January 21st, 2015 - by: Marc Chernoff
It’s not the circumstances of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs about what those circumstances mean.
When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I had tunnel vision and expected life to be a certain way. I studied my failures until I lost sight of my successes. I surrendered my dreams to feel a sense of comfort. I held tight to my fears and shielded myself from love and happiness by refusing to put myself out there. And as I did all of this, I sat back and wondered why life was so miserable.
Obviously, I was very lost. My own toxic beliefs and ensuing behaviors had gotten the best of me. But after some extensive soul-searching, lots of reading, and diligent daily practice, I learned to do things differently, and I found myself again. I tell you this because I know you struggle with similar inner demons – we all do. Sometimes the ideas and habits we get comfortable with end up killing us inside.
As a veteran life coach who has now spent the better part of a decade coaching thousands of people online and offline, I realize that many of the toxic beliefs I struggled with earlier in life are actually quite common. I have literally seen the same toxic beliefs surface in the lives of new clients over and over again. Here are eight of the most common ones you need to be aware of:
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- The present is indicative of the future. – When things aren’t going well there’s a tendency to extrapolate and assume the future holds more of the same. For some strange reason this doesn’t happen as much when things are going well. A laugh, a smile and a warm fuzzy feeling are fleeting and we know it. We take the good times at face value in the moment for all they’re worth, and then we let them go. But when we’re depressed, struggling, or fearful, it’s easy to heap on more pain by assuming tomorrow will be exactly like today. This is a cyclic, self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t allow yourself to move past what happened, what was said, what was felt, you will look at your future through that same dirty lens, and nothing will be able to focus your foggy judgment. You will keep on justifying, reliving, and fueling a perception that shouldn’t have existed in the first place. Keep reading →