Your Self-Imposed Beliefs May Be Aging You — Here's How To Break Free

Written by Natalie Jill
Woman writing in a journal

Image by Marija Savic / Stocksy

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Too often, our self-limiting beliefs about who we are and our capabilities get in the way of us living life to the fullest. They can stop us from going after our dreams or making a positive shift. Natalie Jill, the author of the new book Aging in Reverse, believes part of the secret sauce to living a long life is harnessing the power of our mind. How can we expect to age gracefully if we don't believe we are worthy of our goals? In this excerpt from her new book, Jill shares six steps to breaking down self-limiting beliefs so you can step into the life you've imagined.

When we listen to what other people tell us, we start believing it. Self-imposed stops, or limiting beliefs, are a major mindset roadblock, and the same goes for negative self-talk. Too set in your ways? Too out of shape? Any time you put too in front of a word, you're putting a cap on your dreams. Self-imposed stops give us a false sense of protection and comfort, like a security blanket with holes in it. Self-imposed stops can even have the potential to destroy your career. Before I created the Transformation Triangle, the self-imposed stop of I'm too old almost ended mine. Stop stopping yourself! Losing your self-imposed stops is your secret weapon to achieving your goals. How often do you hear yourself bringing up a reason or excuse for why you can't do something, such as "Why bother, because it never works out" or "It's too late for me to change"? If you don't hear it from yourself, it might come from friends or family members or social media. A self-imposed stop is not a fact; it's just something you tell yourself. But it is true that it acts as a barrier to your reaching your goals and shuts off your options. What do self-imposed stops cost you? Here's how to get past self-imposed stops in your life:

1. Identify what they are.

What comes up for you repeatedly that keeps you from going for your dreams and goals?

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2. Write them down.

Every time your mind engages in a self-imposed stop, write it down and turn it around. "I'm too busy" becomes "I'm making time to get things done." "I'm too fat and lazy" becomes "I'm getting stronger." "I'm not worthy" becomes "I'm working on being my best me." Pay attention to what you believe is true about yourself. As my cousin Liana says, "Check yourself before you wreck yourself."

3. Figure out why you believe your self-imposed stops are true.

Where did they originate? Who told you that you weren't smart or capable? What was that first memory? Go deep.

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4. Think about the opposite reality.

If the opposite were true, what would that look like and feel like? What would you do differently? If your house is a chaotic mess, ask yourself what it would look like if you weren't constantly in a state of overwhelm. How would it be if you came home to a super-organized house? Imagine feeling calm, relaxed, and peaceful and being more present with your family. If you can't visualize what is possible, you don't give yourself that possibility.

5. Ask yourself what you would have to do to bring that reality to life.

What would you have to do differently to make it happen? How would you have to shift your day? Look from the perspective of your vision, not your self-imposed stop.

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6. Stop attaching your identity to your self-imposed stop.

For example, my grandparents had cancer, and many people in my family have had type 2 diabetes and heart disease. My dad died at age 49 of a heart attack. But there's no way I'm going to fall into the mindset of thinking I'm genetically doomed. When I had emergency back surgery, my self-imposed stops went through the roof. But I stopped those stops by making dietary shifts, getting serious about physical therapy, and making some adjustments to my workouts.

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