Has this ever happened to you before? Maybe you are hitting a wall lately and feeling frustrated. Maybe you are finding that the same negative patterns keep repeating in your life. Similar types of people keep appearing, you keep taking on similar jobs and experiencing the same emotions, you find yourself constantly dating the same kinds of people. Maybe you feel like your life is stuck in a loop.

There is a reason that you keep encountering these patterns, and it has so much to do with the permission that you are choosing to give to yourself every single day.

What do I mean by this? I mean that every action you take is a result of your own belief system. Every decision you make is because of what you believe is even possible for yourself. And hey, it’s not entirely your fault. You have been cultivating those deeply ingrained beliefs subconsciously your entire life from the moment you were born. But how often do we take a step back to ask ourselves what we actually believe about ourselves? How often do we actually challenge ourselves on a deeper level to question our own thoughts and behavior? Most likely, rarely or never. But I’m here to insist that you start to create more self-awareness in order to be able to put an end to negative patterns that keep coming up in your life.

Self-awareness is the key to start getting yourself unstuck and start creating a life that better serves you. To create a sense of freedom that we all deeply desire. 

But where does that sense of freedom come from? It starts with first identifying what we believe is possible for ourselves, and then identifying the permission that we give ourselves to act a certain way, or pursue a certain goal. The limitations we place on ourselves based on what we believe about ourselves is what are known as limiting beliefs, and they are sneaky little devils. Limiting beliefs are what truly hold us back from achieving what we most deeply want for ourselves.

Think about it. If you don’t truly believe that a goal is possible for you to achieve, then why would you ever act towards pursuing it? If you have not given yourself permission to believe in a possibility, then you will never find the motivation to act towards it. Your limiting beliefs will serve as roadblocks forever, until you make a conscious decision to change them.

Now I recommend grabbing an old fashioned pen and paper and complete the following exercise with as much intention and openness as possible. As you go through these questions, write down every factor and thought that comes to mind as honestly as you can. Don’t hold back because you will only be holding yourself back from the clarity you are seeking.

Here are ten questions to help you start cultivating more self-awareness about your own limiting beliefs:

  1. Think of a person you truly admire. What qualities do you like most about that person? Why?
  2. What activities did you find yourself doing the most as a child?
  3. What are you most afraid of in life? Why?
  4. Think of the last time you did something you were afraid of. What motivated you to overcome that fear?
  5. What’s the #1 thing that excites you the most in life?
  6. What activities have you done that make you lose all sense of time and leave you feeling energized?
  7. Which area of your life, right now, makes you feel the best? Which area makes you feel the worst? Why?
  8. If life stopped today, what would you regret not doing? What memories would you like to have?
  9. What would you honestly do in your life if you didn’t have to worry about making money?
  10. If you’re not currently doing what you said in #9, what is stopping you from pursuing this?

Without cultivating self-awareness, you can never make lasting change in your life because those same patterns will keep emerging to stop you from living how you truly want.

The patterns are there to help you overcome them and grow, but whether you choose to face them head-on is up to you.

This article was originally published on The Humanista Co.