It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.
An Exploration of Your Belief Systems
Beliefs are conditioned perceptions that are built upon old memories of pain and pleasure. These memories are based on how we have interpreted and emotionalized our experiences over time.
By attaching ourselves emotionally to people, events and circumstances, we effectively build the foundations of our belief systems. These belief systems are therefore nothing more than concrete rules/commands to the nervous system that shape your thoughts and filter your experience of reality. And it is these commands that influence what you will consciously delete, distort or generalize as you go about your day.
Beliefs are in some ways assumptions we make about ourselves, about others, and about how we expect things to be in our world. We have all these theories, ideas and explanations about how things are and what they should be like. Likewise, we make all these conclusions about life and about other people, all of which help us make better sense of the world. In other words, we use beliefs as anchors that help express our understanding of the world around us.
Beliefs form the foundations of your expectations. These expectations help you to better understand yourself, to better understand others, and to better understand the world around you. They help you feel certain about the future, which makes you feel safe and secure. As such, you hold onto these beliefs irrelevant of whether or not they serve you in the present moment, which of course all comes back to the need for certainty. We all crave a sense of certainty. It provides us with peace-of-mind and helps reduce stress, anxiety and fear. It’s a fundamental human need that builds the foundation of all your belief systems.
It’s important to note that beliefs are not facts. However, deeply ingrained beliefs can be mistaken as facts. These beliefs are often nothing more than conclusions you have drawn based on your childhood experiences. Back then these beliefs may have served you, and that is why you have held onto them. However, as an adult these beliefs may no longer serve a purpose. In fact, these beliefs might actually become a hindrance as they are no longer compatible with your life or your circumstances. Your life has probably changed, however your beliefs have remained constant, which is why you’re feeling stuck in the present.
The beliefs you hold onto are often entangled within the language you use to express yourself each and every day. Therefore if there is a word for something, then there is probably an accompanying belief associated with that word. As such, you create your own reality through the use of language, and that traps you within a world based upon perception rather than upon fact.
The Creation of a Belief
Over a lifetime your beliefs are ingrained into your nervous system due to repeated situations which prove their legitimacy. Let’s break this down in a little detail.
Throughout your life you collect facts, evidence and references that help you form your idea of reality. Over time, you build up more references through the use of your imagination, through the knowledge you acquire, through personal experience, and through the influence of your peer groups. These references help you form ideas about things. Then eventually some of these ideas turn into opinions that have a little more certainty and emotional intensity behind them.
While holding opinions about things, you are still very much flexible in terms of the expectations you tend to hold onto. However, through the process of repetitively thinking about these things and acting out these things in real life, your opinions solidify and eventually turn into beliefs. These beliefs are still flexible within the early stages, however over time as you keep collecting more and more references that support each of these beliefs, they grow stronger, more solid, and stable. Then all of a sudden you reach a certain stage in the evolution of each belief where it becomes so deeply ingrained and rooted into your nervous system that despite overwhelming contradictory evidence, your expectations can no longer be changed. Therefore, despite the facts you cannot be convinced otherwise. And that is essentially the stage when a belief turns into a conviction.
When there are no references to lay down the foundations for a belief, some people turn to faith. Faith is simply a belief about something that has next to no real-world references supporting it.
You have faith because you desperately want to believe something. And when you desperately want to believe something you will ignore the facts of the situation and instead use your imagination to help you create the references you need to support this belief. Over time you will build up more references in your imagination, and maybe even find real world examples that help support those references. For instance talking with people who also share your faith can help build enough references in order to establish a solid belief — even though those references are only based on opinion and not fact. This helps form the foundations of your faith, thereby building a platform for the formation of a belief, and maybe eventually a conviction.
The Strength of a Belief
Your beliefs are at the core of who you are. As such, they influence every aspect of your life in every conceivable way. For instance, your beliefs will determine your expectations and perceptions of reality. They will influence your levels of intelligence and impact the decisions you make or the decisions you fail to even realize are possible to make.
Your beliefs determine the flow of questions you tend to ask yourself throughout the day. These questions can either be helpful or unhelpful. They can help you solve problems, or they create additional problems. What questions you ask and how you ask these questions is dependent on the belief systems you hold onto. This likewise influences your ability to think creatively, constructively, and critically.
Beliefs also determine how you feel about yourself, how you feel about others and how you feel about the events and circumstances of your life. Understanding how your beliefs influence your feelings is very important, because they could easily mask what’s real and instead present you with a false view of reality that only exists in your imagination. You will then make choices and decisions based on this reality with an expectation of getting certain outcomes. However, your view of reality is flawed. You are missing key elements, and therefore no matter what decision you make you will fail miserably to attain the outcomes you desire to realize in your life.
Beliefs will likewise determine what you will try and what you won’t try. They will determine what goals you will set, and more importantly they determine how you go about accomplishing these goals, and whether or not you realize you’re actually making the right choices and decisions to help you accomplish these goals.
In summation, your beliefs influence 95 percent or more of the decisions you make and the actions you take. They form the foundations of your self-concept, which determines how you see yourself in relation to the world around you. The labels you give yourself, the limitations you put on yourself, and the expectations you have of yourself are all built upon your belief systems. And if your belief systems are not aligned with the goals and objectives you would like to accomplish, then you will often feel stuck, unfulfilled and miserable.
Types of Beliefs
There are many different classifications of beliefs that could be discussed. There are for instance cultural beliefs, beliefs that embody your attitude, beliefs that express your willpower, unconscious beliefs, etc. These are all interesting areas to look at, however for the purpose of this discussion we want to explore the underlying beliefs that are at the core of your belief systems. These are the only beliefs that matter because they form the foundations of all other beliefs that you hold dear to your heart.
Beliefs can be broken down into three very distinct parts. These parts are:
- Psychological Rules
- Global Beliefs
Let’s explore each of these in a little detail.
Psychological rules form the foundations of each of your beliefs. They probably shouldn’t be classified as beliefs, but rather as rules that support your beliefs. However, it’s important to discuss them here because they will help you to better understand the beliefs that are directing your decisions and actions.
You believe something because you have a certain set of rules that tell you that this “something” makes sense and is true. Therefore if the rule makes sense, then it only makes sense to believe that what you’re seeing and experiencing is the truth.
Psychological rules often stem from the pain and pleasure response. Let’s say for instance that you come across a specific situation. Your brain will ask whether making a certain decision or taking a specific action will mean pain or pleasure. You then either decide to take action that helps you avoid pain, or to gain pleasure. Whatever you decide to do provides you with insight into the underlying hidden belief that is at the core of that particular psychological rule.
Say for instance you have a sales call that you want to make to a potentially lucrative client. Making this call seems daunting and will be difficult, however you know that if you can secure this client that you could generate some very good revenue. You therefore look at this situation and see two options before you: You can either make this call, or you can instead procrastinate and put it off till tomorrow. The first option brings you pain, and the second options provides you with some pleasure and temporary relief. You now think to yourself:
If I do this what will happen?
If I do this, then what will happen with that?
Let’s say that you choose to keep putting things off till tomorrow and therefore decide to procrastinate and instead focus your attention on other matters. All this is very significant, because your psychological rules essentially dictated the decision you would make in this situation. And what’s even more significant is that underlying this decision there lies a hidden and potentially limiting belief. That belief could be:
- I am not good enough to do this…
- I don’t deserve to be successful…
- I am a failure…
Therefore your rules might be:
- I should never do anything I’m not capable of doing…
- I must never take a risk that is beyond my ability…
As a result of one or more of these beliefs, you have chosen to procrastinate instead of taking the necessary steps to secure this account. What’s significant about this is that your psychological rules influenced the decision you ended up making. In other words, your perception and interpretation of what gives you pain and pleasure influenced the end outcome. Your rules prioritized short-term pleasure over long-term pleasure, and this directed you to avoid short-term pain even though that short-term pain could potentially bring you long-term pleasure (if you secured the account).
There’s a lot more that could be said about psychological rules, however, this hopefully provides you with enough of an understanding to get a sense of how they integrate into your belief systems.
Global beliefs are generalizations you make about things, about people and about life. You will for instance believe X and you won’t believe Y. You believe X because you have made certain assumptions about X and Y that make them out to be a certain way.
Global beliefs are assumptions you make that begin with:
- I am…
- Life is…
- People are…
These are things you don’t give much thought to. You simply accept them as being the truth, and you don’t even question that things could be any different. For instance the sky looks blue, so therefore it must be blue. This is based on the assumption that something looks blue and therefore is blue in all cases. But of course we know that isn’t true.
Another assumption you might be making is that all people lie and can’t be trusted. This may be true in some social circles, but it’s certainly not true across the board. However, this global belief might have been ingrained into your psyche from a young age, and now as an adult you don’t even consider that there might be other possibilities. It’s true for you, and that is all that matters. And of course, it might very well have served you when you were a child. Not talking to strangers and not trusting people kept you out of danger. However, does this global belief serve you today? What opportunities is it denying you in the present moment?
Many times you are probably not even aware of the assumptions you have chosen that form the basis of your reality. It’s the way you were raised, and that’s all that matters. However, is it helpful to assume these things and to hold such global beliefs? If they don’t serve you any longer in the present moment, then you may be missing out on a world filled with opportunities that will always be out of your reach as long as you keep holding onto these beliefs.
Convictions are the strongest beliefs and are often immune to logic. They are beliefs that have the highest unwavering certainty, commitment and dedication behind them. They are the beliefs that you have built over a lifetime and they have a tremendous amount of references behind them. Each of these references support this belief and provide you with the foundations of your conviction. Moreover, the amount of emotion, time, energy and thought you have invested in these beliefs makes them virtually indestructible.
This is of course good news and bad news depending on the convictions you hold. If for instance you have a set of indestructible convictions that support the goals that you would like to achieve and the success you would like to attain, then you are on a winner. That is in essence how high achievers find the motivation they need to keep going when faced with adversity. However, on the other hand if you have a set of convictions that are in conflict with the goals that you would like to achieve, then you will probably tend to sabotage yourself — making very little progress as a result.
The biggest problem with convictions is that you probably don’t even realize you have them. You are so stuck in your own ways that it’s almost impossible to imagine other alternate possibilities. However, this is an obstacle that you will need to overcome if you desire to unlock your full potential to be, have, do and experience all that your heart desires.
Identifying Your Limiting Beliefs
In order to achieve your goals, you will need certain fundamental psychological principles to align. Your goals must of course align with your life’s purpose, with your six human needs, with your values, with your self-concept, and they must also align with your beliefs. However, that is probably where things break down for most people, and it’s inevitably one of the main reasons why hopes and dreams never manifest into results. There are just too many limiting beliefs that prevent us from moving forward, and that is why we continue to indulge in self-sabotaging behaviors.
Given all this, your very first step to transforming your limiting beliefs is of course identifying your limiting beliefs. However, this process isn’t always simple or straightforward. It will take a little insight and understanding in order to figure out what these beliefs are and how they are preventing you from moving forward.
Let’s now explore this process in a little detail.
Figure Out What You Want
Your first step is to figure out what it is you want. These are your goals, objectives and the outcomes you would like to achieve. These are the things you have been working towards for weeks, months and even years, but for one reason or another you’re being held back. You are being held back because you probably have a set of limiting beliefs that are sabotaging your progress. However, let’s not worry about these beliefs at the moment. Right now, the most important thing is to clarify what it is you want. Ask yourself:
What is it that I want?
What goals would I like to achieve?
What kind of person would I like to become?
Why do I want all these things? What are the benefits?
The more reasons you find to pursue something, the greater motivation you will have to follow through with your actions. And in order to change, you must have the motivation and willingness to make this change. For this very reason it’s important that you spend some time figuring out exactly WHY you want these goals and what benefits you will derive from attaining them.
Identify Your Limiting Beliefs
Before moving on, it’s important to remind yourself that all beliefs are neutral. You might for instance share a belief with another person. This belief might work for you in your situation, however it might not work for the other person in their situation. Likewise, a certain belief might work for you in one situation but not in another situation. It therefore depends on the situation and on the person holding that belief. As such, it’s important to keep in mind how useful a belief “is” in your particular situation in relation to the goal that you are trying to achieve. If it serves you and supports the goal you are working towards, then keep it. However, if it doesn’t serve you and hinders your progress, then this is a clear indication that you are dealing with a limiting belief.
Your limiting beliefs often hide beyond conscious awareness. However, there are key signals you can look out for that will provide you with the clues you need to identify these limiting beliefs. These key signals will be evident when you confront obstacles and challenges along your journey towards your goals. You won’t be able to overcome these problems because of the limiting beliefs that are occupying the space between your ears. For instance, your limiting beliefs can potentially manifest in the following ways:
- When you make excuses.
- When you complain about things.
- When you indulge in negative thoughts.
- When you indulge in unhelpful habits.
- When you talk to yourself in limiting and unhelpful ways.
- When you jump to conclusions and/or make assumptions.
- When you hesitate or express your fears.
- When you worry about failure or about making mistakes.
- When you worry uncontrollably for no apparent reason.
- When you think about procrastinating.
- When you think about indulging in perfectionism.
Take all of these things into consideration and list down all the limiting beliefs that come to mind as you are thinking about and/or working towards your goals. Yes, even “thinking” about your goals applies. You might for instance be thinking about achieving a particular goal, and while thinking about it you get a sense of resistance rising to the surface. The more internal resistance you experience, the more limiting beliefs are laying dormant just below the surface of conscious awareness.
For instance, you might have a goal to earn an extra $20,000 this financial year. This is a great goal to have. It might even be a realistic goal for you, however as you are thinking about this goal you start to feel a little uncertain and uncomfortable. This is where you will find your limiting beliefs, and these are the beliefs you need to bring into conscious awareness by asking yourself the following questions:
What resistance am I feeling inside while I think about achieving this goal?
Why can’t I overcome certain challenges to achieve my goal? What is holding me back?
What specifically is getting in the way?
What unhelpful habits am I indulging in?
How am I thinking about this situation?
What am I saying or doing to myself that is holding me back?
What excuses do I tend to indulge in? What do these excuses mean? Why do I make them?
Why do I think this is hard or too difficult? What is stopping me? Why?
What kind of things do I tend to complain about, or blame others for?
Do I potentially have any psychological rules that are preventing me from moving forward?
What negative and pessimistic thoughts do I tend to indulge in while pursuing this goal?
What assumptions or conclusions am I making about my inability to achieve this goal?
Do I have any global beliefs that might be holding me back?
What do I expect should happen? What usually ends up happening? Why is there a discrepancy here?
Are my standards too low? Why? Maybe I should set the bar higher?
Do I have any values that are in conflict with my goals? What do I believe about these values?
How am I labeling myself and/or describing myself as I work towards this goal? How could this be causing problems?
What stories do I tell myself about what I should or shouldn’t do, and about what should or shouldn’t happen? How is this of significance?
Having taken the time to reflect upon these questions, it’s now important that you specify exactly what kinds of limiting beliefs are currently holding you back. Ask yourself:
What insights do the answers to these questions provide about my limiting beliefs?
What specific limiting beliefs are holding me back at the moment?
How are these limiting beliefs preventing me from achieving my desired goals and objectives?
How are these limiting beliefs denying me the opportunity to become the person I want to be?
Remember that your limiting beliefs are assumptions you make about reality that aren’t true in your particular situation. They aren’t helpful, and they certainly don’t serve you as you make your way along your journey towards your goals.
The Formation of Your Limiting Beliefs
Before moving on, it might also be helpful to identify how these limiting beliefs found their way into your life. Ask yourself:
How did I come to form this particular limiting belief?
What has made me hold onto this belief for so long?
Understanding how these beliefs came into existence can help you to work through them in more effective ways. Just maybe these beliefs are linked to childhood memories and experiences that no longer serve your greater good. Unlocking these memories can help you to let go of specific experiences and maybe even forgive certain people from your past. And just maybe, you might even find the courage to forgive yourself.
Another reason why it’s important to search for the origins of your limiting beliefs, is because every belief you hold onto has a set of references that support it. And by understanding the origins of this belief you will be in a prime position to pinpoint the various references that have been feeding this belief all this time. To help you with this identification process, ask yourself:
What kind of references support this limiting belief?
What knowledge supports this belief?
What life experiences support this belief?
What intense emotional experiences support this belief?
How have I held onto this belief in my imagination over the years?
What specific things have I imagined? What stories have I concocted?
Many of these references may very well have been concocted in your own imagination. And therefore they don’t have any real basis in reality. Other references may be based on false knowledge or assumptions. Then there might be some references that may actually be based on real experiences, however over time the brain has a tendency to distort past experiences in order to protect you from the truth (pain). Therefore what you now think happened, may not have happened the way you imagine it today. For this reason it might be worthwhile spending some time digging into these experiences in order to unlock the truth behind your limiting beliefs.
Let Go of Your Limiting Beliefs
It’s important to mention that each of your limiting beliefs serve a purpose. They are there because they are protecting you from something. This “something” often manifests as a form of pain. Now, of course this doesn’t mean that the belief makes any sense at all, or that it’s practical in the present moment. What it does mean is that each of your limiting beliefs have good intentions, and these intentions are there to protect you from pain. However, oftentimes when it comes to limiting beliefs these intentions can be misguided. They might keep you away from short-term pain, but will often lead to long-term pain.
Moving forward it’s critical to determine what you are gaining by holding onto each of your limiting beliefs. Ask yourself:
How am I deriving pleasure by holding onto this limiting belief?
What good intention does this belief provide me with?
What value am I gaining by holding onto this belief?
In order to replace your limiting belief with a more empowering belief, you will either need to convince yourself that the value you’re deriving from this limiting belief isn’t required any longer, or your new empowering belief must in some way fill this void. Therefore you either fill this void, or eliminate the void altogether. The choice is yours to make.
Preparing for Change
The emotional intensity of each of your limiting beliefs can be measured using submodalities.
Submodalities are ways in which you interpret and then represent your world using your five senses. It’s all about how you visualize things, how you hear things, and how you feel things internally.
The limiting beliefs that are most difficult to overcome have the most intense submodalities supporting them. Let’s say for instance that your goal is to become an airplane pilot, however you have this thing where you’re afraid of heights. This is obviously a huge obstacle that will prevent you from reaching your goal.
The main reason you’re afraid is because you exaggerate things in your mind to such an extent that it scares you. Everything becomes visually and kinesthetically intense when you think of heights. And that is the main reason why this fear is prevalent in your life. There’s of course a supporting limiting belief that’s attached to this fear which tells you that “heights are dangerous”. This might or might not be true. However, because you believe it, it’s therefore true for you.
Given this, take one of your limiting beliefs and ask yourself:
How do I picture this limiting belief in my head?
How do I imagine it in my minds-eye?
What does this limiting belief look like specifically?
What does it sound like?
What does it feel like?
What does it smell like?
What does it taste like?
One way to make this belief less intense is to adjust the submodalities you use while thinking about this fear. Instead of picturing this scary scenario in your head about the dangers of heights, try instead toning things down a little and distancing yourself from your fear within your imagination. That way the intensity of your limiting belief (manifesting as fear) is reduced, and as a result you will be in a better place emotionally to overcome this mental roadblock.
Click here for more information about how to use submodalities.
Before Moving Forward…
Before moving on, it’s important to note that some of your limiting beliefs may in fact have some basis in reality. These beliefs are not based upon assumptions but rather upon facts. If they are based upon facts, then you will need to treat these beliefs as “problems” that must be solved. They are in essence the physical obstacles that you must circumvent in order to clear the path to your goals.
Okay, now, if you’re ready to move on, there’s just one more thing you need to do before you start creating a set of empowering beliefs that are congruent with the goals you would like to achieve. That one thing is believing in the following three things:
- Responsibility for change rests in my hands…
- Change happens instantly when I’m committed…
- Things must change now…
Only once you agree to absorb these three beliefs into your psyche, should you move onward through to the belief transformation process.
Transforming Your Beliefs
You have probably now identified all the limiting beliefs that are holding you back from the attainment of your goals and objectives. But this is unfortunately where most people stop. They think that having knowledge of their limiting beliefs will now encourage them to think differently about their life and circumstances. And there is certainly some truth to this. Being aware of your beliefs will indeed encourage you to think differently about them. However, your limiting beliefs have the support of many references. A significant amount of these references probably have a lot of emotional investment behind them, which is where the problems lie.
You can’t just go through this process and hope that you will change your mind and experience a “happy ever after” ending. Whenever you have a high level of emotion invested into something, that emotional investment isn’t going to be easy to overcome. You will need to cut your ties, and this will require some work. In fact, the deeper the belief and/or conviction, the more difficult this process is going to be and the longer it will take. And you must be ready for that. After all, your goals are on the line.
As you work through this belief transformation process it’s important you remain observant and curious. You must be open to the possibilities, you must welcome new perspectives, and you must accept alternate viewpoints. Being receptive and willing to adapt yourself to changing conditions and circumstances lies at the cornerstone of any change that you would like to make. This is especially true when it comes to transforming your limiting beliefs.
Step 1: Choose Your Desired Outcome
Your very first step is to choose your desired outcome, thereby gaining clarity about what it is you would like to change. Ask yourself:
What goals would I like to achieve?
What’s currently preventing me from achieving these goals?
What kind of person would l ideally like to become?
What is it specifically that I would like to change?
What specific beliefs are not working for me?
What beliefs are preventing me from achieving my desired outcomes?
Once you are clear about the limiting beliefs that are holding you back, you can move onto step two of this process.
Step 2: Question Your Limiting Beliefs
Your limiting beliefs are only as strong as the references that support them. And often your limiting beliefs probably have a plethora of references that make them very real in your life.
It’s important to keep in mind that these references where only once ideas, that became opinions, and later came together to form your beliefs. As such, they aren’t real. They are of course real for you, but that’s only your perspective. Change your perspective and opinion about them, and you will likewise throw doubt on your limiting beliefs. And that is exactly what you’re going to do right now. You are going to throw doubt upon these beliefs from all possible angles and perspectives.
Here are some questions to get you started with this process. However, there may be many more questions that you might like to ask that are very specific to your situation. This list will hopefully get you started, but you should certainly add your own questions as you move through this process.
Throw doubt on your limiting belief by asking yourself:
Is this belief really that accurate?
Have I always believed this? Why?
Was there a time when I didn’t believe this? Why?
Are there times in some situations when this belief just doesn’t make any rational sense?
What evidence is there that disproves this limiting belief?
What’s the exact opposite way of thinking about this belief? How is this helpful?
What is funny about this belief? What’s strange about this belief? What’s embarrassing about this belief?
Is this belief helping me get what I want most in life? Will it help me reach my goals?
How would others tend to question the validity of this belief? How would they think about it?
How does the opposite of what I believe work for other people? How is this of value?
What famous quotes throw doubt upon this limiting belief?
What are the critical flaws in believing what I believe? How is it silly to think this way?
How would I think about this belief if I was Albert Einstein? Bugs Bunny? Harry Potter? A child? An entrepreneur? A rock? An elephant? An ant?
Some of these questions might seem silly and strange, however they are designed to help you expand your perspective and the possibilities of your situation. They are designed to force you to think outside the box; they are designed to make you feel a little uncomfortable; and they are of course designed to help shift how you think about this limiting belief. Therefore, the more effort you put into answering these questions, the more doubt you will throw onto your limiting belief, and the faster you will move through this belief transformation process.
Step 3: Consider the Consequences of Your Limiting Beliefs
Having thrown doubt upon your limiting belief in the previous step, it’s now time to consider the consequences of holding onto this belief in both the short and long-term. Really have a good long and hard think about the following questions:
What will the consequences be if I am unable to make this change and eliminate this limiting belief?
How will not changing affect me physically? Emotionally? Spiritually? Financially? In my relationships with others?
How will not changing affect my life?
What are the short-term consequences of not changing?
What are the potential long-term consequences of not making this change?
How will all this make me feel?
Given all this, why is it important to make this change right now?
The more pain you can associate to holding onto this belief, the more motivation you will have to make a positive change in your life. For this reason, it’s paramount that you move through these questions progressively one at a time and fully experience the pain passing through all your sensory organs. Feel the anger, experience the grief, think about the regrets, and even allow yourself to cry. The more pain you create the better chance you will have of making a positive change in your life.
Step 4: Choose a New Empowering Belief to Adopt
You must now choose a new empowering belief that you would like to use moving forward. The one guiding principle that you must follow here is to make sure that this new belief is believable. If it’s not believable then you will unfortunately fail to condition it into your psyche.
In order to unlock this new empowering belief, take into consideration the goal that you would like to achieve, the person that you would like to become, and the core values you would like to uphold, then ask yourself the following set of questions from a third person’s perspective:
What would this person likely believe while in pursuit of this goal?
What would this person believe about themselves?
What would this person believe about their goal?
What’s their attitude like? How do they think about this goal?
What would this person believe after having achieved their goal?
How would they think about the obstacles they confronted along their journey?
What would they believe if they had to achieve this goal again for a second time?
Now consider the advantages of this belief and how it could potentially help you to improve your life and circumstances. Ask yourself:
What are the benefits of using this new belief?
How will this new belief help me to attain my goals?
How will this belief change my life for the better?
How will this belief help me in the short-term and in the long-term?
How will all this make me feel about myself?
To what extent is this belief likely to empower me moving forward?
Why is all this important? What does all this really mean?
The more reasons you can find, the more motivation you will have to change your old patterns of behavior and replace them with new empowering belief systems.
Step 5: Strengthen Your New Empowering Belief
Now, let’s look at ways you can potentially strengthen this new empowering belief.
Strengthening a belief requires you consider ways you could build upon the references that will help support this new belief moving forward into the future. Ask yourself:
What kinds of behaviors, decisions and actions could help me strengthen this belief?
What habits and/or rituals could help me strengthen this belief?
What famous quotes could potentially help me strengthen this belief?
Are there any symbols I could use that might help me strengthen this belief?
Could I create a slogan for myself that might help me strengthen this belief?
Are there any stories that support the philosophy behind this new empowering belief?
What about role models? Are there any role models I could turn to that could help me strengthen this belief?
There are a lot of great ideas here that will successfully help you strengthen your new beliefs. One of the most practical ideas simply involves finding some famous quotes that support the philosophy behind this new empowering belief. Write these quotes down on a piece of paper and keep them in your pocket. Then whenever you feel yourself indulging in your old limiting beliefs or diverging away from your desired path, read some of these quotes and contemplate them for a few moment to help get yourself right back on track. It’s as easy as that. And what’s more, each time you read these quotes you build stronger references that will help support your new empowering beliefs moving forward.
Likewise keep an eye out for stories, documentaries and films that support the philosophy behind this belief. Keep them listed on that sheet of paper as well. And then turn to these stories for some added insight, direction and inspiration.
As you work through this belief transformation process it all comes down to building those references that will help support your new empowering belief. The more references you are able to collect, the stronger your new belief will become, and the stronger the new belief becomes the weaker your old limiting belief will be. Just keep building the evidence against your limiting belief and in favor of your empowering belief. Once the evidence begins to overwhelmingly support your empowering belief, that is when the tables will turn and your mindset will permanently shift.
Step 6: Make a Firm Decision About What to Change
You must now make a firm decision that you will begin making the necessary changes to overcome your limiting belief. For this to happen you must have the necessary commitment, confidence and motivation to make the necessary changes stick. Ask yourself:
What’s my commitment level to making this change?
Do I feel confident that I can successfully make this change?
How motivated am I to make this change?
Go through each of these questions and rank them from 1 to 10. If you’re not at least at an 8 out of 10 on all three questions, then go back to the previous steps and work through them again. Don’t proceed unless you have reached an eight or above — otherwise you are simply wasting your time and you will continue to sabotage yourself when the journey inevitably gets a little more difficult.
Step 7: Progressively Condition Your New Belief
Having committed yourself to this new empowering belief, it’s now time to progressively condition this new belief into your nervous system. And there are a number of ways you can do this.
First of all, you can use the process of visualization to help condition this new belief into your nervous system. Simply spend time daily visualizing yourself in your imagination using this new way of thinking in your day-to-day undertakings. Take note of the actions you take, the decisions you make, how you talk to yourself, how you talk to others, etc. Think about your new attitude and the results that this new belief is helping you to manifest in your life. You are in essence imagining a new and better you in your minds-eye, and then transferring the “new you” from your imagination into the physical world. Everything begins in your imagination first, and then gets transferred across to real life. Doing things this way will help you to develop the confidence you need to work with this new belief on a daily basis.
Secondly, you can use the process of anchoring to condition this new belief into your nervous system. This basically involves anchoring a physical sensation to your body that will automatically allow you to get into an optimal state-of-mind that is congruent with your new empowering belief. For more information about the process of anchoring, please click here.
Thirdly, you can condition this new belief into your nervous system by making some helpful adjustments to your submodalities. These adjustments can help add more emotional firepower to your new belief. This will increase the strength of the references that help support this belief. For more information about how to utilize submodalities, please click here.
Fourthly, you can use a technique know as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). This technique works for some people but may not work for all people. In involves tapping on end points of the body’s energy meridians. This tapping process can help you overcome your limiting beliefs and habits. For more information about Emotional Freedom technique, please click here, or conduct a search on YouTube.
Finally, you might want to consider modeling or emulating other people who are actively living through this empowering belief in their day-to-day undertakings. Get to know these people and find out what makes them tick. But what if these people are simply not accessible? Then learn all you can about them from books, documentaries, films, interviews, etc. Find out why they do what they do, and also how they do it. Then emulate them and model their decisions and actions. This will hopefully help you to build even more references that will support your new belief.
In the end, when it comes down to what’s most important, it’s all about reminding yourself about the value of this new belief and how it will help improve your life moving forward.
Step 8: Make Room for this New Belief in Your Life
It is now time to make the necessary alterations to your values, environment, thoughts, language, and life in order to help support this new empowering belief. If incongruities exist, or conflicts are still present then you will probably find it difficult to make the transition to this new way of thinking. For this very reason you must make the necessary adjustments and changes to your life to allow for a successful transition through this process. Ask yourself:
Is this new belief congruent and consistent with my values? Do any changes need to be made?
How must my thoughts and perspectives change in order to match this new belief?
How must I alter the language I use to talk to myself to match this new belief?
Do I need to develop some new habits and/or rituals that will help support this new belief?
How must I change my environment to match this new belief?
Are there any other aspects of my life that need adjusting in order to integrate this new belief successfully into my life?
When it comes to altering your language, you might like to use scripted affirmations throughout your day that will help you to stay on track and focused in the right direction. Affirmations such as:
I can do this… I believe in myself…
I am strong, confident and capable…
I will find a way to make this work…
Alternatively, you can turn these affirmations into questions. Questions are more powerful than affirmations because they focus your mind on solutions and on taking the necessary actions steps to help you solve your problems. You might for instance alter the above three affirmations to the following three questions:
How can I do this? How can I solve this problem?
What are my strengths? How can I use them to gain the confidence I need to get this done?
How can I make this work? What if I tried…? Who could help me make this work?
When you ask questions you’re no longer focused on what can’t be done, but rather on the possibilities that are laid out before you. Moreover, you begin thinking proactively and taking positive action towards your desired outcomes. Yes, you will make mistakes, but if you continue to ask proactive questions you will quickly learn from those mistakes and correct your course accordingly.
Step 9: Begin Using Your New Empowering Belief
Take action and get into the habit of using your new empowering belief as often as possible until it begins to feel comfortable and familiar. You may of course need to get through that initial awkward stage where you feel a little discomfort and uncertainty. That’s normal. With persistence, dedication and commitment you will get through it. Just keep moving forward.
It might be helpful to write down your new belief/beliefs on a sheet of paper and carry them around with you throughout the day. Read your new beliefs as often as possible until they begin feeling comfortable and natural.
As you make progress along your journey, it is important to always stay flexible in your approach and make course corrections when required. Your new empowering belief might have made sense when you initially created it, however as you begin to take positive action towards the attainment of your goals and objectives, you might need to make some alternations to this belief. What works for you initially might not work for you down the track. And if you’re not flexible in your approach and make the necessary changes along your journey, then you might very well still end up disappointed in the end.
It is also very possible that as you work towards your goals, that other limiting beliefs that you hadn’t previously recognized might crop up. These limiting beliefs have been lying dormant because up until now you haven’t had to do anything that made you feel uncomfortable in this area of your life. However, since you’re now stepping into new territory, these limiting beliefs have been forced to the surface and have presented you with another obstacle that you need to now overcome. As such, it’s absolutely paramount that you come back to this limiting belief transformation process time and again, until you successfully work through all the limiting beliefs that are standing between you and the attainment of your goals and objectives.
Finally, remember that the beliefs that got you to where you are now, won’t get you to where you want to be. Your beliefs must change with the times, they must also change with your goals.
Time to Assimilate these Concepts
Did you gain value from this article? Would you like to keep these concepts at the forefront of your mind? If so, then you might like to download the accompanying mind map reference poster to your iPad, tablet or computer. The map presents you with a quick overview of this article. It’s designed specifically to help improve your memory and recall of this information so that you can better integrate these concepts into your daily thoughts, habits and actions. Your purchase will also go a long way towards supporting the further development of these maps.
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Gain More Knowledge…
Here are some additional links and resources that will help you learn more about this topic:
- 5 Destructive Beliefs Almost Everyone Has @ Dumb Little Man
- 5 False Beliefs that are Holding You Back @ Marc and Angel
- 7 Beliefs of Unhappy People @ Lifehack
- 7 Mistaken Beliefs About Money @ Psych Central
- 9 Beliefs of Highly Ineffective People @ Marc and Angel
- 10 Common Sources of Unhelpful Beliefs and How to Change Them @ Virtual Synapses
- Challenging Your Current Beliefs @ Craig Harper
- Change Your Beliefs, Change Your Life @ Tiny Buddha
- Dissolving Unhelpful Beliefs @ Steve Pavlina
- How to Break Free of Limiting Cultural Beliefs @ The Change Blog
- How to Create More Powerful Beliefs @ Pick the Brain
- How to Remove a Self Limiting Belief @ A Daring Adventure
- Overcome 8 Common Unhelpful Beliefs that May Keep You Stuck @ Tiny Buddha
- Your Beliefs Affect the Strength of the Placebo Effect @ Psychology Today