I want to spend some time to talk about blocking beliefs. They’re a real thing and boy can they be tricky.
In January I started stretching my comfort zone, and I did not know that what I would encounter was all the social anxiety, self-doubt, self-criticism, and worry that plagued me through my entire adolescence. It hit me out of left field and it hit me hard.
I guess there’s a reason why we call it a comfort zone and why we stay in our perpetual comfort zones. It doesn’t feel cozy or safe to leave them. Honestly I don’t think comfort zones are a bad thing. It might me a good place to rest or even grow for a while, until you need new challenges and that comfort zone is no longer serving your growth.
I’m in a different place in my life now than I was in high school. I have friendships, I have a supportive husband, I have a tiny house, I have my own business, I completed a master’s degree, I’ve been a therapist for eleven years. I have travelled, I have moved from where I grew up. You’d think these negative beliefs would have went away, but they didn’t. They were still there once I opened the door ready to stretch my horizons.
Blocking beliefs are the beliefs that keep you stuck, doing repetitive behaviors, doubting, fearing. They keep you small and leave you restricted. They are the beliefs that go beyond core beliefs. A core belief might be, I’m not worthy, and then you challenge the evidence, “Well I don’t need to prove my worth,” or, “I am worthy and have always felt worthy!” And despite challenging this self-talk, it remains, “Yeah, but how do you really know if you are worthy?”
As I have been encountering my own negative perception of myself, I felt myself not receiving the beautiful feedback and compliments I was receiving. I didn’t want to feel this way, but I still remained stuck.
I don’t know what new energy I encountered yesterday, but something clicked, something I always see with others, but had yet to apply to myself. I was comfortable. I was comfortable being uncomfortable. Being self-critical and self-doubting has always been my comfort zone and it was scary to leave it. Not because there was anything scary beyond, but just because for me, it is a new horizon.
The other night my husband and I were watching the Chris Rock special on Netflix. I had a chuckle when he stated, “I’m rich but I identify as poor.” How true for so many of us, to live lives of contradicting evidence yet still stay glued to our old identities.
Am I ready to leave this identity of unworthy and self-doubting? I think every day I get a little bit more ready. But as we need to learn from nature, snakes never shed their skin all in one day. It takes time to build a new vibrant, lush, beautiful skin before we can shed our old one. And finally when we’re ready, it’ll just slide right off, likely without us even noticing, because yes, then we’ll be ready for a new concept of who we are.
Read my next post on types of blocking beliefs you can encounter and gentle ways of shedding them.