Today we are going to highlight five negative beliefs that can cause anxiety. So pause the video, if you need to grab a pen and paper.
Your anxiety has an underlying cause, and when you eliminate that underlying cause you can find relief and freedom.
One of my favorite things to do is to watch a toddler play. Have you ever noticed that babies are just overall pretty happy when their needs are met?
And if their needs are not being met, then, of course… They will let us know! But if they’ve had enough sleep, and they are fed and kept dry and clean, they just enjoy life. Babies live entirely in the present moment. They live in a state of curiosity and wonder. They use all their five senses to just experience the world.
Think about the last time you watched a baby or toddler explore a new item. They touch it with their hands and turn it over in every direction, looking at every detail. They’re using their fingers to explore every detail and then what they inevitably do… They taste it. They seem to taste everything!
They live entirely in the present moment, and they live in a state of peace and bliss. Because these babies don’t have minds that are constantly taken up by regrets of the past or fear of the future.
Of course, when their minds develop they begin to think in more concrete thoughts. Sometimes they think happy thoughts, and sometimes unhappy thoughts. And the proportion of happy thoughts to unhappy thoughts will have a lot to do with that child’s upbringing.
A child, growing up in a happy, stress-free home is going to have a lot more happy thoughts about herself than a child who grows up with drug addicted parents.
A child who enjoys going to school and has a positive experience is going to have a lot more positive beliefs about himself than a child who gets bullied with regularity.
The thoughts we end up thinking are directly related to what is programmed in. These thoughts come from beliefs that we adopt as we attempt to make sense out of our world and understand our relationship in this world.
And as I’ve talked about before, in my other videos, anxious people, think differently than happy people. So I’d like to dive a lot deeper into that today…
Today I want to talk about five beliefs that will create anxious thoughts.
The first belief that I would like to highlight is a common belief that lies at the root of most of the other beliefs that create anxiety in the mind.
I am not enough.
The belief that you are not enough will affect every single area of your life. I’m going to give you just a few examples:
- If you believe that you are not smart enough, you might not choose that career that you’ve always dreamed of.
- If you believe you’re not good looking enough, you might not pursue that relationship that could be just right for you.
- If you believe you’re not strong enough, you will shrink back from challenges, avoid hurdles, and cower in the face of obstacles.
- If you believe you’re not worthy enough, you might just give up, because you’ve decided that you don’t deserve the happiness that other people have.
So if you struggle with the belief that you’re not enough, there is something I want you to do for me today. I want you to find a picture of yourself when you were between the ages of six months old and six years old. I want you to take that picture and hold it in your hands and I want you to look at it. If you don’t have a picture, then I just want you to close your eyes and visualize yourself as that small child right now. And as you look at that picture of yourself as that sweet and innocent child I want you to ask yourself…
Would you ever tell that child that he or she is not enough?
Of course you wouldn’t. So where did that belief come from? It was not a belief you were born with. It was programmed in… And the good news… It can be programmed out.
The second belief that I would like to bring your attention to is the belief that…
I am different. So I don’t fit in.
Now, if you struggle with this belief, I want to challenge you to do an exercise with me. Just take a minute to picture in your mind an empty flower bed. Let’s imagine that you are going to go to the garden supply store and you are going to purchase plants and flowers for the sake of making this garden bed something very creative and beautiful. But to your dismay, when you arrive at the Garden Center, you discover that they only sell one type of flower- red geraniums. That’s right, that’s all they sell, all you see, is row after row of just red geraniums.
I’m going to take a guess that you would probably not be happy with that selection. Because you understand that planting your entire garden with just a single flower wouldn’t make it very beautiful to look at. It’s the diversity of different plants and all different shapes and sizes and colors that makes your garden beautiful.
And so it is with the garden of the world. You are not supposed to be like everyone else. You’re not supposed to look like everyone else. What makes the world a beautiful place is the wonderful diversity that we have on this planet. People come in all different sizes and shapes and colors and it makes the garden of this world beautiful. The world is filled with different lifestyles and cultures, and that brings a unique beauty to the earth.
And so it is with you… you are your own unique and beautiful flower in the garden of this universe. So the next time you go to the store, I want you to buy a mixed bouquet of flowers and put it on your table. And every time you look at it for the rest of the week I want you to remember something… That bouquet is beautiful because the flowers are not all the same. It’s OK for you to be different.
Now, let’s move onto the next belief….
What I want and need is not available to me. Other people can have those things, but I can’t.
This belief is often behind the procrastination and lack of motivation that people struggle with.
- If you really believe you can’t be successful like other people, why even try?
- If you really believe you’re bad at relationships and can’t have a loving partner, how successful are your relationships likely to be?
- Maybe your family’s always been poor and you think that means you’ll always be poor.
- Maybe you’ve never had the kind of friend you trusted enough to share your heart with, and you believe that’s the way it will always be.
But this belief simply is not true. History is full of stories of poor people who have gotten rich, abused people who have found love, lonely people, who have found a tribe of loyal friends.
Oprah Winfrey is a great example of a woman rising above disadvantage and poverty. David Goggins is another excellent example of how successful someone can be after years of trauma and abuse. Harriet Beecher Stowe lived in an era where women had very few rights and yet she wrote a novel that changed the course of history.
I encourage you to read their stories and fill your mind with inspiration.
And now, for anxiety, causing belief number 4…
The world is a bad place filled with bad people.
Now this belief is becoming more and more prevalent lately. I believe the driving force behind this is the discouragement many of us feel after being exposed to endless streams of negative media, both on television and in social media. But we need to remember that on television, the success of a media station has all to do with how many viewers they can get. They get more viewers by reporting sensational news. People seem to like to be shocked and horrified. That’s why you pick the movie with a lot of action and adrenaline. Imagine if you turned on your television, and you just got to watch the day-to-day lives of all the good people on the earth. You could take a sneak peek into the life of…
- That mother lovingly bathing her child in the river near her African village.
- The single father who helps feed the homeless at the local shelter with his children to teach them compassion.
- That teenage boy who sets aside his video game meet-up to mow his elderly neighbors lawn.
Those are everyday stories that are not considered newsworthy. But in reality, they actually represent most of what goes on on a day-to-day basis in this world. Just ordinary people, living, ordinary lives.
If you’re becoming discouraged, and you’re starting to believe that most people in the world are bad, you’re likely spending too much time exposing yourself to the media and not enough time exposing yourself to the good people in your community. I encourage you to take a break and just go out in your community and watch people go about their day-to-day lives and maybe find a way that you can bring a smile or perform an act of kindness that will brighten just one person’s day. Focusing on being part of the solution is the key to changing this world, one person at a time.
And now, belief #5, the most insidious and damaging belief that you can possibly hold.
So you will really want to pay attention to this one…
I am hopelessly defective.
There are many different reasons that people come to the conclusion that they are hopelessly defective. For some people, they have experienced so much childhood trauma, that they begin to take that trauma on as their entire identity. They begin to develop a trauma identity and this begins to color every aspect of their lives.
Unfortunately, there are still some therapists out there that will tell people that because of their childhood trauma their mental health situation is chronic. This is what I was told. That I would always struggle with anxiety and depression, because before my father got custody of me, and while I was still with my alcoholic mother, I experienced a lot of early developmental trauma. Unfortunately, it’s very profitable for mental health practitioners to convince you that you will need to come in for therapy for the rest of your life. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of good therapists out there that really helped people. But I can’t tell you how many times clients have come into my office and told me that they were told that they would always struggle.
But if you watched some of my other videos, you understand that no matter how complex your problems seem, you actually only really have one problem.
And those thoughts are generated from subconscious beliefs. And it is entirely possible for you to shift those subconscious beliefs and get complete victory from anxiety and depression.
Another reason that people develop the erroneous belief that they are hopelessly defective is because they erroneously believe that they are doomed genetically.
- My mom was an addict so then I will be an addict.
- My father and my grandfather both had anxiety, so it runs in my family.
- I have a chemical imbalance, so that means I’m always going to struggle.
Are there such things as genetic predispositions? Yes. But just because you have a genetic predisposition to develop a disorder or disease, does not mean you are doomed, nor does it mean you cannot recover.
Most disorders, both physical and psychological, are multi factorial… Meaning that there are both environmental and genetic components. So yes, if your parents had an anxiety disorder, it does mean you are more likely to develop one. It doesn’t mean you have to develop one or that you can’t recover if you are struggling with anxiety.
If you struggle with anxiety you have already noticed that you think differently than people that don’t have anxiety. Your thoughts are more negative. You may have developed mental habits of ruminating on things that are disturbing.
Scientific research has shown that we can become more mindful. We can change our thoughts and beliefs.
And of course, the best way to change your beliefs in a way that will lead to different patterns of thought and behavior is to transform your mind on a subconscious level.