We all have a line within where we catch ourselves dreaming too big and we call our own bluff. Where we exclaim internally that we’ve gone too far with our desires and we’ve crossed into the ‘that’s impossible’ territory. Perhaps we see it as utterly prosperous? Or beyond our capabilities? Or simply more than we deserve to experience in our lifetime? But, what would happen if we allowed ourselves to cross that line? And how do we get ourselves to that place?
Interestingly, just after I typed that first paragraph, one of my textbooks for graduate school arrived and I began to peruse it; “Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy” by Gerald Corey. I happened to open the book and immediately stumbled upon this wonderful concept: “Rational emotional behavioral therapy (REBT) is based on the premise that we learn irrational beliefs from significant others during childhood and then re-create these irrational beliefs throughout our lifetime. We actively reinforce our self-defeating beliefs through the processes of auto-suggestion and self-repetition, and we then behave in ways that are consistent with these beliefs. Hence, it is largely our own repetition of early indoctrinated irrational beliefs, rather than a parent’s repetition, that keeps dysfunctional attitudes alive and operative within us.”
Ah, the Universe never ceases to amaze me! How perfect to emphasize just why we stop ourselves from envisioning a life that takes us beyond our beliefs of what is possible. When I began my Transformational Coaching course, one of the beautiful analogies they would use to explain how our beliefs limit our achievements was to picture a tall pole, like a light pole; this is your beliefs. Around the base of the pole is a rubberband. Place yourself between the pole and the rubberband, and race forward towards your desires. You see, this is why having your beliefs aligned to what you desire is so crucial to achieving them. The rubberband, its stretch is based on how often we challenge our beliefs to create a safety within our mind to allow for new ideas. It stretches out as we stretch our boundaries, but if your belief pole is not aligned to what you desire, then where are you really getting to in your life? So how can we overcome this self-restriction in our life?
You will need to first recognize your beliefs, and how they are specifically limiting you in your pursuit of your goals and desires. Mind you, for many, this will be a whole new way of looking on life. It requires us to understand that our mind is not us, but rather a tool that is intended to help us through life. If we refer back to Corey’s text, “We actively reinforce our self-defeating beliefs through the processes of auto-suggestion and self-repetition, and we then behave in ways that are consistent with these beliefs.” From here we can begin to analyze how our actions bring us to the same conclusions, as they are all based around the same belief(s); hence the ‘self-repetition.’ If you were striving for a dream, a huge dream that seemed absolutely absurd- what might you do first to achieve it? Well this is where that ‘auto-suggestion’ concept comes in. You likely have no idea where to start, as you have never tried to realistically consider taking action. You may have visualized the fulfillment upon obtaining or achieving it, but the how-to got glossed over, or placed just out of reach. ‘Auto-suggestion’ means a set perspective, if you will, of what is within your comfort range, or allowable sense of danger still within your comfort zone. Likely the impossibility comes because we are not even able to view our desires from the current perspective we maintain due to our beliefs. Again, the first step here is recognition of your current beliefs.
Here’s a tip: Look for where your love, safety, or belonging feel threatened. It’s these three concepts that create all beliefs. For example: You visualize having your dream life, but that also means less time perhaps with your partner, or your children, or your budding career. If these things offer you a sense of love, or safety, or belonging, you will likely obstruct any possibility that may endanger them – even if you can logically see how it would improve or enhance them. This is not about logic, mind you, this is about engrained or “our own repetition of early indoctrinated irrational beliefs, rather than a parent’s repetition, that keeps dysfunctional attitudes alive and operative within us.” It’s about patterns of mindset. Seeing the pattern allows you to break the pattern, and ultimately change the mindset. Stretch the rubberband by recognizing and questioning those patterns.