In December we explored the concept of giving yourself the gift of personal growth. Were you able to start doing that? Did you think about those things that you want to release and those things that you wanted to claim? Taking this initial step is a movement in valuing yourself. You are worthy of this investment!
As we enter the time of “New Year Resolutions”, I would encourage you to continue claiming those things that are good and healthy for you. We have explored limiting beliefs before and this month we are framing it as setting new thriving mindsets.
There’s an old allegory about a baby elephant that is tied to a fence post. As the baby elephant tugs and pulls, it fails to break the fence or break the rope. Eventually, it gives up and makes peace with its fate. The baby elephant is stuck. But eventually, the elephant grows up and becomes a big, adult elephant with gargantuan legs and a huge tusk and swirly trunk and it could easily walk away from the fence if it wanted to. But believing the fence to be some immovable thing, the adult elephant remains tied to it, falsely believing it can never get away.
Our work is to think about what core beliefs or mindsets are strong for us and how they drive our behavior. We must look particularly at those mindsets that don’t lead us to be the people we want to be or to live the life we want to live.
We form these mindsets around a number of topics or areas. For the elephant, the mindset is: “I am small, weak and stuck in this place.” For me, the mindset was: “I am not worthy and do not deserve to be treated well.”
How does this happen?! Since our minds cannot handle infinite possibilities, we create our own realities with finite thoughts. Unconsciously, we take the whole realm of possibilities, break it into pieces, and select a handful of pieces to put together in a certain way within our minds. This “mental model” becomes our reality. We expend energy day and night to make the world fit this model, and label everything that doesn’t fit as wrong, bad, or unfair. If we want to go beyond the model that we have created, we have to take the risk of questioning it, no longer believing it to be true or valid.
As you begin to question and even stop doing some of the things that have become automatic and comfortable for you, you will experience some discomfort. Become curious as to why that is. Yes, I am encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone. As you step out into the unknown, you will begin to see the walls that you have built and the limits you have put on yourself. Seeing this will begin to reveal the repetitive loop of behaviors and thinking that lead you into a pattern of living from the unresolved hurt of the past.
Let me share a little more of my personal story to explain how my unhealthy mindset was formed and how it created unhealthy patterns that I had to consciously identify and work to reset.
I grew up in a family that experienced a great deal of trauma and tragedy. Grandparents killed by a drunk driver, uncles dying in their early 30’s, cousin dying in her teens, family members’ constant battles with cancer. So, when I was sexually abused around age five, no one intervened. It could be that no one knew. It could be that it was one more thing and they couldn’t deal with it. My child-mind created the mindset that I was not worthy of intervention. This limiting belief then was reinforced over time. I found ways of coping. Some were healthy and others were not. Unfortunately, my limiting beliefs and mindset came into play even when I didn’t realize it. I married an abusive man because I felt fortunate he chose me despite signs of his darker side (tied to feeling unworthy).
It took years for me to claim my worthiness. I had to recognize the patterns and the underlying mindset. I had to do the hard work of addressing the pain that led to the mindset. I needed to surround myself with others who would reinforce the new mindset: I am worthy!
In our January 15th blog, we will begin to examine what mindsets became ingrained in you and how you can begin to claim a new mindset.
At Survivors to Thrivers, we are committed to encouraging and supporting you as you seek to embrace your healing and growth. We would love to hear steps you have taken to open yourself up to being vulnerable. Please know we are here to cheer you on– every step of the way!
“Slowly I began to realize that I had excelled to show my worth and yet my worth was inherently in me; In my heart and soul, not my actions and achievements.” Tambry Harris
Quote from Awakening the Light: A Survivors to Thrivers Going-Forward Story available through our book tab or by clicking here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KK8YFDM