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4 Questions to Liberate You From Your Own Lockdown

quarantine in lockdown, trapped looking out of window at world

Getty/volkan cakirca

“I realized my clients and I were under our own respective lockdowns way before this COVID-19 lockdown was mandated.” … Use this method to transform self-limiting beliefs, get unstuck, and move forward.

It’s been almost three months since New York City was placed on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this period, I’ve had to stand on many outdoor lines in order to buy essential items at my neighborhood pharmacy, health food store, and grocery. Because I’m a yogi and regular meditator, I use this time to practice presence.

While waiting to enter the health food store today, I had a revelation.

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

There are things I wish I had done before this lockdown was declared: I wish I had taken that cross-country road trip I wanted to take. I wish I had gone to the beach more often (yes, even in the winter). I wish I had been more active with my dating apps. I wish I had let Robin know that many people appreciated her before she unexpectedly passed away from complications due to COVID-19. Instead, I simply accepted her bad moods and kept my distance.

As a holistic life and wellness coach, I’m a collector of confidences. My clients have been confiding in me with their own wishes.

I wish I had …

  • asked that person out on a date.
  • ended my relationship.
  • taken advantage of my local gym/yoga studio.
  • enrolled in that class.
  • taken a chance and tried that new opportunity.
  • moved my residence.
  • implemented that savings/investment program.
  • gone on that trip.
  • been more confident.

I realized my clients and I were under our own respective lockdowns way before this COVID-19 lockdown was mandated.

If we want to live in an empowered way, “I wish” needs to go into the same category as “I should,” “I had to,” “I can’t,” and “I hope.” 

These words are rooted in negativity. When you “wish,” “should,” “have to,” “can’t,” or “hope,” you are negating rather than pursuing something you want. 

These words could all be changed to “I will”—which puts you in control.

Don’t like your situation? You created it. Like your situation? You created it.

Why We Put Things Off

We defer doing things for one of two reasons:

  • They are not a priority. Only we can define and honor our priorities.
  • We are afraid. Only we can keep ourselves from falling victim to many of the common fears that limit us—like fear of success, failure, not being good enough, being unlovable, rejection, being undeserving, being afraid to do things alone, or assigning negative attributes to having money. 

These fears create beliefs that it would benefit us to explore. Self-limiting beliefs, taught to us through our upbringing or education, are the basis for all of our fears. 

These beliefs we have about ourselves or our situations are nothing more than thoughts that inform our behavior—consciously or subconsciously. When we believe these thoughts, they hold us back from achieving all that we are capable of. Self-isolating during the pandemic has given us the space to see how fully responsible our thoughts are for the lives we have created.

Don’t like your situation? You created it. Like your situation? You created it.

There lies a lot of power in owning this. We choose the thoughts we want to believe. Consequently, our world is what we believe it to be.

Lockdown Liberation

Why not transform a self-limiting belief in order to get unstuck and move forward in the new paradigm that will lie ahead of us?

An easy and profoundly effective way to do this is based on a simple method of self-inquiry developed by bestselling author Byron Katie.

I’m breaking through my own lockdown. No one can imprison us as much as we imprison ourselves. 

Use this method and 4 questions to liberate you from your own lockdown.

  • Begin by visualizing something that you would like to manifest but keep putting off. Let’s use my cross-country road trip as an example.
  • Next, identify what fearful thought keeps you stuck and explore your feelings around the belief you have that causes this fear. (e.g.: I can’t possibly drive all the way across the country when I’m not familiar with where I’m going. I rarely drive to begin with, so it’s too big of a leap for me.)
  • The remainder of this method consists of 4 questions and a reversal as follows: 

Question 1: Is it true?
Me: I think so.

Question 2: Can you absolutely know that it is true?
Me: No, I can’t. It’s what I think.

Question 3: How do you react when you believe that thought?
Me: I feel restricted and disempowered.

Question 4: Who would you be without that thought?
Me: I’d be a stronger version of me —connected to my heart, excited, and off on an adventure.

  • Reversal: Now come up with a turnaround sentence expressing the opposite of your fearful thought. (e.g.: I can drive cross-country, visit friends along the way, possibly make new ones, and enjoy a new experience!)
  • Finally, take action. Even the smallest step helps to energetically solidify a new belief. (My first step could be buying a map or looking into car rentals.)  

Ignite your inner fire with these 25 inspiring intentions.


About the Author

Jasmine Bilali

Based in Manhattan, Jasmine Bilali is a Holistic Life & Wellness Coach, yogi, and writer. Her approach is based on applied positive psychology, holistic lifestyle, mindfulness, and energy medicine. For two decades, Jasmine served as a managing director with several leading private banks. Her clients were some of the wealthiest individuals in the United States. Having combined her passions for advising clients in a goal-oriented approach and achieving well-being, she has developed Integrative Solutions for Modern Life. This holistic system is designed to break through whatever is holding you back. She can be found at jasminebilali.com.

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