At Kidpower, we teach that our beliefs in ourselves as being powerful, capable, and valuable people are the most important self-protection and emotional safety tools we have. Our goal is to prevent and stop experiences that diminish these positive beliefs – and to create experiences that help to grow these beliefs.
Repeated negative thoughts about ourselves undermine our positive beliefs and can cause us to see and react to our world in ways that often undermine our relationships and make it hard to take care of ourselves.
One of my most important roles as a holistic life coach to help people create new outcomes in their lives is by taking charge of their beliefs. It may seem more complex than that, but change comes from the messages we give ourselves, which are our thoughts.
Our thoughts create our feelings. Our feelings are powerful drivers of our actions. And our actions create the results we get in our lives.
When we want to create something different for ourselves, we often need to develop new beliefs about what’s possible. Beliefs are thoughts we have over and over again until we are convinced or assume that they are true.
Here are some beliefs that create limits within us and prevent us from doing things that we want.
- I’m not good enough.
- I just don’t have enough confidence.
- I don’t have the discipline for that.
- People don’t understand me.
- I won’t ever be successful.
- Nobody cares about me.
- I don’t deserve better.
- I hate my body.
Once we’re aware of limiting beliefs we hold, we might feel the need to change them right away to their exact opposites—by stating affirmations that we DO want to believe.
The problem is that, if we take too big of a leap, we’ll keep trying to tell ourselves things that we don’t yet really believe. And that thought won’t help us because we don’t believe it yet, no matter how many times we may repeat it during the day.
So how do we get to the new belief we want that seems so far from our current belief? A very effective technique is to practice thoughts that bridge us or ladder us to the next level of thinking.
As an example, let’s take the limiting and destructive belief, “I hate my body!”
The goal belief might be “I love my body.” AND, it’s hard to jump from hate to love right away.
Here are some potential ladder thoughts to move from the belief “I hate my body” to “I love my body”:
- I hate my body.
- I have a body.
- There are other people with bodies like mine.
- Other people with bodies like mine seem to like their bodies.
- It’s possible that I could like my body.
- My body has the potential to change and be healthier.
- I am living my life because of my body.
- My body allows me to do things I enjoy.
- I am learning to enjoy being in my body.
- I am learning to love my body.
- I love my body.
Another common limiting belief is caused by learned helplessness, which makes it very stressful to try out or learn something new.
Here are potential ladder thoughts to move from “I am helpless!” to “I am competent!” :
- I am helpless I can’t can’t do anything well!
- Actually, here is ONE thing I do very well
- And here is another, and another, and another
- If I don’t know how to do something, it is okay to ask for help
- I know when and how to ask for help
- I’ve figured out how to do new things
- I know I am competent and able to learn
- I can take care of myself and do the things that are most important to me.
We may need to practice each ladder thought for a couple days, a week, two weeks, etc. before moving on to the next one. Until we truly believe the thought we are practicing, it’s important to stay with it before moving on to the next level.
Our thoughts are powerful. We can learn how to use them to create beliefs that empower us instead of disempower us.
Your turn: What are some of the limiting thoughts/beliefs you hold? What are some goal thoughts/beliefs that you’d like to have instead? Explore and practice some ladder or bridge thoughts that can help you get to your goal thoughts by taking charge of your beliefs!
Published: February 21, 2023 | Last Updated: February 21, 2023
April Yee is a Holistic Life Coach focusing on Transformative Self-Care. We hope her insights add value to your day or week. To connect directly with April, you can visit her website or sign-up for her weekly newsletter to receive self-care insights directly in your inbox.
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