How to Break Through Our Self-Induced Barriers

Roe Chiacchio: Our perceptions create limitations

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 5:45pm


My cup is half full.

I am a victim.

I don’t deserve it.

I’m not good enough.

Do any of these statements resonate with you? Our thoughts are influential. They can run our life into a ditch or they can lead us to freedom. 

We have the power to control our internal dialogue. Our beliefs either limit us or inspire us. The words we use can shape our ideas, attitudes and well-being. We can sabotage our mental and physical growth to hold ourselves back from achievements, opportunities or dreams because of negative ideas.

We believe our thoughts are real but that may not be the case.  Most of the time they do not represent what is truly happening to and around us. We could be living in a fantasy thought, seeing the situation the way we want it to be instead of viewing it without judgement. 

I hear people say, I’m so stupid. I’m terrified. I can’t do that. I’m not witty enough, pretty enough, clever enough, endlessly, not enough. The body hears these words and plays along with these false ideas making them our reality. With statements like these, we enclose ourselves inside a small box. What we think is real becomes our reality.

According to Amy Morin in her article, “This is How Your Thoughts Become Your Reality, “Once you draw a conclusion about yourself, you’re likely to do two things: look for evidence that reinforces your belief and discount anything that runs contrary to your belief.”

Life doesn’t accommodate us.  We move along with it. She gives us daily glitches and our job is to figure out how to work around them. We have tools within us to deal with most situations. Many circumstances are not pleasant and some are traumatizing.

The world is not a perfect place as we are learning with the global issues presently occurring around us. The key lessons are how to be open-minded, adaptable, flexible and resilient in order for us to bounce back and recover from difficulties.

We can alter how we think and change our perceptions.

  1. Spend time reflecting on what you are telling yourself.
  2. Pay attention to your behavior. What words did you use a moment ago that may have created a negative perception of what is occurring inside you.
  3. Have a discussion with yourself and ask questions to get a clearer concept about your words, thoughts, feelings and mood.

In her book, The Work, Bryon Katie presents a powerful personal inquiry to help people free themselves from negative thinking.

She instructs her readers to ask these four questions with each thought:

  • Is it true?
  • Do I absolutely know it's true?
  • How do I react and what happens when I believe that thought? 
  • Who would I be without the thought?


After you come to an understanding about your thought or belief, change the wording into a positive statement. Amy Morin, wrote, “Optimistic thoughts lead to productive behavior, which increases your chances of a successful outcome of yourself.”   

Our job is to determine whether our perceptions line up with what is truly occurring at that moment. How we feel within our body affects us and our surrounding world.     

I’ve worked hard on developing skills to keep myself optimistic. My earlier life had its share of mental and physical trauma, so this work is not foreign to me. This process has helped me survive with love and freedom. We all have to muscle our way along our personal journey.

The internal environment you create is a reflection of you and the work you put into yourself.


Roe Chiacchio RN, CPT, CDP is a personal trainer, specializing in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation and a certified dementia practitioner. She shares her perspective and knowledge about health and wellness in her articles published at PenBay Pilot, Well Being Journal and NCCDP. Her business, ONWARD, Cardiovascular Health, Wellness and Dementia Management is located in Camden, Maine. Her education is based in behavioral science, psychology, neuroscience and gerontology studies. Hobbies include photography and international travel. For more information, contact Roe at 207 249-8166, or


Katie, Byron, 2017, The Work of Byron Katie. USA. The Work Foundation.