Day 16: Replace Limiting Beliefs with Empowering Habits

So, today, I read the first chapter of You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero and I had a deep revelation.

I’ll start by quoting the sentence that got me thinking:

“The first key to ridding yourself of limiting subconscious beliefs is to become aware of them.”

You are a Badass, Jen Sincero

I’m a bit versed in identifying my subconscious beliefs, thanks to a few years of therapy, but identifying them is one thing. Actually doing something about them is another.

So, after finishing the chapter, I started searching around online for ideas about how to change one’s beliefs. I stumbled upon this blog post, which says that “the beliefs that you have about yourself can drive your long-term behavior.” For example, if you believe that it is impossible for you to get in shape, you are likely to have a habit of not going to the gym. If you believe your intelligence is fixed, you’re more likely not to study or not to try new things.

James Clear, the author of the blog post I referenced in the paragraph above, posits that the way to change these beliefs is to challenge them with positive habits: “the more you repeat a behavior, the more you reinforce the identity associated with that behavior.” If we repeat positive behaviors, we will reinforce positive identities and beliefs about ourselves.

So, here’s my revelation: I already know this! I literally just wrote about this the other day, and I’m still not doing it all the way.

I have a confession to make. While I’ve been writing all of these uplifting posts this month, I haven’t been revising the novel I’m taking to a writing conference next month. I’ve been telling myself it’s because I’m trying to psyche myself up by reading positive literature, and that I’m trying to help other creators psyche themselves up, but the truth is that a small part of me believes that I will not be successful in writing (or in life, for that matter). So, what’s the behavior? PROCRASTINATION.

I’m going to put Clear’s advice into practice by working on my novel every day for the next month. The more I revise, the more I will know that I can do this.

Challenge: Name something important to you that you’ve been procrastinating on. Identify the belief that is fueling your avoidance, and then embark on a new habit that will directly defy that belief.

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