It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.
A Quick 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 psychological rules or commands to the nervous system that shapes your thoughts and filters 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 essentially 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 how they ought to be. 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 more certain about your 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.
It’s important to note that beliefs are not facts. However, deeply ingrained beliefs can indeed 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 for so long. However, as an adult, these beliefs may no longer serve a purpose. In fact, these beliefs may actually become a hindrance as they are no longer compatible with your life or circumstances. Your life has 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 in your language patterns. 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.
How is a Belief Created?
Over a lifetime your beliefs are ingrained into your nervous system due to repeated situations that prove their legitimacy.
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 experiences, and through the influence of your peer groups. These references help you form ideas about things. Eventually, some of these ideas turn into opinions that are backed by more certainty and emotional intensity.
While holding onto these opinions, you are still quite flexible when it comes to your expectations. However, through the process of repetitively thinking and acting out these things in real life, your opinions solidify and eventually turn into beliefs. These beliefs are still flexible in the early stages, however, over time as you keep collecting more references (that support each of these beliefs), they grow stronger, more robust, and stable.
Eventually, over time you reach a certain stage in the evolution of each belief where it becomes so deeply ingrained and rooted in your nervous system that your expectations can no longer be changed. And this is in spite of overwhelming contradictory evidence (facts) that proves otherwise. And that is essentially the stage when a belief turns into a conviction.
When there are no available references to lay down the foundations for a belief, some people turn to faith. Faith is merely a belief about something that has insufficient 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 that 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 to establish a firm 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.
How Much Strength Does a Belief Have?
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 level of intelligence and impact the decisions you make, or the choices 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. The questions you ask and how you ask these questions is dependent on the belief systems you hold. 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 fundamental because they often disguise what’s real and instead present you with a false view of reality that only exists in your imagination. As a result, you will make choices based on this reality with an expectation of getting specific outcomes.
However, your view of reality is flawed. You are missing essential elements, and therefore no matter what decision you make you will fail to attain the outcomes you desire to realize in your life.
Beliefs will likewise determine the things you will or won’t do. They will determine what goals you will set, and more importantly, they determine how you go about accomplishing those goals. Moreover, they determine whether or not you realize you’re actually making the right choices as you work on achieving those goals.
Your beliefs essentially influence 95 percent 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.
What Types of Beliefs do we Have?
There are many different classifications of beliefs that we could discuss here. 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. They include:
- Psychological Rules
- Global Beliefs
Let’s explore each of these in a little detail.
What are Psychological Rules?
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 currently 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 accurate. 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 particular action will result in pain or pleasure. You then either decide to take action that helps you avoid pain, or to gain pleasure. Whatever you choose 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 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 possibly generate some excellent revenue. You, therefore, look at this situation and see two possible options.
You can either make this call, or you can instead procrastinate and put it off until tomorrow. The first option brings you pain, and the second option 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 until tomorrow and, therefore, decide to procrastinate and instead focus your attention on other matters. All this is very significant because your psychological rules dictated the decision you would make in this situation. And what’s even more significant is that behind this decision there lies a hidden and potentially limiting belief. That belief could be that:
- “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 subsequently 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 affected 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-lasting 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.
What are Global Beliefs?
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 specific 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 merely 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 seems 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 probably not true across the board.
This global belief that people can’t be trusted might have been ingrained into your psyche from a young age, and now as an adult, you don’t even consider other possibilities. It’s true for you, and that is all that matters.
This belief 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 does it deny 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, then they might actually be hindering you in the present moment.
What are Convictions?
Convictions are the strongest beliefs and are often immune to logic. They are beliefs that have the highest unwavering certainty, commitment, and dedication.
Convictions are beliefs that you have built over a lifetime that have a tremendous amount of references supporting them. Each of these references supports this belief and build the foundations of your conviction. Moreover, the amount of emotion, time, energy, and thought you have invested in these beliefs over a lifetime 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 strong convictions that support your goals and the success you would like to achieve, then you are on the right track. That is in essence how high achievers find the motivation they need to keep going when facing adversity.
If on the other hand, you have a set of convictions that are in conflict with the goals you would like to achieve, then you will likely sabotage yourself and end up making very little progress.
The biggest problem with convictions is that you probably don’t even realize you have them. You are so stuck in your own habitual patterns 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.
How to Identify Your Limiting Beliefs
To achieve your goals, you will need to align certain fundamental psychological principles. Your goals must, of course, align with your life’s purpose, with the six human needs, with your core values, with your self-concept, and they must also align with your belief systems. 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 real and tangible 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 behavior.
Given all this, your very first step to transforming your limiting beliefs comes down to identifying your limiting beliefs. However, this process isn’t always simple or straightforward. It will take a little insight and understanding 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.
Firstly You Must 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’ve been working toward for weeks, months, and even years, but for one reason or another they are things you’ve been unable to achieve.
You’re being held back because you probably have a set of limiting beliefs that are sabotaging your progress. However, at this stage, let’s not worry about these beliefs. 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 higher motivation you will have to follow through with your actions. And to change, you must find the motivation needed to make this change. For this very reason, it’s vital that you spend time figuring out exactly WHY you want these goals and the benefits you will derive from achieving 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 — concerning the goal that you are trying to achieve. If it serves you and supports the goal you are working toward, 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 toward your goals.
You typically won’t be able to overcome obstacles and 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 work toward your goals. And 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 boiling up 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. However, as you’re thinking about this goal, you start to feel a little uncertain and uncomfortable. This is precisely where you will find your limiting beliefs. These are the beliefs you need to bring into conscious awareness. You can do so 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 toward this goal? How could this be causing problems?
What stories do I tell myself about what I should or shouldn’t be doing, and about what should or shouldn’t happen? How is this of significance?
Having taken the time to reflect on these questions, it’s now important that you specify correctly what kind 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 right now?
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 or the goals you want to achieve.
Understanding 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 work through them more effectively. 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 that did you wrong. And possibly, you might also find the courage to forgive yourself.
Another reason why it’s important to search for the origins of your limiting beliefs is that every belief you hold onto has a set of references that support it. And by understanding the origins of this belief you put yourself in a prime position to pinpoint the various references that have been feeding this belief. 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-life experiences, however, over time the brain has a tendency to distort past experiences 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 to unlock the truth behind your limiting beliefs.
Letting Go of Your Limiting Beliefs
It’s important to mention that each of your limiting beliefs serves a purpose. They are there because they protect 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 has good intentions, and these intentions are there to protect you from pain. However, frequently, when it comes to limiting beliefs these intentions can be misguided. They might protect you from short-term pain, which unfortunately often leads 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?
To replace your limiting belief with a more empowering belief, you will need to convince yourself that the value you’re deriving from this limiting belief isn’t required any longer. Otherwise, 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 Yourself 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 are supported by very vivid and emotionally intense submodalities.
Let’s say for instance that your goal is to become an airplane pilot. However, you have this nagging fear of heights. This is apparently a huge obstacle that will prevent you from reaching your goal.
The main reason you’re afraid is that you exaggerate things in your mind to such an extent that it scares you. Everything becomes visually and kinesthetically intense when you think about 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 using 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.
For more information, please read 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 on assumptions but instead upon facts. If they are based on 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 to clear the path to your goals.
Okay, 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 requires that you convince yourself of the following three things:
- “Responsibility for change rests in my hands…”
- “Change happens instantly when I’m committed…”
- “Things must change now…”
Only and when you accept these three beliefs as being your truth, should you begin working through the belief transformation process.
How to Transform Your Limiting Beliefs
You should by now have identified all the limiting beliefs that are holding you back in life. And this is unfortunately where most people stop. They think that having an awareness of their limiting beliefs will now encourage them to think differently about their lives and circumstances. And there is undoubtedly 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. Whenever you have a high level of emotion invested in something it creates a barrier to change. 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.
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 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. This will help you gain 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 to 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 influence your perspective on reality.
It’s important to keep in mind that these references were 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 precisely what you’re going to do right now. You are going to throw doubt upon these beliefs from all possible angles.
Here are some questions to get you started on this process. This list will hopefully get you going, 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’s 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 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.
These questions are designed to encourage 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 your limiting belief.
The more effort you put into answering these questions, the more doubt you will throw on 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 on your limiting belief, it’s now time to consider the consequences of holding onto this belief. Really have a good long, and hard think about the following questions:
What will the consequences be if I’m 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 with 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.
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.
To unlock this new empowering belief, take into consideration the goal that you would like to achieve, the person that you would want 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 confront 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 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 taking into consideration ways you could build upon the references that support this new belief. 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 many ideas here that will help you strengthen your new belief. One of the most practical ideas involves simply finding a handful of quotes that support the philosophy behind your 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 belief, take some time to read over these quotes. This will help you get 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 belief moving forward.
Likewise keep an eye out for stories, documentaries, and films that support the philosophy behind your empowering belief. Keep them listed on that sheet of paper as well, then turn to these stories for some added insight, direction, and inspiration.
Working through the belief transformation process comes down to building solid references that help support your new empowering belief. The more references you are able to collect, the stronger your new belief will become, and this will subsequently weaken your old limiting belief.
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.
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’re just wasting your time, and you will continue to sabotage yourself when facing adversity.
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 some 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. Just 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 speak 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 first begins in your imagination and then gets transferred across into the real world. Doing things this way will help you to develop the self-confidence you need to work with this new belief.
Secondly, you can use the process of anchoring to condition this new belief into your nervous system. This primarily 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.
Thirdly, you can condition this new belief into your nervous system by making some helpful adjustments to your submodalities. These modifications can help add more emotional firepower to your new belief. This will increase the strength of the references that help support this belief.
Next, you can use a technique known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). This method works for some people but may not work for all people. It involves tapping on end points of the body’s energy meridians. This tapping process can help you overcome your limiting beliefs and habits.
Finally, you might want to consider modeling or emulating other people who are actively living this empowering belief. Get to know these people and find out what makes them tick.
But what if these people are just 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 build even more references that support your new belief.
In the end, what’s most important is 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’s time now to make the necessary changes to your values, environment, thoughts, language patterns, life, etc. Everything must align to support your new empowering belief.
If incongruities exist, or conflicts are still present, then you will probably find it difficult to adopt this new belief. For this very reason, you must make the necessary changes to allow for a successful transition. 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 to match this new belief?
How must I alter my language patterns to match 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 patterns, you might like to use scripted affirmations throughout your day. These affirmations will help you to stay on track. 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 action steps to solve problems. You might, for instance, alter the above three affirmations in the following way:
How can I do this? How can I solve this problem?
What are my strengths? How can I use them to muster the self-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 decisive action toward your desired outcomes. Yes, you will make mistakes, but if you continue to ask proactive questions, you will quickly learn from those mistakes and make course corrections.
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 on a sheet of paper and carry it around with you throughout the day. Read your new belief as often as possible until it begins feeling comfortable and natural.
As you make progress along your journey, it’s 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 proactive action toward the attainment of your goals, you might need to make some alternations to this belief. What worked for you initially might not work for you down the track. And if you’re not flexible in your approach then you just won’t get the long-term results you expect from this process.
It’s also very possible that as you work toward your goals, that other limiting beliefs (you didn’t previously acknowledge) might crop up.
These limiting beliefs have been lying dormant for years. They haven’t cropped up until now because you haven’t had to do anything that made you feel uncomfortable in this area of your life.
Now that you’re stepping into new territory, these limiting beliefs have been forced to the surface. Given this, it’s helpful 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.
Overcoming our limiting beliefs ain’t easy. It takes a significant amount of work, introspection, and time. Moreover, this isn’t a once off kind of thing. You don’t just go through this process once and forget about it. It’s rather an ongoing process of steps that we must revisit time and again. We must, therefore, commit ourselves to long-term change. And our beliefs are, of course, at the core of that transformation.
Remember that the beliefs that got you to where you are today won’t get you to where you want to be tomorrow. Your beliefs must, therefore, change with the times, they must also change alongside your goals. If they don’t change, then you don’t change, and your goals will always remain out of reach.
Time to Assimilate these Concepts
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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
- 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