Synopsis & Links
Sometimes you have a limitation that you will never be okay with. Or maybe you have a limiting belief that you just can’t see any way past.
I used to have a tendency to repeat to myself “it’s okay it’s okay it’s okay”
Sometimes it helped. Sometimes it rang completely untrue and felt invalidating of my concerns.
What we can do about it:
Now I understand that I can accept that something IS without accepting that it is okay.
Accepting that something just fucking is stops my resistance, and minimizes my suffering over things that aren’t in my control.
And it works even when I’m not okay with anything about the situation. It helps for things that are terrible. It helps with things that I would do anything to change.
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Kawai Kitsune by Kevin MacLeod
About the Ex-Gifted Podcast:
If you are a former gifted kid who grew up to struggle with basic adulting, then you need the Ex-Gifted podcast.
Host Ren Eliza talks about gifted kid burnout, and the damage that lasts long into adulthood. Damage like battered self esteem, decimated internal motivation, and a continued failure to live up to expectations even while we were placed on pedestals and alienated from our peers.
Ex-Gifted will cover failure, procrastination, imposter syndrome, and chronic anxiety and depression, and a whole lot more.
Each episode also offers suggestions to deal with your executive dysfunction in adulthood so you can rebuild the systems that allowed you to shine so brightly in childhood.
We’re making exceptional children into functional adults.
If you have a limiting belief that you just can't shake, this is the episode for you. This fucking is
If you're joining me on video, you might be wondering why I'm sitting here in a poorly lit room wearing a blanket when I said this was going to be a good episode to watch on video. Oh, unfortunately I'm not putting on any great production or anything. It's just this just me. That's all it is. I hope you can accept that.
I am not a mental health expert or a grief counselor. Any thing that I state in this episode is my opinion. It is what has worked for me personally. Speak with your therapist or your other mental health provider if you need assistance in this topic or with dealing with grief.
In the last episode. I talked kind of a lot about how humans are incapable of flight. It's unfortunate. I know, but it's true. I have a recurring dream is I'm sure one of the most common dreams out there. In this recurring dream, I am able to fly I actually do it, pretty much like Steven universe that I can jump really high and then float. But I actually have lucid dreams pretty commonly and just immediately, the first thing that I do is I realize that I'm dreaming and then I go straight to flying because when else are you going to get a chance to fly? Right.
It's not something that I will ever be able to do. In real life on my own.
And I don't want to say that's okay because it kind of sucks. I don't really get sad over the, my inability to fly. It just seems kind of like a silly thing to be sad over because. It fucking is, right? It, it just, it just is. It is just something that I know without a shadow of a doubt, beyond a shadow of a doubt that humans can't fly.
And just let's assume every time I say that humans can't fly, what I mean is. We can't fly without any kind of external apparatus. I could definitely take up hang-gliding as a hobby. I think I would probably love it, but I can't fly on my own. And that's what I'm going to mean every time I say that I can't.
And so it sucks that I can't fly, but it's not really something that distresses me at this point because it is something that I completely accept. It's something that I know so strongly that I accept it with my whole mind and body. I will have to find other ways to pass the time, because I know that I can't fly.
It sucks, but wishing that it were different, sucks even more.
So that's what this episode's about. Right?
If you have a limiting belief, Or a limitation, if you want to use that term based on our definitions in the last episode. If you have a limitation that you know is true, that you know, can't be changed or that you have just already put so much effort into it, that you can't see yourself ever overcoming that belief. You can't see yourself ever moving past it. And that's okay. You can have those beliefs. We all have those beliefs,
But if you truly in every cell in your body, accept it, then that means that there's no reason for you to keep wishing for it to be different.
If you truly accept as fact, then you know that there is no amount of wishing or finagling or negotiating to be done to change that. So wanting it to be different- aside from like on a very surface level, like, "wouldn't it be cool if we could fly?" -wanting it to be different and allowing it to cause distress in your life, doesn't actually make sense.
We just passed the anniversary of one of the first posts that I ever put on Instagram after my pivot to talking about executive dysfunction, it was called habits are bullshit. And so it was basically about how I have come to believe that my brain does not form habits in the way a normal person's brain does.
And that includes bad habits and good habits that, the term that I like to use is that I say that I am habit Teflon, that any kind of habit just can't really stick to me. I might get a bad habit on me every once in a while, but just a little bit of a brush and it comes right off.
Obviously, this is great in some ways. But based on what I hear other people talk about when they talk about habits, about being able to, after a lot of initial, upfront work, setting themselves up for success. That habits make everything easier because then they have it on autopilot that the habit basically starts and runs at least partially without active input. That once you reach the trigger. The habit starts on its own without you having to remind yourself to do it.
I can't even count the number of times that I have heard someone say that you should practice doing daily routines, because like, because of the reason that they will eventually become habits and they won't be work anymore, they will just happen without even thinking. So if my brain can't form habits, then what's even the point.
I was tired of feeling that way. And so I made it my mission to just do my routines every day. And guess what?
Nothing because habits are fucking bullshit. My brain can't do habits a year later. I still feel exactly the same way.
The idea that my brain can't do habits is pretty obviously a limiting belief, right. Is there any way that I can prove that my brain cannot make habits?
The only way that I could prove anything about my brain's ability to form habits would be to make a habit and then look backwards and say, oh yeah, I could do that. Cause I just did. Looking forward, there's absolutely no way for me to know if my brain could form a habit or not.
There's no way for me to know if it's -I'm not going to use it so much this time, but -there's no way for me to know if it's capital T true, that my brain can't form a habit. But man, it fucking feels true a year later. It's still, it still feels true. I have been using my routines and I thought that maybe if I just set aside that idea that some, at some point my brain would magically unlock the ability that I would be able to do my routines on autopilot and finally have habits and a year later. And I do not, there are things that I do every day. There are things that I do without always having my written reminders, but every step of it is effort.
And I have come to just truly believe that that is how my brain works.
You may have been listening to the last episode thinking that, thinking that I don't understand your specific circumstances and you're right. I, I don't understand your circumstances, but I understand mine. I know what you're going through.
I questioned it recently.
And thought that maybe it was a limiting belief and that the reason that my brain was unable to form habits was because I was believing that my brain was unable to form habits. Maybe that's true. Again, there's no way for me to know, but I came to another conclusion realization, a little bit of both.
That I was repeatedly distressing myself so much wishing that I had habits wishing that these things didn't take me so much effort that I could do them on autopilot.
I was spending, I was getting so distressed wishing for these things to be different while at the same time, believing that they would never be different. It would be like being distressed about being unable to fly. And so I could absolutely make the choice to continue breaking down that belief and changing that belief and maybe it would be more useful to me to do it that way.
I can't know for sure. Remember, that's the point, but it is useful for me to believe that I can't form habits. And here's why. If I believe that I can't form habits. If I take that and I apply it the same way that I do with the inability to fly. If I make it something that I truly accept and believe with every cell in my body, then I can put that on a shelf and I can stop getting distressed over it.
I can stop making it a problem that I don't have habits or that I can't form habits. And that to a large extent is exactly what I did.
I mourned the idea of having habits. I, and I mean that very literally I had an actual kind of ceremony that I did to signify the end of my wishing and hoping for habits. I did some journaling and. Allowed myself to just really say goodbye to that idea, to that version of myself and I laid in bed and I cried and just not because I don't have habits or because I can't have habits maybe a little bit because of that, but it wasn't, it wasn't tears of regret. It was tears of grief.
And if you have ever been through the grieving process, you know that the final stage is acceptance, but you also know that the stages are not always progressed through in a completely linear fashion. So I have, and will continue to kind of bounce around between the steps, some, but I am getting to that point of complete acceptance.
It is not my goal or my wish or my desire to have habits anymore. It's a lot like flying it's, well, yeah, that would be cool. It's not possible, so I'm not going to fixate on it and I'm not going to let it ruin my day, because what I have found is that when you have something that you know is true and you wish that it weren't- and that's far more painful than just knowing that it's true.
And so. I will never have habits. And my instinct would be to say that that's okay. It's not really okay, but you know what? It is. And it doesn't have to be okay. It can just be.
And the same thing is true with your own limitations. If you have things that you cannot question that you can not break down, you can have those, we all have those, but you can't keep them on the hook. You can't believe that there's, that, that they're completely true, believe that there's no way that they could ever be untrue while also holding out hope that they are untrue. You have to pick one
And it's not up to me, which one you pick, I'm not telling you that you have to pick acceptance, and I'm not telling you that you have to pick, attacking and undermining that limiting belief. There's going to be some things that you have to accept and some things that you have to challenge, most things you should be challenging, but there will always be things that you have to accept.
For me, it is habits for you. It could be any number of things. It could be other realities about your disabilities. It could be the size of your home or that you don't have a dishwasher. Or your current income level, it could be things like that you will never find a partner.
These are kinds of things that you may wish were different, but if you truly see no possible way that they could be different, then you have to stop just wishing for something different, to be the case and accept what is.
what I am talking about here is not some kind of mental trick. Like they say that if you're trying pregnant, and it's not working that you should stop trying to get pregnant. And then that's when you're going to get pregnant. I am not suggesting that. Is it possible that after you give up on this thing that you were certain was true after you, you give up hope that that will change, that it will change?
Of course it's possible. That's again, we can't know if it's true. And so we can't know if it's possible that will change or not, but that's not that's not the point. We are not trying to do that. If you're, if you try to do that, then you're not accepting it. We are just trying to continue life without that taking up a continuous mental process in our brain.
So much of what I teach is just about how to offload different things from your brain, so that it's not so burdensome anymore. And that's exactly what this is.
Once you find that acceptance, and you've gone through the process of grief, then that's when you can offload the process of making habits and put it somewhere that is not in your brain. Like put it in the garbage.
I actually tried to look this up before recording this episode. And I searched for when to accept your limiting beliefs and found literally nothing on the topic. Don't worry. For the next episode, I have a different answer to that -what happened when I looked up the topic. But every single thing I saw written everywhere was about how to overcome your limiting beliefs. There was not anyone I could find talking about actually accepting them.
I haven't been able to find anyone else talking about what I think is an extremely important part of self-regulation and honestly, an important part of having a growth mindset. It's kind of related to the episode that I did a few back about going dormant, but it's separate because of course we're talking about an area that we're talking, you're talking about putting to bed forever. It's not temporarily going dormant, but it is -it's the part of my Holly Bush that I had to cut off because it never came back from dormancy. And that's, that's why we use the grieving process.
And so this is what you do when you have to accept your limiting belief throughout your body. Go through the actual stages of grief, write about it. If that's something that you like to do. You will feel silly. You'll feel like an absolute fool, putting yourself through, I mean, I was talking about emotional distress, right? Putting yourself intentionally through emotional distress in order to avoid emotional distress, but I can promise you that it is an entirely different thing. This is productive pain- I hate using the word productive for something like that.
It is effective pain. It is pain that is going to bring you closer to an outcome that you want. Remember, the outcome is not that you have habits. That's something that we are giving up. The outcome is that you are able to live your life and move forward without habits. You are able to find other things that work, or other things that bring you joy, or other ways to survive- even while giving up this thing that you already don't have, it's not giving up the thing. Right. It's giving up the hope for it, giving up the wishes.
Have an intentional goodbye ceremony. Yes. I'm basically talking about a funeral for your belief. Do some journaling, light a candle, sit and think about the good times you had not in the distress, obviously, but the, the happy times you've had of imagining yourself as the kind of person that. This limiting belief, wouldn't apply to imagine yourself as the kind of person who has habits and how great that feels. Do all of these things. And then say goodbye. We are moving past the stages of. Denial and anger and bargaining. We are going to sit and feel the sadness and its real pain. And then eventually you will be able to find acceptance on the other side, and you will be able to accept that this is the truth for you.
If you are really worried or scared about how this grieving process might affect you. Then have someone to watch you. Even better, talk with your therapist about it, do it in therapy. They can help talk you and guide you through it.
And once you do that... Well, basically what's going to happen once you actually accepted is that you're going to stop wishing that it were different that's that's by definition, what it means that you accept it. You will still probably think that it would be cool if it were different. Not in a way that you feel some kind of lack right now, it is just, that would be cool but that's not what is.
And when you think to yourself about having habits- or of course, whatever your particular limiting belief is, you might think that's okay. I don't have habits and that's okay. Or you might be like me. You might not think it's okay. You might think it's not okay. You don't have to think it's okay. You do not ever have to get to the point of let's call it appreciation. You only have to reach the point of acceptance. You don't have to believe that it's okay. You just have to believe that it is. And that's enough. That's enough to release this burden that you've been carrying by knowing something's true and being unable to accept that it's true.
What I have found in like literal examples when I'm actually like carrying a really heavy burden, is that if I wish that someone would come along and help. For some reason I didn't have to carry the heavy thing anymore. That wishing makes it feel heavier. Sometimes dreams and daydreams and wishes and hope. I'm not saying that we should kill hope entirely. Sometimes they can be great, that sometimes we just use them to get in the way of living our actual life.
I hope that if you were mad at me during the last episode because you thought that I didn't understand about how your limiting beliefs were different and that they really were true and that there was nothing to do about that. I hope that I hope that you see now that, although I can't know exactly what you're going through, that I do understand. That I have been there too.
next week, I'm going to be on a much more upbeat episode to end the season two and round out our growth mindset topics.
Definitely make sure you don't miss it. Until then, bye.
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