Episode 19: How to Change Your Limiting Beliefs
What is a belief and why should you care about yours? Beliefs influence a great deal of our life experience, but sometimes we have beliefs that don’t serve us, and can even harm us. In fact, there is one limiting belief so prevalent in our culture that it has done more to keep us in the weight struggle than any other single thing. Today learn what to do if just when the scale tells you what you want, you go eat lasagna! Plus, discover what success sabotage is and what you can do about it.
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Renée Stephens: Welcome to “Inside Out Weight Loss”. I'm your host, Renée Stephens, and together we're accessing the control panel of your mind, body system, bringing ease and joy to your weight loss journey and fullness to the rest of your life. Today on the show, limiting beliefs and how to change them. So go ahead and set your intention for this episode, drop inside for a moment and become present with you.
There's a limiting belief in our culture about weight loss that is absolutely rampant. This single belief is doing more to keep us fat and unempowered on just about anything else I know. Do you know what a limiting belief is? Let's start with understanding what a belief is.
A client of mine started with me weighing about 236 pounds and wanted to weigh some way south of 200. When he got on the scale about a week before, it read 219, about an eight-pound drop. How did he celebrate? By going to an Italian restaurant and eating a bagel meal of lasagna and bread! But just because it's always been hard work for you in the past, it doesn’t mean that it will be hard work for you going forward. Remember who we're modeling here: naturally slender people. You've come to the show for a reason. There's something here for you. This time is for you. So wherever you are, whatever you're doing, open yourself up to get exactly what you need. And as you do this, I invite you open up energetically and connect with all other “Inside Out Weight Loss” listeners across time. Feel their presence and send them your love and support and feel theirs as it comes back to you magnified many, many times over. We are a community of people on the same journey. There's a power of group intent but it's much greater than the sum of the parts. Connect to this support field that spans across time and space as you listen to this show. If you want to know who these fellow journeyers are, join the Yahoo!
Group and share your journey, support and be supported. Let's go ahead and set our intention for this episode. Mine is to enable you to dissolve what's been holding you back and move clearly into living your dreams because I know that it's possible. I know you deserve it and I know that you can. What's your intention for this episode? Go ahead and set it now. In the last episode, we discussed my all time favorite: daily practice, the success journal.
We learned why it's such a super charged tool and how it retrains your mind to filter for the positive, to see the glass as half full. Have you started? What results are you getting? Let me know by posting a comment to the blog at www.PersonalLifeMedia.com/Renee. Here's an email message that came in from a listener named Michelle. She writes, “After nearly 30 years of struggling, I'm making connections that I never had before. This is not about food for me; it's about being conscious and plugging back in to my own feelings and bodily needs. I'm exercising nearly everyday. I'm not worrying about the scale or measurements right now. I'm just refamiliarizing myself with those very old habits that kept me thin a long, long time ago; and if you wonder at all why I do this show is because of you.” Thank you, Michelle, and all the other listeners who had sent me your emails and who’ve posted to the blog and who are posting on the Yahoo! Group, the “Inside Out Weight Loss” Yahoo! Group. Thank you.
Today I'd like to talk with you about limiting beliefs. There is a limiting belief in our culture about weight loss that is absolutely rampant. This single belief is doing more to keep us fat and un-empowered than just about anything else I know. Do you know what a limiting belief is? Let's start with understanding what a belief is. A belief is something you consider to be true in spite of inconclusive evidence and beliefs--believe it or not--to a very large extent, create our experience in the world.
Well, since there's inconclusive evidence for beliefs, take the belief in God, for example. We may believe in God, we may not believe in God. But we'll never have conclusive evidence as to God’s existence and beliefs are like that about all sorts of things. Well, since there's inconclusive evidence for beliefs, then we might as well choose belief that works for us. When a belief doesn’t work for us, then we call it a limiting belief because it limits our life’s experience. Let me give you an example. For the longest time, I believed that I had a terrible voice and I certainly knew that I couldn't sing. I inherited this belief from my family. My father would squawked out a few off key notes followed by his disclaimer that we just weren’t born with the ability to sing in our family. Naturally then, when I opened my mouth in a song, a similar cacophony of off key moans would follow. My belief was further reinforced by an independent verifier, my third grade Music teacher. She personally selected me to leave the chorus. That sealed the deal in my mind and never again did I even attempt to sing in public. In fact, I remember trying out for a play in high school. As a part of the role, I had to sing. It didn’t matter if I was in tune or not, just sing a small nursery rhyme song because I was pretending to be as a child who was singing to herself. I remember how patient the people who were listening were with me, encouraging me to sing it any way I could. They said it didn’t matter. No matter what, I just couldn't open my mouth for fear of humiliation. I had learned to keep my mouth shut. And if ever I heard my voice recorded on a voice message, for example, I would cringe from the painful sound of it. I hated it! I knew I couldn't sing and, therefore, I knew that I had a terrible voice! This was a limiting belief. I thought I had loads of evidence for this belief. As it turns out though, the evidence was inconclusive. No one in my family could sing; I hated the sound of my own voice; my family told me I couldn't sing; the third grade teacher agreed. Yet, this evidence was inconclusive. Getting the idea what a limiting belief is? Well, since I've gone this far, I might as well tell you the rest of the story.
How I came to be a podcaster. One of my mentors is a man named Robert McDonald. He teaches something called the “destination method” - a modality for healing emotional issues based on focusing on the desired outcome. Robert is also a magnificent singer and he starred in many shows as a younger man and, at one point, he mentioned in a training that he was giving that anyone could sing. That singing was actually a learned skill. I was instantly intrigued. He had planted the seed of doubt in my belief and a little voice inside of me perked up with a distant hope. I sensed that somehow, overcoming my fear of singing and my belief in my terrible voice would be transformative for me. Robert then offered a one day workshop called “The Heart of Singing”. Each participant would end the day by singing a solo in front of the entire class. If it weren’t for my trust in him, I never would have subjected myself to such a thing, but I went. And he guided us through an exercise similar to one that we've gone through earlier in this program. Only focus on bringing out our inner singer, on expressing our inner voice. At the end of the day, I was actually singing “Amazing Grace” in front of the entire class. A fellow student later told me how much he liked my voice. Needless to say, had it not been for changing that belief, I wouldn’t have created this show. I changed that long and deeply held limiting belief and it opened up a whole new world for me and for you, I hope. Let me read you a note that a listener sent recently.
Listener Carrie Lots [sp], who by the way gave permission to use her name, wrote a long email talking about how much she's enjoying the show. At the end she writes, “P.S. You have a truly, wonderful voice, obviously well trained. In a world of amateur podcasting, you stand out as a professional.” I can't tell you what this means for me. Having been so long convinced that I had a terrible voice, to be able to get this kind of feedback is, in fact, truly inspiring for me. I wonder what limiting beliefs are there that you hold and what possibilities will open up for you as you dissolve them. We never know how our limiting beliefs are holding us back. I like to give you another example. But first, we're going to take a short break to support our sponsors. This is Renée Stephens and you're listening to “Inside Out Weight Loss” on Personal Life Media.
We're back now. Before the break, we were talking about limiting beliefs and how we never know how ours are holding us back. Now, I'd like to share another example with you. A client of mine, who had been with me for about four to six weeks, I'd say, unexpectedly moved out of town over the holidays during our work together.
Consequently, we went about three weeks without a session. He started with me weighing about 236 pounds and wanted to weigh somewhere south of 200. When he got on the scale about a week before, our session after that break and after he had moved, it read 219. This represented about an eight-pound drop over the holidays, during a period when he wasn't focused on it at all. He was ecstatic! He was so happy. Can you imagine? So, how did he celebrate? By going to an Italian restaurant and eating a bagel meal of lasagna and bread. What's up with that? Well, it turns out that he had a pattern we'll call “success sabotage”. This pattern extended to many areas of his life, not just his weight because that’s the thing with limiting beliefs. That’s the thing with these patterns. We'd like to think that, “Well, if we could just get our weight under control, then everything would be OK. We have this one problem.” But the truth is that the drivers for the weight problem when we resolve them, and resolve issues in all sorts of other areas of our lives and this is what I love about helping end the weight struggle. This is what I love about helping you attain inner alignment knowing how wonderful you can be and how much enjoyment you can get out of life by simply being aligned, by being fit, slim and healthy and knowing that you can have more of all of the best things in life that you love by being that way.
So, excuse me, I digress. This client had a pattern of success sabotage and it extended to his professional life. For some reason, whenever things went well for him, he felt that that meant that they would soon go sour. He believed that success led to failure. Think about that one for a moment and how it might affect someone who had it. Not good. Beliefs have a self-fulfilling quality to them. Remember the black and white exercise we find what we seek? If we have a belief, we find or create evidence to support it whatever we do. So this client, because he believed that success led to failure acted as if it did. So it did, further reinforcing his belief, kind of like me squawking out in the third grade chorus so that I get deselected from the group. I didn’t even know that it was possible for me to sing well. So I didn’t bother learning how to do so. Well, this client discovered that he had the same pattern in his work life as well. He runs his own business and I like to say that for those of us that run our own businesses, our inner beliefs, we better darn well get our inner house in order because it gets reflected in our business instantly. Anyway, he had his own business and whenever things went well, he would somehow back off or disengage so that they went poorly. We then changed his belief to success begets success. Success has its own momentum that makes further success even easier. Of course, it is! By the next check in, he was down to 217 pounds, two more pounds. I can't wait to hear what he discovers in his business as he notices this new belief in operation and begins gathering more and more evidence that success begets success.
So what is that rampant limiting belief in our culture about weight loss? I wonder if you've listen to all of the “Inside Out Weight Loss” episodes by now and you still hold this limiting belief that I'm talking about, or perhaps, it's already shifted empowering you as you go. This belief that is rampant in our culture, this limiting belief about weight loss is this: weight loss is hard work. How much of you still believes that? If you've gotten to this point in the show, perhaps that belief is already dissolving. So many people in our culture, you'll get these messages all over - from diet books, from diet doctors, from diet centers, from people at the water cooler or, more likely, have ring over the office doughnuts. They all will tell you that weight loss is hard work, that you must be ever vigilant. I remember my mother saying that, “Oh, you must be ever vigilant, always attentive, always watching to manage your weight.” Think of how many times and ways and places that we hear this, yet is there conclusive evidence to support it? Is it always true for everyone that weight loss is hard work? Perhaps you have your own experience. Perhaps it's been hard work for you in the past and I bet that’s true. I bet in your experience, you have had a difficult time with weight loss.
Certainly, most of the people who come to work with me or come to the show have had a difficult time and that’s why they find this approach so refreshing. But just because it's always been hard work for you in the past doesn’t mean that it will be hard work for you going forward. It doesn’t mean that it won't be easy for you because the truth is that it can be easy. Remember who we're modeling here, we're modeling naturally slender people. You're learning to think like a naturally slender, slim person through this program. Naturally slender people, is it hard work for them? These are people who, year after year after year, no matter what happens in their lives somehow, are still slim. Some of them you'll look at and you'll say, “Oh, my gosh, so and so eats whatever he wants, whatever she wants and it's like a rail.” Of course, what you don’t know is that they may be very public over eaters that when they do eat a lot, they do it in front of you and when you're not seeing them, they're not eating that much. If you were to ask these naturally slender people, these naturally slender people all over the world and all of the population of this planet that was naturally slender, before about 1950 when people began to have a weight problem, if they were counting calories and carbohydrates and working really hard at it, vast majority of them would say, “Well, no, of course not.” It's not hard work for them.
So that’s who we're modeling - people for whom it is easy and effortless. I think I may have told you about the story about my client who set her intent for her whole journey to be easy and effortless at the beginning of our work together. Guess what? It was. I hear this again and again from my clients. Now does that mean that there's no work involved. Well, no, there is work involved; there is some dedication that is involved. This is a process of relearning, a process of mastery. If you read George Leonard’s book, a great book, a small book and an easy read, it's an oldie but a goodie called “Mastery”. You'll see how he talks about the path of mastery being a journey for its own sake. When he was becoming a fifth dan or however many the heck dans he has, a lot of them I tell you that much, in aikido, he was at the Do Joe [sp] all the time, doing his workouts for the joy of doing it. Was that hard work for him or was that he's hobby, he's enjoyment? Is it hard work to do your favorite hobby? Probably not, and yet you do it and there's a lot of doing that goes on. Similarly with weight, there's a lot of doing that goes on. In order for you to be not be naturally slender, you're going to dedicate sometime and some priority in your life to shopping and preparing fresh healthy foods. That’s part of a territory, you need to invest some time in it. Yet, ask any foodie if that’s hard work. I remember one of my NLP trainings, one of the fellow students was talking about--we were looking for an experience that we love. She talked about going to the Farmer’s Market and the colors and the shapes and the smells and the fresh produce. This woman was in a state of absolute ecstasy describing her trip to the weekly Farmer’s Market. That wasn't hard work for her; that was pure sensory enjoyment. So does weight loss have to be hard work? I don’t think so.
Yes, there's effort involved, there are things that need to happen like shopping and cooking and exercising. Yet, they don’t have to feel like hard work because we're going to eat anyway. That’s for sure. I never heard anyone who’s overweight saying, “Oh, my God, it's such a hassle to go across town to get my favorite bakery treat.” That doesn’t seem like hard work. How about that? So what makes it easy? Remember back in an earlier episode and we talked about the most powerful force for change in the universe? What makes the universe bow down to our desire? Remember that? What was that? Have you got it yet? It's inner alignment. Isn’t it? Inner alignment makes it easy. Inner alignment makes the universe bow down to our desire, to our intent. What is it that makes it hard then? It's inner conflict; it's inner struggle. So if you find weight loss hard work, it's because the weight is solving a problem for you still. It's working for you in some way. Weight loss isn’t hard work, but in a conflict it is. In fact, it's exhausting. I know, I had chronic fatigue syndrome for a total of four and half years, over two separate episodes because of my raging inner conflicts. I was exhausted with all that conflict going on so that I could barely do any physical activity. Boy, was I tired? So what if weight loss were easy? I know that it is. I certainly know that it can be for you if it isn’t already. In fact, if it's not, if you're still struggling, if you've been following this program and it's still a struggle for you, then that means that there's something up for healing. There's still an inner conflict, an objection to losing weight, to eating well that has not yet been resolved.
We're almost out of time for today. But before we go, I'd like to leave you with this assignment. I had a client and that’s the same client who had the success sabotage pattern who hated the idea of homework. So we came up with the term “accelerated learning” assignment. After we did some homework, he's fine with the term homework. In fact, he loves it. So your homework or accelerated learning assignment is to take your “Inside Out Weight Loss” journal--where you're taking notes, where you're keeping your success journal--and write down your beliefs about weight loss, specifically any limiting beliefs that you might have, about having the body of your dreams. Is it possible for you? Do you believe that is possible? Is it attainable for you? Write about this. Write down your limiting beliefs.
On the next episode, we'll continue talking about limiting beliefs and how to change them. This is Renée Stephens and you're listening to “Inside Out Weight Loss” on Personal Life Media. That brings us to the end of our show today. Thank you for being present. Remember the “Inside Out Weight Loss” Yahoo! Group? You can access it from my blog at www.PersonalLifeMedia.com/Renée. I’ve been leaving lots of quick articles or resources and books that I recommend. I just posted an article in fact about how to choose a gym or home exercise equipment. It's a great place to share a comment on the blog or the “Inside Out Weight Loss” Yahoo! Group is a great place for you to support and be supported, to connect with others, to plug in to the power of group intent. Remember you'll get double or more out what you put into this journey but you must put in to get out.
Have a question for me? Call 206-350-5333 and leave a message. I may play your question or comment on the air. For other shows on the Personal Life Media Network, please visit our website at PersonalLifeMedia.com. There are loads of great content out there to feed your mind, the body, and spirit. This is Renée Stephens and I'm on a mission to eradicate the weight struggle from the planet, bringing peace, joy and ease into your journey of fulfillment. Join me as we evolve the world by evolving ourselves. Take good care.
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