A little while ago I was treated to a little get-away to a nature reserve in the dunes and at sea. As my financial situation is as it is and little get-away’s are more of an exception than a rule, this was something I was really looking forward to.
We were planning on hiking in the nature reserve with my 2 dogs and we were really looking forward to it. The journey to the nature reserve and settling in in our little traveler’s cabin was all going really well and we were having a great time.
And then comes our hiking day. And the entire day my jaw was clenched, my head hurt and my shoulders were tense.
There was absolutely no reason for me to feel like this. Everything was going so well. The weather was great. The walk was great. The food was great. The conversations were great. The silence was great. Everything was just good as it was.
And yet, I was tense.
I didn’t let myself completely enjoy this gift of this get-away and of this hiking day.
I worried about whether the dogs were enjoying themselves. I worried about whether or not I’m doing the right things with the dogs. I worried about whether or not my boyfriend was enjoying himself. I worried about whether or not he was still loving me or he would be leaving me. I worried whether or not I was doing the right thing with my business.
All in all, I was worrying like crazy and causing myself stress and anxiety while being in a beautiful environment with someone whom I love.
Negativity biased mindset
For me, this is a very common reaction. I have a tendency to self-sabotage when things are going great. I’ve had a negativity biased mindset for over 30 years. Meaning that I choose negativity over positivity. Meaning I choose anxiety over relaxation. Meaning I choose contraction over openness.
Over the last 15 years or so I’ve been working on my mindset and my mindset is not as gloomy and dark and negative as the above might suggest. But I still do have a belief that I believe in so strongly that it influences my life and my well-being in such a way that I’m still self-sabotaging.
I have a belief that I’m not supposed to be my complete self. That I’m not capable of living my truest life. That I’m not worthy of being my best self.
And I’ve been confirming that belief over and over again.
And whenever there’s an experience that might contradict this belief, I will choose thoughts that will cause me to feel anxiety and stress, and therefore still confirming my belief of not being worthy of living a good life.
And I wonder…
Why do I hold on so such a belief that’s causing me stress, anxiety and with which I’m sabotaging my own life?
Holding onto something that doesn’t bring you joy
I believe it’s because of the emotion associated with that belief.
This is my strongest and hardest belief to transform. And I do believe that’s because of the strong emotion associated with that belief.
Because I believe that I don’t just deserve, or am worthy or am capable of living my truest life, I believe that if I do, I will be crushed, wiped away or even annihilated.
And even though I cognitively know this is completely bogus, it doesn’t feel like that to me. It feels very, very real. It feels so real because I’m super sensitive to what I can handle and what not. The world to me can be an overwhelming place with noises, things to do, responsibilities. My outer world feels too overwhelming most of the time and my inner world as well. So I’m constantly being triggered and overstimulated all the while coping with that and keeping things going as they are.
Besides that, I’ve had experiences where I would just black out completely when things would get too overwhelming and too weird for me.
So, taking all that into account, the fear associated with that belief feels very real to me. And I’ve made unlogical associations that I need to keep that belief alive in order for me to be alive as well, even though not in alignment with who I am, but alive anyway.
The reason why I held on to a negative belief for so long
I was embarrassed. I was ashamed of myself.
Why would an intelligent young woman with capabilities just like anyone else, make such a mess of her life and would feel so overwhelmed by day-to-day things and tasks?
I saw the people in my life as the opposite of how I felt and I’ve always thought that I was the weirdo and making things bigger and more problematic than they were. I thought that I just needed to “buckle up” and keep going. Which was what I did.
So I learned to get over my true feelings inside, I learned to ignore my inner voice and I learned to toughen up at the expense of my true calling.
So this belief has been tugged under the rug for a very long time, all the while influencing my thoughts and actions on a subconscious level.
The fear associated with this belief was so strong and as I was so used to keep going and ignoring what I really felt, I didn’t know how to handle the fear and this belief whenever it did come up. So I would ignore it again and keep going as I was so used to doing.
The shame and embarrassment kept me from reaching out and trusting other people. The few times that I was told that it was me, or that I needed to toughen up or whatever have been too painful for me that I couldn’t bare anyone more person to tell me such a thing. I was already tough on myself, non-forgiving and harsh as that was my learned behavior to keep going.
The way out of that belief
Until I got to know my boyfriend who has a history of being different and learning to accept himself as well as meeting people who were accepting towards themselves and their tendencies to experience life in a different way, was I able to start to honestly look at myself. To question myself as to what I’m doing.
I felt safe enough to let myself be seen as the person I truly am. To let my vulnerability come out as to not being able to handle that much stuff and things as most people around me. To be able to get real about my own vulnerabilities and tendencies and to let myself be and do as felt more aligned for me.
In truth, such a transformation didn’t depend on anybody else but me. I wasn’t ready to see myself for who I was at that time, how my own behavior has influenced my life and how scared I was. I wasn’t ready to see and acknowledge that in myself.
Being around my boyfriend at the beginning of our relationship and seeing how he handled himself and life, has been life changing for me. Having friends again who are honest about themselves and who see me for who I am, has furthered my confidence to really be myself.
But there was still one thing crucial in this process.
I needed to forgive myself for being unable to change my belief for so long. For living my life as I had chosen to do so. For ignoring myself for so long.
Before my transformation, I needed to get honest about my own feelings towards me, because I was really mad at myself for letting me down this way. For not stepping up for myself. For not giving myself the things I needed to thrive.
Back to our hiking day.
That day I fell into unconscious behavior. Into an old habit. Fear had gotten hold of me and I was self-sabotaging a wonderful day.
Instead of getting frustrated about such a thing, getting irritated about that, I forgave myself. And because of that I was able to do a mental exercise to work on my limiting beliefs (see this article for that specific exercise)
Forgiveness has been key in my journey. Forgiving myself so I would be able to honestly look within and see everything that I don’t like, let it be seen for it to transform it.
For me, forgiveness paved the way to an honest and loving look towards myself. If I hadn’t been able to truly and honestly look at myself, I wouldn’t have been able to change and transform.
By forgiving myself, I created an inner environment where everything – thought and action – is welcomed, seen and heard. And within that environment, I can choose consciously which path to follow. Do I want to stay unconscious (NO!) or do I choose for consciousness and being awake (YES!!).
I will end this post with some words about forgiveness. You can read them, meditate on them, walk with them, let them sink in, see if this resonates with you.
Seeing the entirety of yourself is what self-forgiveness is all about.
Forgiveness is about seeing yourself completely.
Forgiveness isn’t about doing the right thing. Being a good girl or boy. Forgiveness isn’t just for those who have done well.
Forgiveness is for everybody. Including you.
Including your dark parts.
Including you hurting other people.
Including you hurting yourself.
Including you not being honest with other people.
Including you not being honest with yourself.
Forgiveness is about letting yourself be in your entirety.
Forgiveness loves the dark parts. Forgiveness loves the parts that you don’t want to see.
Forgiveness wants to shed her light on those parts. Wants to love those parts.
Every part of you is already here. And when already here it’s already accepted.
It’s you who’s resistant to those parts. But Life itself has already accepted those dark parts as they are already here. Why fight against Life? When Life has already accepted you completely?
Forgiveness is here to shed light on those dark parts of you, you don’t want to see.
Those dark parts make up the person you are. They have the greatest lessons hidden within them.
Forgiveness is your key to unlocking those dark parts for you to see the light hidden within them. To see the gifts hidden behind the dark and ugly parts.
Forgiveness will take the sharp edges of those dark parts.
You are already accepted with everything that you bring. Because you are already here, with everything that you bring.
Stop resisting Life. Stop resisting yourself.
Start opening up and use forgiveness to ease yourself into your dark parts for you to grow into the person you truly and deeply are.
You are loved. You are accepted. You are beautiful.
I’m in the process of rebranding my website and shifting more into my purpose. It took me some time to get here, but I’m here. I believe that your outer world is a reflection of your inner world and by using my everyday stories I want to inspire you to learn from your world and become more and more aligned with your true self.
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