Have you heard the story about how Indian elephant trainers subdue their animals?
They restrain them by attaching one of their legs with a very strong chain to a tree. Gradually they replace this chain with smaller and weaker chains until the elephant is only held by string.
At this point there is nothing restraining him other than his belief that he is stuck.
Just like the elephant we sabotage our own confidence with beliefs that keep us stuck and unable to move forward.
4 such beliefs are:
- Catastrophic thinking – Believing the worst case, such as “my relationship has broken up, so I’ll never meet another man”
- Black and white or all or nothing thinking – This means thinking that either you do it perfectly or it’s a failure. For example a document at work, if it’s not perfect it’s no good
- Projecting your insecurities onto others – Which causes you to think things like “they’re going to think I’m stupid or boring’ or “He’ll see I’m not attractive’
- Making assumptions – An example of this would be “She didn’t acknowledge me when I walked past, I must have done something wrong”
If this sounds like you and you want to free yourself from the thin string that’s keeping you stuck, here are 4 strategies to help:
- Become aware of the beliefs that are sabotaging you. What are you saying to yourself, when and where? How is it holding you back?
- Look for other perspectives. Stand back from the emotions of the situation and challenge yourself, are these thoughts what you really believe or beliefs from the past? Look at the situation from other perspectives could their be a different view point?
- Choose what you want to believe. You don’t have to have such high standards or focus on the worst possible scenario. Choose another outcome and remind yourself of it regularly
- Practice Mindfulness. This allows you to pull your thoughts away from negative scenarios back to the present moment
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