This 3-step method will help you deal with negative thoughts once and for all

Looking to learn how to stop overthinking? A behavioural change coach shares a simple method that will help you do so.

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We all know holding onto negative beliefs about ourselves is extremely unhelpful. But it can difficult to let go of pessimistic thoughts, particularly if they’re long-standing.

Thinking about yourself in a bad light can not only lead to overthinking and self-deprecation, it can also hold you back from achieving your goals. Gemma Perlin, a behavioural change coach specialising in neuro-linguistic programming, says it’s very common to have limiting beliefs about yourself, even if you’re not aware of them.

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 “A limiting belief is anything that holds you back from achieving what you want,” says Gemma, adding that tackling them head-on can be the easiest way to deal with them. To do this, Gemma has developed a three step technique that will help you stop overthinking and start achieving your goals.

Step one: awareness

Limiting beliefs may be common but that doesn’t mean that they’re easy to identify. “Often we feed ourselves negativity without even realising we’re doing it,” Gemma says. 

Therefore, the first step to dealing with limiting beliefs is recognising them. “Every time you notice yourself saying you can’t do something or you shouldn’t do something, take note of what it is you’re saying,” says Gemma. 

You might say these things to yourself, out loud or even write them down. “Journaling can be helpful so you can look back on what you’ve written and identify any limiting beliefs,” Gemma suggests.

Step two: solutions

Once you have identified what your limiting beliefs are, you can plan how you want to deal with them. “Think about what support you need and whether or not you’re surrounded by the right kind of people,” Gemma says.

If you think certain people in your life are encouraging your negative thoughts about yourself a good first step is to speak to them. Or maybe you might need to make a lifestyle change to help you deal with a limiting belief, particularly if you notice your limiting beliefs arising at particular times, like when you’re hungover, for example.

Step three: acceptance

Dealing with limiting beliefs in the long-term means truly accepting that they aren’t true, according to Gemma. “Solutions are important in the short-term but you need to truly accept that those ideas you have about yourself aren’t accurate in order to move on from them,” Gemma says.

Do this by replacing your current negative perceptions of yourself with new, positive beliefs. “Figure out how you can turn negative voices down, or at least move them to the other shoulder, so you can welcome positive, productive beliefs in,” Gemma says.

You can find more expert tips and guides on The Curiosity Academy’s Instagram page.

  • Gemma Perlin, behavioural change coach

    Credit: Gus Palmer

    Gemma Perlin is a behavioural change coach who helps people find the tools to manage their mind, take control, and live the life you want. 

Images: Getty, Gemma Perlin

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