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How to Stop Limiting Your Potential: 3 Eye-Opening Insights That Can Change Your Life

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limiting your potential

Have you ever seen one of those videos on social media showing how you’ve been using certain products, or eating certain foods, wrong your whole life? And you say to yourself, “Wow! I never thought of doing it that way!” That’s a little like how I felt when my personal growth mentor (and future husband) gave me some insights on the life challenges I was struggling to resolve when we were first dating.

These insights turned my whole world upside down! I couldn’t unlearn what I had learned, so I had to change my old ways of functioning if I wanted to move forward. It was hard, but it was worth it.

Here are the 3 life changing insights I learned that can change your life:

1. If what you think, what you do, and what you say don’t line up, it can hurt your self-esteem and your credibility.

I said and did things that represented the person I wanted to be on the outside, while I hid the things I wasn’t proud of and lied just to keep on people’s good sides. My mentor figured this dishonest behavior probably was connected to the low self-esteem I struggled with (which affected everything in my life), and he was right!

Besides hurting how I felt about myself, he pointed out, I could lose my friends’ or family’s trust the second anyone found out I wasn’t being genuine. He said if you want people to be able to count on you, you need to actually be the person you present yourself to be.

I practiced paying attention and catching myself every time I was being dishonest. It can take a lot of work, but if you get your values/beliefs, words, and actions in alignment, the person people see is the person that you are. Some will like it and others will hate it, but those who stick with you are the ones who appreciate, respect, and admire you for who you are not for the image of yourself you present.

You will feel better about who you are, your relationships will benefit because people will trust you, and your word will actually mean something.

“Hiding how you really feel and trying to make everyone else happy doesn’t make you nice, it just makes you a liar.”  – Jenny O’Connell

2. What you believe about yourself dictates what you choose to say; but what you choose to say also dictates what you believe about yourself.

Another way I was unknowingly limiting myself was through my language. It seems like common sense that what you say aloud reflects what you believe, but what surprised me was that you can also reprogram your beliefs with what you chose to say.  

Say “I need this” enough times when the truth is you want it, and you will begin to believe that you need it. Limiting words are things like can’t, always, never, and need. Non-limiting words/phrases are things like seems like, feels like, and right now.

For example, the statement “I can’t handle my life – it’s too hectic” makes you feel hopeless and disempowered, versus “I’m struggling to handle my life right now,” which reminds you that what you’re going through is temporary, and there’s hope for change in the future. The truth isn’t that you “can’t do it,” the truth is that you’re having a hard time “right now.

Whether you use limiting words/phrases about your abilities aloud or to yourself, you’re teaching your mind what to believe. Instead of using limiting words and phrases that aren’t true, try switching to more accurate and encouraging ones. Such as seems like, feels like, or right now.

3. You don’t need to control how you feel – you need to control how you act.

Trying to control your emotions is like trying to control waves in the ocean, you just can’t do it. And to make things worse, the harder you try the more frustrated you get – adding to your emotional overload. It wastes a ton of energy and gets you nowhere.

Instead, try to let your feelings be; realize that they will pass and focus on what you can control – what you say and how you act. You can feel angry but still talk calmly with the person you’re angry with. You can feel hurt but not treat the person you feel hurt by coldly or rudely.

Not being aware of the separation between feelings and actions can get you into a ton of trouble. I used to believe that if my feelings were strong enough I couldn’t help but act on them. Absolutely not true! This got me into trouble bigtime when I was younger.

I therefore believed that in order to act how I wanted I had to control how I felt. Learning that this too was complete B.S. changed my life. I no longer felt I had to put energy into doing something that was impossible.

“Heroes and cowards feel exactly the same  fear. Heroes just react to it differently.”  – Cus D’Amato 

Wondering how to put these insights into action?

Start by growing your self awareness – this is the beginning of all growth. If you pay attention to yourself, you can align your values, words, and actions for a better relationship with yourself and with others, help make your mind work for you instead of against you, and handle overwhelming emotions without doing things you’ll regret later.

What insights have you learned that helped you see the world and/or yourself in a new and positive light? Let us know in the comments!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Mandie Bigelow is a Wellness and Life Satisfaction Coach and writer. She runs a blog discussing mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, human potential, and relationships for those who want to break through any limitations holding them back and live a life of joy, passion, and meaning. In her spare time, Mandie enjoys playing Spikeball (roundnet), training in martial arts, and hanging out with her husband and two cats. She and her husband are writing a book called The Enlightened Relationship. Find her on Facebook @bloggermandie, or on Instagram or Twitter @mandiebigelow

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The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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