How These 2 Simple Words Can Help You Get Rid of Negative Patterns

One of my favorite videos ever is Bob Newhart’s psychotherapy session, called “Stop It.” In the clip, a woman comes to see a new therapist, and when talking about her problems, is met with the same blunt response each time. “Stop it,” the therapist tells her. Each time, she is stumped — unable to take in such a simple solution. She had expected to discuss at length the variables that have gone into each of her troubles, and yet, the therapist stops her with the same two words each time: “Stop it.”

It’s genius. I have to admit that I have tried this technique in my own life when I’ve experienced my own negative patterns that undermine my joy and well-being. These patterns span from falling into a comparison trap, feeling separate, getting overwhelmed, and overall negative paradigms. When I have looked in the mirror and told myself to simply “stop it” (with great intention and authority!) I’ve been amazed to see how that part of myself starts to weaken. Just like the patient in the video, the negative voice asked, “What do you mean, stop it?” — to which I repeated: “I mean, stop it.” Believe it or not, you can scare the pattern away with those two simple words, provided your intention is behind it.

Remember, we’re not talking about diagnosed mental illness — we’re talking about those everyday thoughts that nag at us and keep us from being our best selves. These thoughts and patterns suck out the air within us. They take over our minds and our emotions, and make us believe they are real. We have to take control, and kick them out of the window. If a child loses his or her temper, you don’t give in. You have none of it. So why not do the same with your wicked little parts with their broomsticks?

It’s extraordinary to think about how many of us get caught in these patterns, and we feed them by judging ourselves, ruminating over them, sharing them with our friends, and living as if they were true. You and I know that so many of our patterns are not true — so we have to use our force and power to inform them that we are the master. So I highly recommend you watch the video, identify a pattern within yourself that is causing you misery, fear, and worry — and do nothing else other than looking in the mirror and with all your force, raise your voice to say, “Stop it.” Say it over again until the voice subsides and can’t latch on any longer.

We have authority over our patterns. Use those two simple words to get you out of them — and anything that’s causing you unhappiness.

Please share with me a pattern that you’re facing, and how you’re using your authority to put a stop to it. Let’s support each other to realize how much more simple it is to move past our addictive negative patterns, and claim more of our freedom.

— Published on October 25, 2019

Agapi StassinopolousHow These 2 Simple Words Can Help You Get Rid of Negative Patterns
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You’re Not Alone

So much of our overwhelm, our anxieties, our worries, and our unhappiness is birthed by the fact that we think we have to figure it out all alone. A lot of people feel that they’re left in the ocean on a raft and have to figure out how to get back to shore. It’s part of the incredible stress we face, which leads to worrying, suffering from not being able to sleep or ever relax, and a general feeling of being off-balance, as if you’re walking on a wobbly floor and you don’t know when the floor will collapse. Fundamentally, we don’t really trust ourselves, or in a higher power that has a plan — to have our back. Part of the reason we don’t trust it is because we’ve never really cultivated it. If you’re on a raft in the ocean and you’ve never learned how to swim, it makes sense that you’d be scared. In the same way, if you think back to your childhood, you may have been raised and educated to feel that it was you against your teachers, the rules — the world. Therefore, we have developed layers of protection around ourselves.

At some point in my life, in my early 20s, I became very aware of God’s presence in my life. And let me clarify what I mean by God: As my mother used to say, “Know yourself, and know something larger than yourself.” I became aware that there is a larger presence — a spirit, a soul, a divine intelligence, a cosmic energy. Call it what you want, but do call it, and give it a name that works for you.

I realize now that this “presence” and I have always been connected. In my books, Wake Up to the Joy of You and Unbinding the Heart, I wrote explicitly and candidly about this experience, and my journey since then. Ever since my path has become very much about letting go of the judgments, the limiting beliefs, and whatever hindered me from fully knowing and trusting that presence. Instead of identifying with my personality, thoughts, emotions, and what I call my general “Agapi-ness” — my wordly self had to be integrated into that higher knowing, and I had to practice it and live it everyday. That presence can guide me every step of the way. Like the rest of us, I’m still in the process, of course, but I feel that I’ve found my bungee cord to my source that carries me through life.

Recently, I was going through a pattern that was pulling my energy down. I could feel it pulling me under, and I was having a hard time getting myself out of it. So I treated myself to my favorite “safe carbs” — three rice cakes with butter! It’s amazing how our favorite comfort foods make us feel better. Out of the blue, Siri asked me, “What can I help you with? Go ahead, I’m listening.” I immediately chuckled. There it was again — a little sign from the universe that I could ask for help.

So how do we seek help? For starters, we have to get very quiet so we can access a deeper place of our consciousness that we are always connected to. One suggestion is to take your hands and place them on your heart and your belly, and start to pay attention to your breath. Instead of rushing to the carbs, or the judgments, or the fear and emotional intensity that come with the pattern you are experiencing, you can call your attention to that deeper place.

It’s amazing how simply stopping for a moment and trusting that you can ask for help can make a difference. It’s like you’re offering a prayer at that moment. People typically associate prayer with religion, but it’s really an internal request for help, and a moment of gratitude. It is the golden bridge between us, our worldly human self, and the wise, loving intelligence in us. This golden bridge is available to us 24-7. By acknowledging that you are alive and breathing, and coming into the appreciation of the most simple things, you open up the space to receive the guidance. However, the ego will fight us. The ego thinks it’s KING and it thinks it knows best, but we must tame it and help it relinquish control, trusting that if we work together, we will be lifted. In that day, one more time I awakened to the fact that I was not alone.

As a result of my asking for help, a friend was visiting from Los Angeles the next morning, and we had planned to have breakfast. There in my apartment we sat and talked, and I confessed to him the pattern I was going through. I cried and opened up, and he had wise words for me. I let him in, and I was lifted. When we ask and trust that we are not alone, help comes in the most extraordinary, unexpected ways, but we must first let love in. No matter the questioning, hardships, rejections, or insecurities — we are never alone. We are all deeply rooted in the consciousness of a higher intelligence that created our 37 trillion cells that allow us to breathe. It is beyond anything we have control over. We are never alone — and if you make that your living mantra right now, your life will be transformed to the bounty that is yours to have and experience.

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Agapi StassinopolousYou’re Not Alone
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How to Upgrade Your Life Today

I was facilitating a Thrive seminar a few days ago. One of the things we always address at these seminars is “negative beliefs” — how they hold us back and undermine our thriving, productive, creative, and happy selves. Participants never fail to share beliefs such as “I’m not good enough,” “No matter how hard I work, I can do better,” “I don’t deserve success,” “I can’t be happy unless other people around me are happy,” or “I need others’ approval to speak my truth,” etc. When we ask them to think about when those beliefs first sunk in, the answer always comes back to limiting decisions they made about themselves in the earlier stages of their lives.

These beliefs spread like mold under the foundation of your home. You can’t see it until you start to feel sick. You feel depleted and off, like something is wrong, but you keep going and driving forward from one thing to the next. You can’t stop — you’re operating on survival. So you simply don’t have the time or space to dig underneath. And then one day, you decide to call an expert, and they tell you that your home is filled with mold, and it’s affecting your health and your life.

Just as this mold impacts our day-to-day actions and all our relationships, so do our beliefs — so it’s very important to take an inventory, to have the courage to look at each one and ask the fundamental questions: When did it start? Is it true? Can I let go of it? And can I upgrade myself to today?

It’s like we have a first-class ticket, but we’re still traveling coach — and some of us are even choosing to sit in the middle seat! I promise you, if you look in your pocket, you’ll find a first-class ticket, good for life. So it’s time to upgrade your life. Here’s how to get started.

1. Identify the source of the negative belief that’s limiting you.

You may have built a belief that is holding you back from who you can be. Once you identify it, bring it to the forefront, review it, and feel the feeling of contraction it had created in your self-expression. Then you have to see the judgments you made about yourself, others, and the situation, and start to forgive it, them, and yourself. You may even want to write it down and burn it.

2. Now let it go, and tell yourself: “That was then, and this is now.”

It’s important to remind yourself that this belief is no longer accurate. You can literally see a clean slate in front of you: i.e. Agapi’s life: Scene 1, Take 1. You no longer have to run your life based on this old belief. You’d bought into it some time ago, but it simply does not apply today. You are free to be and own who you’ve now become. Sure, we’re all still a work in progress — and we’ll always be expanding and growing and letting go — but when we let go of our fundamental limiting beliefs that have been running our lives, we then can put ourselves on the right track and remove our self-imposed roadblocks. It will become easier over time, and with meditation, to see the destination more clearly and enjoy the scenery along the way.

In my own life I’ve worked with the belief “I’m not safe,” which was rooted in my early years around my father, who was a concentration camp survivor and had a very erratic temper. I would often witness his explosive reactions to his employees, my mother, and in general the people around him. They could flare up at any time, out of the blue. That was a difficult thing to witness as a little girl, so I became on guard and began adjusting myself in the hope that I would help him stay calm. To this day, I always have to remind myself that that was then, and this is now. I’ve come a long way, and I know how to take care of myself and keep myself safe.

I deeply encourage you today to find one of your key limiting beliefs (there may be more than one) and replace it with a positive one, i.e. “Even if other people around me are unhappy, I have a right to my own happiness,” “I deserve and enjoy my success,” “I now give myself permission to express my truth and my feelings,” etc. Remove the mold from your foundation, lay in new floors, repaint the walls, and you can even redecorate.

Please share with me the one thing you’ll do today to move forward to your first-class seat. It’s a much better ride, and you deserve it.

Agapi StassinopolousHow to Upgrade Your Life Today
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