Who Says You Can’t? – Those Little Voices That Hold You Back

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People hold onto criticism, especially if it comes from authority figures. A parent, sibling or teacher may tell you that you can’t do something and it sticks. In fact, it can become so integrated in you, that you forget who said it and take on that belief as if it was yours. The key to reversing this is to reattach the belief to the person who said it so you can disown it and make your own choices. Here is a simple exercise to get rid of these unwanted beliefs.

Removing Those Disembodied Voices

Once you’ve returned the critical belief to its proper owner, you can choose how they affect your decision-making process.

  1. Find a quiet space where you can sit comfortably for a few minutes without distractions.
  2. Think of something that you would like to do but have the belief that you can’t. This could be a career path that you wanted to follow years ago, or a new hobby that you’ve recently explored. For this example, let’s say you’ve wanted to start your own business.
  3. Sit quietly and double check this by saying to yourself, silently or out loud, “I want to start my own business.” If you get a clear response such as “You can’t do that” or “Nope, that’s not going to happen”, you’ve found the right topic.
  4. Still sitting, make an affirmative statement about this topic, again silently or out loud, “I will start my own business!” and listen for the negative response.
  5. Observe where the voice came from around your body. It could be behind your head, next to your left hip, or anywhere except inside of you.
  6. Put your attention to that physical space and say your statement again to verify that you have the right location.
  7. Some people will actually see the outline of a face but most just sense a voice coming from that place.
  8. Now ask the voice “Who are you?” Most will tell you who they are – a parent, teacher, spouse or anyone else who influenced you in your life.
  9. Now ask the voice “On what basis did you make that statement that I can’t start a business?” and be prepared for the answer, because it may not be what you expected.
  10. In this example, you could receive answers such as:

    “You failed that 6th grade math test”
    “You get sick on airplanes”
    “You never went for that advanced degree”

  11. Now tell the voice “This is your belief, not mine” and at the same time, feel yourself unburdening yourself with the belief that you can’t start your own business and give it back to the voice.
  12. Wait a few moments as the energy settles and repeat your original desire, “I will start my own business!” and listen for a response. You will feel more detachment now, knowing that what you hear is coming from outside of you and from another person. It was not your belief all along.

Try this with any desire where you have the feeling that you can’t do it. You’ll be surprised how often you’ve been influenced by other people in your life.

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