We are all holding on to things that are no longer serving us. Things like beliefs, expectations and emotions that are no longer true to us and holding us back from the person we want to be.
We may not realize it, but these beliefs, expectations and emotions are constantly running in our subconscious. Think of them as part of our hard wiring.
Maybe it’s the idea that I can’t succeed in work and give your kids the time, love and attention
Maybe you are stuck in the comparison trap with that old friend from high school who seems
to have it all.
Maybe you are feeling pressure to follow the timeline of what your life “should” look like, you
know, married with two kids and a dog and making 6 figures by age 35, or whatever it may be
Maybe you are holding on to the negative emotions and experiences of a past relationship
and they are tainting the currently one.
Maybe you think it’s your job to care for and please everyone.
Maybe it’s when I get to X weight I will be happy, confident and love my body.
Or simple I am not enough...pretty enough, smart enough, talented enough, lovable enough.
As you read that, what came up for you? Did any of your old beliefs, expectations or emotions rise to the surface. How did it make you feel? Maybe a little uneasy, a pit in your stomach, cause your heart to race a bit?
When these beliefs, expectations or emotions come up we often feel some sort of tension in our body. This is because those old ways of being are not aligned with our current way and it’s almost like a tug of war in our body. This can manifest in many ways, impacting us emotionally, physically or both. The larger the misalignment from our current self or the longer you hold on to these old beliefs, expectations or emotions, often the more it impacts in our body. These tensions or unease can manifest as headaches, digestion issues, fatigue, anxiety attacks, infertility issues, low mood and many more.
So what can you do to address them?
Be aware of the belief, expectation or emotion. This can be one of the most challenging steps because as I mentioned they can be buried deep down in our subconscious. Anytime you feel uneasy or tense, whatever that looks like for you, identify what beliefs, expectations or emotions are at play.
Reflect on the belief, expectation or emotion. Ask yourself things like:
Where did it come from originally (maybe a cultural norm or something your parents mentioned as a kid)?
Is it still true to you?
Is it serving you?
How would your life be different if you didn’t have that belief, expectation or emotion?
Who would you be different if you didn’t have this belief, expectation or emotion?
Why do you think you are holding on to it?
Decide whether you want to hold on that belief, expectation or emotion or get rid of it. If it’s still true or serving you in some way, you don’t have to get rid of it.
(If you choose to get rid of it) Reframe the belief, expectation or emotion to one that better aligns with your new way of thinking. Think of yourself as re-writing that phrase being repeated n your head to make it better suit your current situation and the person you want to grow into. Repeat this new phase as much as needed.
Challenge those old beliefs, expectations or emotions. Just because you decided they don’t serve you anymore, doesn’t mean they are going to magically disappear. They will still come up, but that’s when you need to remind yourself that they are no longer for you and remind yourself of your new reframed way of thinking.
Live a much easier, tension-free and happy filled life where you aren’t being held back by old beliefs, expectations or emotions.
I think it is important to add that this process not only works about beliefs, expectations and emotions we have about ourselves but also those we have about other communities and societies. This is an important time for uprooting past societal beliefs about race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age and much more.
Let’s do the work for ourselves and our community.
Are you aware of any old beliefs, expectations or emotions that you are holding onto?
Are you ready to do the work needed to build a new set of beliefs, expectations or emotions?
What are the beliefs, expectations or emotions yourself future/best self has?