Unworthy, a failure, not enough, unimportant, not special, worthless, a screw-up, disappointing, stupid, crazy, don’t belong, selfish, gross, stupid, unwanted, poor, unlovable, bad, too much, inferior, uncreative, don’t matter, inferior, a burden, a mistake, alone, unsafe, ugly…
Have you ever found yourself ensnared by one (or several) of these limiting beliefs?
Perhaps the more accurate question is not “have you ever” – but rather, “when is the last time you’ve found yourself ensnared” or “which of these resonate with you most?”
We are ALL imperfect, and we ALL struggle with self-doubt or limiting beliefs in some form or fashion.
Some are perhaps ruled by them more than others; but we have all, at some point in our lives, been impacted by these unhelpful sentiments. It’s called “being human.”
What we believe about ourselves is HUGE!
Our beliefs impact not only how we see ourselves – but they actually impact our identity, and will ultimately impact how we behave in the world around us.
Limiting beliefs, such as those included above, are lies that we internalize as a result of various events in our lives and messages we’ve received as we live out our days. Some of them have been taught to us or told to us by others – some are assumptions we’ve made about ourselves based on our own interpretations and experiences. The words we say, think, and believe about ourselves impact our identities.
The good news is that we can make the choice to CHANGE THE SCRIPT we tell ourselves.
Instead of buying into the limiting beliefs that bombard us each day, it’s possible to take offense and re-write the script of how we envision ourselves. At first it may feel awkward (depending on how deep down the shame and low self-esteem spiral you find yourself, it may feel strange to talk kindly to yourself); but friends, I promise you – if you’re willing to do the work (and lean into change with patience and perseverance)…soon the “truths” will replace the lies from your past that have creeped their way into your current reality. As you continue to bring awareness to your thoughts, you will be able to actively discard the lies that aren’t serving you choose which beliefs you want to reinforce and continue to allow in your life (i.e., those that are in line with your values and are life-giving). The change won’t be immediate; however, if practiced and diligently reinforced over and over again, your thoughts and actions will begin to change as you internalize and attach to the truths (rather than the lies).
I recently took a course with one of my mentors, Summer Innanen. If you’re not familiar with her, I highly recommend checking her out on her website and various forms of social media (she seriously rocks the socks off of encouraging and empowering others by helping them see their unique beauty/gifts, fight against negative body image, and let go of self-destructive beliefs that often hold us back).
One of the exercises Summer had us complete during the course was a visualization around how we envision our “Untamed Selves.” This was such a powerful exercise that has truly helped me step into greater self-confidence and empowerment.
I wanted to share with you a list of attributes of my “Untamed Self” to illustrate how empowering this exercise can be, and encourage you to think about going through the same exercise for yourself. Mine are a bit verbose (as that’s what felt true to me as I went through this exercise). Your’s may be short and sweet – you just do you. But I encourage you to take the time to think about and write out your vision of your “Untamed Self.”
My Grateful, Confident, Radiant “Untamed Self”:
- She wakes up with a grateful heart, seeing the day as being full of possibilities and opportunities gifted to her by God. She reminds herself of the fact that her time is limited and is aware of her need to seek out God and live for Him in each moment. She gives thanks for her blessings (noting gratitudes daily), and spends quiet reflection with God each morning. She is joyful, she is loving, she is peaceful. She has a light in her eyes that lets you know she is thrilled to be alive.
- She remembers she is a soul that happens to have a body, not a body that happens to have a soul. She loves, accepts, and appreciates her body. She sees her body as a vessel to experience and enjoy life; she understands it will constantly be changing and weathered by time – and that’s okay. Though many others around her are concerned about fighting the aging process or consumed with shaping and controlling their bodies’ sizes/shapes, she rarely thinks about her body and her brain-space is consumed with more important matters. She knows her body does not have anything to do with her worth, so she does not fear her body’s fluctuations. She does not try to manage its shape or weight, and she recognizes her body’s shape/size is uniquely her’s, so it does not need to be regulated by her mind or cultural diet rules. Her body is an incredibly amazing creation and knows exactly what it needs to function at its best. Therefore, she eats whatever she wants, when she wants, as much as she wants. Her food choices are not dictated by a diet mentality – she trusts her body to tell her what it needs, and she makes food choices without judgement (all foods fit), without fear, without trying to “manage” her body’s shape or size.
- She lives with integrity and purpose, and she does each task as though she is doing it for God. She knows that God appreciates and takes note of even the “small” and unseen tasks of life. At times, others may not see her actions, choices, or intentions; but God sees. She also knows sometimes God uses the “small” things to test us and see if we’re ready for the “big” things He has in store and desires to offer us. She lives not for the recognition of others, but rather, in honor and celebration of God and all that He is and has done for her/us.
- She is pursuing the occupation/platform that God has called her to and she is passionate about, and she is utilizing her God-given gifts. She writes, she leads, she encourages, she helps others see their unsurpassable worth, she is hospitable, and she uses the various other gifts God has given her to bring about the messaging He wants to impart upon this world through her. She listens to God’s direction and takes the necessary steps to continue on the path laid out for her, in pursuit of His mission and purpose for her life.
- She accepts herself as she is (flaws and all) and embraces her uniqueness. She sees the beauty in the uniqueness of others and helps them recognize it as a gift. The cultural pressures do not sway her to “look like everyone else” and “do life like everyone else.” She reminds herself that God’s definition of “success” looks very different from the world’s standards; she seeks after “success” as defined by her Father. She strives after her unique gifts and calling. She walks through life with confidence, even when others around her don’t understand or question her actions.
- Her “real life” is in sync with her What Matters Most (“WMM”) list. She collaborates with God to develop the “bigger WMM vision” for her life and strives after such goals with intent. She sets daily goals and takes tactical steps each day to bring her closer to her ultimate WMM goals; she has accountability at the end of each day to go over what she accomplished and assess what she desires to accomplish tomorrow.
- She is constantly striving after growth in her faith and personal life. Though she recognizes she is fully loved and accepted as she is, she yearns for more God, and is willing to work with God (even going through painful and difficult seasons) in order to weed out toxic habits, feelings, thoughts, patterns, etc. in order to live more fully out of her True Self – the woman God created her to be. She is invested in daily interactions with God, and she seeks after His Word for guidance. She is attuned to learnings and guidance from other sources that help encourage her growth (such as podcasts, sermons, trainings, etc.). She is constantly growing and learning.
- She lives with “farsighted” faith and consistently trusts God for the present circumstances and is optimistic about the “now” and future outcomes. She is not easily shaken by the challenges and circumstances life throws at her. She sees challenges and hard times as opportunities to grow and she leans in to God and seeks His guidance. She lives with farsightedness: focusing on God and His purpose for her life, and looks to Him for guidance and discernment regarding the next step forward in an attempt to remain grounded and aligned with His plan for her life.
- She does not run from her feelings and uncomfortable emotions. She allows them to be present, honestly and openly dialogues through them with God, and challenges whether her thoughts are consistent with what God says about who she is (as reflected in the Word). Any limiting beliefs are passionately thrown out – she refuses to be imprisoned by such lies.
- She is present; she is passionate; she is loving; she is vulnerable; she is connected with others. She has a close circle of friends who knows her intimately and keeps her accountable. She is compassionate, empathetic, kind, accepting, and vulnerable with others. She walks the streets of SF (or wherever life finds her) a beat slower than the folks surrounding her who are rushing from one point to the next, looking for opportunities to interact with others and seeking out the gems that await her on her journey throughout the day. She stops to learn the names and hear the stories from those who are typically “unseen” or “overlooked” by the average person. She stays in close communication with God as she lives out her day, expectantly awaiting direction from God and stepping in to help as called.
Try it out for yourself!
While it’s not always easy (and yes, often uncomfortable) to take a look inside and sit with our emotions, it is so…very…important. If we aren’t the master of our thoughts, our thoughts will be masters over us. So I encourage you to take some well-deserved time for yourself to explore what’s going on inside that mind and soul of yours.
Begin to explore which limiting beliefs may be present in your own life. Don’t be ashamed of where you are: there is no shame in being honest with yourself. And remember – change is ALWAYS possible. Where you are presently is not your final destination, if you’re committed to take action in order to implement changes into your life and re-write the script of what you believe about yourself, how you view your place in this world, and how you interpret the world around you.
So where to begin? I’m glad you asked! 😉
I encourage you to take an honest look a where you currently are in life and the person you are. Take some time to flesh out your current state reality and ask yourself a few probing questions. For example, is your life and the current version of yourself in sync with your values and what matters most to you? Are there any changes you want to play out in the various facets of your life (e.g., personal career goals, faith, relationships with others, physical/mental health, etc.)? Where do you want to see yourself in one year from now? What about five years down the road?
Consider also the areas wherein you are currently living as a “tamed” version of yourself. Where can you stand to be “untamed” so that you can live into your empowered, unabashed, unashamed True Self?
Awareness is so powerful – you can’t change what you don’t know requires changing. At times, we can be the biggest roadblocks for ourselves from stepping into our full potential. It’s important we know ourselves well enough such that we can understand where we are currently holding ourselves back, and set our sights on who we want to become and the goals we have for the future!
Give yourself a chance to live to your full potential. You are incredibly unique and have so much to offer the world – do whatever you can to be your biggest ally and best friend.