Updated: Oct 26
Written by Danielle Djelic, Social Worker - Psychotherapist at Thrive Urban Wellness
Where do we begin?
Challenging your programmed limiting beliefs and thought patterns.
We’ve all been there - locked in the prison of our minds on a particularly hard day-week-month and for some even year(s)! But the question is - how do we get ourselves out of these vicious cycles of self-sabotaging self-talk/behaviours?
The truth is a lot of these patterns start in your sub-conscious / conscious mind and stem from the quality of our “self-talk”. There are so many things we tell ourselves on a daily basis that transpire into us feeling “stuck” in these self-sabotaging negative thought patterns. Convincing ourselves that we somehow aren’t good enough, smart enough, worthy enough, or whatever other things (lies) you may have convinced yourself of recently. Many of us hold a horde of negative beliefs in our conscious & unconscious mind, usually collected from early childhood experiences that have led us to the conclusion that we are somehow not worthy of believing otherwise. In fact, sometimes these naysayer voices can be so loud we don’t even think twice about them – stopping ourselves from taking the next important step before we even give ourselves a chance to tap into our true potential.
The first step is to identify some of your major triggers/ negative self-beliefs you have been carrying around for most of your life – The next step is to look at those beliefs in the eye and challenge them. I would like you to ask yourself some hard questions for a moment–
Where does this limiting self- belief stem from in your life?
How long have you convinced yourself these beliefs are valid?
Is there proof that any of these things may not always be true?
Is this something someone else said about you? If so, what was going on in their own life when they projected this onto you?
How do you feel inside of your body when you start to tell yourself these things?
How long have you let these limiting self-beliefs define you or hinder your growth?
How many opportunities have you allowed to pass you by because you convinced yourself these things were true?
And lastly, ( and perhaps most important) how much longer will you allow these beliefs to hold you back?
It is important to remember how incredibly powerful your beautiful mind is. Every single thought you have in the day sends a chemical/physical reaction throughout your body that can create physical sensations in your body ( i.e. When you picture yourself climbing a terrifying rollercoaster and that moment you feel your stomach drop just before you plumet downwards your body may start to perspire or your heart may begin to elevate a bit simply by imagining it). The good news is, the same goes for positive thoughts like imagining eating your favourite meal with your favourite people or recalling a particularly fond memory- you may start to feel positive sensations throughout your body. Often, we can get trapped in our thinking or focus too much on negative thoughts rather than letting them be there and just allowing them to pass or actively choosing to focus your mind on the things that give you those positive sensations as opposed to the negative ones. This becomes particularly difficult when someone is dealing with anxiety or depression and I see this in my practice on a daily basis. However, with mindful practice, patience and self-compassion we can all learn to reset & quiet our minds into a healthier & more balanced mindset. The next time you feel yourself getting “stuck” in negative self-belief systems, try doing this breathing exercise that can help to get your brain and body out of the toxic fight, flight, or freeze response and into your pre frontal cortex where rational thinking and decision making can occur.
*Relax the jaw and space between the eyes - inhale the positive feelings you want to feel and exhale the negativity, negative self-beliefs*
*Breathe in as deep as you can for a count of 3 & out for a count of 5*
Count of 1,2,3 – Hold the breath at the top, fill your belly as big as you can like a balloon for as long as you can.
Release. Count of 5,4,3,2,1 Hold at the bottom of the breath & empty completely.
*Repeat 3-5 times or until you feel the neurological response.*
If you like, you can Imagine a colour for your inhale that represents calm (like blue). Imagine another colour for the sensations you wish to get rid of for the exhale (like red).
Finally, is important to offer yourself a bit more credit and self-compassion especially after universally experiencing a global pandemic. The past couple years may have challenged you more than ever before and things may feel a little harder to cope with these days. Know that you are not alone and that you don’t have to feel this way forever. Taking some extra time to tap into the little things that bring you joy on a daily basis as small as they may be, and doing more of those things to create a more fulfilling life for yourself and those around you.
Sending good vibes,
Danielle Djelic – Registered Social Worker-Psychotherapist
Thrive Urban Wellness