How to stop holding yourself back

Have you ever wanted to let go of the same old pattern you know you are repeating, and change something in your life, but you just can’t seem to break free of it? Ever notice that you’re often holding yourself back but can’t quite figure out what to do about it?

We all have negative chatter going on in our heads. You know it – all the reasons why we can’t follow through on that great new idea, or change what isn’t working, or take a courageous step to something new. That we’re too old, or too young, not fit enough, don’t have enough time, or enough money, are not good enough at whatever, not confident enough, and on it goes…

Here’s the thing: they are just stories we tell ourselves, stories that perhaps others have told us which we’ve come to accept as our own. We cannot be who we really are under the weight of all those illusions.  The weight of it keeps us stuck, keeps us lacking, and drains our energy.

We have to shed the stories, the illusions, to be who we always have been, but has become hidden along the way. As we do that, we are able to break free from old patterns and move forward to what we want in life.

Try this exercise to release the old, and create the new.

STEP 1:

Create a space for yourself where you can be undisturbed (I know, moms, easier said than done! Just do the best you can with what you have. Done imperfectly to the best of your ability is far, far better than not done at all.) Set the tone for sacred space and focus – light a candle, say a prayer, play some soft music, whatever appeals to you.

STEP 2:

Have a piece of paper and pen ready. List off all the negative feelings you have about yourself, all the reasons why you don’t do or say what you’d like, all the thoughts and feelings of too much and not enough. This won’t be comfortable and it’s not meant to be. You need to tap into them to release them. Keep writing. If you’re able to be alone, rage and cry if you need to.

When you feel you’ve reached the end, write at the bottom: "These are my illusions. I release them."

Now if you have somewhere safe that you can do this, burn the paper. Watch it burn and say to yourself “I release these illusions, I release these beliefs, I release these stories I tell myself”(you can name specifics as well if you like).

If you can’t burn it, say the above while ripping the paper into tiny pieces. Then bury them or throw them out with a flourish!

Let the feeling of release settle in you for the rest of the day.

STEP 3: the next day

Create space for yourself again, as you did yesterday.

STEP 4:

Get another piece of paper. We’ve cleared the slate, so now what do you want to create for yourself, in your life, for your family – what feelings, what experiences, what environment, what financial situation, anything that matters to you. Start each sentence with “I”. Here are some prompts you can use, but feel free to go off on your own tangents:

I create…

I deepen…

I hold…

I create…

I develop…

I receive…

I create…

I open to…

I uphold…

I create…

When you feel it is complete, write at the bottom: “And so it is”. Next, you can either burn this page too with the intention this creation force is set in motion, or you may prefer to place it somewhere special – do whichever feels best to you. It is your creation.

Let the feeling of creation settle in you. You may want to journal, or simply spend time in the garden or park – take the kids with you if you like, while we do need some time to ourselves, we also need to be able to connect with ourselves in the midst of everyday life.

 

This is a great exercise to let go of all the negative internal dialogue and stories about who we are, and then to support new choices for ourselves. Use it whenever you feel the need. With practice and focus, the ability to release what no longer serves us becomes easier, and we start to see greater possibilities ahead.