your mind will interpret this as ‘not enough’ food, as the plate isn’t full. like it usually is, so you may well still feel hungry after.

However if you swap your plate to a medium sized one, the smaller portion will look more on a smaller plate than a larger one (plate looks full) so your mind still  ‘sees’ that the plate is full of food and as before, will expect you to be full at the end of it too!

So next time you hear yourself making excuses for the size of your portions take a quick look at your fist and take a reality check. And change those plates!

Seeing Is Believing

Many clients come to me in the hope that they can feel more confident in certain situations whether that be driving, singing, dancing, public speaking or to simply feel better about themselves.

I usually see these clients for a couple of sessions however there is an incredibly easy and effective tool that anyone can use which will build confidence over time and as they say, the more you do it the more you will benefit!

Visualization is (and I can not stipulate strongly enough!!!) one of the most simple yet powerful self help tools available to one and all and is completely free! The majority if not all of top athletes use visualization to enhance performance and it has been proven that visualization is more effective than just training alone. Top business men, professionals, actors, singers and even doctors use this simple tool.

Why? Well first and foremost because visualization  reprogrammes our mind for success. Your mind does respond to the thoughts you have and the images you create in your mind too. So if you see yourself confident you mind will respond accordingly. Also the part of the brain that responds to what we actually see is the same part of the mind that responds to what we visualize too, so your mind will just assume that you are the confident individual you see in your mind and will accordingly produce the behaviour appropriate. And the more you see yourself confident the stronger the new neural pathways become to that new more positive behaviour.

Secondly, when you visualize yourself feeling good and acting in a way that you wish to behave, you will automatically begin to feel better in yourself too so visualization stimulates these wonderful feel good feeling more and more in response to the positive images we create.

Thirdly. The part of your mind that is responsible for your behaviours in the unconscious mind and this part of our mind has many duties, one being to move you towards pleasure and away from pain. So whilst you visualize yourself acting more confidently, you begin to feel better too, so your unconscious mind will begin to associate this feel good feeling with acting confidently  and as it wants you to feel happy it will produce more confident behaviour to ensure you keep feeling great!

Visualization may not be easy to begin with as you may not be used to creating images in your mind but believe you me, you do produce images daily in your mind whether you are aware of it or not! Think of something you love and you may be surprised to notice an image pop to mind straight away! If you do struggle with visualizing then daydream – most people can daydream and quite often do about winning the lottery!

When you see yourself confident in your mind you may notice your physiology adapts accordingly too, however really get a sense of, or an image of just how you would look, how you would behave, especially in those situations that perhaps you would avoid. How do you sound when you speak? How do you walk? How do you feel in yourself? So really get into how you would look, feel, think, behave when confident and most importantly is FEEL how great you feel when you see yourself confident because the better you feel while visualizing the more confident you the quicker the transformation!

Get into a routine too – visualize first thing in the morning to set you up for the day and several times during the day – it only needs to be for a couple of minutes to make a difference each day. If you are preparing for something that you need to feel more confident about then see yourself doing what ever it is, whether it’s presenting or chatting up that guy at work that you’ve had your eye on for ages, but see yourself doing what you want to do in the way that you want to do it and make sure that you focus only on a positive performance because remember – what the mind can see the mind will achieve!!

So get seeing you in a more positive light and see how quickly you begin to feel differently. Confidence is based on perception and by changing how you see yourself in your mind you are changing how you perceive yourself in everyday life too.

Good luck!

Pain – Physical or Emotional?

The next time you experience back ache or a twinge of any nature think about whether it really is a physical pain. Most people assume wrongly that most pain is directly related to a physical issue such as wear and tear or damage and it most cases it rarely is!

Having helped many clients overcome chronic pain (migraines, back ache, shoulder pain) the thing that has most amazed them, apart from their lack of pain, is that the cause of their discomfort was directly related to an emotional ‘wound’ from the past.

Why we hang onto an emotional pain is usually very hard to contemplate, after all if we consciously had a choice to be pain free we would (hopefully) take it however our unconscious mind works slightly differently!

I will give you an example as way of explaining the basis of emotional pain and why we hand on to it. A client of mine came to see me about a recent knee injury that was still bothering her. She had been back and forth to the doctors and had had further x-rays but everything came back clear, which meant technically there was no physical reason for the pain she was still suffering.

When a physical injury has healed and there is still pain then this almost certainly is an emotional pain that you are hanging on to, albeit at an unconscious level.

So I chose to use EFT with this client to work on the pain that she was experiencing using the ‘chase the pain’ method which basically gets the client to focus on the pain and give it a colour, shape, texture etc as when we do this we are disconnecting from the pain. What is very common when doing this exercise is that the pain moves around the body and seems to change character (colour, shape, texture) as well as intensity.

I worked with her for nearly an hour and at the end of the session she was amazed at how much the pain had diminished. She was able to put her full weight on the leg without and major discomfort at all and all we had done was focus on the pain and what it represented to her internally.

Try this exercise and notice how much your pain diminishes after just one round of doing this! Focus on the pain your are experiencing at the moment, close your eyes and really ‘go inside’. Then ask yourself what level is your pain at if 10 was extremely painful and 0 was not at all and once you have got a figure, ask yourself the following questions:
if this pain had a colour, what colour would it be?
if this pain had a shape, what shape would it be?
if this pain had a texture, texture would it be?
if you could touch this pain would it be hot or cold to the touch?
if this pain had a weight how heavy or light would it be?
if this pain had a sound, what sound would it be?

After you have answered the above questions (go with what ever comes to mind because something will believe me!) focus once more on the pain that you were experiencing and you may well be surprised at how it has already decreased! Mark this new level and if you need to, go through the exercise again and you will find that each time you do this the details will change and your pain will decrease!

After a further session with my client we were able to locate the cause of her emotional pain and released this successfully with EFT and hypnotherapy. My client had begun her sessions very sceptical indeed and was relieved to discover that the pain had indeed been emotional and not physical, because now she was pain free.

EFT, hypnotherapy and NLP do also help manage physical pain as well as help the healing process too. So next time you get a twinge or a niggle, try this simple and quick exercise and release that pain!

I Need A Little Time…….

Society today, especially in the UK, is all about speed and keeping up with the proverbial ‘Jones’. We are constantly bombarded with images of beautiful and slim women, sleek cars and holidays in paradise and for most of us, we fall into the trap of wanting what we are led to believe is ‘normal’.

But what is normal? And what is normal for me almost certainly is not normal for you – so why do we feel pressured into being like everyone else? Why are we too scared to stand out from the crowd and be ‘different’?

Self esteem or lack of it means we are forever doubting ourselves, doubting whether we are pretty enough, thin enough, clever enough or drive the right car and it can be never ending and incredibly exhausting! If we really felt good enough would we feel it necessary to follow the masses, reassuring ourselves that we really do prefer this wine/book/car/film/department store or would we simply do what honestly suits us?

Knowing what you want in life is a good place to start in building self esteem. Ask yourself – What makes you happy? What do you enjoy doing? What makes you smile? When you know what you actually want in life as opposed to what everyone else believes is right for you, then you can work your way towards reaching your goals.

A simple method to help boost self esteem is to visualize yourself as you want to be – how you are going to be in the future. However when you do this exercise, you must focus on the ‘new you’ as if it’s you now. See everything about that new you – how you look, how you stand even how you dress and notice how you sound and how you feel. Really get into how great it feels to feel good about yourself   and see yourself doing the things that you would love to do.

When you visualize yourself – really get into the feelings associated with the ‘new you’ and this will really help you to become more confident and feel better about yourself. When you see yourself talking to others, perhaps you can see yourself sticking up for yourself and mentally go through the words that you would use as this helps to reprogram your mind and get your subconscious mind on board with this project. I am sure you have heard the saying ‘what the mind can conceive the mind will achieve’ so if you visualize this ‘new you’ often during the day your subconscious mind is picking up these messages on how you really want to behave and it will help you bring into action what you desire!

Also you will begin to feel better after visualizing yourself and feel more confident and better about who you are too but one very important thing to realize is, no-one has the power to make you feel bad apart from yourself. I can already hear people denying this, but think about it for a moment. If someone is rude to you – it is only their opinion of you and more often than not – not a fact. So you have the power whether you wish to accept what that person says or reject it. Which one would make you feel better?

So next time someone is rude to you you can either ignore it or get upset about it, the choice is yours but by ignoring it you are taking control and remember that what a person says, says more about that person than it will ever do about you i.e. if they are rude to you it is them that has the problem – it is them that is rude!

So if you want to feel better about yourself and boost your self esteem remember you have a right to feel good about yourself – you can decide what you wish to believe about yourself and no-one else can make you feel bad unless you let them. Also continually practice visualization and see that ‘new you’ – confident, self assured and feeling great – not only will you feel great afterwards but you will also be reprogramming your mind for success in the future!

Good luck and speak soon!

Responsibility Versus Blame…….Let The Race Begin

Responsibility and blame line up at the start of the race – both look on top form and both have their own band of supporters. They are on the starting blocks………..and then they are off. Blame gets off to a good start, with responsibility close behind. It’s a close battle at the beginning of the race and blame,fueled by anger and self pity, steams forward inching away from responsibility, however responsibility has maintained an even pace and manages to overtake and surpass blame, sprinting towards the finish and with a clear vision of success in mind, crosses the line and takes first place. A race well run with the only true contender winning.

As a therapist I deal with many people who suffer from a myriad of issues ranging from lack of self esteem to bad habits to excessive eating and before I can help any of them, they need to accept responsibility for there issue and for any subsequent changes. This does not mean that they are to ‘blame’  for their issues it simply means they need to acknowledge that in order to change they have to accept that they can not keep on going the way they are going.

For example, I often hear from clients who are overweight that it is because of ‘hormonal issues’ or ‘it’s in their genes’ or that they ‘love food’ or ‘they kids love this food’ but they do not acknowledge that it is anything that they are doing that is causing them to be overweight (research also shows that that very few people have what is often referred to as the ‘fat’ gene). So how can I help someone who blames their genes or the fact that they love food and don’t wish to change their eating habits? I can’t!

However if an overweight client comes in and admits that they have several issues with food that they wish to address then I can certainly help them and they can help themselves too because they have admitted responsibility for their weight. They have chosen to overeat or to eat unhealthily, and it may well have been something they were ‘taught’ as a child, but as an adult they can choose to change or continue to blame someone else for their being overweight. It is a choice. We can take responsibility for who we are and who we wish to become and we can acknowledge that what we do is not working therefore we need to change something to make it work.

Taking responsibility for our lives is incredibly empowering and instead of blaming God, the kids, your parents etc for what is wrong in your life, isn’t it about time you took responsibility for how you behave? Of course you may well suffer from anxiety or low self esteem if you lived with domineering or critical parents, but is you continue to blame your parents for your low self esteem you stay in victim mode and you maintain your low self esteem. So does blame really improve your life in anyway or does it give you the easy option of staying where you are and avoiding change?

Yes your parents could have contributed to your low self esteem however as an adult you have to accept responsibility for yourself for who you are now. That may mean that you can acknowledge that events or people in your past contributed towards your lack of confidence or anxiety etc however as an adult you now have the choice whether to continue blaming the past or move forward qand improve your future.

Responsibility features very much is all adult relationships too and I quite often see clients who wish to increase confidence or feel  better about themselves after years in an abusive or controlling relationship.  In any adult relationship be it love, work or friendship you have to accept 50% of the responsibility for that relationship.

Yes it may be that your partner is physically and emotionally abusive and he/she may be the ‘bad’ one in the relationship, but by staying in the abusive or controlling relationship and allowing your partner to continue the abuse you are just as responsible as they are for the state of your relationship. Both parties are equally responsible however for the victim it is very important that they realize that they have a choice. They can either allow the abuse to continue and blame the perpetrator for their awful life or they can  refuse to allow the abuse to continue and either leave or get help and thus accept responsibility for their life and their well being.

Whilst you can change who you are you can not change other people unless they accept your help and in order to do this they need to accept responsibility for where they are in their lives too.

Anger is another great excuse for people to play the blame game and I have come across many angry people in my life! (I too have given in to anger but at least I can see who is to blame!). Anger masks another emotion, usually fear, and  is used as a defense mechanism to protect against emotional hurt and in some cases too, to avoid the individual acknowledging that they are unhappy in their lives. How many times do you hear people blame others for losing control? ‘It’s your fault that I am angry!’ they shout but is it the other persons fault that you lost control? Absolutely not!

We control how we feel and if we chose to let someone upset us then we are to ‘blame’. We can either ignore hurtful words or respond to them angrily, either way it is our choice how we react. We can stay in control or we can let the other person take control by responding negatively.

If you suffer from depression, anxiety, anger, negativity, worry – then take responsibility for how you are feeling today and tomorrow you can change your life by changing how you feel. Your thoughts make you who you are and only you (with some help if you require it) can change your thoughts. Stop blaming your mum or partner or siblings or work colleagues and take the initiative to take back responsibility and change your life. You will feel so much better! It may take time but believe you me, it is well worth it!