We all hope to start the new year feeling powerful and ready to get after our goals, but oftentimes there are self-limiting beliefs standing in our way. The mind is a powerful tool that can, as Milton said, “make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven.” And when you think about it, a lot of the pain and stress we experience are actually only thoughts. Whoa.
Take your power back by refusing to let these mental barriers stop you from creating the life you want.
Self-limiting belief: lack of natural ability
Have you ever tried something for the first time and immediately thought, “well apparently this just isn’t for me,” and then never tried said activity again? The desires for instant gratification, immediate results, and feeling ‘good’ at something are extremely powerful. But quitting after only one try ensures that you miss out on some of life’s best experiences, including the feeling of satisfaction that comes with perseverance in the face of challenge.
Oftentimes people put themselves in rigid boxes that inhibit their ability to imagine themselves as anything other than what they’ve always been. This, of course, can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, leading to inconstancy in general. It is also the result of having a ‘fixed mindset’—the belief that one’s abilities are ruled mostly by genetics and innate potential. Renowned psychologist, Carol Dweck, on the other hand, promotes the importance of a ‘growth mindset’—the concept that one’s abilities are developed through hard work and effort over time.
Let’s say you decide to try yoga for the first time, and maybe you struggle a bit, and leave the class feeling like you “failed.” Firstly, there really is no such thing as failure in yoga. Secondly, in life in general, failure is an important and unavoidable part of growth. And while fear of failure is very real, every time you make a mistake, you can choose to learn from it. You can take a moment to reconsider the approach, switch up your strategy, and make a change. Oprah once said:
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.”
So while it can be a delicate balance between being realistic with yourself for safety, and actually limiting your own potential, it is healthy to quiet your fears, and push yourself a little further than what you normally expect of yourself. Be confident in your steps forward, and remember that the mistakes you’ve made have helped create the amazing person you are today.
Self-limiting belief: lack of time
“There aren’t enough hours in the day.”
“I just don’t have time.”
We have all heard someone say this or have said it ourselves, but this is a mental barrier that is more closely related to priorities rather than the physics of time. While it’s true that there is, of course, a finite amount of time in a day, claiming you don’t have time to do something that you supposedly want to do is really just communicating that the something in question is not actually high on your list of priorities. If it’s truly important to you, then you will find the time for it.
If, for example, you would like to have a daily yoga practice, but your busy schedule is what most often derails your best efforts, try becoming a Morning Person by gradually setting your alarm a few minutes earlier. Take it very slow and steady, and let it be a gradual process of waking up whatever-amount-of-time earlier you’d like to set aside for yourself first thing.
Perhaps prioritize being available for even just 5 minutes at first. Try taking a few breaths in Mountain pose and Forward Fold, a seated meditation, short pranayama, or follow along with one of our 10-minute videos. This can be before you start your day or at the beginning of your lunch break—whenever you can squeeze it in. Remember: every little bit counts.
In order to save time, use this as the perfect excuse (as if you need one!) to wear your comfiest athleisure all day every day, so you’re always ready for a yoga class. Pick a class that fits in your schedule, commit to going every week, and then set an alarm for the time when you must leave to arrive on time. This way you don’t even have to think about it or make the decision—you’re all dressed up in time and have a place to go!
The circular root of the these two self-limiting beliefs
The roots of both of these self-limiting beliefs are closely intertwined; quitting because you’re just not good at something simply means you’re not willing to put in the time to be good at it.
And while it’s true that people often report noticing positive effects after only one yoga class, the benefits from a steady, long-term practice are where it’s at. Psychologist Angela Duckworth touts the importance of grit, the stick-with-it factor that is a dependable predictor of future success. Keep up with those yoga classes for a few weeks and you will notice that your movements become easier, that you can see tangible physical benefits and improvements, and that you feel better in general.
Change takes time and you have to make time consistently to see results. The desire for immediate gratification seems to be something we are struggling with more and more as a culture. It can be frustrating to feel like you’re not seeing the positive outcomes in the timeframe you expected. And no matter how short the timeframe is, it can make you want to give up. But good things come to those who keep on keeping on. Be intentional with your routines and habits, join us at Ignite Yoga, and remember:
Patience + Persistence = Power
So if you’re ready to start the new year in a peaceful and powerful way, be sure to check out our New Student Special!