Do you ever find yourself feeling disappointed, frustrated and upset after you’ve set your mind on something but you weren’t able to achieve it?
I know this feeling all too well! So many of us set goals for ourselves that we feel really motivated about for a while, but then all of a sudden we seem to sabotage ourselves. We convince ourselves that we’re lazy, not good enough or don’t have enough will power, but there’s actually something much deeper at play here. You see, our conscious mind- the one which we can make observations and choices with- is only in operation 5% of the time.
Yep, you read that right- only five percent!
It might be hard to believe, but our subconscious mind- the place where we hold our values, beliefs, perceptions, emotions and habits- actually runs the remaining 95% of our lives. As we have no conscious awareness of, or control over our subconscious, our lives are basically being driven by beliefs and habits that were installed in us since early childhood.
The positive here is that we can take the pressure off ourselves and stop blaming ourselves for ‘failing’ because we’re not sabotaging ourselves at all- we’re simply just being held back by opposing beliefs in our subconscious. How can we expect to achieve something with our conscious mind if deep down we hold conflicting beliefs?
Would you like to discover what beliefs are holding you back in any aspect of your life? Here’s three ways you can start to unearth them:
1. Cultivate Awareness
I believe that unless we’re aware of something, we can’t actively seek to change it. So if we really want to figure out what’s holding us back we need to become aware of the thoughts that are controlling our perception of our realities- particularly the things we complain about.
Start a regular practice of noticing what you judge or criticize, whether it’s about yourself or something external- the weather, your lack of money, the traffic, your weight, etc. Also notice what you judge about other people because when we judge a certain aspect of somebody else, it’s because we hold a value about it and we believe it needs to be a ‘certain way’ to be acceptable to us. Usually, this means that it’s actually something that we judge or criticize about ourselves already and our subconscious mind scans the environment to pick out the things that aren’t aligned with what we believe to be ‘right’- meaning we then make judgements because they don’t fit our ideal standards.
Once you start realizing how much time and energy you give to focusing on the negative aspects of your life, you’ll be inspired to flip them and really appreciate the positives.
2. Break it Down
A lot of the time when we find ourselves complaining about something, it’s usually just a cover up for a much deeper issue. To discover what’s underneath the surface we can break down our thought patterns until we’re left with the root-cause reason as to why we’re truly feeling the way we are.
Have you ever noticed how when you get into an argument with someone that issues and events from the past tend to arise? The thing we were originally starting to argue about doesn’t seem to matter anymore because we’ve gotten down to the deeper concern.
When we allow ourselves to dig deeper, we create space for our subconscious thoughts to emerge. This is a powerful technique that I use with my clients in Mind Detox and coaching sessions and something you can use too for any situation. Start by asking yourself a question, such as “what’s holding me back?”, “why don’t I want to do this?” or “what am I scared about?”
When an answer comes up, keep breaking it down even further by continuing to ask, “why?”
For example, your initial concern might be that you keep procrastinating on launching something in your business, so you ask yourself, “what am I scared of?”
The answer ‘being seen’ might pop into your mind.
Ask, “why don’t I want to be seen?”
…”Because people will judge me and won’t like what I have to say.”
Again, ask, “why do I care so much about what other people think of me?”
…”Because they won’t like me.”
“Why won’t they like me?”
…”Because I’m not good enough for them.”
Now we understand that the true reason for not launching isn’t because you lack the time or skills, it’s because you’re worried that you’re not good enough and that people won’t like you. We’ve gained awareness of the deeper issue, and we can choose to take action that positively supports us.
3. Let it Flow
Just taking some time out for yourself to sit quietly and allow your deepest thoughts to come to the surface can be so incredibly revealing and healing.
You can start by asking yourself a question with the intention of the answer coming to light, or you can simply just start writing down your stream of consciousness- scribble down whatever comes into your mind, without filtering anything.
You’ll be amazed by what actually comes out, and you even might discover some deep-down feelings or beliefs that you never knew you had!