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Some of our inner beliefs can trigger failure before it happens. They sabotage change by cancelling its possibility! Discover how to recognize these sabotaging beliefs and learn what you can do about them.
I’m sure you’ve met him, or her. That person who says he’ll finish the project tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes. Or the person who promises to call as soon as she gets home, but you never hear from her.
We know lots of people like this. If we’re a hard case, we cut them out of our lives. If we’re a “softie”, we make excuses, and try to let it go. Either way, these people, who make promises to change one day and excuses not to the next, exist.
And, we may have even done this ourselves! I know I have. For those of us who admit to it, we know our genius becomes more acute when it’s our turn to change how we behave. That’s when we fall back on a set of beliefs that trigger denial, resistance, and ultimately self-delusion. These beliefs are more wicked than excuses. An excuse is the handy explanation we offer when we disappoint other people. It is acute and convenient, often made up on the spot. Basically an excuse is a variation on “The dog ate my homework,” and these are so abused it’s a wonder anyone believes them.
What do we call the excuses we privately harbor when we disappoint ourselves? Mere “excuse” is somehow inadequate to describe these inner beliefs that represent how we interpret our world. An excuse explains why we fell short of expectations after the fact. Our inner beliefs trigger failure before it happens. They sabotage change by cancelling its possibility. We employ these beliefs as articles of faith to justify our inaction and then wish away the result. I call them belief triggers and we think them all day long. Here’s a not-extensive list, but it should get you started on where I’m going with this.
1. I am the same ‘me’
2. If I change I am ‘inauthentic’
3. I won’t get tired
4. I understand the requirements
5. It has to be perfect
6. It’s not fair
7. I can do it on my own
8. Nothing will interrupt my focus
9. ‘At least I’m better than…’
10. I am exempt on this ‘special day’
Overconfidence. Stubbornness. Depletion. Confusion. Hopelessness. Resentment. Isolation. Unrealistic expectations. Immunity. Inconsistency. That’s a lot of heavy baggage to carry on our journey of change.
These are just some of the rationalizations that keep us from becoming the person we want to be. Now that you’ve read them, I bet they’re nothing you’ve not heard before! Keep watch in your daily life for them, keep track of how often you use one of these trigger beliefs, see if you can come up with others. This is a great exercise, because as you know awareness is the first step towards change!
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