Whatever with Heather - Mindset, Parenting & Personal Growth

9. Personal Re-Evaluation [and The Snowball Phenomenon]

August 30, 2023 Heather Evans Season 1 Episode 9
Whatever with Heather - Mindset, Parenting & Personal Growth
9. Personal Re-Evaluation [and The Snowball Phenomenon]
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Let's talk about the "Snowball Phenomenon". This episode is about pausing and taking the time to reflect on the beliefs and truths we've picked up throughout our lives. Like a snowball gathering dirt and leaves as it rolls down a hill, we too gather beliefs that may not serve us or even belong to us. We challenge you to hit the brakes and reflect, to examine these truths and decide which ones are worth carrying forward.

Ever wondered where your beliefs stem from and how they shape you? We'll talk about strategies to identify and evaluate these personal truths. Listen as we delve into the process of tracing back the origins of beliefs, validating them, and considering alternative truths. This episode is an invitation to reflect, reshape, and embrace your authentic self, unabridged by the untruths of your journey. 

Speaker 0:

Welcome back to another episode of Whatever with Heather. Today we are talking about what I like to call the snowball phenomenon. That's just the fancy name I gave it and technically it's a good name for what I'm going to share today. And so just to jump right in, we are going to talk about a snowball, and if the word phenomenon seems too big, then we can call this the snowball story. With this story it will help create a visual to help us understand a bigger picture of what is going on in our lives. So, as a young child, imagine that you are like a snowball at the top of a hill. Just a small little snowball could fit in your, in your hands and as you begin your life, you begin rolling down the hill. Now, if you've seen any movies, any cartoons, you know that a snowball rolling down a hill is going to get bigger and bigger and collect more snow. This doesn't just happen in cartoons, this also would happen in actual life. Of a snowball rolling down a hill. You would slowly collect more and more snow. So we're a child at the top of the hill, we begin to roll down the hill and we begin to collect more snow and become a bigger and bigger snowball. Now, the snow represents the things you collect throughout your life. These things are experiences, beliefs about ourselves, beliefs about the world, and oftentimes we would call these truths about ourselves and truths about the world. We collect stress, we collect a list of things we should do, or what I like to call the shoulds of life, and we collect mindsets around our capabilities and mindsets around the way the world works and the way we are to be in the world. So, ultimately, the snow we collect are the truths, beliefs and mindsets that we come across throughout our life. We keep picking up truths, like a snowball picking up snow as it rolls down a hill. As we gather these truths, they cling to us and we cling to them. So if you've ever made a snowman, you know you start with the small snowball. It's kind of the same imagery, right, we start with the smaller snowball and you slowly are pushing that and the snow clings to the snowball and the snowball clings to the snow and therefore your snowball gets bigger and bigger and bigger till you make your first part of your snowman, which is usually the biggest snowball, right, and then you can make another one and stack it up. But if you have ever made a snowman and you've rolled a snowball to make it bigger and bigger and bigger. I've made quite a big snowball before, as big as I could, as far as I could push it. Before it was too heavy. But if you've ever rolled a snowman, made a snowman, you will know that as you are rolling this snowball and it's getting bigger and bigger, it doesn't just pick up snow, it picks up mud, it picks up dead grass, leaves and, yes, dog poop. If there was any poop on the ground, you have now added it to your snowman and then you just roll over it and pack it in and move on. You just leave it there and just keep going. Now, a snowball rolling down a hill would do the same thing. It would collect snow and it would collect mud and dirt and leaves and grass and turds poop. It would collect gross things as well. And we are like a snowball. We assume that everything we've collected is snow, like it's part of us. It's meant to be with us. The truth is that while, yes, we have collected snow, we have also collected mud and shit that doesn't belong. The problem with being a snowball rolling down a hill from childhood, who just continues to roll along picking up truths is that a rolling snowball never takes time to pause, reflect and evaluate the truths they've picked up or the snow it's picked up. I'm sure at this point I don't have to keep using snow as an analogy. You are a human who has gone through life and who has picked up. You are a human who has gone through life and who has picked up truths and beliefs and experiences, a list of shoulds. You've also collected mindsets that will either move you forward or hold you back. There are things that you believe that are true about the world and things you believe are true about you, and you've collected them like a snowball collects snow, but if you are like a snowball rolling down a hill, you have not taken the time to stop and pause and reflect on what things you have collected that are not actually yours to carry. If you're going through life like a snowball rolling down the hill, you don't even consider that maybe you should stop. You also may not know how to stop because you've been rolling for so long. If all you've ever done is been a snowball rolling down the hill, how do you know how to stop? How do you even know that maybe you should stop and take a little break and pause and reflect, and not to be too morbid here. But if you're like a snowball rolling down a hill and you never stop to pause and reflect, you just keep rolling and rolling and rolling and then you die. And then what? The end I mean not to be morbid, but that's often the reality of people is they have been a child that was a snowball that rolled down the hill and they just keep rolling for the rest of their lives and then the end Never stop to reflect, never stop to think what am I carrying? That is not mine. So today you are not gonna be a snowball anymore. It's time to put on the brakes and stop rolling down the hill Not saying you can never roll down the hill again, but take a pause from rolling down the hill. And it's time to start looking at what you have collected. Is it all snow? Is there some mud? Is there some leaves? Is there some shit you've collected that really doesn't need to be there or you don't want to be there? So if we imagine the things that we've collected as these truths and these beliefs, here are some examples of some truths or beliefs that you may have collected. Now it's important to remember that there are things that you believe that are not true. I guarantee you there is something you have collected that you believe to be true about yourself or the world that is not true. So here are some of the beliefs and truths. I put truths and quotes that you've picked up, possibly along the way your beliefs about your body and your beliefs around what an ideal body is. Your beliefs about success. The beliefs about who you are and who you're not. Your beliefs about food and good and bad food. Your beliefs about family, about friendship and relationships in general. Your belief about what life should look like. Your belief about the ideal path for your life. Your beliefs about God and the great beyond. Your beliefs about community. Your beliefs about love, about aging, about freedom, about politics, about death, about purpose and meaning. Your beliefs about mental health. Your beliefs about your physical health. Your beliefs about your likes and dislikes. Your beliefs about your personality, traits and quirks. Within all of that, there is at least one thing you believe that is not true. Now, why would we hold on to beliefs that are not true and maybe, like we kind of know in our gut, like this is not really true about me, but I'm gonna hold on to it. Well, it's probably because you validated that truth. You've done everything you can to prove it was true, and we don't like to be wrong. We do not like to be wrong about ourselves or the world, and so for us it feels safer to hold on to an untruth that, in our gut, we kind of know isn't true. Then it is to move into a new truth or release that thing we've carried. We've carried it for so long. We believe it's a part of us and we don't want to lose parts of us. We want to stay together. We want to be the snowball that we've built. We don't care if there's poop sticking to us. We don't care. We want to be what we are. We don't want to have to shed and at the same time, I argue that you do. If you're listening to a podcast like this, if you're trying to grow, if you're trying to move forward in your life, you do want to shed the things that are not a part of you so that you can be free. You want to shed the beliefs about yourself that keep you stuck and are so heavy that you have no lightness to your life. We often think of lightness as light and dark, but I like to also think of it in the terms of light and heavy. It's interesting that having a life that feels light and not heavy is something we desire, and also a life that feels light and not dark is also a desire. The word light means multiple things, and if we are a snowball that has rolled down the hill, we've done that our whole lives. I guarantee you are feeling heavy because you've picked up so much, so much, and it's not your fault that you've picked up stuff we all have. We all are a snowball that has rolled down the hill and collected stuff, but the difference between you and people who don't make a change is that you are willing to pause. You are someone who will stop and reevaluate. You are someone who is willing to lose things that you thought were a part of you, that are not a part of you, in order to create the life that feels light and not heavy. The reason some of these truths feel so true to us is that we seek to validate what we believe to be true. So, for example, anything you believe about yourself maybe that this personality quirk is annoying, or this thing you like is stupid, or you're smart or you're dumb, you're not one of the smart kids, or that you are fat, or that you are ugly or you're not as pretty as you should be Everything you believe about yourself. You have probably seek validation that what you believe is true. So if you believe you are dumb, then you have sought to confirm that your whole life. Because we want our truths to be true. We don't want to be wrong. We would rather be right that we're dumb, even though it doesn't feel good to be dumb. We would rather be right about the fact that we're dumb than entertain the idea that an alternative truth is true. You with me. Oftentimes, we seek to validate the truth of what we believe, but have you ever sought an alternative truth or belief? Have you ever sought to confirm that the opposite is true, or a different belief is true about yourself? What if you sought to validate something else being true? Here's one I hear a lot I have no self control. I have no self control. This is something I've said myself and therefore I looked for examples of me not having self control. At the same time, when I started questioning this belief about myself, I realized the amount of times I have self control, the amount of time someone's rude to me in a store, I don't punch them straight in the face, even though I want to the amount of times my children are rude to me and I know I need to take a time out versus screaming at them. And if you start to look, you will start to be able to find facts, instances that validate the truth of the opposite of what you believe to be true. Now, this is a lot to unpack, because having to come to terms with that there are things you believe about yourself that are not true can feel like a lot. At the same time, let this feel freeing, because if there are things you believe about yourself that are not serving you, that are heavy, that are keeping you stuck, that now means you can start to believe and validate a different truth and we can start to release the things we've collected that are not part of us. So here is a list of questions you can ask yourself to unpack the truth of your truths. First, I'm going to give you all the questions and then I'll give you an example. Number one what is the truth I believe? Two where did this thought come from? Three what have I found to validate this truth? Four is there an alternative truth? Five what truth serves my highest self, aka my badass bitch self? Six if question five is hard to answer, try asking it this way what truth would I want my children or loved ones to believe about themselves or the world? Okay, so let's go through an example and we'll use the no self control thing, because I think a lot of us can relate to that. Number one what is the truth? I believe that I have no self control. Number two where did this thought come from? Well, for me, straight up. I've heard other people say they don't have self control and it's wrapped a lot around food and diet for me that if I have sweets in the house, I have no self control and I eat them all. Okay. Number three what have I found to validate this truth? Well, when there's sweets in the house, I often times Eat them all and I have no self-control and I don't want to eat them all, but I eat them all and I just go, go, go. Number four is there an alternative truth? Now, this is gonna be a little more challenging because you're looking for examples that you never looked for before. Now let's talk about self-control as a character trait, and I gave the examples earlier. There are times I've wanted to cut people off and flip them off, and I haven't. There are times I've wanted to scream in my kid's face, but I chose not to. There are times where people have been so rude to me in person or online and I maintained calm and reacted in a way I was proud of. And I've gone to birthday parties where there was cake and I had only one slice. I wanted to throw a food one in there too. So look at all of these examples of the alternative, the opposite thing actually being true that I am someone with self-control. Number five what truth serves my highest self? Does the truth that I have no self-control serve me, or does the truth that I have self-control serve me? Now, this is really dualistic thinking. Right, I either have self-control or I don't. But we were fine holding onto the belief that we did not have self-control, that we are someone without self-control. So we can also be fine holding onto the belief that we are someone with self-control, and the really cool thing about this is that if you start to say that you're someone with self-control, you will begin to act that way even more than you currently do. The things we repeat about ourselves become our truths and then we seek to do things or notice things that validate that truth. So if I want to be someone with self-control, I show myself examples that I am someone with self-control and then I say to myself I am someone with self-control and then I will become someone that seeks to prove that I am that person. Now let's just do number six. It was saying that if question five is hard to answer, try asking it this way. What truth? What I want my children or loved ones to believe about themselves or the world? And I would want my children to know that, even though they're not perfect and they don't always have self-control, that more often than not they do have self-control and then the more they practice that, the more they'll develop that skill. So it is a more helpful truth for them to believe I'm someone with self-control and no, I'm not perfect, but I'm working on that and I'm doing my best, and that's pretty badass. So that is an example of unpacking a truth that was not really a truth. There was a truth because of how I had framed it throughout my life. All right, so how are we filling after that that example? I hope what you take away from this is that there are so many things that you are carrying that you are free to release and free to create new truths that actually serve you, and that there are probably examples in your life of the truth that serves you actually being true. This type of thing, I feel like, can take a lifetime. There are truths and things I believe about myself that I still need to unpack, that I still need to deal with, so this is really like a lifelong process and it's okay. As humans, it's really hard for us to just abandon huge chunks of ourself all at once, and so it's okay to just like slowly pick off the leaves and the shit and slowly make sure that the things you are carrying with you throughout life actually belong to you, actually serve you. There is no rush to go through everything you believe. There is no rush, but start with the things that are really holding you back, the beliefs about yourself and maybe even the beliefs you have about the world that are really causing some dissonance for you, that feel really heavy, and see if, going through those questions, you can start to unpack where these truths came from and if there is a different truth that will serve you and lead you to being your best and highest self. That's it for the podcast this week. Thank you so much for listening. Please leave a rating. Turn on notifications. Subscribe if you're on YouTube. Share with your friends if this was helpful to you. That is how this gets out into the world in a way that can serve the most amount of people, and that is what I'm here for. Thanks again for being here and I'll see y'all next time. Bye.

The Snowball Phenomenon
Exploring and Shifting Personal Beliefs