Your Mind: Limiting Thoughts
All those false beliefs about ourselves are mental junk that stop us from reaching our full potential, as motivational author Louise Hay once said, “If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become a truth for you.”
Recognising your mental blocks is the first step to letting go of them. Narrative psychology tells us that we define ourselves not by facts but the stories we tell ourselves, according to Dr John Sharp, Harvard Medical School professor and author of The Insight Cure: Change Your Story, Transform Your Life. So take a journal and write down your story: how would you describe yourself? What are you incapable of? Next, question yourself why – for example, if you can’t take on a work challenge, is it because you’re afraid of failure? Often these bias stem from fear, an emotion that prompts the infamous fight-or-flight response. Switch on your logical brain instead and write down everything that’s wrong about these obstructive thoughts. Finally, rewrite your story with positive statements such as “I’m good at…” and “I can…”. Read them out loud and revisit them whenever your doubts creep up again.
Your Social Circle: Toxic Relationships
If interacting with someone always leaves you exhausted and stressed, chances are your relationship with them is toxic to your mental health.
Sometimes you can’t simply cut these toxic relationships out – they may be your colleagues or relatives, and contact is unavoidable. In this case, setting healthy boundaries is key, and there are three steps to it. First, reflect on the situations that make you feel uncomfortable or stressed so you know when to say no, a.k.a. identify your boundaries. Next, communicate your boundaries in a calm and clear manner, expect negative reactions from the other parties but don’t be afraid to stand firm for your wellbeing. Finally, enforce your boundaries consistently with action. For example, if a co-worker enjoys talking about personal topics that make you feel uncomfortable, let them know politely that you’d like to focus on the tasks at hand.