How to stop disempowering yourself and others.
One of the things that is holding you back in your life are the negative stories you choose to believe about yourself. These disempowering beliefs about oneself, limit the opportunities you see for making things happen and do not leave you feeling like the driver in your own life.
You may also be helping to create disempowering stories in others, too. Do you want that to be happening, for yourself or those you care about?
I doubt it.
The interesting thing is that we can form these stories through just one or two experiences we have, which may not be the reality, especially the majority of the time. It is an induction process that we fall into. We all do it. Either you do this to yourself or others help you, although often in a non-malevolent way. You may not be aware that you do this to yourself or to others.
“I’m not good at being organized.”
“I am fat.”
“I am a terrible parent.”
These are just a few examples of the disempowering identities you may have.
I have a client that will tell herself multiple times a day, “I am so tired.” This simple statement that seems harmless can impact her entire day and those that follow. To begin, it changes her physiology. She hunches over, her body just drops and she believes she is tired. She often is tired but because she tells herself this regularly, she feels powerless to change things because she is tired. Her options feel limited.
You need more options. The more options you have, the more likely you will be able to make a change and stick to it. These disempowering identities become part of our belief system and unless we challenge these the identities, we are placing limits on our lives.
Let’s also look at how you might induce others.
A wife tells her husband that he is insensitive. Again, not consciously, she is inducing him to be insensitive. Listen to it…”You are insensitive.” “You are insensitive.” He hears over and over that he is insensitive and acts accordingly.
It is a message directing him to be insensitive.
Maybe you have kids and do it with them. “Why do you have to whine so much?” Do you see the message that you induct in that child? The child begins to identify as a whiner.
Stop for a moment and think about some ways in which you induce yourself and others and create a disempowering identity.
Now…would you like to change and stop doing this to yourself and others?
Start with awareness. I know that sounds like not much, but it is a huge step in the right direction. First, you are often not conscious of doing this so just beginning to be more alert in conversations, what you say and what you hear will make a big difference.
Ask Good Questions
Start to break down the negative identity by asking questions that help you to understand it better. For example, if you believe that you have an addictive personality, question where this belief came from? What happened that lead you to believe this about yourself (or maybe someone else). Is it true? When is it not true? What are some other experiences that you have had that you were able to stop something and not get addicted?
Challenge that belief and look for empowering experiences to help build up your more positive identity.
Empower Yourself & Others
Start to talk to yourself and others using empowering words. Tell that child that whines, “I know you can be calm, you do it so well. I’ve seen you be calm many times.” Even better in this particular situation is to say nothing and just stay connected to that child.
Tell that husband, “ I need you to be more sensitive to my needs.”
As you become more aware of your conversations to yourself and others, you will start to notice this induction process happening. Practice using your words more carefully so that you are inducing positivity. You can keep a journal of things you say and hear to help you be more conscious. Challenging any limiting beliefs about yourself and others can help to push through the barriers that hold us all back. Best wishes!