I find myself contemplating the importance of my own language today.
Over the years, I have found myself consciously saying phrases either out loud or in my head, such as, “They don’t respect me”, “They don’t care what I think”...the list goes on.
What are your go-to phrases that you may unknowingly have ‘on repeat’ in your head? Maybe they are around your physical appearance, “He won’t like me if I wear those trousers”, or maybe you find yourself saying things like “This always happens to me”, “My boss thinks I’m not good enough”. Maybe you haven’t really noticed these phrases until now.
Awareness is the first, and for me at least, the most important step.
Now...why do we automatically jump to these often damning words that appear to have the uncanny ability to shape our actions and our speech … ‘There’s no point in saying anything’ or ‘I must gain their respect by convincing them that I know what I’m talking about’?
Well, our subconscious thoughts have been programmed from our childhood. Just as a baby one day learns that there are ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to behave in society (e.g. playing happily with toys - GOOD...throwing toys at the window - BAD), these in effect create ‘codes’ or ‘rules’ that help keep us part of our ‘tribe’. Back in the day, being isolated from the tribe was dangerous...but this ‘coding’ is still just as valid in our lives today.
The problem is that we tend to associate ourselves with the language we use. It subconsciously becomes part of our identity. For example, if I find myself continuously saying “They don’t respect me”, my deep underlying feeling of self-worth and identity may be “therefore...I am not valued”. It takes a bit of self-exploration to come to the underlying meanings on which you have subconsciously based your identity….but now you have made yourself consciously aware of the story you are telling yourself.
Yes...it is just a story...ask yourself: how would a child feel, and what would she think, about herself if her friends or family didn’t listen to her, or if they made fun of her size, or if she never achieved good grades on tests? The child may unconsciously think ‘I am not valued/loved/pretty/clever…”, and she probably can tell you many occasions, even into adulthood, which confirms this belief. After all, our ego’s main job is to seek out evidence to prove that we are correct… “I’ll prove to you that this is true”.
So, how would a person behave if they had an underlying belief that “I am not good enough”? Would they apply for the job position with better pay? Would they thrive in their relationships? How about setting some health-related goals?
The most poignant part of all this is that your limiting beliefs are just - not - true. Is it really true that “I am not valued” all because of a few experiences in which some people didn’t ‘react’ in the way I expected as a child and throughout my life? No, of course not. It was the narrative I was telling myself...with my ego constantly finding circumstances to prove that I was right.
I cannot express the freedom I have felt in detaching myself from these limiting beliefs, which is my hope for you in reading this today.
Remember, your words are powerful...use them wisely.
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