Whether you can or can’t you’re right

Image by Orange Fox from Pixabay

I’m working through the Live Life Connected programme, a series of videos and resources that support wellness in terms of improving quality sleep, quality nutrition, daily movement, recovery and rest and meaningful connections. The latest section has just gone live in which the facilitator talks about how what we believe can limit our ability.  A bit like imposter syndrome I guess.

When something happens in your life, good or bad, do you find yourself making up some sort of story about why it happened?  Why someone spoke to you in that way? Or did not interact with you? If you act as if someone is going to be friendly towards you, or act confident, chances are that that is what will happen.  That person will be friendly towards you, or you will come across as confident.

What beliefs do you have that are holding you back?  Are these beliefs helpful? How do your beliefs make you feel?

The EBA method (Events, Beliefs, Actions) is something that happens all the time subconsciously.  An event happens e.g. someone is rude to us, we associate beliefs about that event and then form actions/reactions based on what’s just happened.  If our beliefs are negative about what’s just happened our actions become quite defensive.

By taking time to pause when we notice an event and our beliefs starting to creep in, we can distance ourselves from the event to consider what actions/reactions would be more appropriate.   We can’t stop events happening but we can try to control our beliefs about it.  For example if a friend is unhappy and cuts you off, you might believe they don’t like you or you must have upset them some way.  You might choose to avoid them for a while, or confront them about it.

The Three Boxes of Control is a framework that supports Epictetus’ philosophic belief that you should only concern yourself with things that are within your control, and you can only truly control your beliefs, everything else, to some degree or other is outside of your control. Stress and problems we encounter are generally caused when we try to control things we have no control over. If we choose to be happy and content in our own mind and body, we have something that no one else can take away.

When you struggle to keep control of what’s going on there is a simple exercise you can do to help put things into perspective.  Draw three boxes and in the first list all the things that are within your control, in the second list all the things that are partially under your control but may be affected by outside influence, then in the third list all the things that are not in your control to change or do anything about. You can then focus mostly on what is within your control and put some effort into those things that are partially in your control.  Then try to let all those things go that you have no control over. Don’t spend time worrying about things over which you have no control.

When you’re struggling, ask yourself these three limiting belief breakers:

  1. The counter argument – breakdown a belief by forming the counter argument to it. Question whether what you are believing is right or really true.
  2. Ask yourself whether this belief helpful and if it’s not, then get rid of it.
  3. Look for the alternatives – what else could be happening in that situation? There could be many other reasons why something happened or someone behaved in a certain way.

By taking back control over these elements our life it brings us to the best place in our lives in terms of wellness, motivation and positivity.


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