Perhaps you’ve had this experience: you go away for a retreat or seminar, where you work on eliminating limiting beliefs, doubts and fears. You have breakthroughs and start on a journey of transformation.
You leave the event and head forward home. And within a few days some of those old patterns start up again.
And you wonder:
What’s up with that? I thought I got rid of this.
Years ago, a friend shared this truth with me:
Environment is more potent than willpower.
Deeply engrained patterns take more than a weekend to rewire. You must consistently reinforce the new patterns. To do so successfully requires an empowering environment.
It’s not just about the setting for the retreat or whether your workspace at home has enough light.
Environment Includes People
The biggest element in your external environment are the people in it.
The people you allow in it.
That’s right. You have the choice about who can enter. I know it doesn’t always seem this way.
It’s hard to permanently get rid of those limiting beliefs when other people are reinforcing them faster than you can cement the rewiring. It’s like trying to patch a leaky roof in a rainstorm.
That’s why you have to change your environment.
If there are people in your life who continue to sow seeds of doubt even as you pull up the weeds, you must limit their role in your life.
The Hardest People to Limit
Here’s the challenge: the people who tend to have the most influence on your beliefs are typically those closest to you. Most likely some are related to you.
This can make it hard to cut them out of your life. We have a longing to belong. Severing ties, in evolutionary terms, is equivalent to death. We need our family to survive.
Love vs Fear
Those closest to us often believe they are acting in our interest. In their minds, they are “keeping it real” and telling us the “truths” that others won’t tell us.
They believe they are motivated by love.
And here’s where it gets complicated:
They are motivated by love.
But that love manifests as fear. Its like pushing a child out of the way of an oncoming car. The child might get hurt in the process, but she is alive.
This is what the people who love us do to us when they reinforce limiting beliefs and fears. They express their fears in a way that they believe is coming from love.
They don’t intend to hurt us, but they don’t realize the impact of their actions. They may not know how to express love in a different way, in a way that isn’t fear based.
So when they say they love you, believe them. AND know they are acting out of fear.
It’s not for us to try to change their beliefs and doubts. Nor is our role to adopt their fears and doubts.
As I like to say:
I’ve got enough of my own limiting beliefs and fears; I don’t need to take on anyone else’s.
You get your own garden of life. Don’t allow anyone else to sow seeds of doubt in it. Protect yourself from those who reinforce limiting beliefs. Even if those people are your family.