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October 18, 2017
Articles
"As a psychotherapist, I couldn't help but see a similarity between orchids and people. Both have a blooming cycle as well as quiet periods. . . Life change, in people as well as in plants, occurs according to their own timing. I learned a new perspective about life change from my orchid: Growth and change often means that first something within needs to die." "
-- Charlyne Gelt, Ph.D., (PSY22909), M.F.T.


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Boundaries, Growth and Change

Breaking the Patterns of Self-Imposed Limitation

by Charlyne Gelt, Ph.D., (PSY22909), M.F.T.

"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world." — Buddha

The idea that you can change the way you think and feel is an exciting one. From psychologists Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck evolved the mind-blowing idea that our thoughts create our moods. Transformation in our personal lives is a multi-layered challenge that requires conscious awareness and the interaction of body and mind: "We are what we think." This means we don't have to stay stuck! We can break the chains of self-imposed limitations and become the best we can be! We can transform interpersonal impoverishment and disconnection to fulfill our own potential. The possibilities are — limitless.

Is your present mindset full or empty? What is your best potential? Are you challenging yourself to be all you can be or are early family-of-origin restrictions and beliefs unconsciously holding you back from manifesting your emotional and creative muscle? Identifying the source of your self-defeating inner talk gets you to the starting gate: "I need to be perfect," "I'm not good enough," or "If I'm not helping others, I'm not a good person." Just as a boulder blocks the river's flow towards its destination, negative thoughts block your intentions and impede your growth. That blocked energy, what you cannot see or deal with, often gets used to reach out and help a friend get over the hump. Yes, it's easier to feel for another's pain than address that same vulnerability in the self. Unbeknown to most of us, your strength and empowerment lies buried in that wound.

Stuck Thinking Into Wisdom
The hardest feeling to overcome is anger–that you allowed somebody you loved to die — The Self. With this information at hand, you can become a collaborator in your own heaven quake, dispelling the ghosts that haunt your life, challenging limitations, or unconscious fears of failure and success. If your inner fire was put down or minimized in your early parental environment, it may be time to reevaluate your thinking: discard the limitations by creating a dialogue with the fear, the resistant, or the perfectionistic aspect of the self. Like stale bread, orchidreplace the need for approval, with new cognitions and language that supports your emerging sense of Self. "I am," is derived from developing a personal value system rather than carrying the values of other people.

No one likes to look at his or her own limitations. Although we have a tendency to resist painful awareness, it's the heart of therapy: identifying, questioning, and analyzing the source of one's cognitive distortion, then taking action on behalf of the self. The saying, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink" also applies to taking responsibility of meeting your own needs. Even when you see your limitations and decide that you want to expand beyond them, taking the necessary actions isn't easy. A deep change, a shift in consciousness, requires motivation supported by new thinking.

Here's a suggestion to get started: Think of a time when you acted courageously, took the risk of being real, and ended up doing your personal best. You can awaken that sense of inner life energy again!

"There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance." — John Lennon

Once you become aware of how you have limited yourself — your reaction may be anger at "missing out on life". Look at the ways you've been a boulder in your own stream. Clarify your unmet needs, identify what you want for yourself, and convert that resistant energy into a self-determined goal. Begin by manifesting an attitude of "limitless." Give yourself permission to be a warrior on behalf of the Self. Now, with recognition, motivation, and support, your life becomes a new set of possibilities, and you become a mixed bag of potential just waiting to happen.