Chinese Proverb; A book tightly shut is but a block of paper.
The other day I was talking with someone about something which I didn’t realize was a ‘hot button’ issue for me. I was giving them all the reasons why what they were proposing would not work for me. I was anticipating failure before even getting started with what they were asking me to do. They couldn’t understand why I was being so negative.
I wanted to ‘think positively’ but I couldn’t. Nothing in me was able to effectively keep my mind from reverting back to the same thought of ‘I won’t be successful at this’. . . . and then the light dawned.
I was suffering from the after shock of a negative experience around a similar situation which had been reinforced by negative beliefs . I had become like a book tightly shut, but a block of paper.
Limiting beliefs form as a result of negative experiences. If every time you pet the dog it bit you, you would soon form a belief that petting the dog was dangerous. No matter what is said to try and convince you otherwise, as long as the underlying limiting belief is fueled with fear, the subconscious mind will seek to protect you by offering resistance via the conscious mind.
When we listen for what is being said under the words we are more likely to hear what’s driving the conversation. Instead of trying to adopt a more positive attitude on top of negative beliefs, we can use the incident to get to the root of the problem and delete the negative programming.
In observing with heart-mind, instead of judging with the head, we open to a deeper level of communication. As we spot that roiling ocean of fear under the words, we are tipped off to the fact that we are not upset for the reason we think. We aren’t afraid of petting dogs but after having been bitten we have the belief that we should be and thus react accordingly.
In addressing fear-based beliefs negativity disperses. Letting another know that we ‘get’ what they are saying on a deeper level, requires we listen with heart-ears.
Space is then created into which response instead of reaction organically occurs. Once the fear is acknowledged instead of resisted the subconscious can be reprogrammed. Without force the positive emerges.
Negative beliefs are often slippery and can elude us. In “Taming Your Gremlin – a guide to enjoying yourself” Richard Carson offers a sure-fire way to spot negative beliefs;
- You tell yourself that you only have one or two choices in a situation or “no choice” at all.
- Your inner critic expresses his or her opinion. The inner critic’s opinion is generally based in a limiting belief.
- A decision may appear to be black and white to you or, an either/or situation.
- You have decided that “this is the way the world is.”
- You make a decision based on fear.
- You feel constricted and notice that you lack clarity about a specific situation.
Limiting beliefs keep us from experiencing all sorts of go(o)d in our lives. One of the best ones to put to rest is the limiting belief that we have to convince ourselves or others to be positive.
Learning how to spot negative beliefs strengthens us. The best part. . . . this action sets us free from that which separates us from who we truly are.