Fete Lifestyle Magazine February 2021 - Reality/Realness Issue | Page 49

As babies we experience pure love and joy. We are inherently lovable. We instinctively know we are enough. We exude confidence and courage to explore our environment without fear and through trial and error we grow. We are sponges taking in all the information through our senses as we experience ourselves in the world. The messages that we receive about who we are, how we should feel about ourselves, and how we relate to others, is heavily influenced by our parents, our caregivers, our guardians, our family, our teachers, our community, and the larger society through programming. Unfortunately, as children we do not have control over the programming we receive by those who have the most influence on our beliefs. We become programmed by the messages we receive on a daily basis, whether the messages are true or not. Oftentimes, our beliefs about ourselves come from the limiting beliefs of others.

Over my 23 years of practicing mental health, I have found one common limiting belief that is true for most people and that belief is that we are not enough. So how did our beliefs about ourselves change from an inherent sense of worth to feeling not enough? This is the limiting mindset. Limiting beliefs have the power to alter our reality in a way that is unhealthy and often leads to anxiety, depression, self-sabotage, and feelings of powerlessness. People come to me to learn how to change.

I have created an easy acronym R.I.C.H. to teach others how to take the first steps to change.

R is for Realize - Realize your limiting beliefs are running your program. In order to change, you want to become aware of the limiting beliefs that underly your emotions and actions. Pay attention to the words or phrases you use to describe yourself.

I is for Identify - Identify your patterns of thinking, believing, feeling and acting that keep you stuck. By Identifying the patterns, you begin to understand why you attract similar experiences that you don't like and that prevent you from growing.

C is for Challenge - Challenge the validity of your belief. Look for evidence that supports or refutes your belief. Does your belief trigger healthy or unhealthy emotions and images? Does your belief support action and change or stagnation? You have the power to choose what to think. Begin with one daily affirmation, "I am enough."

H is for Healing - Healing from your past is necessary. Give yourself permission to let go of old beliefs, negative emotions, and unhealthy behaviors. Let go of the stories that have perpetuated a negative experience of yourself. Healing is an ongoing process and letting go is the daily practice. As long as we are human, we will make mistakes, so we must forgive ourselves, let go of all negative emotions, learn from our experience, and continue to grow healthy beliefs about ourselves.

R.I.C.H. shows you how to take small steps towards change. You have the power to alter your own reality. I often say, "What you believe becomes your truth." What is your truth? I challenge you to experience yourself as pure love, like you did as a baby, before you were programmed, and fall in love with taking care of yourself.

Be Blessed!

Photo Credit Ben White