We are our own worst enemy so much of the time. We get in our own way, we hold ourselves back from overcoming a hurdle, accomplishing something amazing, becoming someone new. We get in the way of the Holy Spirit, allowing our inner voice to drown His out. We create an unhappy reality for ourselves without even realizing it, and then complain about it.
This is called having a fixed mindset or a limiting belief about yourself or your circumstances.
Let’s look at some examples of how this could be lived out.
Let’s say you’ve always been significantly overweight. You think about what it would be like to be fit, imagine how your body would feel, daydream about what it would be like to wear a certain outfit you admire, but you can’t actually envision that fit, strong person being you. It just seems totally impossible that you would ever really lose that weight and have that body – that’s a fixed mindset.
Here’s another example:
You’ve always had a lot of clutter. It wouldn’t be a birthday party in your house if you didn’t spend the entire day beforehand screaming at your family to help and shoving crap into the bedroom closets. This is just the way it’s always been and you can’t really imagine how your life would look if you had absolutely no clutter. You can see how it would free up your time, but you can’t actually envision that being your life. Fixed mindset. Limiting belief.
Let’s look at one more example, this time I’ll pull from my own life. I’ve actually related to both the examples listed above, and overcome them, but I want to dive deeper with you. Getting personal here!
I didn’t finish college. My parents never really expressed a deep disappointment in me for that or anything, but I felt like it was there, probably because I put it on myself (I’m the oldest and being the oldest means you’re super hard on yourself).
I got married young and my husband Brian (who also did not go to college) and I came back from our honeymoon to hardship – he had been laid off and the economy was crashing – it hit us right from the start. We struggled financially from the moment we said “I do” and it didn’t let up.
Brian had a solid job that provided for us and allowed me to stay home with our babies (this was a nonnegotiable for us) but it required working lots of overtime hours or we wouldn’t make it. He was gone six days a week and we barely scraped by. We had our four babies and struggled to make ends meet all the time.
There were very dark, scary nights when we didn’t know how we’d make it through, and I had grown used to this being our life. Money was something I just never thought we’d have – it wasn’t in the cards for us. I believe I spent a lot of years punishing myself for not finishing college, because I was raised to believe that college was a huge privilege that I had and you can’t make a good living without going to college, and I clung to this limiting belief.
Long story short, God brought our family into a situation that led to the idea of me starting a business out of this blog. I’ve always had an entrepreneur mind (I was raised by two successful business owners) and it felt like something I was meant to do, but my money mindset was very limited and held me from success for months.
I wanted to help more overwhelmed moms experience the freedom I had through a life of less clutter and overwhelm, and I knew I could do that through my business, but my limiting beliefs held me back from changing lives and changing our finances.
When I finally realized this, I remember feeling like a rock had hit me in the head – my whole world was shaken up and I didn’t want to live under the weight of my fixed mindset for even one more minute. I went outside and prayed, and started speaking truth over myself and my business. I did this every day (and still do) and after a week, my business exploded and everything I had been working so hard for that wasn’t happening finally came through.
I can be successful because I am called by God, qualified, and smart. College doesn’t fit in with who I am and what my calling is. That truth trumped my limiting beliefs and I have never looked back.
I want you to overcome your biggest hurdles by changing the way you think, too. It’s such a powerful ability we all have! Our thoughts hold incredible power.
You can apply this to any area of your life and find your own personal limiting mindsets lurking. Let’s talk about what you can do about it.
STOP COUNTING YOUR FAILURE AS THE END OF THE ROAD. LEARN FROM IT, AND TRY AGAIN.
Remember that one time and that two-hundredth time you tried to lose weight, stop yelling, start a business, improve your marriage, wake up early, whatever it is for you, and you failed? Nobody cares but you. Let it go, detach yourself from it – that failure is not your identity. Move on and try again.
MOVE FROM A FIXED MINDSET TO A GROWTH MINDSET
You’re stuck, and it’s totally possible for you to pull out of it. Change your way of thinking by counteracting your limiting beliefs with the truth. For me, that’s Scripture and who my Savior says I am – able through Him, a new creation with a fresh start right in front of me, called according to His purpose – those truths counteract my negativity and my fixed mindset. I’m a big believer in writing things down. Studies show that we are 42% more likely to accomplish goals when we write them down, so I think it’s pretty important to write down what it is we’re wanting to change in ourselves too.
Write out your limiting beliefs, then write out the truths and positive affirmations that counteract those beliefs. Get into the habit of saying those positive words out loud to yourself every day. Watch your world transform.
Help yourself overcome by putting your truths and the goal you want to make your reality right in front of your face all the time. Create a list or picture of vision board of where you want to go, place it somewhere you’ll see it all throughout the day, like your fridge or car steering wheel. Focus on it, let it permeate your brain all day long.
Make sure your affirmations make you feel something. When you’re reading them out loud, you should feel yourself being filled with hope – it should feel like someone is breathing life into you. When I read mine, I can feel something inside of me shifting, responding to the words I’m saying. Make them bold, not timid.
For example, when we were at our brokest point, I stood in my driveway and said, “I am extremely wealthy. I am also generous and changing the world with my money.”
Do you have any idea how ridiculous it felt to stand outside and say that sentence out loud when I wasn’t even sure how we were going to afford groceries the next day? But suddenly, nearly overnight, this was our reality, and now we are truly seeing our money do good things and change the world through giving – it’s incredible to see this practice take effect in your life. You can do this same thing with anything you’re struggling to overcome.
Allie Casazza is The Purposeful Housewife. She is all about helping you purge the clutter that’s clogging your joy, rediscover the purpose in your days, and live with intention.
Learn more about Allie @thepurposefulhousewife.