What would someone who receives little to no love from significant people conclude about themselves? That there must be something wrong with them, that they are “not good enough.” All disempowering beliefs stem off these two—that “you’re not good enough” and because you’re not good enough, you won’t be loved.
Failure, embarrassment, rejection, and so on, all these natural and inevitable painful experiences if not dealt with in an empowering fashion will lead to feelings of inadequacy or unworthiness (both relating to not being good enough) and to question whether you can be loved.
It’s true, not everyone receives as much love as they should, but that doesn’t mean that difficult past experiences should have to dictate your present self-image and future possibilities.
Rules of empowerment relating to your belief system
Harness Your Uniqueness: You are you. There is only one of you, and that is the source of your power. No one looks like you or can do what you can as a whole. As discussed in “Authentic Achievement” you have your own unique strengths and limitations. When you do utilize your strengths in the right way, no one can create what you can create. To do this you must …
Seek Self-Acceptance: The ultimate confidence comes when you have nothing to hide. You do have physical imperfections and knowledge gaps. Self-esteem that is too low will limit you. If it is too high you run the risk of not valuing and avoiding the true effort required for success. To do this you must …
Move beyond Labels: You are more than “good” or “bad.” Those labels are far too simplistic. We’ve all made mistakes and we’ve all done wonderful things. Who you are depends not on the past, but what you are moving towards right now! If you are moving towards your values (not those of others) and progressing at the right speed for you (in acceptance of fears, doubts, and previous failures), then you are on the right path. When on the right path, you must …
Praise Your Potential: Be curious, open and appreciative of what you discover. If you allow it, your own potential will surprise and humble you. It has happened to you many times in the
past. Do not try to force progression, inspire it. Always seek lessons from positive and painful experiences. To do this you must …
Decide What It Will Mean: Whether you face a positive or painful experience, the answer should always be the same. “How do I use this in an empowering way?” All scars and setbacks have a story and once accepted can be transformed into symbols of strength and greater purpose. To do that, it is important to re-frame difficult experiences in order to replace limiting beliefs.
Example Re-frames for Common Limiting Beliefs:
1) I’m not good enough! You know what, you’re right! You’re not good enough. If you were, you would already have whatever it is you are working towards. The point is that no one is instantly successful. No one is good enough in the beginning. It’s a process. Therefore, one way to directly challenge this belief is…
Re-frame: My competence grows with effortful practice.
2) I don’t deserve it (unworthy), Why not you? Why does some other chump deserve the win more than you do? The way I see it, everybody (except for the truly troubled and cruel) deserves a great life. Everybody deserves to win. Now of course, not everybody will, which means when you do get a win, it should be doubly celebrated.
The trouble of course is guilt. Somewhere along the line you were taught others deserve more than you because they worked harder or are more disadvantaged or whatever. Rubbish! If they get a win, great, good on them. If you’re smart, you’ll pay attention to what they did so you can do better next time. If you get a win, even better, good on you! It’s that simple.
Re-frame: Whether I win or not, I deserve success.
3) I’m a failure. If you were a failure, you’d be dead by now. As long as you’re breathing and moving, there is only one way to fail and that is to stop trying to learn. Now it’s actually pretty hard to stop learning. Considering we are designed to learn, you would actually have to interrupt your very nature in order to attempt to do so. The only sure-fire way to do that is to die. It’s never about failure, but rather how you perceive the learning process.
Re-frame: I’m a learner (and a pretty darn stubborn one too).
4) I don’t have the money/time/resources. Neither does that guy, or that girl, or that annoying 15-year-old kid tinkering in his or her parents’ shed and on their way to becoming a multi-millionaire. It’s never a question of money/time/resources but passion, perseverance and resourcefulness. There is always time if you want it bad enough and are patient.
There is always a way to find more money/resources if you keep connecting to more and more people and are patient enough. The key is patience and perseverance. Both are essential traits.
Re-frame: I will consistently work at it and find the money/time/resources.
5) I’m going to get laughed at (embarrassed, rejected). Yes, yes you are. If not laughed at, then you will be ridiculed in some other way. There is an a-hole in every bunch. However, also realize it’s a lot rarer than you think. Most people, and hopefully that includes the ones closest to you are supportive.
The question is what does it mean? The answer is what people say about others is much more a reflection of them than of the person they are referring to. In other words, being laughed at is more about them attempting to mask their own fears and inadequacies than yours.
Re-frame: The people that matter will appreciate and respect my efforts. I appreciate and respect my efforts.
6) I won’t be able to maintain it if I am successful. This one’s a doozy. Welcome to the strange world of self-sabotage. Self-sabotage is based on a real problem, being that maintaining and growing success takes more effort and sustainable growth than the initial achievements. It’s hard work! So the critical part of you in its constant effort to protect you may try to get you to fail because it will be easier in one sense but of course disappointing in the grand scheme of things.
The key here is to remember that you are deserving and you are built to learn. Otherwise you never would have succeeded in the first place.
Re-frame: The first time is the hardest. If I’ve done it once, I will be able to do it again and again …
7) I could lose everything (large or small risks – emotional, social, financial, or physical). Too true. But then again, many things could happen to you. You could be struck by lightning or picked at random to win a prize. The next person you meet may become your best friend or someone who is trying to take advantage of you in some way. Who knows? I don’t think it has to be about winning or losing, but rather a careful consideration of risk-to-reward.
You take a risk every time you leave the house and sometimes by staying in it. What you really want to consider is “Do I want this and what is the smartest way to go about it?” My motto is: always follow your dreams but cover your responsibilities. Take as many calculated risks as you can but never risk more than you can afford to lose.
Re-frame: I will always seek a healthy balance between risk and reward and cover my responsibilities.
8) I don’t want to feel alone. (especially if going against an influential person) I respect your honesty. The truth is, humans are social creatures, and the decision to go off and work on things (often by yourself) is a difficult one to make. However, by taking those sometimes lonely leaps of faith you get to finally learn how to rely on the most important person in your life. Yourself! You learn that you are more resilient than you thought and that you can cope.
It’s a crucial lesson that must be learnt. Self-reliance is an extremely attractive trait. Ironically, this also tends to improve your relationships because you become more appreciative and efficient with the time you do have with others, and of course, less in need of their approval.
Re-frame: I will become comfortable with my own company and make the most of my time with others.
Once you have your empowering re-frames, you can then safely work on further enhancing your self-image. As much as we enjoy language, sensory experiences are what drive us the most. Positive beliefs and language must be integrated with your imagination. This of course happens naturally, but we can amplify the process.
This is where you create your mind movies and imagine your best-self performing at your peak with full experiential power. You work to see, hear, feel, smell, taste, and positively focus on being at your best across a range of different experiences. This is very much what hypnotic brain re-training is based on.
You can go into your past with the lessons you now have and re-imagine and enhance a memory. You can amplify the present. However, what is often most useful is the targeting of important future events, problem solving and experiencing them as successes before they happen, thus becoming more prepared and creating a stronger and more realistic expectation of success.
The goal can be as simple as going for and enjoying a walk. It can be more complex such as doing well at a job interview or being charming at a social gathering and highly complex like finishing a massive long-term career or lifestyle project.
As you know by now, at times an unwanted “elephant” (thought or feeling) may pop up in your experience. Notice, accept, let go and re-focus on what you do want as often as you need to. As you continue practicing, your mind will surprise you by showing you another path beyond your previous limits. Then it simply becomes time to “act now.”