Start by writing down your beliefs about yourself on post-it notes (stick to one belief per post-it). Try to write down as many as you can think of and remember to include ones that are both empowering or more limiting. You can also write down any ‘labels’ that you associate with yourself.
Challenge your unhelpful beliefs.
We all have our own perspectives or beliefs about ourselves. These can come from our journey through life, or they may have been imposed on us by somebody along the way. But they are not always helpful, and sometimes they might be holding you back. Take a moment to reflect on your beliefs and choose which ones you want to carry forward, which you can re-frame, or which you may want to discard altogether.
Once you have written everything down, take each belief in turn and start to examine it. Ask yourself: Is it true? Was it true once? Is it helpful? Where did it come from? And how reliable was the ‘witness’?
Make a deliberate choice to do one of three things with each belief:
- Keep it.
- Rewrite it (or re-frame it) so that it’s more appealing or useful to you.
- Destroy it.
There are no right or wrong answers, but try to be as honest with yourself as possible. It may also be helpful to bear the following questions in mind:
- What’s stopping you from changing a certain belief in the past?
- Whose voice do you hear when you think about a belief?
- What beliefs about others, or the world in general, underpin each one?
Rather than re-framing your current beliefs, you might decide that you would like to write down some completely new ones. Whatever you decide, keep coming back to your new beliefs over the next few weeks and months. You can repeat the exercise to see if these beliefs are more helpful and decide if you want to keep them permanently.