3 Ways To Stop Deeply Ingrained Patterns From Ruining Your Life

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There are certain unconscious patterns and limiting beliefs that have been running you, your entire life. These patterns have tapped your energy. They have exhausted you. They have cumulatively wasted precious years of your life.

And not until you become aware of these patterns and work through the limiting beliefs that are propping them up will they stop having you operate like a speed boat with five anchors dragging behind it along the ocean floor.

We all have old limiting beliefs left over from our previous experiences.

There were likely times when you felt invalidated as a child. Maybe someone told you that your emotions were wrong. Or that you were “too much.” Or that your thoughts, interests, passions, and desires were ridiculous. And because of these early experiences, you formed beliefs as survival mechanisms to keep you ‘safe’ for a time.

After a while, these beliefs that once served you became unnecessary armor that you carry with you through your life, weighing you down with every step just like a 300-pound shield would slow you down on the battlefield.

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Here are a few examples of what some unproductive limiting beliefs could be.

In work:

  • I have to do it all on my own.
  • Work is a struggle. I’m not allowed to enjoy what I do in my work.
  • Becoming financially wealthy is the only thing that matters in life.

In your relationships:

  • All love that is offered to me is fragile.
  • I am a difficult person to love.
  • Nobody actually cares about me.
  • I am fundamentally unlovable/unworthy.
  • No one has my back.

With your health:

  • Food is a reward that I must earn.
  • Financial gain/social status is more important than being healthy.
  • My body, and how it appears, is my ultimate worth in the world.

How do you keep these unconscious beliefs from taking over? It’s easy as 1-2-3 (except the practical reality of it often isn’t easy at all). 

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Here are 3 ways to stop deeply ingrained patterns from ruining your life:

1. Become aware of your thoughts

Different people need different awareness exercises. Try meditation. Ask your intuitive friends for their perceptions of your blind spots. Dream tracking and analysis. Group therapy. Anger-releasing exercises and/or somatic healing work. 

Once you have identified what your limiting beliefs are, it’s time to let them out.

2. Let them out

Journal about it. Engage in some talk-based therapy. Feel your feelings/old stored negative emotions by doing emotional processing work. Tell your limiting beliefs to a trusted, non-shaming person. Again, many ways to go about this. You need to find the healing modality that is right for you and your situation.

People generally don’t let their thoughts out because of what they fear that it says about them. Here’s the good news, you are not your thoughts.

Whether you think that nobody actually loves you, that life will never be easy for you, or that you’ll always secretly be the nerdy teenager that nobody wants around, you’re fine. You’re a human being. And the human mind is a BS generator that will spit out all kinds of crazy stuff at you. It doesn’t mean that your thoughts are real. You are not your thoughts.

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3. Stop acting in accordance with them

Once you’re aware of your internal demons whispering things in your ear, you are then free to choose to go a different way. Maybe your sense of unworthiness would have you hide your true feelings and not let your lover know how you really feel about them. But you choose a new path and you open and reveal your heart fully.

Maybe your ego/fear-mind/old beliefs would try to convince you that you’re not worthy of starting up your new business because it’s going to inevitably fail. You can choose a different way and have a genuine shot at your dream career path because you know that you’ll regret it on your deathbed if you don’t.

Maybe you have a deep fear that men/women only appreciate you for your looks/money/social circle. Choosing a new way would look like revealing your other (internally based) gifts to others and affording them the opportunity to respond to those things. That and/or allowing yourself to let go of old friendships that no longer feel in alignment with who you are at your core.

Here’s a specific exercise that you can start using in order to clear out your old stored negative emotions.

Were you bullied or emotionally invalidated at some point in your childhood? Chances are, yes, you were. Because of the emotions that you suppressed, a part of you is offline and unusable.

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Here’s how to heal that:

Set aside half an hour. Begin by writing down or verbalizing your most painful thoughts. When you write down or say a sentence that makes you tear up or start to cry, keep saying it, over and over again in order to release the associated emotion.

Once that thought no longer produces tears, move on to another thought or painful memory. Be as clear, direct, and descriptive as possible. Don’t dance around your pain. Go straight for the epicenter of it.

Some of my most tear-inducing sentence prompts used to be “When I was a little boy, I thought that everyone that I loved hated me” and “When I was young, I felt that I had to become needless in order to survive.” Now when I write those things/say them out loud, they produce no emotional response. Because I’ve tapped those particular wells dry.

What this does is it builds back the full spectrum of your emotional ability, and it releases old stored negative emotions that the bullied/invalidated/afraid younger version of you didn’t feel like he/she had permission to feel.

Do this, even just a few times per week, for the next month and your life will begin to shift in magical ways.

Simple is rarely easy. This work won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

Become aware of the thought patterns that are running the show, express them in some format, and then begin to choose a new way forward. Your life depends on it.

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Jordan Gray is a five-time #1 Amazon best-selling author, public speaker, and relationship coach with more than a decade of practice behind him. His work has been featured in The New York Times, BBC, Forbes, The Huffington Post, and more.

This article was originally published at Jordan Gray Counseling. Reprinted with permission from the author.