ID-ing Inhibiting Beliefs

So, I’ve been listening to a podcast called Inside Out Weightloss (IOWL) by Renee Stephens again.  The intention of IOWL is to address the emotional blocks that keep people from loosing weight and keeping it off. It looks for the source of the emotional reasons that people overeat, eat the wrong foods, and shy away from an active lifestyle, etc. And now is a perfect time to begin because Stephens has archived her series and is restarting from the beginning of the healing process.

I must include a warning that the podcast is extraordinarily fluffy and emotional. Renee speaks with intentional slowness. A less patient person might set the playback speed to 2x and still be annoyed at the slow pace. I find myself listening to it while doing menial chores. It’s whimsical and we’re asked to imagine a lot of things. A practical person, deeply seated in reality, might not be amused. I think it’s meditative and soothing.

Essentially, we’re finding our emotional hang-ups and reconciling them so we can move on to a fulfilling life. We’re identifying inhibiting beliefs and re-evaluating them. According to Renee, beliefs are like magnets…they draw supporting evidence to them, and repel dissenting evidence away, making them ever-stronger in our minds. These beliefs become self-fulfilling prophesies. The trick is to develop beliefs that help us to achieve our goals.

And so…the assignment from the podcast is to take a look at any inhibiting beliefs and systematically debunk them though a process of meditation. Inihibiting beliefs can be identified because they tend to include absolutes like “never,” “always,” “can’t,” etc. They can also be identified by thinking back on times when you feel a wave of negative emotion wash over you and in turn you act out in a binge, a depressive bout of lethargy, or even procrastination.

So here, I will document my inhibiting beliefs:

  1. I’m a bad decision maker.
    I am not an authority on what is likable, so anything I like or dislike doesn’t matter. Ouch.
  2. I am not capable of seeing complex projects through to completion.
    Of course this isn’t true…I’ve done a good job completing a number of complex projects. But I still think it. I was always the kid who turned in partially completed assignments. Now I find complex projects to be particularly daunting.
  3. I’m not all that smart.
    My reading comprehension sort of sucks. I can’t read a tome and absorb the knowledge in it. Glib remarks and fast retorts are beyond me. I would rather agree with someone else than develop my own opinion. Don’t even ask me to do math, or you’ll be waiting for a while.
  4. I am lazy.
    By evening, I have no energy for chores, bettering myself, or even finding something enjoyable to do. I’m not driven to push myself past my threshold unless an exterior force drives me to do it. I don’t make fast decisions. I daydream and lollygag. When I am productive, I’m slower than average.
  5. Food is guaranteed to make me happy.
    This is usually the one that sets off my food binges. It usually happens when I’m tired and am looking to be immediately entertained.
  6. I am not capable of organization.
    My life is a struggle against entropy and so often I lose. For every step forward, there’s two steps back and it’s so difficult to get ahead. I am a pack-rat. Purging is difficult for me. I’d prefer to keep it all, but have no system for keeping it and don’t really need it to begin with.
  7. I don’t deserve what I have.
    Anything I have and have done is bad because it’s mine. Any fortune I have is luck and there is someone else out there who is more deserving of it than me.
  8. I will only get in the way.
    I shouldn’t try to help because I don’t have anything to offer and I will probably only make it worse. This is one that prevents me from volunteering. Also makes it hard to host parties and be around other people in general. Especially large groups. Yeah, this one stings. Not sure what to do about this one, but I guess acknowledging it is the first step.

Holy crap, batman. With self-thoughts like that, who needs enemies? I would certainly never say that to anyone else…why is it okay for me to say it to myself? And logically, I can come up with examples of why these things aren’t true, but logic doesn’t seem to help in these emotional struggles. If a friend said these things to me about themselves, I would be supportive and find ways to guide him or her through it. I guess it’s time for me to try to do that for myself.

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