As apart of Mental Health month we wanted to find out where we get limited beliefs from in order to over come them. So we asked psychologist and yoga teacher, Charlotte Skogsberg.
How do limiting beliefs form?
As children we come into this world fully trusting that we are 100% whole. We do not have an image of ourselves really because we have not yet developed a sense of separate self, an ego.
Our subconscious mind is like a white canvas, inviting any ideas in because we have not yet had to create that wall which filters what I want to keep in mind and what I want to tuck away. My only concern is to survive and it’s my caretakers that will make sure I do. Love is ultimately the only thing ensuring this survival because it means that I belong, I will be a part of the tribe and therefore my needs will be met. Early on we are taught by our caretakers how to function in the bigger tribe, in society in order to belong, be a part, be accepted.
Who we are authentically: our attractive and less attractive sides will need to be manipulated so that we fit in with the rules of the higher structure. Shame and guilt comes in very early when we realise that we are flawed. When mother’s frustration or father’s disappointed look falls on us and we must understand one thing: it is because of me and only me.
The canvas will start to take shape and there’s no discrimination of what can be noted down. It all goes there. The image of me takes shape and will define me for the rest of my life. Especially if I never question it.
Reprogramming your mind to overcome limiting beliefs
It will have me develop habits and patterns of behaviour dictated by the mind: to stay away from pain, to reach for pleasure and to stay safe. What feels familiar will always win because it demands less energy to take in and will feel safe because it will feel like home. For many years, this will just be who we are and it won’t be until we notice that it’s not serving us anymore that we will begin to question our habits and beliefs. “If it ain’t broken…” (and since it feels so familiar). When we want to do something about the habits or behaviours that aren’t helpful anymore, we are stopped by the limit of our conscious mind. We are stopped by the limit of cheer willpower.
If you will: the frequency that you are vibrating on will not change just because you repeat the same affirmation every morning. If you don’t believe that affirmation, actually if you really believe the complete opposite to that, it will not have the desired result you’re looking for. And so you will be discouraged. And so you will go back to the old habit because after “this is who you are”.
And then it starts all over again, with a higher strength of the resistance because you have failed once already.
But you CAN do something. You can reprogram yourself. You can identify the limiting beliefs you have about yourself and progressively change them. You change them by clarifying for yourself what it is you DO want, by creating new habits and patterns of behaviour more in alignment with who you are really (because really, you are exactly that perfect that seemed so obvious when you were a baby).
Letting go of old beliefs
You have to let go of some limiting beliefs about yourself and the world in order to do so. Firstly, stop thinking that there is a separation between your body and your mind. No matter how dense the material/texture of the different parts of yourself is, it still is YOU. And it still is ENERGY. Yep, like everything else around you, you are built up by tiny particles (much smaller than the atom, we know that these days ;) ) that interacts with each other through the energetic field. You know this already because you can feel it. When you have slept well, when the particles in your being are high and vibrant, your mind goes with it. You are in a good mood. And the opposite is true too. This means that the thoughts and the emotions inside your being have their energy and will interact with the other particles inside. If a belief of being “fat” is there in the thought and in the emotion, the rest will take it as truth and will always strive to stay with truth. So of course, the more we are being proven that those beliefs are right, the stronger the belief becomes. See how it can play tricks on you? It is only when we take the step to actively work our way out of this double bind of protection against failure/pain that also protect us from living fully, that we can start enjoying life. This implies that we have the courage to accept who we are, flaws and imperfections included. But we hear the words of self care, self love, authentic self without being told how to practice them.
This is where yoga can come in. If we can change the rules of the hard drive that is our being, if we can rewire the neuropath ways and re-condition ourselves, the way a hypnotherapist would, then we can allow ourselves to love.
To see the value of a container, we need to appreciate its content. To appreciate its content, we need to get to know it. We need to become intimate with it.
By creating a moment dedicated to your practice, you are acknowledging the importance of your own content. Now it often begins with the idea of giving importance to the container, your body. That’s ok, if that is where you are at, that is where you will begin your journey. The beauty of this is that the more you commit yourself to that practice of your container, the more the content begins to reveal itself to you, like the unraveling of a diamond underneath the layers of coal.
You will start to appreciate spending time on your own.
You will start to enjoy your own quirks and show affection to your imperfections.