Three Mental Patterns that Could Be Holding You Back

JT - Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world. Ramana Maharshi

Today I wanted to share with you about three mental or mindset patterns that could be holding you back in life. So let’s get started…

What Are Mental Patterns?

A mental patterns is a thought construct that is held within your subconscious mind that is not in alignment with your authentic or genuine Self. And for this article, I am going to refer as mental and mindset blocks interchangeably for this article as they both go back to the mind / thought construct.

A mental block is generally from the past that could be effecting the present and how you are experiencing life.

Where Do Mental Patterns Come From?

Mental patterns come from many places, including – family members, teachers, coaches, media, society and culture. They are generally formed by repeated thoughts and are mostly created in childhood from interactions with the people around us (N.B. this is not about blaming anyone, particularly our parents).

Three Examples of Mental Patterns

Mental patterns range from memories, assumptions, limiting beliefs, excuses and / or past experiences. Following are three examples I have seen come up many times with myself and clients I works with.

1. Assumptions –

An assumption is something that you presume to be true. Yes a fact or statement. And when I say true, I refer to “the sun is going to go up tomorrow true” with clients. In his book the Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz writes… –

“We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything. The problem with making assumptions is that we believethey are the truth. We could swear they are real. We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking – we take it personally – then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word. That is why whenever we make assumptions, we’re asking for problems. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole drama for nothing.”

2. Limiting Beliefs –

Limiting beliefs are essentially thoughts that are continually thought over and over without questioning whether it is true or not NOW. Some beliefs can help us move forward, however some are mental blocks and are holding us back to live our purpose. They can be generalisations or stereotypes that we have learned and / or accepted about the world, other people, and/or about yourself that limits you in some way. Some examples of limiting beliefs include – “I am too old”, I am not good enough” or “money doesn’t grow on trees.”

Can you remember the last time you said you “can’t” do something? Or that you “should” do something? Did either of those limit you from accomplishing a goal, in-joying the moment or being your genuine whole-hearted self?

3. Excuses and the ‘but’ Word

Have you ever really wanted to do something, however a little word (i.e. but) left your mouth instead. Don’t worry, many of us make excuses and use the but word without realising it. For example using sentences like “I want to get in to shape, but _________” or “Well I would have, but __________.” However as George Washington is reported as saying –

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”

Is Anything Holding You Back or Limiting Your Flow of Life?

After seeing the above three examples, could you identify any mental patterns in your life that could be holding you back or limiting your flow of life in some way? Or maybe another way of looking at this is there any part of your life where you are not behaving or acting in the way you would like to? For example – it may be you know what to do, however you are just not doing it.

The mental block or limitation could be about you, other people, experiences and / or the world. These limitations may –

  • hold you back from making different choices in your life,
  • keep you from seeing the different opportunities presented to you each day,
  • prevent you from seeing you own gifts or accepting the gifts offered to you, or
  • keep you stuck focusing on the negative aspect of your circumstances.

One of the challenges with mental blocks is most of us don’t think we have them and they can be hard to spot.

Starting to Untangle from Mental Patterns

Once we start to recognise the mental patterns within us, the great news is we can start to untangle from them. Yes, that takes work, however as one of the people whom I have learnt a lot from says –

“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”

~ Ramana Maharshi

Over to You…

I hope this article has given you some insight in to mental patterns and some ways they may be impacting your flow of life. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share them below. Also – please make sure you find a qualified professional who can help you untangle from any mental patterns.

When you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and living whole-heartedlyyou are also welcome tjoin our Toolkit!

Reference –

Ruiz, D. (1997). The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. California, USA: Amber-Allen Publishing Inc.

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