Are Your Beliefs Serving You?
Updated: Apr 16, 2020
I was given this journal prompt today and it really hit home. What beliefs about yourself are no longer serving you? My list went on and on, and I challenge you to ask yourself this question too.
Here are a few examples of some of my responses:
~ That my worth is found in my appearance
~ That I'm not good enough as I am
~ That I need to always be positive
~ That I need to always help others first
~ That I'm inherently flawed and inferior to others
~ That my body must look fit and strong in order to be attractive
The list goes on and on.... and I had to ask myself, what's the benefit of holding onto these beliefs?
It's easy to see that these beliefs are untrue, maladaptive, and aren't serving me. I know that. But why do I keep holding onto them? Why do they still ring true every now and then? Because they still serve some sort of purpose in my life, and journaling through this prompt really allowed me to explore that.
For me, living my life under these limiting beliefs offers me a sense of control over how others perceive me and dictate my worth. In my mind, as long as I look a certain way, act a certain way, and don't change either of those things across all circumstances, then people's love and acceptance of me won't go away. The false belief of control is what keeps me stuck.
The hardest part about having limiting beliefs about your body is that, to some extent, they are reinforced in society. The media is filled with stories of weight loss success, dieting habits, and gym patterns. We praise people for losing weight, getting fit, and eating "clean." We say "good job!," "you have such great willpower and self control!," and "I wish I could be like you." We don't realize that by reinforcing these beliefs that tie worthiness, identity, and validation to others' bodies we are also keeping ourselves stuck.
How are we supposed to love ourselves unconditionally, regardless of what our bodies look like, if we are still receiving messages of thin privilege and fat phobia? The simple answer -- we can't.
The less I stuck around and spent time with people who spoke, validated, and praised others in this way, the less... (well) stuck I felt. My worthiness, identity, and value in friendships no longer felt like it was contingent on my body, my food choices, or gym regimens.
In the same vein, by surrounding myself with meaningful and authentic friendships, I am able to challenge all the beliefs I hold about my conditional worthiness. When I have a bad day, I can see, firsthand, how my friends don't love me any less. I can see how they are willing to create space and sit there with me in my moment of darkness.
This all sounds easy, and like changing who I surrounded myself with magically made it easier for me to step away from limiting beliefs. God I wish it were that simple. The task may seem daunting, but the first step is gaining the self awareness. Recognizing what beliefs are holding you back.
This journal prompt allows for that. It allows you to stop, reflect, and see where you are holding yourself back. This is the first step to feeling free.