Personal Development

5 Easy Tips to Break Free from the Vicious Cycle of Self-Defeat

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When we look at our lives and realize we're not quite there yet… we're not quite achieving the potential we KNOW we have, but we don't really know why, we should start looking for the root of the problem. The invisible vicious cycle our mind has probably been programmed by negative messages, behaviors and patterns we have picked up from family and friends.

Having grown up in a highly dysfunctional family forced me to meditate over my actions and reactions toward life in order to trace my path and become a better, more fulfilling person. I had to dig deep inside myself.

cyt self defeat1- Trace the Root of Your Negative Mindset

There's no other way around! The best way to start understanding our behaviors and patterns is by tracing the source, understanding where it all started. A tree with weak roots and poor soil won't be able to flourish. Just like your mindset won't be able to progress unless you truly understand what's going on.

Classical psychology tends to blame the parents for everything negative in our lives. Sure, the parents are our biggest and strongest influence while we're growing up and yes, they shape and limit our believes and self-esteem for a huge period of time. My point here is not to keep on blaming the parents forever, but to understand that our negative beliefs actually have a logical and explainable reason to exist.

When you realize what kind of limited thoughts you were living under for most part of your life, you can finally start to change things: fix the roots and enrich the soil in which your tree is growing. Once you understand this and make peace with it, you can move on and work on yourself.

2 – Be Aware of Your Patterns

We all have behavior and thought patterns. They might be positive, they might be negative, but we all have them. There's a repetitive way in which we think, feel and live and we set our goals shaped by the restrictive and disempowering mindset we were originally programmed with.

Do you set yourself up for failure even before you started a project? Do you beat yourself up if something doesn't go the way you wanted to? Are you constantly negative? What does failure mean for you?

Did you know that most medicine and scientific advances in history are a bi-product of failure? And who determines if this or that is "failure?" What if an experiment gone wrong is actually your golden door and the opportunity to walk toward a new path and create a new life?

Think that every new day is a new chance to re-write your own story. You're the only writer, don't make yourself believe that others can trace your decisions and choices. Ultimately, the last word is always yours. Choose what empowers you, and discard all patterns that won't let you progress.

3 "“ Reclaim Your Power

Yes, your parents might have limited your horizons and didn't set you up for life with a positive and trusting mindset. Now that we know and are aware of that, reclaim your power. You're an adult now, independent with all the potential to reverse the negative program you've been set to.

Write down all your negative mental patterns on a piece of paper and next to each one write which would be the positive approach to that limiting mindset. Revert the negative into positive.

Gather your list filled with positive changes and put it on the wall, on your fridge, on your mirror. Spread it everywhere, so you can remind yourself of the path to follow. When we let fear govern our lives we instantly get paralyzed and stuck, but if we use fear in our favor we can thrive. If we're brave enough to overcome our deepest fears and prove to ourselves that they were just an illusion, they will instantly fade away. The sense of personal accomplishment is enormous. Trust yourself, trust your instincts and think that if you never try something new, you'll never know what lies on the other side of the rainbow.

4 "“ Create a Ritual and Set Up Goals

Excitement is great and it will be the kickstart to your change, but it won't last forever. There will be times you'll feel unmotivated, with low energy, and even doubt yourself. Remember that reprogramming our minds is not an easy task. It's actually a huge life change.

This is why creating routines and rituals is so important. Set up three goals you'll have to stick to. Three daily goals, three weekly goals, three monthly goals and three yearly goals. This is a perfectly feasible and easy to follow. Write them down and follow them religiously. You don't have to burn yourself up trying to do it all at once. Use the number three and you'll see the impact it will cause in your life. The greatest changes start with small and steady steps. Remember perseverance is the secret key to success.

5 "“ Find Your Role Models

One of the most challenging things for many people, for me as well, is to find amazing role models. The type of people you can take inspiration from. For most cases, the people who surround you are actually people with a similar mindset as yours. People who won't believe or don't want to believe in your change, on your evolution. Some of them might be dysfunctional as well.

I had this problem for a long time. My family was so dysfunctional and emotionally abusive, my friends had a lot of limiting beliefs. I actually had to distance myself from these people and search for role models outside my comfort zone and that's when I started to travel. By getting in contact with creative folks from all over the world who were living the life they wanted, I started to believe it was possible for me as well. Fortunately, today we all have access to online groups, forums, blogs and many other virtual communities of people who will support each other and that's a great way to draw inspiration.

Remember that whatever situation you find yourself in today is the cause of your choices and decisions you've done yesterday. So if you want to have a wonderful future, start working on your present. TODAY!

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About the author

Yara Coelho

Yara Coelho is the author of the motivational travel blog HEART OF A VAGABOND she's a solo female traveler, with a love for vegetarian food, natural medicines and ecology projects. She studied Psychology, just to find out the Freudian view of the world was too depressive, leading her on a Classical Chinese medicine and personal development journey.