feeling unable
feeling unaccepted - feeling unacceptable
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not desired; "an undesired result" [syn: unsought]

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feeling undesired? Could it be your belief system that's causing it?



Finding Our Limiting Beliefs

Most of us have learned to look outside of ourselves for the cause of the experiences that we don't like. So it may seem difficult at first to entertain the idea that it's because of our beliefs that we're causing or allowing our unique experiences in life. However, by finding and changing some of the limiting beliefs that are causing us to create or allow undesired experiences, we can gain assurance.

Fortunately, life gives us ample feedback from several sources. The primary source is what we actually experience. Experience functions as a mirror. We not only create or allow what we experience through our beliefs, but we also view experience through their lenses.


On hearing a compliment about something he has done, a person with confident beliefs about himself is likely to accept this as a sincere acknowledgement. Someone who lacks confident beliefs might see or interpret it as an insincere "buttering up" to get or gain something, or an outright lie.

We also get continual feedback from our bodies and emotions. When we live our lives with negative or limiting beliefs, we get feedback from our body in the form of pains, aches, illnesses, lack of energy, etc.; and from our emotions; undesired feelings such as anxiety, depression, apathy, anger, grief, etc.


These can provide some of the valuable clues we need to find our limiting beliefs. (Refer to appendices H, I & K for more specifics on how these relate to our limiting beliefs.) As we identify some of them, our next step is to change them to positive ones in our subconscious minds.


i.e., upper back problems are often symptoms of feeling a lack of support or love. Limiting beliefs might be that "I am unlovable," "I don't deserve love," or "Loving is dangerous," etc.


Then, by entering the subconscious and changing these to "I am lovable," "I deserve love," and "loving is safe," the cause and symptoms may be relieved.


Of course physical difficulties may have advanced to a stage where recovery will take time and the relief may not become apparent at once. The difficulty may also be at a stage where medical treatment is needed and if so, such treatment should be sought.


As an analogy, our house may be burning as a consequence of having limited beliefs that caused the probability of some form of destruction to become high; but at this point, our most urgent action to save it would be to call the fire department.

An anxiety problem is often a symptom of fear and limiting beliefs which could be causing it are "I am powerless," "I can't trust myself," or "I am helpless." etc.


By changing these in the subconscious to "I am powerful," "I can trust myself" and "I am self reliant," the fear and anxiety should be alleviated. It's quite likely that other limiting beliefs making up the set causing anxiety will also need to be found and changed, for there may be several contributing factors.

In doing the focused observation and detective work to spot our limiting beliefs, we must bypass the tendency so many people have to place the responsibility elsewhere, i.e. to blame others, fate, or outside circumstances as the cause of our undesired experiences.


Obviously, others do play a part in our experiences, but our vibrations attract certain people and through resonance, activate particular qualities in them, as well as creating environmental circumstances. Thus we set up the probability of having the unique experiences we have and through our vibrations, of attracting others to play roles.

keeping things organized!

Recognizing Limiting Beliefs About Changing

Unfortunately, we're likely to have some beliefs that limit the changes we allow ourselves to make. Change brings about different conditions in our lives and we may have doubts about whether a change will really make us happier.


We may be concerned that as we change we will affect the people close to us in different ways and they may have trouble accepting the changes in us.


We may be apprehensive that changing might lead to disaster, or that if we change we will fail. For some people, change seems to threaten their very existence; perhaps by threatening to expose their excuses or the unhealthy or dysfunctional roles they have adopted as a way of handling life, or to keep from getting hurt.

Some typical excuses and concerns are:

a. I have to control everything in my life, (by intimidation or by being weak.)

b. If I change I might be lonely and I don't want to risk it.

c. It might involve becoming more intimate and having to expose my shallowness, vulnerability, etc.

d. Change might expose my shame for what I have done or for just being who and what I am.

e. I might have to stop being self-obsessed.

f. I might have to give up self-pity and stop being a martyr.

g. I don't or won't deserve anything better.

Obviously, in order to change, you need to find and change your limiting beliefs regarding making changes. You may find in reading this that some of these forms of resistance apply to you.


If so, make a note of them so that when you come to the chapter on how to find and change limiting beliefs, you can make these the first ones to change. Otherwise, they'll stand in the way of you making the other changes that you want to make.

keeping things organized!

Developing A New Way Of Looking At Experiences

To find our limiting beliefs, we need to adopt a new way of looking at our experiences. Sometimes, to make the search less personal, it may help to get a stuffed doll or animal and use it as a substitute for yourself, a representation to whom to ask questions.

Keep in mind that those limiting beliefs from which we create vibrations and unwelcomed experiences are in our subconscious. These are not necessarily logical and sometimes not even ones we can consciously imagine having.

So we have to be open and imaginative in looking for them. Also, since beliefs are stored in sets or systems, there may be several linked beliefs which contribute to the particular vibrations leading to undesired experiences.

It's important to find and change as many in the set or system as possible, so even if some beliefs seem similar, make note of each one that comes to mind.

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Identify The Areas Of Undesired

 Experiences & Limiting Beliefs


To find one's limiting beliefs, first identify the areas in which you have had some patterns of undesired experiences that you'd like to change. These are likely to have common characteristics.


Here are some examples to which you might add some of your own:

Once an area has been identified, then pose questions to yourself or your substitute such as, "What would someone (or the name of the stuffed animal) have to believe, particularly about himself, to be creating or allowing this type of undesired experience?"

"What inner conflicts might someone have that would cause that person to create this type of undesired experience?"

Always look for the most basic beliefs possible. These may lie at a deeper level than those which come to mind at first. For example, a person who has a belief that he is not able or competent in an area, or isn't succeeding, might have beliefs of the type:

  • "I have no choice but to work in this area or field."
  • "I can't trust myself."
  • "I'm stupid."
  • "I never do anything right."
  • "I'm powerless."
  • "Whatever I do it will turn out to be wrong."
  • "I'm bad or evil."
  • "I'm a failure."
  • "No matter how hard I try, it never works out."
  • "Nothing comes easy."
  • "I have to 'knock myself out' to get anything done."
  • "I'm a misfit."
  • "I'm bad."
  • "I deserve punishment."
  • "I always gum things up."

keeping things organized!

Using Blame As A Lead For Finding Limiting Beliefs

What a person blames another for provides useful clues regarding his limiting beliefs. As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu stated in about 600 B.C:

Having what is called insight.
A good man, before he can help a bad man,
Finds in himself the matter with the bad man,
And whichever teacher
Discounts the lesson
Is as far off the road as the other,
Whatever else he may know.

Blaming is almost invariably a projection of a person's limiting beliefs, particularly ones about himself, on to others or external factors. You can start by asking yourself, or the person whom you are assisting:

  • "Regarding this experience, what am I blaming others for?"

    Then take the answers to this question and ask:

    • "What aspect of what I am blaming others for may lie in me?"

    • "In what ways might I be doing this to others or to myself?"

    • "What would my underlying beliefs be, particularly about myself for me to do this?"

    An example of applying this might come up when working with a wife who is having trouble in her relationship with her husband. She complains that he never listens to her. She could be asked; "What would someone have to believe about themselves for someone to not listen to them?"

    Then, write down any limiting beliefs that she comes up with. If some form of prompting seems needed, ask questions such as:

    • "Might she believe that she is shallow, or boring, or has nothing interesting to say, is just an idle gossip, that she should be seen but not heard, etc."

    Always come back to identifying what her basic beliefs might be, particularly ones she has about herself.

    What a husband or wife blames the other for is almost always a reflection of the blamer's limiting beliefs. So returning to our example of the wife, ask other questions to help her find additional limiting beliefs such as:

    keeping things organized!

    Identifying The Lack of Purpose & Aspirations


    An underlying and common element in individuals who are creating undesired experiences is a lack of purpose or excitement in life. We could say that these individuals are not in communication with their inner or higher selves i.e. that aspect of their being that operates at a non-physical, vibratory level.


    It directly effects the experiences in their daily lives. From that level aspirations evolve from the dimensions of thought and feeling into physical reality. If aspirations are not recognized, expressed and acted upon, a person is not likely to feel 'centered' and in harmony within himself.


    Instead, he will create negative or amorphous vibrations. When these vibrations exist, they are likely to produce experiences that the person doesn't want. Not having one's aspirations defined can be explored by asking questions such as:

    •  "What beliefs would someone be likely to have to not recognize his aspirations? These might be aspirations to be a person with certain abilities, or qualities such as:
    • What beliefs might he have that would inhibit him from aspiring to and developing these qualities as fully as he might like to?"
    • "These might be aspirations to do certain things, like changing conditions, writing, teaching, selling, managing, directing, engaging in sports, etc. What beliefs might he have that would inhibit him from aspiring to and doing these things?"
    • "These might be aspirations to have certain things like facilities, equipment, housing, etc. What beliefs might he have that would inhibit him from aspiring to have and getting these things?"

    One could also ask:

    • "What have you dreamed or imagined being, doing or having that you rejected, or for which you allowed other's attitudes to discourage you?"

    Identify what occurred and express the feelings you had.

    Then, ask,

    • "What beliefs might someone have that would cause them to reject or not pursue their dreams?"

    If prompting seemed necessary, questions such as:

    • "Might they believe they were unworthy or not deserving, that they were bad or evil, that they were of no importance, that their dreams are unreal, the future is dangerous, etc."

    It could also be helpful to ask what beliefs that he might have which would prevent him from being in communication with his inner or higher self?

    Also, refer to Appendix J.

    keeping things organized!

    Procedure For Finding Limiting Beliefs Causing Anxiety, Depression and Health Problems

    If you or a person with whom you're working is experiencing anxieties or depression, for reasons other than specific medical problems, the underlying beliefs are often ones such as:

    • I lack self confidence and/or self trust, self worth, a sense of identity.

    • I am powerless.

    • I can't express my anger.

    • I'm not deserving.

    • I'm untrustworthy.

    • I'm bad.

    • I'm evil.

    • I have to be in control, but I'm not.

    • I can't trust.

    • or even such beliefs as that I wouldn't exist if I didn't achieve such and such.

    • I'm nothing.

    If you or the person you're guiding has difficulty finding the basic beliefs which might be causing anxiety and/or depression, beliefs of this type may lay at the root. If they do, get a statement of the positive belief and change the limiting beliefs to positive ones.

    When you or the person with whom you're working has health problems, a very useful reference is the excellent book, by Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life. In it she helps to relate symptoms for various maladies to the possible limiting beliefs.

    For example, Louise suggests that a person with asthma might examine probable causes such as:

    Questions which might assist an asthmatic in finding his limiting beliefs might begin with:

    Regarding the issue of "inability to breathe for one's self," you could ask, "What would someone have to believe to not be able to breathe for oneself, breathe in a wider context; a taking in & giving out of life.


    You might suggest:

    • "Might the person believe that he is powerless?"
    • "That he can't sustain himself in life?"

    You can ask if the person believes that he is weak or ineffective; can't trust or depend on himself; that he's vulnerable, that it's dangerous to take in things, etc.

    For the third possible cause suggested by Louise, "feeling stifled," one could begin by asking, "What would a person have to believe to feeling stifled?"

    You could explore issues such as self trust, lack of ability, or beliefs that what he has to offer isn't good enough, or that he is unable, isn't creative, that he creates bad effects, is bad or evil, is unworthy, or that expression is dangerous, or might lead to exposure or embarrassment, etc.

    From the fourth possible cause which Louise lists for asthma, suppressed crying, you could ask, "What would a person have to believe, particularly about himself to suppress crying?"


    After getting all of the answers that are readily available on this question, you might prompt further exploration by asking,

    • "Might he-have a belief that he is powerless, helpless, weak or a victim?"
    • "Could the person believe that emotions or expressing them is dangerous?"
    • "Might the person believe that he is bad, has done something bad or deserves to be punished."

    Again, in suggesting possible beliefs, it can be helpful to use a stuffed animal or doll surrogate with a common name such as Sam or Lisa. Some people may take probing questions as accusative or evaluative and become defensive, so a question such as:

    • "What would Sam or Lisa have to believe to suppress crying?"

    might be less threatening for the client, or less introverting to oneself.

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    feeling undesirable


    Obesity and Depression


    Obesity is increasingly a problem in the US. Approximately 1/3 of the American population is obese, meaning someone weighs more than 20% above the ideal weight for their height.


    The number of overweight Americans has risen steadily during the past decade, including the number of seriously obese adults and overweight children.


    The obese are often unhappy about their weight and may also be clinically depressed, prompting a great deal of study and speculation about the connection between obesity and depression.


    Does overeating and overweight lead to depression or does depression lead to overeating and overweight?


    The relationship is probably circular, each one relating to the other.


    The research on obesity and its negative psychological effects generally falls into 2 categories.

    • The first examines the psychosocial reasons for depression in the obese
    • The second looks for neurochemical or genetic connections in the body that link obesity with depression.

    The Psychological Approach


    Being overweight is a tremendous source of dissatisfaction, depression and frustration for Americans.


    A survey published in Psychology Today found that weight was so important that 24% of women and 17% of men would give up more than 3 years of life in exchange for being thinner.


    Ironically, some obese individuals are already shortening their lives because of the adverse effects of excess body weight.


    Scientists have proposed many possible causes for the depression that obese people suffer, including:

    • society’s negative attitudes toward overweight people
    • negative body image
    • negative stereotypes
    • race
    • education
    • dieting 
    • the effect of poor physical health on mood

    Society's Negative Response


    The most common assumption about the link between depression and obesity is that being overweight is viewed negatively by our society and this is internalized as self-rejection.


    Clearly, though, not all of the obese are depressed or even unhappy with their weight. Women especially are prone to being unhappy about their weight, while men and older people are much less disturbed by it.


    Heavy women are likely to report varying degrees of distress, ranging from feeling unattractive to feeling undesirable, rejected and a failure.


    Body image, feelings and attitudes about one's body have been found to affect a person's mental condition.


    Negative body image is linked to:

    Not only do most obese individuals feel ostracized by society, they also report mistreatment by the medical community that claims to be helping them.


    They feel their problem is considered less acceptable than almost any other medical condition.


    Obesity carries an undeserved social stigma. The obese are stereotyped as stupid and lazy.


    A study that followed teens into adulthood found that those who were obese achieved less education and lower income and that fewer of them married. Many obese individuals have been teased and rejected from childhood on.


    A study of obesity and social class found that children as young as 7 years old negatively stereotyped the obese and that this prejudice was more extreme in children of higher socioeconomic status.


    Race, Socioeconomic Status & Education


    Because eating disorders, which include anorexia and bulimia, appear to afflict Caucasians more frequently than African Americans, researchers have questioned whether body image dissatisfaction is linked to race.


    African Americans report being less concerned about weight and more accepting of their size, whether or not they're overweight.


    Some experts, however, theorize that, rather than race, socioeconomic status is a better predictor of this link. The wealthier the individuals, the more they feel stigmatized by being overweight.


    A study comparing level of education and depression among the overweight claimed that being overweight was so widespread that it wasn't stigmatizing to most people. For well-educated women, though, being overweight is more uncommon and therefore, more distressing.




    Some experts have proposed that being obese isn't what makes people depressed, rather their constant efforts to diet are the source of their depression.


    The scientific literature shows that low-calorie diets are associated with depression. The deprivation involved in low-calorie diets, the preoccupation with food that accompanies dieting, dietings interference with normal social activities and the guilt of failing to stick with a diet and then regaining the lost weight are all thought to contribute to depression.


    Physical Health


    It's known that patients suffering ill health report greater depression. Being overweight is a risk factor for:

    • high blood pressure
    • heart disease
    • diabetes
    • joint pain 
    • limited physical functioning

    Thus, the obese are frequently in poor health and it's hypothesized that this may contribute to depression in obese individuals.


    In addition, the obese are more sedentary than normal-weight individuals, thereby denying themselves the psychological benefits of regular exercise. Fitness is associated with better physical and mental health and improved self-confidence, self-image and self-control.


    A study of the elderly (who are more likely to be in poor health) contradicts the assumed association between obesity and depression. It found that older men who were obese were significantly less depressed than non-obese men.


    Because depressed older men have diminished appetite and tend to lose weight, depression tends more to be associated with low weight rather than obesity in this age group.


    In women, depression remains linked to obesity, but for both men and women over 70, ill health and greater physical limitation are generally associated with weight loss, not weight gain.




    Scientists studying obese mice electrified the world when they found an abnormal gene that they named "ob." The gene was abnormal because it lacked leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells that is supposed to suppress appetite. When the scientists added leptin to the gene, the obese mice rapidly lost weight.


    Unfortunately, leptin doesn't work the same way in humans. This led scientists to examine the gene further. They found that variations of the "ob" gene were related to anxiety and depression.


    Some researchers think the gene may activate a neurotransmitter (a brain chemical that transmits nerve impulses) and that this has an effect on behavior, as well as on appetite and metabolism.


    Understanding Carbohydrate Craving


    Some obese people overeat and crave carbohydrates, while avoiding protein-rich foods.


    At mealtimes, they eat normally, but, in the late afternoon and evening, they're driven to snack, increasing their caloric intake by as much as 50%.


    It appears that as many as 2/3 of all obese people are carbohydrate cravers, though not all carbohydrate cravers are obese.


    Obese carbohydrate cravers often score high on tests for depression.


    When they were asked why they eat so much food, knowing they'll gain weight, they say it's rarely connected to hunger or taste. They believe these foods help them feel calm and reduce their anxiety.


    While some carbohydrate cravers feel better after a carbohydrate-rich meal or snack, others feel guilty and worry about their weight and health.


    Research has found that an amino acid, tryptophan, increases in the blood when carbohydrates are eaten. Carbohydrates stimulate the secretion of insulin, which speeds the uptake of tryptophan into the central nervous system where it is converted into serotonin in the brain. Serotonin, in turn, regulates mood and sleepiness.


    Patients with carbohydrate craving are thought to have a faulty serotonin feedback mechanism that neglects to tell the body to stop craving carbohydrates. When the feedback mechanism is disturbed, the brain fails to respond when carbohydrates are eaten and the desire for them persists.


    This research led to the development of the diet drugs Redux and fenfluramine, both of which increase serotonin levels in the brain. Initially, the medication appeared to be a success since the pills helped suppress carbohydrate snacking and helped some overweight people to lose weight. But after millions had taken these medicines, serious side effects were discovered and they were taken off the market.


    A recent study indicates that people who crave carbohydrate might be able to train themselves to cut carbs and boost protein in their diets. People in the study who were given a protein-rich meal consumed fewer calories than those eating a carbohydrate-rich meal. They tended to binge less, too. Further research may clarify the mechanisms behind craving, appetite, diet and mood.


    Making Health the First Priority


    Until scientists can unravel the puzzle of obesity and depression, a helpful approach, especially for those who are unable or unwilling to lose weight, is to encourage patients to accept their bodies and to focus instead on healthy living and exercise rather than on weight per se.


    Significantly obese individuals who've been encouraged to stop dieting and to accept their bodies have achieved measurable improvements in mood and self-esteem, even though some have gained rather than lost weight.


    Physicians agree that obesity does heighten the risk of heart disease, hypertension, musculoskeletal problems and diabetes. Extreme or morbid obesity, which some define as being 100 pounds or more above ideal body weight, carries dramatically increased risks of serious illness and early death.


    Even modest weight loss can improve these conditions. There are increasing numbers of overweight people who are active and healthy and who enjoy their lives, even though they don't fit the American ideal in body size.

    Many health professionals are beginning to incorporate this new attitude in focusing on exercise, improving mental attitude and teaching healthy eating habits.

    What’s Race Got to Do with It?


    The older I get, the harder it is to date across the color line.

    BY Camille Ricketts


    Dining out at the Six Chilis Café, Chaynor and I sat side by side, across from our best friends, Mark and Jie - another interracial couple. When 2 unsolicited forks arrived with our Mongolian beef, I knew one was for me and one for Mark, the other Caucasian.


    I could tell the waitress assumed Mark and I were dating, so I planted a kiss on Chaynor’s cheek, noting the surprise of many Asian patrons.


    Their response was nothing new.


    Born and raised in a predominantly Asian community in the Bay Area, I have dated only Chinese men and each of my 4 relationships drew the same stares. I’m commonly branded a “rice chaser” and accused of having an “Asian fetish,” labels that - even though I’ve learned to laugh them off - prompt a sinking feeling in my stomach.


    But in spite of every discouragement, I know the reality: my heart beats fast when I pass an attractive Asian man on the Quad, I can listen to a boyfriend speak Mandarin for hours and since age 12, when I’ve pictured the man of my dreams, he’s been Asian.


    A week into 7th grade, a cute kid named Derek Chu folded me a paper crane. Our torrid romance lasted 6 months and basically consisted of holding hands. At the time, race meant little more than liking different food.


    Now, however, the interracial dating game isn’t as simple. Upon arriving at Stanford, I was stunned by the relative isolation of the Asian community. They had their own organizations, clubs, sororities, parties and dances. Before college, my best friends, boyfriends and boss were Chinese, but none of us had dwelled on race. For the first time, I felt a widening divide.


    At Stanford, I have heard both Caucasian and Asian people contend that American culture doesn't view Asian men as sexually attractive.


    Ironically, I found myself feeling undesirable as more of the young Chinese men I encountered confessed they were only interested in dating Chinese women, that white women didn’t fit their standard of beauty.


    I wonder who is more shortsighted - these men for rejecting me on the basis of skin color, or me for automatically discounting white men.


    Self-imposed segregation isn’t the only obstacle to interracial dating. I remember Chaynor telling me about the time his parents asked if his girlfriend was white. When he nodded, he saw sadness spread over his mother’s face.


    When he added that I went to Stanford, his father responded, “Well, that’s something.” I made a point of wearing my Stanford sweatshirt when I first met them, almost as compensation for my whiteness.


    Sitting around the dining room table with his family - including his 12-year-old sister, who twice asked me for my last name - I tried to show off my refined chopstick skills and limited knowledge of Mandarin.


    At one point, Chaynor’s father asked me if I knew anything about Hunan province and I was stumped. More than that, it felt like there was no place for me in Chaynor’s future, that I would always make his life more complicated than it had to be.


    As difficult as that was, my boyfriends have had to submit to my dad’s quizzes about the infield-fly rule to prove they weren’t athletically inept. While my parents have tried to be accepting, they’ve said they don’t know how to talk to my Chinese boyfriends, as if they really don’t speak the same language.


    When Chaynor and I broke up, we agreed we didn’t have enough in common to make it work. In truth, we knew our relationship had been a casualty of parental expectations.


    My Chinese friends will be the first to say that I’m just as Chinese as they are - I was even invited to rush Alpha Kappa Delta Phi, Stanford’s Asian sorority.


    But recently I’ve found myself drawn to Asian men who pride themselves on being more American than Chinese. Maybe I’ve given up trying to fit impossible cultural ideals. I wonder whether I’ll eventually decide to date Caucasians - and if this will necessarily mean I’ve surrendered.


    Either way, I’m glad I’ve had the chance to live and love on the fine line of racial difference. It has allowed me to grow into myself, learn about others and recognize the traits I desire in a potential partner.

    I’ve had the chance to appreciate the tremendous influence of culture, even as I struggled against it. And when a waiter brings me a fork, I still pick up the chopsticks.

    The American Red Cross