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Life Is the Result of Your Beliefs and Expectations

“The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs.” ~James Allen

Just because you’ve believed something is true, even if you’ve believed it for a long period of time, that doesn’t mean that it is actually true or that it has to be true for the future.

For a long time I believed that my body was broken. I believed that I could never be super lean and ripped even though I really wanted to be. I also believed I had irreversible digestive issues that seemed to be getting worse and worse.

I spent a lot of time searching for answers because I believed that somebody out there somewhere had to have the cure to fix me.

Somebody had to know how to help me finally lose weight and gain the body of my dreams, the happiness I longed for, and the approval I so much needed but would never admit.

I bounced from one diet or self-help book to the next, reading one magazine after the other, Googling one “how to fix {insert ailment}” search topic after another, hunting for the key.

But then somewhere along the way I realized I didn’t want to do that anymore. I was tired of feeling broken, helpless, and sad. I started to question why I kept doing what I was doing.

It started to seem really silly to me because I wasn’t actually finding any of the answers I was seeking. In fact, I seemed to be just getting more confused than ever. I stopped searching for how to fix myself, and instead began searching for the answer to a different question:

Why do I feel so broken?

Shifting my question led me on a whole new adventure where I finally recognized I wasn’t broken at all; in fact my body had the ability to regain its balance on its own, which it did. The problem wasn’t my body, it was my beliefs—my limiting, disempowering beliefs.

Perception Is Reality

You have learned everything that you know to be true through your life experiences, and those experiences have been shaped and guided by other, often well-meaning, people.

But here’s the thing: When you believe something is true, you tend to look for things that support those truths and ignore what does not. Beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies in a sense.

So if those beliefs are helpful, then YAY! But if you want to experience something different than what you are currently living, you have to prove to yourself that something different is possible.

You have to change your expectation.

It takes practice to change the way you think. You’ve had a lifetime to form the beliefs that you are currently living, so naturally it will take a bit of effort. But, it can be done in a simple, pragmatic way.

Beliefs are just thoughts that you keep thinking, which keeps them active in your mind.

In order to change them, you must become aware of them and then shift them from the old belief to a new one, reinforcing it with lots of examples that show the new belief is true.

Here’s an example of an old belief that you might not want to believe anymore:

“I’m never going to be able to achieve the body of my dreams because I don’t have any willpower.”

And here’s a new believe that you would likely much rather believe:

“I absolutely can have the body of my dreams.”

In order to shift your belief from the old one to the new one, you must make a list of all of the reasons why the new belief is actually true. Often, it helps to start with general statements and then get progressively more specific.

  1. You know, I’m really tired of feeling like a victim all the time.
  2. I’m tired of telling myself that I can’t have what I want.
  3. And I believe that the human body is capable of a lot of really amazing, often unexplainable things.
  4. So if that is true, then I think that it’s feasible that I can achieve the body of my dreams.
  5. And I think that this so-called willpower problem that everyone talks about is actually kind of silly.
  6. What if willpower is not really a lack of control at all, but instead it’s a signal from my body that is telling me it wants comfort, and food is something that I’ve learned is comforting?
  7. So, if that is true, then if I start taking better care of my body and I listen when it tells me that it needs rest or TLC, maybe it will stop asking for comfort through food.
  8. And if that is the case, then willpower is really irrelevant to whether or not I can achieve the body of my dreams.
  9. And I’ve done some pretty amazing things in my life, so if I decide that I want to achieve the body of my dreams, I think I can do that too.
  10. It’s time for me to stop living a shadow of who I really am, letting old, silly beliefs hold me back, and instead it’s time for me to rock this incredible life that I have been given!!

Don’t you just feel fired up after reading that? Reality, especially related to your physical body, is only what it is because of your expectation.

When you begin to see how disempowering beliefs pull you away from living the life you want to live, rather than help you to move toward it, it gets easier and easier to shed them and replace them with new empowering beliefs.

Sometimes just by realizing that a belief isn’t even your own—that it was passed down to you from someone else—is enough to disengage it.

So what disempowering beliefs do you have that you want to change?

What if you decided that you not longer believed that your genetics were causing you to be overweight?

Or maybe your limiting beliefs have to do with time. What if you decided you no longer believed you can’t make time to do the things you love?

Your past is not your present or your future. You have the ability right now, to choose something different. You absolutely have the power to create a better life for yourself. That starts with changing what you choose to believe and what you expect for yourself.

Photo by SweetOnVeg

Avatar of Sheila Viers

About Sheila Viers

Sheila Viers is the CEO of the premium gym & yoga bag brand, Live Well 360, and creator of ROCK Your Dream Body, the non-diet approach to weight loss and feeling amazing in your skin. Visit sheilaviers.com for more from Sheila and follow her on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram too!

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • Niall

    Absolutely brilliant! Thanks so much, a very empowering read. 

  • martiel

    Great read–thank you for sharing with us! 

  • Anna

    Very inspiring, thanks :)

  • Guest

    Yea..that was really perfect for now. Thank you!

  • guest

    i have a permanent sternum injury, which causes one of my pectoral muscles to atrophy.  i know it’s wrong, but i’m envious of and, frankly, a little annoyed with people without legitimate injuries complaining about their body image.  Is there a way to apply this shift in perspective to more tangible roadblocks like injuries? 

  • http://kirstentulsian.com/ Kirsten

    I love this… anything that teaches us to empower ourselves to make our own life… it’s courageous and inspiring!

  • Arab Guest

    This is exactly what I needed. Thank you, I will book mark it and read it over and over when I need it again. Self empowerment is key.

  • http://twitter.com/SheilaViers Sheila Viers

    Thanks so much for sharing and for your honesty. You can absolutely apply this to things like physical injuries. The key is in letting go of your anger and resistance toward your own injury, as well as, those that do not have it.

    You can start by making a list of all of the things about your current physical body that you really appreciate. Really look for things that you love about your body, even if it is as simple as “my body pumps my blood and I don’t even have to tell it to” or “I have two arms, two legs, hands, eyes, and a nose.”

    From there, move on to making a list of the blessings that your pectoral muscle atrophy has brought you. Has it brought you any clarity about what you want for your life? Has it helped you to learn to take better care of yourself? I know that it may be hard to understand at first, but sometimes our greatest challenges can actually be our greatest blessings if we choose to look at them in a different light.

    Finally, the last step is to close your eyes, take a deep breath, think of the people who do not have pectoral muscle atrophy… and send them love. Bless them. Imagine giving them a hug and saying that you are happy for them.

    Seriously, it sounds silly but the reason why I’m suggesting you do this is not so much because it helps them, but because it helps YOU. It helps you to release your anger and resentment toward them, which is what opens you up to your greatest power. Healing and true wellness can only exist in a state of relaxation and love.

    The human body is an amazing machine and it is capable of much more self-healing and many more “miracles” than we tend to give it credit for. But a really important part of that self-healing package is letting go of the thoughts and feelings that are disallowing it.

    I hope this helps. If it sounds at all interesting and you’d like to learn more, check out Louise Hay’s books “Heal Your Body” and “You Can Heal Your Life.” She is a superstar and truly a thought leader on this topic. I wish the best for you and will keep you in my thoughts.

  • http://twitter.com/SheilaViers Sheila Viers

    Glad you all enjoyed the post! :-)

  • elizabeth

    Thank you so much for that article. I have insecurities about my own self image and this is exactly what I needed to read. I am tired of living by my own beliefs and now I feel empowered to change them. I will use your guide to help me :)

  • http://www.christineadnani.com/ ChristineAdnani.com

    If you believe that you can accomplish anything then you will. If you believe that you can’t do something then you won’t be able to. Whatever you think is what you get. So, I say believe in yourself! Go get it! Nothing is holding you back but yourself.

  • gwynneve

    i like what abraham/hicks say.
    ‘this is a magnificent body,i love my body, i am exhilirated about my body, my body is a representation of my thought and my thoughts have changed right before my eyes, i love my body and wouldn’t trade it for anything, this body will do anything i want it to do, my body is happy and hearty. body, i love you so much, thank you for being here for me. i love being embodied in this body, you are a magnificent body’ and so on.

  • http://www.motivationmy.com/ Syaf | motivationmy.com

    This is definitely my AHA MOMENT right here:  “Your past is not your present or your future. You have the ability right now, to choose something different.” 

    Often times I am often stuck in my ‘old’ self without realizing that all of us go thru a progression. I had another lightbulb moment recently when I told myself, “Hey I am 26 now…. I am no longer the low self-esteem teen anymore”. 

    I’ve grown up and I am going through a different phase in life now.

    Thank you for this wonderful post! :) 

  • Tinarose29

    very very nice!!!!!!!!!!!! I tell people ie. friends/family the same thing. Just change what you believe and your life will change. Sometimes our cultures hold us back, they make us believe that beacuse we are from a certain place then certain things are not for us. We are all human no matter where we come from and we all deserve the good that the world and life has to offer. x

  • Is

    Thank you. I really needed to read something like this today. 

  • Piecilati

    Thank you, Sheila. Still, the article only concentrated on obesity, not that easy to figure out how this might apply to, most topical for me, getting over an old love or forming new romantic attachments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sarah-Fischer/725916507 Sarah Fischer

    This definitely just fired me up!! Many of my limiting beliefs are associated with money and the idea that it is hard to come by and one must basically slave to earn it. I grew up with these ideas being ingrained in me… but now, I’m turning the tide ;)

    Love,
    Sarah

  • Adela

    Wow! I also believed I needed to be fixed in order to achieve my goal. And that actually disempowered me. I kept looking for answers because I believed I needed to fix my confidence. But now I’m starting to doubt that and believe that I maybe already am confident enough right now.