Be careful how your talk to yourself because you are listening. Lisa M. Hayes
May spring breezes whisper of new beginnings. Freshness in the air motivates us to pay attention to neglected areas at home. We organize cluttered closets, get behind the refrigerator to clean and soak the microwave filter. Spring is also a great time to look inside ourselves for old beliefs and attitudes that limit us and hold us back from living life to the fullest.
Self-limiting attitudes are about as useful as an old shoe without a sole. Why hold on to it? How will it ever support you in a positive and useful way?
Months back, I listened as a neighbor talked about the years she sang in a chorus. It was impossible not to be moved as she relived an overseas trip with her choir where they sang in cathedrals in European cities. I could never be in a choir, I told myself, I can’t sing a single note. Last weekend, I attended the Riverwood Chorus performance and was thinking how much fun it would be to sing in a choir. Edith, you can’t sing, the self-limiting voice reminded me.
The back of the program stated, “No auditions are necessary and we would love to have you come sing with us”. I decided to let go of this self-limiting attitude and join them. The time would come when I’m too old and this would no longer an option. I emailed the President and with a touch of a key, I’d joined the Riverwood Chorus.
How do we catch self-limiting attitudes and how do we overcome them? HeartMath suggests these exercises to interrupt self-limiting attitudes and beliefs and create new ones.
• Start with a 30-minute time period and tune your inner awareness towards old beliefs so you can begin to catch them. Increase the duration or how often you do it as you desire.
• During the designated time period watch for limiting attitudes such as—I can’t do that. I’m not smart enough.
• Once you identify an old belief that you want to change, center in the heart and ask yourself what would a kinder attitude to replace the old one?
For example, my limiting belief is I can’t sing and I will make a complete fool of myself”. Instead, I say, “This thought is not helping me. Goodbye, old beliefs!”
I replace the old belief with a new, positive inner message adding a positive replacement attitude such as: “I’m still learning how to do this. No worries, I know I’ll get it down soon.”
It will feel superficial at first, but the more you engage in this practice, the more your attitudes and feelings will start aligning with your positive inner dialogue.
If we knew how powerful our thoughts really are, we guard against all negative thoughts. We would do our best not share or listen to them. Moving forward, my self-talk about singing will be encouraging and hopeful because I know that my mind is listening.