You are not your thoughts
Your mind is so powerful and it enables you to achieve so much, but in this blog I talk about how I have found that I am not my thoughts when it comes to self-limiting beliefs. My thoughts sometimes stop me from starting or completing tasks, as I talk myself into thinking that I am not capable of doing something. As a perfectionist, I must add that I put immense pressure on myself to complete everything really well and had I not put this aside, I wouldn’t have even written this blog.
A great example of the power of thoughts is when I returned to work after maternity leave. Technology had been speeding along while I was dealing with lack of sleep, reduced cognitive ability and all things baby related. Fast forward a few Years and I felt totally inadequate and told myself I was unable to use new technology. I didn’t know what half of it was, let alone who to use it. Self-limiting beliefs began to creep in, as did a severe lack of confidence. I had now created a story that I was useless with technology and unable to use most of it. To me this was a very real story and stopped me from even trying. So what did I do?
Acknowledge the situation
I first had to recognise what was happening. I became mindful of my negative self-talk when it came to all things technology related. I would say things to others like “I am useless with technology”, “I have no idea what to do when it comes to technology” “Can you do this for me?”. I acknowledged that while things had progressed rather quickly while I was busy caring for a young child, all things could be learnt and I just needed to take the time to master these new skills. Like with all things learning related, how did I expect to be accomplished at something I had never even tried to do? This would however mean I would need to try new things, fail and be pretty poor at them while learning and it took time to get to the point where I was ok with doing that.
Do the work
I came to the conclusion, as with all learning that I just needed to do the work and that I did. I broke up my learning of technology into bite sized bits. What was important or useful to me? What would I enjoy to learn and use? I learnt how to use Instagram, how do I use Zoom and played with videos. Although these may seem like basics to some, remember that when you are learning totally new stuff, this is exactly how your teen or tween feels as they navigate life. It was great to find like minded people who could share some tips and research goes a long way. But eventually I would have to try out some new things and at first it was terrible, I cringed, it took ages to complete anything and I was frustrated. But with each tiny step, my confidence grew and my self-beliefs started to alter. My self-talk was more “I am learning. You won’t be good at this initially”.
What I learnt through this journey (that I am still on by the way!), is that I was role modelling to my daughter that it’s quite normal to be terrible at something, to take ages to complete new tasks, to fail and to not necessarily know what the outcome is. Also that learning new stuff is very tiring, emotionally and physically and it makes you feel vunerable. But with that comes a sense of accomplishment, the joy of learning and confidence once you’ve mastered new skills. Which makes the hard work so worth it! I now also have the added bonus of sharing these journeys with my daughter and explaining to her that those feelings of inadequacy when learning new things is something that I certainly feel at times.
I hope you’ve enjoyed me sharing my experience with self-limiting beliefs. My Girls Wellbeing provides mums with ideas to connect with and support their daughters to lead a more balanced life. To find out more join us on facebook here.
If you want to look at books aimed at teens that promote confidence and self-belief you can check this book out here (affiliate).
Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is of a general nature and is a reflection of my own personal experiences and thoughts. This should not be considered as individual advice.