The majority of us suffer internally through our minds. It happens naturally because our minds are designed to form conclusions based upon our experiences. When we experience what we perceive to be a negative outcome repeatedly, we tend to form negative beliefs about ourselves or the world around us in order to avoid those seemingly negative events. The problem is that if you continue to build up these negative beliefs, eventually you become stuck in a comfort zone that is hard to get out of. Your mind entraps you, and you become a slave to your beliefs. Rather than enjoying life as it is with the ups and the downs, you succumb to mediocrity.
Beliefs are nothing more than thoughts that we repeatedly tell ours, which we perceive to be true perceptions upon our reality. We navigate the world based upon our beliefs of how the world works and what we mean to it. If you form negative beliefs, it hinders your progress as a human being. It means that you may avoid doing certain tasks in order to live in a safe bubble.
How can we change our beliefs?
The first step to changing our beliefs is to examine them and to know that they are there. Sometimes, the negative scripts can be the most challenging ones to find. They are masked in our everyday actions. We naturally respond or react to events based on what we believe. So for example, if you define yourself as a person who cannot tolerate the cold during winter, you may bundle up or choose not to go outside. Rather than getting used to the cold and enjoying it for what it is, you perceive it to be negative, thus something that you avoid. If you can wrap your head around the cold being a refreshing feeling and maybe get used to the idea of running in the cold in order to raise your body temperature, you have shifted to a higher level of thinking through positivity. At the same time, you don’t want to go as far as doing something reckless, such as walking naked out in the cold. You can still be level-headed while leaning into a new perspective of finding ways to enjoy the cold (e.g. playing with the snow on cold snowy winter days).
When we form negative beliefs of people based on previous relationships we’ve experienced, we limit ourselves to the type of people we’d like to surround ourselves with. At the same time, you want to be careful about what those relationships meant to you. If you’re only way of determining your self worth is based on what a few people think of you (e.g. your family), then you become a slave to their thoughts and ideas. Why live that way when you can enjoy life on your own terms? We don’t have to give in to the negative self talk, such as “I don’t deserve love” or “I am worthless”. You can change your perception to being that now, you are in charge of your mind, and that you do deserve to be loved. You can shift it to being that you do care about other people, and other people would care about you once they get to know you. You can understand that love comes in many different forms, and although your parents or siblings did not know how to express it well, you know that deep down inside they care and they just want you to be happy.
Those childhood events may have shaped you and became your identity, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You get to decide who it is that you are. When we are young, people try to assign meaning to our life by figuring it out through how we act. But the truth is when you were a baby, you did not have all these meanings and connections of your identity at all. You were just living, breathing, pooping, taking it a day at a time. And through your five senses, you learned how the world works. There are some inescapable and mysterious ways of how the world works and that people have tried to figure out, such as the laws of gravitational pull and force. But then, there are meanings which we assign ourselves based off of what others say about us or how we perceive ourselves to be. If we didn’t talk much as a child, people might perceive us to be shy, and then we hold onto that mentality of “I’m shy”, avoiding confrontation in order to be aligned with that thought. However once you break out of that mold and realize that perhaps you were not shy but observant, you begin to form a new world of possibilities, where maybe you decide that you will be more outgoing and outspoken.
Replacing the negative belief with positive affirmations
If you are unsatisfied with your appearance, you might have the belief of “I’m ugly”. This is based off of the appearances that we are used to seeing in the media or on the streets. When we compare ourselves to other people through our appearances, we succumb to the ideology of believing that we do not look good. We spend our time trying to groom ourselves to look better. There is nothing wrong with taking some time and effort to enhance our appearance. However to the extreme, we might give in to methods such as plastic surgery in order to be satisfied with our appearance. Again, it is everyone’s choice what they may do to their bodies, but it can be damaging over time to be super focused on appearance rather than personality. And, it can be damaging to one’s self-esteem and self-worth.
Rather than thinking that you are ugly, you can acknowledge times that you’ve felt pretty with your natural appearance, or you can find traits about your appearance that you admire (e.g. kind eyes, good smile, nice head of hair, etc.). You can take a good look of yourself in the mirror and gently admire those good traits that you do have. And, you can admire that you are unique and different from those around you or on television. Replace “I’m ugly” with “I am beautiful” or “I am loved”. Acknowledge how you look, and learn how to be satisfied with what you’ve got. Of course, if you want to apply makeup to enhance your features, go right ahead. But don’t try to just mask your appearance by caking on layers of foundation. Try instead to solve any glaring problems if it is in your control. For example, no one likes acne. But rather than calling yourself ugly for having acne, you can realize that it is a health indicator that something needs to change. Perhaps you can get a skin treatment from a trusted dermatologist, you can drink more water on a daily basis, or you can get into a face care routine.
If you are feeling worthless because your parents used to ignore your cries for help, realize that it doesn’t have to be the case that you were worthless. It could mean that your parents just did not know what to do to make you feel better. They might have ignored you because they were busy working or were stressed out. They might have not known how to handle such a responsibility of taking care of you. Just because they treated you a certain way, does not mean that you are worthless. It could mean that you deserved love, but they did not know that attention was what you were seeking. And now that you’re older, you can turn to yourself for love and admiration. You might even be able to attract a partner who would love spending time with you. All you have to do is tune into the stream of consciousness of self-love. (;
You have to also realize that these negative thoughts are just what they are, thoughts. They are just ideas formed by your mind. You can point our a color or a shape for these thoughts. You did not “see” these thoughts. You experienced some events, and there were not inherent meanings behind those events. Can you point out when someone said that you were worthless? And even if someone said something like that, does it have to necessarily be true? Sometimes, the ones we love that are closest to us hurt us through their words. But can you see that their words are just words, not meaning anything inherently about yourself?
How should I feel once I remove several limiting beliefs?
After you finish removing several negative beliefs about yourself, you will feel as if you can conquer the world. You can do anything that you put your mind to. It is about having all your power back. You are the owner of not only your mind, but your body. Your bodily presence can be made known, or it can hide behind the rest of society and how they think. But, you don’t have to feel as if you are alone. You will feel as if you are connected with the rest of the world in a positive way once you’ve successfully demolished all the negative beliefs or negative self-talk that you catch yourself doing. And, you will reach a new state of enlightenment, the idea that the world is not so scary as it once seemed to be.