Release Limiting Beliefs With These 5 Simple Steps

9689518312_a8305dd043_b

We learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. Look back in your own life and notice how often you have gone through the same experience.
~ Louise Hay

 
Limiting beliefs are like heavy bags, filled with useless stuff, that you carry with you wherever you go.

You may think that whatever you’re carrying in those bags is important, but the bags ultimately weigh you down and greatly restrict your mobility. There’s also the aspect of becoming accustomed to carrying the bags. Once you do it for a while, it becomes your default state. You don’t know any better, so you go around carrying your baggage without ever stopping to ask, “Wait, what am I doing?”

Limiting beliefs are insidious because you don’t really know that they exist until you’re able to objectively look at yourself. It’s like the old phrase, “The fish will be the last to discover water.” Until you’re able to observe your thoughts, emotions and actions, you’ll forever be confined within a bubble reality of limiting beliefs and disempowering false assumptions.

Many of the limiting beliefs we hold are learned from our parents. As children, we are subconscious sponges, constantly picking up beliefs, habits, behavioral patterns and general views of the world from our parents. This is how our model of reality is sculpted, for better or worse. (See: Face It, You’re Parents are Flawed).

The Power of Mindfulness

I cannot stress the importance of mindfulness enough.

In order to be able to view yourself objectively and even have the option to change, you must cultivate mindfulness.

Think of mindfulness as self-awareness from a higher perspective, or the ability to objectively observe your thoughts, emotions and actions.

Mindfulness is the basis of any change. It is the foundational phenomena that, once, cultivated, will put you in a position of power to change anything. Instead of unknowingly repeating limiting or negative patterns on auto-pilot, mindfulness gives you the choice in every moment to indulge those patterns or not (and choice is a superpower).

If you develop mindfulness, you will be in a position to intuitively discover and release anything that’s holding you back. With enough mastery, you won’t need any external information. If you can still the waters of your mind and just listen, you’ll be able to receive all of the answers you need. Remember that.

Mindfulness is cultivated through a regular meditation practice. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or time consuming either. The notion that meditation has to be difficult is actually a limiting belief that many people have. You can start just by sitting with your eyes closed and observing your thoughts for 2 minutes every day. Just 2 minutes! Another ridiculously easy practice is the 21 Breath Salute. Once you feel like you’re able to consistently watch your thoughts and they appear less and less, you can extend the time or try out other forms of meditation. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of meditation; even the shortest and simplest daily practice will be greatly transformative over time.

A Simple 5 Step Process For Releasing Limiting Beliefs

1. Ask Questions and Embark on a Scavenger Hunt

Your limiting decisions are hiding out in the areas where you’re producing results that you don’t want.
~ Matthew B. James

 
Your limiting beliefs are the shadows lurking beneath the results you’re getting that you don’t want. So here’s the big question to identify limiting beliefs: What results are you getting that you don’t want? This can apply to any and every aspect of life.

If you’re having money problems, for example, chances are that you’re holding a limiting belief around money. So ask yourself these kinds of questions to get to the bottom of it:

  • What is my self-talk regarding money? (Maybe it’s something like “There’s never enough money.”) And in what situations does this negative self-talk come up?
  • How am I reacting to my financial situation? A feeling of helplessness? A victim mentality? Anger?
  • Hint: If you’re reacting to your situation in a disempowered way, that’s a telltale sign of a limiting belief.

    If you’re having problems finding a relationship, there’s probably a limiting belief standing in the way. Here are some ideas of questions to ask yourself regarding this:

  • Do I think all women are (insert negative adjective)? Do I think all men are (insert negative adjective)?
  • Do I think that women only interested in X? Do I think that men only interested in Y?
  • Am I waiting for perfection?
  • Do I not want to settle down yet?
  • Do I not feel worthy of a good relationship?
  • Use these types of questions for any facet of life that you wish to release limiting beliefs. You’ll be surprised at how much you can uncover just by asking the right questions.

    A major part of releasing limiting beliefs is treating it like an internal scavenger hunt. You have to be honest with yourself and willing to make a change. Adding elements of gamification and viewing the process as a scavenger hunt makes it more fun and less intimidating.

    Note: Choose one specific limiting belief at a time for the rest of the steps. Focusing on one belief at a time will help create a deep awareness regarding that belief and allow you to effectively and fully eliminate it.

    2. Write down the limiting belief.

    Writing something down leverages the power of externalization. There’s something magical and cathartic about getting something out of your head and into written form. If you write your limiting beliefs down, it will give you perspective, objectivity and insight that you never would have imagined if you had just kept everything in your head.

    3. Recognize that it is a belief, not necessarily truth.

    This is crucial to understand; just because you believe something doesn’t make it true. Viewing beliefs from this perspective is transformative in and of itself.

    Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
    ~ Marcus Aurelius

     
    4. Change your thoughts until the belief changes (belief transmutation).

    The most effective way to get rid of limiting beliefs is to replace them with more empowering beliefs.

    A belief is simply a thought that you think over and over again. With mindfulness you can observe and change your thoughts. If you change a thought consistently, then you’ve changed a belief!

    Affirmations are immensely useful here. Let’s go back to the limiting belief regarding money, “There’s never enough money.” Every time you say “There’s never enough money,” “I don’t have the money,” or anything like that (to yourself or out loud), change it to something like one of the following affirmations:

  • I always have more than enough money to meet my needs, wants and desires.
  • I delight in the financial security that is a constant in my life.
  • I am open and receptive to all the wealth in the Universe.
  • I always attract whatever I need for a glorious future.
  • Money comes to me easily and effortlessly.
  • Wealth constantly flows into my life.
  • My actions create constant prosperity.
  • I am aligned with the energy of abundance.
  • Find an affirmation that intuitively feels right for you or create your own based upon the specific limiting belief you wish to replace.

    Consistency is key with this practice. Continuously substitute limiting self-talk for more empowering self-talk and soon enough your belief will be transmuted.

    5. Consciously change your actions based on the new belief.

    How would you act if you had this new belief? Act that way. It’s as simple as that. Act like the belief you want is your reality until it actually becomes your reality.

    Using the example of limiting beliefs around money again, changing your actions doesn’t necessarily mean spending extravagantly. It can be as simple as expressing gratitude (and not guilt) whenever you do spend money. It can also consist of staying open to and actively pursuing more income, instead of just complaining about your lack of money. Another strategy is to not let money be the biggest factor in determining everything you do. For example, if you’re really craving almond butter, splurge and get the expensive almond butter without worrying that it costs $5 more than you usually spend. If you don’t let money control your decisions (while using discretion, of course), then guess what? Money won’t control your decisions.

    Do you think you’re weak? Start acting like you’re strong, lift some weights and you’ll gain strength every week. Do you think you’re a bad writer? Write every day, and after a year, you’ll be a better writer than anyone you know. Do you think you’re bad at talking to men/women (whoever you’re attracted to)? Approach 100 people in the next month and you’ll be smoother than a frictionless surface after that. Do you see the trend here?

    Clarity comes through action. The car has to be in motion in order for the steering to work.

    You can’t sit around and do nothing, expecting your life to magically change. You have to meet the Universe half-way through your actions. Visualize the action and actualize the vision.

    Note: Do steps 4-5 simultaneously until the limiting belief has been transmuted into a more empowering belief. This may take a day or two for some, or as long as a month or more for deeply ingrained beliefs.

    Abundance

    The Paths Are Infinite

    There are also strategies that have the potential of helping you to spontaneously release limiting beliefs. This includes things like plant medicine (ayahuasca, iboga, psilocybin…etc.), energy work (reiki, acupuncture…etc), yoga (especially when holding certain positions for longer periods of time) and insights that emerge out of deep meditation.

    Though this article focuses on a specific process, remember that there are an infinite number of ways to reach any destination. Thinking that there is only one way to achieve something is a limiting belief in and of itself (wink, wink).

    Burst through the bubbles of limitation and embrace all possibility.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P

     

    Subscribe to our Newsletter

     

    How to Overcome Perfectionism

    kid painting

    Perfectionism is a trap.

    Though it may seem like perfectionism has your best interest in mind, it plays out much differently in the unfoldment of life.

    Perfectionism can be stifling. Though the drive for perfection can sometimes push you towards your goals, it most often creates delusional expectations, paralyzing procrastination and harsh self-criticism (as well as external criticism).

    We all know (on some level) that perfection doesn’t exist in this reality, so there is an inherent chasm of doubt whenever we chase perfection. The chasm of doubt and subtle anxieties of cognitive dissonance put us on the operating system of fear, where fear becomes the dominant motivating force. This is how perfectionism can make us hyper-critical (to both ourselves and others) as well as prevent us from even starting things (because of the fear that it won’t be perfect).

    Nature is imperfect, yet the imperfection of nature is what makes it beautiful, unique and ever-changing. Perfection is stagnation. Perfection is static. Perfection is permanence, which defies the very nature of our impermanent Universe. The only constant is change (in this reality at least), so you might as well embrace the paradoxical perfection of ever-changing imperfection. Imperfection is a gift, as it allows for uniqueness and the potential for perpetual improvement. Forgo the pursuit of perfection, accept where you are in each moment and strive for continual improvement.

    Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    ~ Gerard Way

     
    Overcoming Perfectionism Through Belief Transmutation

    One way to overcome perfectionism is to replace limiting beliefs with new, more empowering beliefs. This is the alchemical art of transmutation.

    Examples of limiting beliefs regarding perfection:

  • I have to be perfect in order to be worthy.
  • Everything has to be perfect for me to be happy.
  • Everything has to be perfect for (insert any hope or dream you want to come to fruition).
  • I’m afraid of doing this because it might not turn out perfectly.
  • I want to achieve perfection now.
  • Substitute those old, limiting beliefs for new, more empowering beliefs.

    Examples of more empowering beliefs:

  • Perfection doesn’t exist in this reality, but I achieve excellence.
  • I’m continuously improving and fueled by self-love.
  • I accept where I am in each moment, while always moving forward.
  • Imperfection allows for uniqueness and continuous improvement. I embrace my uniqueness and I’m endlessly evolving.
  • I always try my best and leave the rest up to the Universe/The Process of Life/God.
  • I’ll start now. I can always change, refine and improve things later because nothing is permanent.
  • I embrace the journey and find joy in continuous improvement.
  • Listen closely to your self-talk regarding perfection. Be particularly aware of your self-talk when the urge to procrastinate arises. What beliefs are you holding? What are more empowering beliefs to replace them with? A belief is simply a pattern of thoughts. Change your thoughts and you will change your beliefs.

    Overcoming Perfectionism Through Action

    If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.
    ~ Margaret Atwood

     
    Perfectionism has a component of fear to it, particularly the fear of not being perfect. And since nothing in this reality is perfect, the perfectionist often chooses inaction over the possibility of trying and not achieving perfection. This creates an incapacitating state of constant procrastination, which is an insidious byproduct of perfectionism. Building a habit of taking consistent action deprograms the perfectionist mindset.

    The unachievable expectations of perfectionism can be paralyzing, preventing you from even starting things. But taking action overcomes the rigid inertia of perfectionism and starts a snowball effect of empowering momentum. By flexing your action muscles, you break through the chains of perfectionism like the incredible hulk ripping through a shirt (except you probably won’t be angry).

    When you build a habit of consistent action-taking, procrastination becomes a distant memory. You’ll learn to find fulfillment in the process. Perfectionism will be re-programmed into the mindset of embracing the journey of life.

    A strategy often discussed in entrepreneurial circles is that of releasing something, or taking action, before you’re fully ready. This idea is not about releasing an unfinished or half-assed product/service, but in accepting imperfection and building the habit of taking action. Remember, nothing is permanent and you can always tweak things later.

    Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.
    ~ Napoleon Hill

     
    In the book The Motivation Manifesto, Brendon Burchard discusses defeating your personal demons. One of these demons is called “Defiance,” whose sole purpose is to delay your actions. How do you defeat this demon? You defeat Defiance by transforming delay with action. Decisive action, in the face of fear “sets off an internal tidal wave of power that subjugates our meeker impulses,” according to Burchard.

    I’ve also touched on the topic of overcoming doubt, defiance and delay in the article 8 Ways to Transmute Self-Doubt into Faith.”

    The practical how-to aspect of action is simple. Take small actions consistently, preferably every day. Break big tasks or big goals into bite-sized chunks. Create a system to bring you in the direction of a goal and stick to the system. Taking small actions on a daily basis allows you to avoid being overwhelmed and strengthens your action muscles to the point where procrastination doesn’t stand a chance.

    How I Overcame Perfectionism

    Though I still have perfectionist tendencies from time-to-time, it no longer has me in its clutches. Changing my perfectionist beliefs and taking consistent action were invaluable solutions for me.

    My journey progressed based on those two strategies. Firstly, I realized (conceptually, at least) that perfectionism is not attainable in this reality. After some time I was able to accept, feel and deeply understand that truth. Viewing life as a video game greatly aided this understanding as well. From that point, I was able to transmute my perfectionist beliefs into more empowering beliefs (meditation and mindfulness helped with being able to notice limiting beliefs I was holding onto).

    Action was the ingredient that completed the recipe. The most predominate action-based habits I built were publishing blog posts and recording videos. Since I started Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great in September 2012, I’ve written a blog post every single week (with a few exceptions). Creating that commitment to action played a pivotal role in breaking out of the paralysis of perfectionism. If I had waited for myself to write the perfect blog post, I would’ve never released anything. It was in choosing to just put myself out there that catalyzed the process of becoming an exponentially better writer. By committing to continual action, I’ve practiced writing far more than I would have if I was stuck in the paralysis of perfectionism.

    More recently, on top of the weekly blog post habit, I’ve been releasing one video every day (on YouTube and Facebook). I record the videos in one take, and they’re unscripted except for jotting down a few bullet points beforehand. Executing the videos in such an impromptu fashion has improved my speaking ability, spontaneity, self-confidence, memory and mental clarity by leaps and bounds. Additionally, recording a video every day has “greased the groove” of my action-taking ability and has allowed the bright light of unconditional self-love to scatter away the shadowy phantoms of perfectionism.

    Dear Human: You’ve Got It All Wrong

    Dear Human. You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. This is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty Love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect, you already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And rising again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love in truth doesn’t need any adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks you to show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.
    ~ Courtney A. Walsh

     
    Embrace imperfection, and accept where you are, while enjoying the journey. Live, learn and grow.

    You are worthy, no matter what.

    You are love.

    – Stevie P!

     

    Join our Newsletter (Free Gift Inside)

     

    What are You Hiding From Yourself? 14 Ways to Discover Your Blind Spots

    452579817_1280x720

    I thought I had it all figured out a few months ago…

    My ego loved the (false) sense of elitism that came from the (small) amount of wisdom I had accumulated and the personal growth I had achieved.

    This sense of egoic comfort allowed my blind spots to subtly suffocate my growth and choke out my compassion towards others. As Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars would say, “It’s a trap!”

    Luckily, I realized that my ego had snuck in through the back door. Deep down I knew that, in the grand scheme of things, I had next to nothing figured out, so I decided to shake things up a bit. In a hopscotch of faith, I leapt into innumerable experiences that shattered any sense of “having life figured out” and launched me to unforeseen levels of self-discovery and growth.

    These experiences included 5 months of (mostly solo) world travel through 10 countries, meeting hundreds of amazing people, journaling every single day of my travels, having cathartic experiences at the Osho center, attending a few yoga retreats and workshops, getting certified in kinesiology, learning Siddha healing, practicing many different meditation techniques, jumping into new relationships, communing with Ayahuasca in the Peruvian Amazon, struggling to communicate with my weak Spanish speaking skills, hiking Machu Picchu in pouring rain, learning how to surf, going to the Envision Festival alone and embarking on countless other adventures that catapulted me out of my comfort zone. All of this intensely illuminated so many of my blind spots, quantum-jumped my knowledge of self and spurred so much improvement that I still haven’t assimilated it all. And I’m still riding this momentum.

    “We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.” ~ John Wheeler

    The more you know
    The more you realize you don’t know
    And you don’t know
    What it is that you don’t know
    Until it’s known
    But you do know
    That you don’t know everything
    So rest in the fact that there’s always more to know

    We all have blind spots, forces that we’re completely unaware of that may be holding us back.

    The human mind, though it’s an immensely powerful tool, is littered with self-deception and cognitive biases. It’s so easy to trick ourselves, and over time, deepen the groove of a skewed view of reality.

    That’s why one of the most important things you can do is take an objective look at yourself and reveal your blind spots.

    What if your comfort zones are actually false fortresses of security that are doing you far more harm than good? What if everything you’ve been basing your reality on was a lie? What if every aspect of your life is really based on false assumptions, feebly held together by other false assumptions to rationalize the former false assumptions?

    We’ve all seen the extremes of self-denial and glaring personal blind spots… The religious zealot who ignores overwhelming evidence contrary to her rigid, literal interpretation of the bible and believes ridiculous things like the idea of Jesus riding dinosaurs. The corporate guy, whose identity is so wrapped up in materialism, that he goes to great lengths (buying fancy clothes, watches and cars, having beautiful girlfriends just to impress others, exorbitant vacations to show off…etc.) in order to fill that feeling of emptiness inside. The high school friend, who has hesitantly convinced himself that he’s happy still living in the same hometown, working the same job and going to the same bar every Friday night. These epitomic cases may seem sad and even pathetic to us, but we’re all guilty of self-denial to some extent.

    In order to become the greatest version of yourself and make the most out of life, you need to be able to observe yourself from an objective perspective. You need to call yourself out on your own bullshit. Everything from your most fundamental beliefs, how you view reality, your sense of what is possible, your identity, your habits, your patterns, your limiting beliefs, your assumptions, your false confidence, your fears, your egoic desires, your intuition, your intrinsic motivations, your reactions to external stimuli, your view of others, your freedom (or lack thereof), how you move your body, your choice of music, your choice of entertainment, your sources of information, your biases, your community, your inhibitions, your different personalities among different people, your dietary habits, your addictions, your vulnerabilities, your childhood pain that you’re still carrying, your biggest fear for the future, your self-judgments , your comfort zones, the excuses you make to yourself, the labels you mindlessly slap on things, the little lies you tell yourself, the secrets you’re hiding in the depths of your psyche, the truths you’re afraid of being true, the reason why you were born…etc.

    As you can see, there are a lot of potential blind spots out there (or in there). Here’s how to develop a perspective of increased self-awareness, put yourself in a position of continuous personal evolution and be genuinely YOU-nique.

    maxresdefault

    14 Ways to Discover Your Blind Spots

    1. Meditation

    Meditation cultivates a state in which you can objectively observe your thoughts and emotions. We often go through life completely consumed by our thoughts and emotions, not being able to witness them. This is why meditation is so crucial. With practice, you will create awareness regarding your emotions, thoughts, habits and patterns.

    This state of awareness makes change possible. If you go through life oblivious to your patterns, because you’re too engrossed in them to know what’s going on, you’ll never be in a position to make a change. As the old proverb goes, “The fish would be the last to discover water because they’re immersed in it.” Meditation can take you out of the metaphorical water of your assumed reality and help you realize “Wow, I was really IN THERE this whole time?”

    If you’re new to meditation, try starting out with my 21 Breath Salute. It’s so easy and takes less than 5 minutes to do.

    2. Intimate Relationships

    Intimate relationships are the most powerful tools for showing you your own weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

    Your partner is like a mirror of your own internal state. Your fears, limiting beliefs, doubts, delusions and repressed emotions are reflected in intimate relationships.

    One example of this is getting angry at your partner for forgetting something. Chances are that you get angry at yourself for forgetting things, and because this person is so close to you, you do to them whatever you do to yourself. So get to the bottom of why you get angry at yourself for something so asinine. Did your parents do it to you? Do you put pressure on yourself to never make mistakes? (And where does that belief come from?) Share this revelatory process with your partner as you go through it. You’re on the same team, right?

    Here’s another example. If you have a fear of abandonment from, let’s say, your father leaving you as a child, you will find yourself desperately clinging to relationships, even when it’s obvious that it’s not to your benefit. But you have to have some degree of self-awareness to be able to see this play out in your life (as well as a self-aware partner who can help you to realize these things as they come up). Otherwise, you’ll just blindly repeat the cycle over and over again.

    You need to open to love to be in a relationship. And when your heart is open, you’re also vulnerable. This is why past pain that you thought you had hidden resurfaces. This is why your ego takes many bruises and why certain words penetrate to the core of your fears.

    When an intimate relationship is honest, open and transparent, you will see all of each other’s deepest blind spots. Then you have the choice to work through them, or ignore them, letting them forever influence your life from the shadows of your subconsciousness.

    3. Close Family and Friends

    Family and friends can be similar to intimate relationships, though less of a “mirror” because our focus isn’t on them like it is on an intimate partner. (Although it can be very strong if you have children, because your complete focus is often on them. This is why having children can teach you so much about yourself.)

    With family and friends, honest relationships are paramount. Surround yourself with people that love you enough to call you out on your bullshit and wake you up from your self-delusions.

    I’m not saying to obey everything that other people say, but pay attention to the words spoken from the heart of someone you care deeply for.

    4. Plant Medicine

    Plant medicines are some of the most powerful catalysts for self-realization and growth. Some examples of plant medicines are “magic” mushrooms, Ibogaine and Ayahuasca (which I’ve done myself and wrote about here).

    Plant medicines will help you see where your blind spots are, reevaluate your life, examine your fundamental beliefs and aid you in breaking out of the patterns that don’t serve you. It’s like a crash course in self-improvement. Before you dismiss plant medicines as drugs, be aware that there’s a growing body of research regarding the healing effects of psychedelics on addiction, depression and mental disorders such as PTSD.

    When used in clinical or ceremonial settings, these sacred plant medicines have profound healing properties.

    5. Be Aware of Cognitive Biases

    A cognitive bias is defined as “a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. Individuals create their own “subjective social reality” from their perception of the input.” (Wikipedia)

    One prominent cognitive bias is called the backfire effect, which is when you reject evidence that contradicts your viewpoint or conclusion, even if you know that the evidence is true. How many times have you seen people do this? A lot, right? And I bet you’ve done it too. I know I have.

    Another notable cognitive bias is the bandwagon effect. This is when the probability of one person adopting a belief increases based on the number of people who hold that belief. The bandwagon effect is a testament to how powerful groupthink or herd mentality can be. Don’t overlook the possibility that your most fundamental beliefs may be based on false premises and they’ve only been collectively accepted, not because they’re true, but because of phenomena like the bandwagon effect.

    This article outlines 57 different cognitive biases that us humans can have. And there’s probably more too that we very well be unaware of.

    Get familiar with the many variations of cognitive biases and ask yourself the tough questions: On which topics are my views biased? What cognitive biases do I have? Which ones am I most vulnerable to? In what kind of situations do they arise? What viewpoints am I vehemently or even irrationally defending? What am I desperately trying to justify? Maybe there are cognitive biases at play.

    6. Build Ego Awareness

    The ego is sneaky, cunning and a terrible master. If you become a slave to the ego and let it run your life, you will be engulfed in a world of endless fear, judgment, deception and self-sabotage.

    Know when your ego is trying to run the show. Learn to differentiate between your egoic desires and the genuine desires of your heart.

    Your ego will wrap its identity in labels (nationality, race, religion, gender…etc.) and constrict you in the process. It will have you stubbornly defending ideas that you’re not quite sure are true. It will have you clinging to comfort, blocking out any exposure to growth.

    Read my article “What Does Your Ego Look Like?” for a deeper dive into the ego.

    7. Investigate Your Resistances

    Resistance is the ego at work. If you have great resistance towards something, look into it. It will often be your ego resisting something that is actually beneficial for you.

    The classic examples of resistance are politics and religion. People are so emotionally attached to their ideologies (and there are so many cognitive biases involved) that even a mild counterpoint is met with hostility and defensiveness. If you notice this kind of resistance in you, see where it comes from. Are you afraid that what you cling to will be gone? Do you think you won’t have an identity if you step outside of the box of the political/religious ideology you follow? Are you merely following an ideology based on the fear of consequences if you don’t?

    If you have extreme resistance towards something, it’s probably something you’re desperately trying to suppress and it’s driving you crazy in the process. Examine everything with an open mind and meet resistance with love.

    8. Be a Beginner Again

    Try something new where you have to start from square one. If you’re an intellectual, try learning how to surf. If you’re an athlete, try playing chess.

    Taking on something completely new and foreign will shake you out of your comfort zones, make you vulnerable (in a good way), uncover weaknesses (or strengths that you never knew about), highlight any stubbornness you have, enable you to connect dots from seemingly unrelated areas and catalyze so much learning in a short period of time.

    9. Get Out of the Echo Chamber

    This is closely related to trying something new.

    An echo chamber is “a situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an “enclosed” system, where different or competing views are censored, disallowed, or otherwise underrepresented.” (Wikipedia)

    Sometimes, we get so caught up in our niche communities (especially online), that we don’t realize that it could be an echo chamber. The extreme version of this is something like Scientology, but I’ve seen various degrees of “echo-chamberism” from spiritual communities to scientific communities and everything in between. It’s cool to connect with like-minded people, but just make sure that you’re not illogically rejecting things to hold up false premises. Question everything and always exercise your critical thinking faculties.

    If you’re a floaty spiritual person, switch it up and read some scientific literature. If you’re scientific-minded, read some spiritual stuff. If you’re a hip-hop head, listen to some classical music (the real OG’s). All of this will give you a completely different perspective on things, make you more well-rounded and spur so much new insight it will blow your mind.

    10. Find a Group Setting that Facilitates Self-Discovery

    Attend a retreat or a workshop. These kinds of events are designed to be learning experiences provide you with new perspectives in a concise package.

    Every retreat and every workshop I’ve ever attended has revealed profound insights that were previously blind spots for me.

    11. Put Yourself in Other People’s Shoes

    See the world from someone else’s perspective. Visualize their perspective in detail. Think about their motivations, point of view, beliefs, fears and how their experiences have shaped who they are. Have empathy and compassion and truly understand their point of view.

    This kind of empathetic visualization will greatly expand your perceptions give you a unique perspective on your own life.

    Also, studying the behavior of others will create an awareness of those same behaviors within yourself (if you’re willing to look within).

    12. Keep a Journal

    Journaling is one of the best tools for self-reflection. Deep-seated revelations arise when your thoughts and emotions are externalized.

    The process of writing itself also creates objectivity and newfound understanding. Journaling allows you to witness your state of being from a higher perspective. And reading about your past experiences will give you more clarity for the present (hindsight is 20/20).

    13. Travel

    Travel is the ultimate perspective-expander. You experience new cultures, new ideas and new ways of living. You also meet tons of interesting people, often travelers themselves, who grave great wisdom to share.

    Traveling also forces you out of your comfort zone. After any stint of travel, you’ll be able to step back and look at yourself and the world around you with new eyes.

    “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

    14. Read Books

    Reading is one of the best ways to learn and grow as a person. Every book you read is a rung of your ladder of knowledge, helping you climb above the walls of your own ignorance.

    Here’s a tip to spur even more self-discovery and growth: Once in a while, read something that is completely different than normal for you. I stubbornly only read nonfiction for a while, thinking I was being practical and learning a lot (which I was). But once I started reading fiction, I unexpectedly learned so much more, and in ways I never would have expected. My imagination bloomed like a flower in spring, my power of visualization strengthened, my vocabulary greatly expanded and my writing ability reached new heights. Also, because I read fiction before bed, I started falling asleep more easily. Imagination and visualization were blind spots for me, and I probably never would have thought about them if it weren’t for reading fiction.

    7239296824_ecbdff6e61_o

    There you have it. Those are some excellent ways to illuminate the caverns of your psyche and bring awareness to your blind spots.

    Don’t just read this and then fall back into the same patterns you know don’t serve your highest interest. Apply! Apply! Apply!

    “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Life gets excruciatingly stale when you’re held down by the shadowy forces you refuse to face. Release the fear of what you’re afraid of discovering, because it’s all you and, in the grand scheme of things, it’s all love.

    Uncover your blind spots, keep learning and keep growing.

    Make the most out of your short time here on Earth.

    One love.

    – Stevie P!
     

    Subscribe to our Newsletter

     

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Judgment

    2515009456_55a3fd1780_o

    I have a confession to make…

    Up until very recently, I would judge people… A lot.

    Just when I thought I was “spiritually evolved” and free from my ego, it would sneak in through the back door and whisper things about other people like “They’re so closed-minded. How can they not see that? I’m better.”

    Judgment is an egocentric, energy-sapping distraction that inhibits everyone’s freedom.

    I’ve been shining a light on this within myself and have almost put a stop to the judgment entirely by practicing a simple process of awareness and letting go.

    Now whenever I have the inclination to judge people, I remind myself:

    1. I’m only judging other people because it’s an outward manifestation of self-judgment.

    2. Whatever I’m bothered by is a reflection of something within me that I need to address.

    3. It’s none of my business what anyone else does. Everyone is a sovereign being on their own journey. Thinking there is a right/best way to live is an insult to uniqueness and laughably ignorant.

    Freedom.._Love_the_sun._(11903767213)

    The Solutions (How to Let Go of Judgment like 1,2,3)

    1. Find the root of self-judgment by answering these questions: How am I judging myself? Why am I judging myself in the first place?

    Directly address these questions and change the underlying belief. Here’s my personal example:

    I have long judged myself with the belief pattern “I’m not good enough yet. I can do better.” I can be very hard on myself and I put pressure on myself to constantly excel at everything. A lot of this self-judgment stems from my childhood experiences (like most ingrained beliefs). After a soccer game, for example, my dad would say things like “It’s good that you scored a goal, but you could have scored another one.” Or if I got a 90% on a test at school: “It’s good that you got a 90% on the test, but you got that easy question wrong.” I eventually took these on as self-criticisms and have kept tremendous pressure on myself for most of my life. Nothing was ever good enough. This self-judgment can manifest in many ways if I’m caught in my ego, mostly in the form of being hyper-sensitive to criticism or comparing myself to others (feeling either superior or inferior based on whatever qualities are being compared).

    The Release (Awareness + New Belief)
    Since I’ve become aware of the root belief, I’m able to “catch” the judgment and it now disappears on the spot (it’s coming up less and less frequently too).

    I’ve also been using an affirmation to release this self-critical belief pattern. I say this to myself every day, and the self-criticism is loosening its grip on me: I love myself AS I AM RIGHT NOW.

    This all applies to the fear of being judged as well. Fear of judgment from others only exists because you’re judging yourself first. Find the root of the self-judgment, release it and allow yourself to be.

    2. Find the internal cause of external judgment by asking: What within me is this circumstance triggering?

    I see a lot of people I know getting engaged and married. And this triggers judgment within me. I view it as people blindly following what society tells us to do, giving up their freedom and binding themselves with (fear-based) oaths and legalities instead of being together out of pure love.

    Note: This is my opinion. I’m not saying I’m right (or that you should think the same way I do). I’m merely using the subject of marriage as an example of a trigger for me.

    Engagement and marriage trigger three things within me. The first is my desire for maximum freedom. Whenever I interpret something as a “loss of freedom,” I get triggered. The irony of this is that by being judgmental, I become a slave to my ego. Ha!

    The second aspect is that it’s a way for my ego to feel superior. My ego would say things like “I’m too smart to fall into those societal traps which aren’t working out for most people. Don’t they know that marriage started as a political tool to create alliances? Or that engagement rings are a scam created by De Beers? Well, I do.” The ego will use any fuel it can get to prop itself up.

    And the third thing it triggers is the fact that I’ve never had a long-term intimate relationship (yet). This is because I’ve held opposing beliefs of a lifelong relationship being “less free,” while simultaneously desiring a life partner.

    The Release (Awareness + New Belief)
    I’m in the process of reconciling those seemingly opposing beliefs regarding relationships. I now firmly believe that I can have a life partner without giving up any freedom. It just won’t be exactly according to the (obviously failing) rigid script of western society.

    And you know what? This subtle shift in my underlying beliefs is already working. I’m not triggered as much anymore and I’m attracting amazing people into my life.

    3. Allow, allow, allow.

    Allow everyone else to just be. There is no one-size-fits-all way of living. The world already has too many people telling others what to do. We’re all here, as unique aspects of Source, to spur its continuous evolution through new viewpoints and diverse experiences. Allowing is in harmony with that, control is not.

    I know that I can’t control anyone (nor would I really want to, to be honest). The only thing I can do is INSPIRE people based on what I’m doing with myself!

    So, like with everything else in this physical reality, the only way out is in. Do the inner work and the external takes care of itself.

    Let’s all put our gavels down and frolic in freedom.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!

    Subscribe to our Newsletter

     

    Where Did You Get Your Sense of Possibility?

    I looked up at the diving board. It was a proud blue piece of art that stood eight feet above the water.

    The sun was shining brightly overhead as I observed a young man bounce off of the beautiful blue plank and execute a graceful swan dive, landing in the deep pool with a small splash.

    Looking up at my dad, I curiously asked “Is it possible to do a double backflip off of the diving board?”

    Without hesitation, he looked at me with a reassuring smile and confidently replied “Nothing is impossible.”

    A sense of empowerment rippled through my consciousness. It was a feeling so profound that it transcends time and space. And I feel it as I type this.

    I didn’t do a double-back flip that day, or any day for that matter (except on a trampoline once). Yet that moment created a life-altering, paradigm shift within me.

    The real takeaway is not the act, but the message it conveys… The only limitations you have are those you place upon yourself.

    Astrophotography Panorama Test Shot

    Where is the line you’ve drawn between possible and impossible?

    How big (or small) is your box of possibility? Why do you even have a box of possibility?

    Where did you get your sense of what is really possible?

    From school? (standardized indoctrination)

    From what the media tells you? (Sensationalized fear-mongering to keep people ignorant and disempowered. Does anyone still believe the mainstream media these days?)

    From where mainstream science is at today? (Science is ever-evolving and self-correcting. What we believe today will be thought of as utterly ignorant tomorrow.)

    From what your parents told you? (Who were influenced by all of the above as well.)

    “To believe a thing impossible is to make it so.” – French Proverb

    Here’s a little secret: There is no line rigidly dividing what is possible and impossible. There is no box. We live in a quantum soup of infinite possibility. Depending on your current circumstance, this may be hard to fathom. But anything and everything is possible. Just because you (think you) can’t do something right now does not make it impossible. Who knows what’s really possible? I certainly don’t. And that’s why I’m open to the idea of anything being possible.

    50 years ago, it would have been hard to imagine what you’re doing right now. Reading, on a computer screen, what someone else has written and published onto the invisible cloud of the internet (and having the ability to share it with hundreds of people with the click of a button). It would have easily been dismissed as impossible by any rational realist.

    “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

    Shatter your self-imposed boundaries of possibility. Embrace the mystery of existence. Dance with the enigma. Entertain any idea, cling to none.

    Divorce limitation and start making love with infinite possibility.

    “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn

    Turn “impossible” into “I’m possible.”

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!

    1

    The Challenge Perspective

    “The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.”
    ― Carlos Castaneda

    There are no problems, only challenges.

    This is the lens through which I’ve looked at life lately. I’ll call it “the challenge perspective”; and it’s been utterly transformative for me.

    Viewing everything as a challenge closely ties in with the idea of life being a video game of sorts. Would you play Super Mario if all you had to do was just walk to the right the whole time, unopposed by any obstacles? Of course not, the challenge is what makes it fun. Pushing our limits makes it all worth it. We only grow when we’re subjected to resistance.

    How are you viewing and addressing “difficult” situations in life? Are you stepping into your inherent power and taking them head on? Or are you playing victim and wallowing in disempowerment? Your experience of life can (and will) vary radically depending on your perspective.

    When your significant other is angry or frustrated, do you react with similar anger or frustration? Do you run away because you think you can’t handle it? Or do you take on the challenge and embody love and lightheartedness in the face of fear?

    When you’re running low on money, do you dwell in self-pity and victimhood? Or do you embrace the challenge and work to better your situation?

    When you have to do something you despise doing at work, do you throw your hands up in defeat and complain? Or do you say “challenge accepted” and get it done, knowing that it will make you a stronger person?

    When you’re pushing your physical limits, do you succumb to fear and doubt? Or do you tap into your indwelling fortitude and power through?

    I had to tussle with that last set of questions recently while hiking Mt. Washington with the beautiful, wonderful Wander Woman (evidence below). She set a rigorous pace, to say the least, as we ascended the highest peak in the Northeastern USA (on its toughest trail too). We donkey konged up steep slopes of snow and ice, scrambled up rock faces, and scaled serious inclines for hours on end. There were points where I was exhausted and felt self-doubt creeping in, but I tapped deep into my reservoir of empowerment and pushed through. Because of that, I’m a stronger, more resilient person.

    When you break on through, a greater version of yourself appears on the other side.

    Mt Wash

    You see, it’s not really about what happens to you in life; it’s about how you perceive each situation and how you act based on your perception. That’s what determines your subjective reality.

    “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll

    Life isn’t easy for anyone. But that’s the beauty of it. We all have our unique struggles which shape our character. We all have obstacles to overcome. We all face challenges that facilitate continuous growth and development.

    Diamonds are created under extraordinary pressure. Mighty swords are forged in fierce fires of intensified heat.

    Embrace the challenges presented to you. They’re perfect for your evolution into the best version of yourself.

    “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

    Learn, grow, persevere, and, most importantly, have fun.

    – Stevie P!