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Do Your Beliefs Empower You or Limit You?

Do Your Beliefs Empower You or Limit You?

Do Your Beliefs Empower You or Limit You

    What if it Just Ain’t True?

    A few years ago one of my friends accidentally discovered that his dad was in fact not his dad at all. Ouch. At twenty seven years of age, he discovered that something he absolutely knew (not thought, hoped, or wished) to be fact, was in reality, not true at all. Let’s just say that his reaction wasn’t a totally positive one. It never occurred to him that his ‘truth’, may in fact, be a big lie. A well-meaning lie (his mum had tried to protect him). A noble lie (is there such a thing?). But a major deception nonetheless.

    What if you were to wake up tomorrow and discover that something you’ve believed (thought to be absolute fact) for years, simply wasn’t true? Completely and utterly false. You weren’t even close. How would you feel? Mad? Betrayed? Confused? Stupid? Maybe a little of each? Could it be that some of us hold on to certain beliefs in order to avoid the above feelings? After all, imagine having to unlearn something we’ve believed for decades? That would be quite the mental and emotional challenge, wouldn’t it?

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    We’ve spoken about beliefs many times here at me-dot-com but today I want to give you a little something to chew on, think about and discuss; if you feel so inspired.

    Some questions for you:

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    1. Is it possible that you’ve ‘learned’ certain things over the years that are, in fact, false? Is it maybe even likely?
    2. Is it possible that some of your (self-limiting) beliefs are the very things which stop you from fulfilling (or at least, exploring) your potential, making certain decisions, taking chances and possibly finding happiness?
    3. Did you consciously choose and develop your own beliefs, or did you simply adopt ”hand-me-downs” from somebody else? (Many people do this). But Craig, why wouldn’t I believe dad? He knows and I trust him, so his beliefs become mine – consciously or not. Intentionally or not. Besides, I wouldn’t want to offend him would I?
    4. Is it possible that you’ve believed certain things (seen the world in a particular way) for so long that the very thought of questioning some of your long-held beliefs makes you feel (1) uncomfortable, (2) anxious, (3) disloyal, (4) unfaithful, or perhaps even (5) overwhelmed?
    5. Have you ever been coerced, pressured or expected to believe certain things, and because of those imposed beliefs you have been compelled to adhere to certain standards, rules and behaviours? Even though deep down you resented it?
    6. Have you ever felt like questioning certain beliefs (to others) but held your tongue in order to keep the peace and avoid potential confrontation? (Why bother – it will only create problems?).
    7. For the most part, do your beliefs empower you or limit you?

    Breaking Free

    Sometimes beliefs are like handcuffs or leg irons. They restrict movement, potential, exploration and of course, freedom. Freedom to learn, grow and change. They keep us in the custody of something or someone. You know what I mean.

    One of the most liberating, empowering and cathartic things we can do as authors of our own lives is to question our beliefs. Not for the sake of being different, difficult or rebellious, but for the sake of learning who we are, what we are and what we really believe beyond the social conditioning, the weight of expectation, the years of mental and emotional programming and beyond the pressure of group thinking.

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    After all, our beliefs determine our choices and behaviours (for the most part) and our choices and behaviours determine the kind of results we produce in our world. So why wouldn’t we? Is it time for you to do a little unlearning?

    Tell me about what you’ve unlearned lately.

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    More by this author

    Craig Harper

    Leading presenter, writer and educator in the areas of high-performance, self-management, personal transformation and more

    Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life? Do You Make These 10 Common Mistakes Before Weighing Yourself? If your Childhood Sucked – It’s Time to Stop Blaming Your Parents! Exploring Relationships with the Single Weirdo Education Should be More than Academic Basics

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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