Somewhere, sometime, somehow, somebody told you something limiting and negative about yourself…
And you believed them.
It happens to all of us in big ways, small ways, and every shade in between. For example, the now successful and inspiring Victor Serebriakoff “lost” 15 years of his life because he believed somebody else’s ignorant and short-sighted opinion of himself.
Before you continue reading, click here now and watch this video about Victor’s amazing story.
Like Victor, we all have “stories” from authority figures that we mistakenly adopt as truth, and these stories become hardwired into our brains as “reality.” It’s not our fault though; our brains are already wired to respect and adopt the opinions of authorities.
Here’s a story to illustrate this point…
Imagine you’ve just landed at an airport in a foreign country where none of the signs are in English. You are the first person off of the plane, and you see a person in a suit with a nametag who appears to work for the airlines.
You ask “Excuse me. Do you speak English?”
“Yes” the woman in uniform replies.
“Where do I get a taxi?” you ask.
“Turn right. Follow the moving walkway to the escalators and go up to the 2nd floor. Turn left, and there’s a line there to wait for a taxi.”
“Thank you,” you say as you go off on your way.
Seems like an innocent enough interaction, right? Here’s the thing though…
What if that person gave you the wrong directions? Not to say that person was intentionally misleading you, but perhaps something was lost in translation because her English is not native. Or perhaps she mistakenly said left instead of right? Maybe she forgot to tell you that there’s two escalators and not to take the first one. Or maybe she had a bad day and just wanted to take it out on some poor unsuspecting tourist in a feeble attempt to make herself feel better.
It doesn’t matter what her “story” is.
What matters is that you believed what she told you -because- she was in uniform and appeared to be an authority within the context of the airport. That’s just how our brains work, and that’s why it’s not really a mystery that when we are young we naturally believe what our parents, teachers, coaches, and other authority figures say about us.
Instinctively, it’s a survival mechanism that goes back to our deepest primal roots. It’s the part of us that knows we must be accepted by leaders and authority figures if we are to “survive” in the wild. It’s a pack mentality in which our primitive nature believes a “story” that lack of acceptance is equivalent to physical death (because that was actually true centuries ago and it got wired into our DNA).
But you’re not in the wild anymore, and you’re not living centuries ago. You’re living now and today as a grown adult who can think and feel for yourself. This also means that whatever stories people told you during childhood about yourself are probably incorrect and outdated.
The thing is, just because somebody is in a position of authority doesn’t make that person right. And it especially doesn’t mean they know you better than you know yourself. With that in mind, here’s a brief yet powerful exercise you can use right now to transform one of those old limiting stories into a new one of empowerment.
Evolution Ezine Writer’s Workshop: Assignment #4
1. Think about one limiting belief you currently have about yourself. Perhaps you feel you’re not pretty enough, or not smart enough (like Victor). Perhaps you believe you’re not coordinated or athletic, or maybe you just aren’t a good cook. It could be any of those things or something entirely different. Whatever it is, choose one.
2. Walk backwards through your memories until you can remember the earliest and/or most influential people in your life who first told you that specific limiting belief that you adopted as your own “story.”
3. Now ask yourself, “What if that person was wrong? How might my life have been different?”
4. With that answer, write down a new story about yourself. Begin the story with that person telling you the very same limiting and incorrect statement that they told you back then.
5. This time, don’t believe that person. Instead, imagine that you knew 100% without a doubt that person was wrong. Write down your compassionate response letting that person know that although you respect his or her opinion, you know that you are much more empowered and capable than he or she realizes.
6. Continue your story by writing about how one or more situations later on in your life would have gone better as a result of your different response.
The wonderful thing about this exercise is that you can use it over and over for different “stories” you have from your past that have ingrained themselves as limiting beliefs in your daily life. It’s just one of the many tools you have at your disposal to transform your life for the better.
I look forward to reading your story, so please write it in the comments section below!
And even if you choose not to share your story publicly, Cyndi and I invite you to email it privately to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Partner In Transformation,
Inscribe Your Life®
P.S. Remember to watch the video about Victor’s incredible story, and after you watch it please share that video with your friends and family. You never know whose life you may help transform simply by giving them a new way to look at the old and outdated “stories” in their lives that they no longer need.