I’m an instructor for a life coach certification program and, right now, we are learning how to identify and investigate limiting thoughts.
A limiting thought is any thought that makes you feel bad.
Why do we care?
Because thoughts and emotions are the basic mechanism behind all creation. Your thoughts and your emotions create your reality. It sounds lofty, but don’t ever forget: YOU are a powerful creator — all humans are — and it alllllll starts on the inside. Inside you.
I’ll break it down for you…
When we attach to thoughts that bring about emotions that feel good, we create positive outcomes in the form of actual concrete things that manifest in our reality. When we attach to thoughts that bring about emotions that feel bad, we do the opposite.
To be clear…
I’m not arguing there are “good” thoughts and “bad” thoughts and “good” emotions and “bad” emotions and that we should avoid thinking and feeling anything that makes us feel bad.
Because that would be impossible. Feeling emotional pain is part of being a human and sometimes we spiral into a shit show of negativity. That’s the straight up non B.S. truth.
Limiting thoughts (aka thoughts that make a person feel bad) are not to be avoided! NOT to be numbed! Not to be denied! Not to be pushed down! Not to be judged!
But many of us do and that’s okay because this shit is HARD, right?
But know this: As much as I love a good graphic t-shirt, you will never see me wearing a “Good Vibes Only” tee. Because limiting thoughts are your GOLD, they scream for our attention, compassion and curiosity. We can bend reality when we face them with the curiosity of a true alchemist.
It’s a damn shame and a $%^&*ing waste that so many of us have been brainwashed into turning away from our shit.
A trigger is simply a part of you begging to be seen by the wiser part of you who can assess the situation with compassion, curiosity, and calm and lead you straight into a different timeline.
I’ll share an example…
After Christmas I became obsessed with buying myself a bag that I had had on my Christmas list but didn’t get.
I fretted over this bag. I justified the purchase of it over and over again in my mind as I admired it online and imagined myself toting it to various functions.
But there was another part of me, my wiser self, who knew that this state of obsessive unrequited desire for said bag was not coming from a good place. The desire was coming from a dark place. So I got curious and decided to investigate.
Here’s what I learned…
There was a depressed part of me who was feeling overwhelmed by putting other people’s needs over hers. Christmas is a time when this part of me gets particularly activated because I spend a lot of time making things “jolly” and “merry” for others which I love to do but often exhausts me if I don’t manage my energy.
I get sad, angry and frustrated. I attach to an old story that there is no one to take care of me.
I saw a sad and lonely little girl crouched in a corner while her parents fought in the living room.
This little girl grows up into an adult who drinks coffee to comfort herself, sleeps to avoid her feelings, and SHOPS to reward herself for all the work she does.
This little girl became an adult who takes on too much at times, especially when it comes to her kids, because she never wants them to feel unseen or alone.
The wiser part of me was able to give myself understanding, to tell myself “of course,” you do these things to get your needs met and that younger version of me felt really seen, heard and understood for the first time in forever.
Then I had a good cry, talked over my findings with my husband and my obsessive desire for the bag just dissolved. Boom. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still love the bag, but I no longer feel out of control. I’ve got a plan to put some money aside each month and save up for the bag like a grown up instead of buying it on impulse to “reward” myself when the real reward is getting to a place of genuine peace via self-understanding.
There are lots of ways to investigate limiting thoughts, and we do it a little bit differently in coach training, but the bottom line is to “be curious and not judgemental” as the good Ted Lasso once said.
Circling back to what I said earlier about being a powerful creator, I’ll try to break it down.
In timeline 1, I continued to believe the thought that I deserved to buy the handbag because I was alone and no one cared about me (in so many words) which led me into feelings of sadness, anger, resentment and loneliness. I bought the handbag and enjoyed wearing it to various functions but I had to scramble to find the money for it, and ultimately felt bad about my impulse purchase each time I looked at it. I still felt angry and sad but, now, on top of that, I also felt guilty and ashamed and I took this stuff out on my family because the guilt I felt had me overcompensating by doing that thing where I put everyone’s needs over my own!
In timeline 2, I learned about the source of my feelings, found a way to self compassion and understanding, dissolved the frequency of obsession from my field and came up with a plan to get the bag of my dreams in a more sustainable way which ultimately led me to a place of pride and peace. My relationships became more harmonious because I had an increased awareness around my tendency to put other people’s needs (especially my kids’) over my own and I gave myself more rest so I wasn’t lashing out in resentment and frustration at anybody close to me.
This is the power of working with our thoughts and emotions.
You literally change reality from the inside out.
Life becomes putty in your hands — what will you do with all that power?
Needs some help getting started? Send me an email or shoot me a DM. I might just have a coaching spot available with your name on it.
If you missed my YouTube live with Tiffany Hill, it was a fantastic conversation with lots of twists and turns. We talked about ego deaths, how I almost destroyed my marriage, the crazy things you can do with dreams and even tried to quote the Bible! Here’s the link. Let me know what you think.