Believe in the Better You
Are you haunted by little insidious thoughts that tell you that you’re not good enough, can’t do it, or are not worthy of success? Most of us have little voices of doubt in our heads, beliefs that hold us back.
I suffer from such a little voice. The little voice hits me often with regret — I should have said something different, I should have kept my mouth shut, I should be more polished, more well-behaved. I should do better, I’m a fake or a fraud, I should be embarrassed far more often than I am.
The older I get, the less I listen to that voice. The more I learn and grow and understand, the less I believe that little voice. If you have a voice like that, I suggest you stop listening too. Our culture is ready for a renaissance, a rebirth, a renewal of faith and hope, and it all starts within.
Isn’t it time to give ourselves credit for what we have overcome? Survived? Accomplished? Haven’t we yet tired of believing that life is as good as it’s going to get? Let’s reflect on these outdated concepts of ourselves, and deal with them using some prevention techniques that keep these beliefs from further sabotaging our lives.
Self-sabotaging beliefs are negative thoughts that imply you’re not good enough, can’t do it, or are not worthy of a good life or happiness. These thoughts tend to run deep in Appalachian hills, mountains, and valleys. We’re taught to be humble, that pride is sinful. These thoughts that we don’t deserve our dreams hold us back. They can manifest themselves as procrastination, self-hate, self-doubt, inaction, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. These faulty beliefs can prevent us from taking risks and moving forward in our lives.
Self-sabotaging beliefs usually manifest themselves as negative self-talk. The little voice in your head says you are not good enough, that you can’t do it, or that you’re not worthy of success. Would you speak to a friend this way?
Here are some examples of self-sabotage: You might stay in a job you hate because you don’t believe you’re good enough to get a better one. You might not release your artwork because you’re afraid. You might not start your own business because you think you’ll fail. You tell yourself that you are not worthy of a better life.
To deal with self-sabotaging beliefs, you first need to recognize them.
Pay attention to your negative self-talk. What things do you tell yourself regularly? Do you put yourself down frequently? Do you tell yourself that you’re not good enough or can’t do it? Are you constantly apologizing?
Identify your patterns of behavior. Do you procrastinate regularly? Do you find yourself not taking risks because you’re afraid of failure? Do you set goals and not follow through?
Notice how you feel. Do you frequently feel unworthy? Does success elude you even when you’ve achieved it? If any of these are familiar, then it’s likely you have some self-sabotaging beliefs.
It’s important to recognize these beliefs because they’re holding you back from living your best life. They prevent you from taking risks. They prevent you from growing, experiencing, and flourishing. But once you identify them, you can deal with them.
Techniques To Deal With Self-Sabotaging Beliefs
To move forward with your life, you must recognize and deal with self-sabotaging beliefs.
The first step is to realize your negative self-talk and challenge it. When you catch yourself thinking or saying something negative, stop and ask yourself if it’s true. Chances are, it’s not.
If you tell yourself that you’re not good enough, ask yourself why you believe that. What evidence do you have to support this belief? What evidence do you have against it?
Reframe your self-sabotaging beliefs. For example, if you tell yourself that you’re not good enough, reframe it as “I’m doing my best, and that’s good enough.”
If you tell yourself that you can’t do it, reframe it as “I can try, and if I fail, I’ll learn from it.”
Use affirmations to counter self-sabotaging beliefs. For example, if you tell yourself, “I am worthy of success,” “I can achieve my goals,” or “I am loved,” you’re training your mind to focus on positive thoughts instead of negative ones. Affirmations have been used for years to overcome challenges.
Take action despite your self-sabotaging beliefs. For example, if you want to start your own business but you’re afraid of failing, take some small steps towards your goal. You can start by researching businesses in your field or networking with people who have started their businesses.
By taking action, you’re proving to yourself that your self-sabotaging beliefs are wrong.
Seek growth, not perfection.
The best way to prevent self-sabotaging beliefs from taking over your life is to develop a healthy mindset. A healthy mindset focuses on growth, not perfection. We’ve all heard, “it’s the journey, not the destination.” Reflect on how much you have grown, and how much you have yet to grow.
It’s important to recognize we all make mistakes, and that failure is a part of life. None of us are perfect, and all of us are on a path of our own. Failure is a part of learning and growing. Instead of beating yourself up over your mistakes, learn from them and move on.
Practice self-compassion. Be kind and understanding towards yourself, even when you make mistakes. Be patient with yourself. Allow yourself space and time to grow and learn. It also means recognizing that we all have flaws and are all doing the best we can with what we have.
Finally, it’s important to surround yourself with positive people. They will help you see the good in yourself. They’ll also help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.
Self-sabotaging beliefs can hold you back from living your best life. But once you identify them, you can deal with them by challenging your negative self-talk, reframing your beliefs, and using affirmations to exercise self-compassion and support.
Focus on growth, and not perfection. Think of how far you have come, the obstacles you faced, and survived. Think of all you have learned, and all you have accomplished, set goals for future accomplishments, and take actions for further growth.
By taking these steps, you’ll be ready for a personal renaissance. And as you grow, and we all grow, our communities will begin to reflect our dreams.
We’re slowly building our Two-Lane Renaissance. We re-activated the twolanelivin.com domain name in November, writer Robin Holstein joined me this spring, and most recently, she and I have been joined by Michele Savaunah Zirkle, whose first piece “Deep the Mountain,” has been received very well so far by our readers.
We are happy to share local news, events, artwork, writing, and updates. Press releases are welcome, however, may or may not be shared with our audience.
We are accepting submissions and new columnists. We’re seeking topics and writers to encourage, empower, and report upon the renaissance of central West Virginia and Appalachia entire. Our culture has endured cultural negative talk for generations, called “Hillbilly,” and “Redneck,” and dismissed as backward and uneducated. But we all have voices to be raised and shared, and we’re seeking yours.
Do you know someone who could benefit from this post? Feel free to share it:
Are you enjoying our newsletter and online e-zine? Please share it with your friends and family.