Declutter Your Thoughts With Brain Science

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Whether you’re flipping through a magazine or surfing the Internet or TV, you probably see decluttering queen, Marie Kondo sharing her tips on tidying up with her KonMari method. Oftentimes, our thoughts could use some tidying up, and specifically our beliefs. Some of our thoughts and beliefs can be limiting. What is a limiting belief? A limiting belief is a thought we hold to be true about our self, about others, or about the world that limits us in some way.

Our beliefs have been formed over many years and influenced by input from our family, our teachers, and our friends. We have believed these things for so long that they seem like fact and we’ve come to view our world through that filter. Limiting beliefs can activate the body’s fear response unnecessarily and activate feelings such as rejection, abandonment, or inadequacy. While your survival is not at stake, your body’s defenses act as if it is in danger. Cortisol levels go up and blood flow drains away from your prefrontal cortex and into your arms and legs preparing it for flight. Thinking goes out the window.

Limiting beliefs are often unconscious but once these negative beliefs get in our heads we start to form patterns of behavior around them which reinforces them. For example, perhaps you were laid off from your job and have the belief that you won’t get a job with the same salary you made in your last position. What can happen as a result of that belief? You may rely solely on the job boards rather than networking or “spraying and praying” your resume, applying for anything and everything, hoping something sticks. Beliefs drive our behavior and creates our outcomes.

If you suspect you have some beliefs that may be limiting you in some way, answering the following questions created by life coach Kain Ramsay may help you uncover them.

1. What is a problem or limitation that has held you back for a while?

2. What is it you would like to do/have, except something is stopping you from getting it/doing it?

3. What is it that is really stopping you from getting what you want?

4. This is a problem because?

5. And this means? (Repeat as many times as necessary)

6. What must you believe that makes this problem even exist?

7. What is it you believe about YOURSELF that has made this a problem?

8. What do you believe about the WORLD that has made this a problem?

9. What is this problem an example of?

10… and what is this an example of?

11. When did you decide that your problem was a problem (roughly)?

12. At what point in your life did you buy into this concept?

13. What decision did you make that caused this problem to be born?

14. What does this problem mean to you?

15. What will life be like when you don’t have this problem?

What limiting belief(s) did you uncover? What limiting beliefs do you want to discard? The late, great Dr. Wayne Dyer coined the phrase with the book carrying the same title, “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life.”

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