Sunday, August 16, 2015

Can't Trust Anyone? Does Everyone Let You Down? Do You Hate People? How Limiting Beliefs Hurt Your Social Life



One of the most limiting beliefs that people may invest in is the belief that others are trying to bring them down and limit them. While this realization is necessary and helpful in recognizing an abusive relationship, this belief is otherwise useless and needs to be dropped. It is time to move on.

Everyone is on different stages of the healing path. The path can't be rushed or forced, but it can be encouraged. I am here to encourage you to get out of a certain rut on the path that dictates that you will come across more and more interactions/relationships that continue to disappoint you.

If you have the belief that other people can't handle you or that other people are just trying to bring you down/ dim your light, then you're going to be proved right. If you're tired of being proven right, then stop the belief.

Why You Formed The Belief
It couldn't hurt to wonder why you formed and adopted the belief in the first place.

Did you just get out of a slew of bad relationships where the other party fed on you like a parasite? Were you taken advantage of or betrayed? Were you sorely disappointed with your unequal friendship?

If you've had those experiences, that means you didn't set boundaries with people and you didn't execute the necessary judgment crucial to investing in the type of relationships you want. Maybe you never really thought about what kind of relationship you wanted so you just took what you could because it seemed easy or right.

Now you know better. Now you know that you need to really sit down and think about what type of relationship you want. What do you want to get out of a relationship? What do you want to share and receive? What needs do you have and how does the relationship you want contribute to those needs?

You also have to drop limiting beliefs. If you believe that people are just out to get you, that nobody can be trusted, and that everyone sucks, then you're only going to get those people in your life. Your beliefs dictate your outlook on your life, and your outlook on life dictates the filter through which you see life. If your beliefs and outlooks on relationships are negative and centered around disappointment, your filter will most strongly recognize the negative and the disappointing. Get to the root of your problems and nip it at the bud.

You then have to replace those limiting beliefs with beliefs that help you grow and expand. Try a few on for size- you can't expect yourself to go from "People suck" to "I love everyone and genuinely see the love and blessings within each person." That is WAY too big of a jump and trying to clear that distance will only cause you to create more resistance and doubt. Resistance and doubt will only feed your negativity and bring you back to hating the world.

Baby steps, okay? You have to take baby steps. Maybe you can go from "People Suck" to "Okay, there are some tolerable people in my life who I enjoy being around sometimes." Maybe you can go from "Everyone is out to get me" to "Wow, that lady didn't have to help me but she went out of her way to do it anyway and it didn't make her life better but she still insisted."

Be honest and unashamed of your steps- learning to trust the world and other people is a journey. If you've been burned, it can be hard to open up and believe again. So don't expect yourself to magically love the world when you've spent the last few months giving everyone the internal eye roll. Don't expect yourself to fall madly into a safe and nurturing love when you've been nursing a broken heart caused by someone who didn't prioritize your feelings after all. You're healing, but as long as you are open to healing and open to reaching for something that feels better and reaching for openness and love, as long as you are growing towards the good then it doesn't matter how slowly you're doing it.

Learn to recognize your negative thoughts that contribute to your negative beliefs. Stop them in their tracks. That doesn't mean you have to force yourself to feel better. Let yourself recognize and accept that you feel negative, but reach for something that feels a little better. Replace a 1/10 thought with a 2/10 thought (on the negativity/positivity spectrum). Take 0.1 steps towards that big 10/10 if you have to. But be honest on where you are on that scale in those moments of negativity and assure yourself that you're going to reach for something better and that you WILL grab it and pull yourself towards it.

Be patient. If you've recently ended friendships, it can take a while until you've got another flourishing social group. That's okay, you can't rush intimacy and familiarity. Be okay with meeting people and giving them a try. Meet people based on mutual interests- sometimes the space you have for someone is a space of companionship rather than a deep, intimate bond. Make it about enjoying someone's company in the moment.

Be okay with small talk and silence. Be okay with having to initiate. Be okay with being turned down and don't take it personally. Don't be afraid of turning invitations down because you don't want to offend someone- just do it politely. Be honest with yourself when making choices- if you hate parties, ask yourself why you hate parties. Maybe you hate parties because you hate awkwardly making small talk with a bunch of strangers you have nothing in common with. Recognize that this is a limiting belief- there ARE people out there that go to parties that have interests similar to yours. Invest in that belief and get out of your shell.

But don't force it. If you know that you're going to hang out in a group and someone in that group has a vibe you really don't like, then don't go. You'll probably just act really negatively. Save that interaction for a time when you feel more open and positive. Ask yourself why you don't like their vibe and explore your beliefs from there. Our judgments are a useful way of exploring our own belief system and our preferences. Just keep the judgments constructive- don't spend precious time and energy hating on someone but do invest time and energy into evaluating whether or not you want to invest time WITH that person and explore the reasoning behind it. See if that reasoning is linked to helpful or harmful beliefs.

Let yourself be discerning but let yourself be open minded and open hearted. Sometimes you can only genuinely connect with some people in certain ways- maybe one person is suited to be your gym buddy, but interactions outside of the gym feel forced and disappointing. Maybe one person shares amazing conversation with you one to one, but when you go out, it just sucks for a few reasons. Maybe someone is your soul mate and you love them from the depths of your soul.

Open yourself to the diversity that is the ever changing human existence, and maybe (TOTALLY) find a pet to love and adore. A loving dog or cat is there for you to express that total softie in you that you probably haven't felt safe enough or driven enough to express with another human being. But that softie is extremely important and letting him/her shine is crucial to true happiness. So let yourself heal, take baby steps, and cuddle with your animal soul mate, or two or three, on the couch and binge watch Netflix and feel happy and be in love with how your life is at that moment. It will do you way more good than forced interaction, but be courageous from time to time and see the good in others. Your inner loving softie will find other inner loving softies in others and in no time you'll have another person or two in your life that you can love and adore. And do some volunteering or visit your family or help clean the earth. Connection is the feeling you are after so engage in it in a way that helps you firmly set your ground higher and higher up on that positivity scale.

Maybe its a cat. Maybe its a dog. Maybe its an author. Maybe its a volunteering group. But do things that help restore your faith and love in other humans and in the world and you will be happier and you will find your limiting beliefs dissolving. Also be kind to yourself and really care for yourself. It is hard to be positive and it is hard to make progress on cultivating more constructive beliefs if you feel sick and stressed and exhausted. Love yourself too.