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Self-limiting beliefs are negative beliefs we have about ourselves, or life, that we accept as truth that limit us and prevent us from reaching our goals. These beliefs create negative patterns in our lives and then create a reality to match. The mind will work to support these beliefs by searching for evidence that this belief is true, creating more negative self talk and emotions and will recreate negative patterns to manifest the reality we believe to be true. For example, if we say to ourselves "I'm a failure" because we failed at something, our minds will subconsciously look for all the ways that we have failed and recreate patterns to ensure we continue to fail.

Letting go of these beliefs is critical if we want to change and grow. In order to release a limiting belief we need to deconstruct it and look at it objectively by asking ourselves the following questions:

What is the belief that's holding me back?

How is it holding me back?

Why do I believe it to be true?

Where did this belief come from?

How will my life change if I let go of this belief? How will I feel?

It's important (and difficult) to then accept that the belief is actually not real and just a narrative we've been telling ourselves, or allowing other's to tell us. It's helpful to make a list of evidence of why this belief is false. We need to then replace the thought with a belief that will actually serve us by creating counter-statements to change our thought patterns. For example, instead of saying "I'm a failure", we can say "I am working hard for success that is coming my way and learning a lot along the way" or a simple; "I am successful!"

To truly release self-limiting beliefs we really need to make a commitment to be kinder to ourselves and do the work we need to do to create something different, a new and better reality. Once we are free from these negative beliefs we can radically transform ourselves and begin to live the lives we are meant to live.

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My battle with depression began when I was 12 years old. It was as if a dark, evil shadow crawled into my brain and completely changed how I viewed the world. Everything felt so incredibly dark, so sad, so lonely. The world suddenly became a dark and cruel place in my eyes. I tried to imagine a happy future but all I saw was more darkness. I could no longer find happiness in the things that once made me happy. Even smiling felt so inauthentic and forced. I wanted to be happy and I tried to be happy but I couldn't make it happen. I felt damaged and bitter from my childhood and completely unworthy of love. I started hating myself. I felt so down and so lost that I would make bad decisions and then I'd hate myself even more.

I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't live in this world feeling like this. It was unbearable. I began contemplating suicide. I became obsessed with it. I decided that the only way to end my misery was to end my life. I was only 12 years old, still a child and I felt life had defeated me already. Over the course of a few months I came up with a plan. One night, I felt like I couldn't live with this misery for one more second and I wrote my suicide note to my family and had a bottle of sleeping pills in my hand and I was ready. But I just couldn't do it. I sat and cried and tried to work up the nerve to do it but I couldn't. Something inside me was telling me I had to keep going, I had to keep fighting. I couldn't give up. I realized I had to be strong, giving up wasn't an option. I had to keep fighting for happiness and have faith in myself and in life that I could be happy.

I wish I could say I beat depression that night but I didn't. Not even close. I would have to fight that battle on and off for years but that day that I chose to not end my life was the day I became a survivor. I knew that if I could experience such darkness and such sadness and still not give up then I was strong. Being in touch and connected to my inner strength gave me confidence. I knew in that moment that this was something I needed to go through. I needed to experience this and learn from it. This was part of my story and it made me who I am today. It allowed me see that my life's mission and the reason I walk this earth is to help people going through hard times. My soul needs to help people heal. Depression took part of my childhood from me. It stole my innocence. I wasn't going to let it steal my future. It wasn't going to steal my hopes and dreams. I knew I was going to create my dream life, be happy and help other people that are going through hard times.

I am so happy that I listened to my intuition and found my strength that night and chose not to end my life. I'm grateful to be alive. I think of everything I would have missed, all the experiences I've had, all the things I've seen, and all the people that I've met along the way. I would have missed out on growing up and creating the life I want. Life is not perfect. I'm not perfect. I've had to go through other hard times in life and it hasn't always been smooth sailing, but I love my life and I'm grateful. I'm grateful for the storms because storms make survivors. My storms have made me who I am. No matter what life throws at me I will continue to survive and grow and learn and fight for my happiness.

I'm a work in progress and I'm okay with that. I've learned the importance of taking care of myself. Self care is and always will be a part of my daily life now. Self care isn't just for people will mental health problems, we all need to take care of ourselves. We all need to find the things that heal us and connect us to our souls. To bring us back to who we are. To allow us a moment to actively love ourselves and rest in that loving space. To just be present.

If you're reading this and you're going through something in life and feel like you just can't do it anymore, I promise you from my heart to are strong enough to get through this! You are a survivor! Tell yourself that every day. Fight for your happiness. Every single day! Fight for it. Obsessively and relentlessly. Believe in it. Know that you deserve it. Be grateful for it before you even have it. Show up for life. Be kind to yourself. Create the life you want, no matter what it takes. When you feel like life is just too hard and you can't do it anymore remind yourself: "I am strong as hell and I WILL get through this!"

I've found my happiness and I know that even if life gets dark again I can and will fight my way back to the light again.

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The day that I brought my first born child home from the hospital wasn't the happy and joyful experience I had dreamed of my entire pregnancy but an experience filled with anxiety, fear and self-doubt. My mind was racing with all of the things that I needed to protect my baby from, all that I was responsible for, and all that could possibly go wrong. I had to protect this little helpless six pound baby and keep him safe from the world. He relied on me to meet all of his physiological, safety and psychological needs, to provide a loving home and a childhood full of wonderful memories, and to make sure he grows into a happy and kind person. I just wanted to be a good mother and I was afraid to fail. The weight and the pressure of this responsibility very was overwhelming to me and made me extremely anxious.

The first night home I just sat and watched my son sleep. I was healing physically and emotionally from an emergency c-section and was very hormonal and overtired. I felt stripped down and emotionally raw. I felt the most intense vulnerability of my life and in that vulnerability and rawness I started crying. I just couldn't stop. I cried for everything that I couldn't protect my son from. I cried for all the things I couldn't control in his life. I cried for the tough moments my son will have to experience in his own journey. I cried for the fear that I might fail him somehow. I cried for every emotional scar I had that I had net yet healed. I cried for every child that wasn't lucky enough to be born into a loving home. I cried for every parent that has ever lost a child. I cried over the feelings of immense love I already had for this tiny little baby boy I had met only a few days ago. It was the profound realization of just how important this child's well being was to my existence now and it absolutely rocked me to my core. I was forever changed.

I got through those first few weeks of overwhelming anxiety and constant self doubt and once my hormones settled I was finally able to start seeing things clearer. It didn't feel so scary anymore. I was finally able to begin to shift the way I was thinking and experiencing things. I was able to start letting go of fear and anxiety. I was able to stop doubting myself as a mother constantly. I was able to start being much more present with my son. I was able to enjoy him without worrying about every bad thing that could possibly happen to him in life. I could just be with him. I was able to start living in the moment.

Five years and another child later I feel a lot more relaxed. Surprisingly, I ended up being a fairly laid back parent and over time began to feel much more confident in myself as a mother. Somewhere along the way I began to realize; "Hey, I've got this!" I saw how strong I could be when I needed to be strong. I saw how tender I could be when I needed to be tender. I saw how fiercely protective I could be. I learned to trust my instincts and understand that the ability to love and protect my child is already within me biologically and also within my heart and soul. I learned to forgive myself when I made mistakes because I understand that parenting is hard and no parent is ever perfect and shame is too heavy a burden to carry. I accept that worrying and self doubt do happen sometimes and I allow it to be a reminder to myself that I'm doing my best. I accept that there are some things beyond my control and find comfort in the fact that I don't have to be responsible for absolutely everything. I can't shield him from life but I can prepare him to face it, teach him how to handle difficult emotions, how to fall and get back up, how to be a positive, kind and happy person. He needs to experience the lows in life to appreciate all of the good. As much I want to, I cannot protect him from everything but I can and will be the safe place for him to go when he needs love and support or just a rest from the world. Motherhood isn't about being a "perfect" mom, it's about loving your child with all of your heart, doing your best every day and making a conscious effort to live in the moment with your child.

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