A few weeks ago, I made a last-minute decision to hit up an outlet mall on a trip home from Toronto. If you’re familiar with Southern Ontario weather, you know that by September we start think about jackets. If you aren’t familiar, let me just say that in September in my part of Canada it switches from 10°C (50°F) to 30°C (86°F) within a few hours. This means that every respectable Canadian woman has an abundance of jackets to wear over that summer dress that we’re still trying to squeeze into our wardrobe.
We don’t rush to winter! WE MAKE THE SUMMER LAST even if it’s by poor wardrobe choices that we regret at 8am but appreciate later at 2pm.
Anyway…back to the story.
So, I’m wandering this outlet mall and I head into Ted Baker. They’re having a sale and I’m looking through things and I come across this beautiful, leather jacket. It’s tailored, soft, simple – yet elegant – and it’s $798 … on for $151! Yes you read that correctly. I had to ask too because I thought it was a mistake.
So, I’m feeling really good about this – super excited – until I try to squeeze myself into it. Sadly, it was the wrong size and the only one (the only one with that particular lining which was the reason for the sale). Take a moment to shed some tears here. I did, and I might again, now that I’m remembering this story.
I moved on. (Moved on to another store, but I clearly have not moved on from the jacket.)
I head into Aritzia. I peruse the racks and come across another jacket. This one is definitely not pairing with a summer dress. It’s a full-on winter coat. It’s almost sacrilege to even try on a winter coat in early September but it was also on sale (not Ted Baker sale though, sadly) so I tried it.
It fit, and it was beautiful, but let me just say that I was not prepared for the weight of a winter coat in September. It felt odd and bulky and wrong. Beautiful as it was, I wasn’t sure I liked it.
Now this shopping adventure got me thinking about bulky, heavy coats and how we feel when we’re wearing them. Then it got me thinking about our bulky, heavy beliefs and how we carry those around too. Like a coat, they’re sometimes protective, but other times they’re just not necessary.
To demonstrate my point, I want you to do a quick exercise with me now. Use your imagination and picture yourself putting on a heavy, winter coat. Feel the weight of it as you slip it over your shoulders. Imagine now, that this coat seems disproportionately heavy based on the fabric it’s made of. Curious. You start investigating the coat further and you notice that sewn into the lining are heavy metal bars (like gold bars, but definitely not nice and certainly not worth anything). What the h*ll? You take a closer look at those metal bars and you see that they have writing on them.
Every one of them says something different. “You aren’t enough. You don’t matter. You aren’t intelligent. You don’t deserve love. Money is the root of all evil. No one likes you. You’re not good at anything. You can’t trust people. You can’t make money pursuing your dreams. You’re not worthy. Everyone else is better than you. You’re too fat/thin/shy/poor/stupid. You don’t deserve success.”
Whoa. No wonder that coat is so damn heavy and feels completely wrong. No wonder a lot of us feel like we have low energy and that we have trouble moving forward and creating a life that will bring us joy and satisfaction. Who can possibly get through a day bearing the weight of that coat?
You. Yes you. You do it all the time. Those statements might not be specific to you but you have specific statements. We all do.
Let me let you in on a little secret. You can take that coat off. If it feels bulky and wrong and you just don’t want to wear it anymore, you can just slip it off your shoulders and drop it. Walk away … no run … and run straight towards a new – better fitting – jacket. Find that perfect jacket for you that’s light and airy. When I picture mine, it looks an awful lot like that Ted Baker jacket but the lining is a beautiful light pink and it’s covered in a stunning calligraphy font describing all those beliefs about myself that I need to hear: “You are enough. You matter. You are worthy. And on and on and on.” Now that’s a coat I’d pay $798 for.
I know it’s not as easy as just dropping the coat and walking away, especially if you’ve been adding those metal bars in since you were a child. The best and most effective way is to achieve real change and lighten up is to replace them. We don’t like “absence” or when we go from having something to having nothing, so we will fall back into old patterns and beliefs when there is an empty space.
This is why it’s important to replace these beliefs.
Using hypnosis to do this is SUPER effective because we all have an inner critic who likes to sabotage; it can’t help it. It likes what’s familiar. To demonstrate, try this: chose one belief about yourself that you’d like to change (for example “I’m not good at saving money”). Now immediately tell yourself the opposite (e.g. “I love saving money! I’m not going to spend $798 on a new jacket to add to my collection of 20 other jackets. That’s a want, not a need.”) Are you changed? If you saw that jacket on sale right now would you magically lose your desire to buy it? I doubt it.
Trying to change deeply entrenched beliefs and patterns with logic is useless.
We are emotional creatures and emotion will win over and over. Sometimes logic will get a good hit in, but otherwise it isn’t doing squat except helping you balance your budget or write an email at work. (Yes, I’m overexaggerating here, your logic is important and it’s how we became modern humans, but my point is that the reptilian brain is still the first to react.)
If you could use a little help figuring out what limiting beliefs are sewn into your coat, and if you need a partner to help design your new one, let’s chat.
You have a future to create and there’s no time like the present.