A 4-step process to start seismic mindset shifts

Thoughts are not facts. Beliefs are thoughts that we have accepted as truth, without evidence or proof, we accept them without questioning them.

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What are beliefs?

The beliefs we hold onto about ourselves are unbelievably powerful in determining how we live our lives. All of our actions and expectations are a direct result of our beliefs. Our beliefs have the power to make us act as well as the power to create inaction; they make us think there are some things we can do and some things we cannot, some things we are good enough for and others we are not good enough for, that we can achieve one thing, but we have no chance of achieving another.

Beliefs are set in our identity from a young age, often by a parent, sibling, teacher or authority figure. They are not of our choosing but handed to us. However, as adults, it is important to recognise that we will all hold some unhelpful beliefs about ourselves that require examination and questioning. As adults, we have the power to rewrite our limiting beliefs into new beliefs that serve us. We have the power to choose something different for ourselves and working with a coach can support and guide you through this process.


Examining the beliefs that drive your choices

If you would like to examine the beliefs that are driving your life choices, read the below four steps. Spoiler: the first three steps will take you about 15 minutes, the last step requires consistency, patience and time.

Step one

Write a list of all the things you are good at and the positive beliefs you hold about yourself. Alongside each belief, write down the evidence which supports them.

Step two

Write a list of all the things you are not good at and the negative beliefs you hold about yourself. Choose three of these beliefs that you think hold you back the most of all and ask yourself the following questions about each one:

  1. What is this belief costing me on a daily basis?
  2. How would my life be different if I detached and let this belief go?

Step three

Consider what insights have come up from doing this exercise, what have you learnt about yourself?

For each of the negative and limiting beliefs you have written down, re-write a new positive belief alongside it. Another option for yourself to choose from.

Step four

Now you have some insights into the beliefs that you hold and you have taken the time to examine them, it is time to begin the journey of moving forward – away from the old self-sabotaging and limiting negative beliefs and towards the new self-serving beliefs.

Healing is not linear, shifting your mindset and changing your beliefs is not linear.

The final stage is the one that requires time, patience and repetition. It is important to note here that healing is not linear, shifting your mindset and changing your beliefs is not linear. Some days this mindset work will be harder than others, some days the comfort of the familiar narratives will be more appealing. When we consistently stretch outside of our comfort zones, magic and growth happens; we go from playing small to playing big. Take a moment to feel the excitement of that possibility.

Once you’ve decided on a belief or two you would like to work on, start by accepting that those beliefs do not need to go anywhere really, we are not looking to completely erase them from your mind, they can stay as options for you, if you like. The following ideas are not exhaustive and employing a number of them will help to shrink the belief both consciously and subconsciously.

Working with the conscious mind, we can practice story-telling to change our beliefs. Start to really notice how you are talking to yourself. Every time you hear yourself think or say a negative belief – e.g. ‘I’m not good enough to go for that promotion’ – call it out for what it is. Remember your thoughts are not facts, they are stories.

A good way to do this is to say to yourself, ‘that’s an interesting story you’re telling yourself. What would be a more helpful story?’ Every time you catch yourself, replace it with the new belief you want instead – ‘I am talented and skilled, I will go for the promotion’ – over time, with consistency and repetition, the new story will become the dominant narrative.

Write your new replacement beliefs down on post-its, put them in places you will see them regularly, read them and use them as affirmations. Repeat them to yourself out loud or in your mind. Again, with consistency and repetition, the new story will become the dominant narrative. It may seem silly at first but the reality is, you’re going to be thinking something, so it may as well be something that it is a positive belief rather than a negative one.

Working with your unconscious mind, consider working with a hypnotherapist to re-write your beliefs. Similarly, consider meditation or subliminal messaging; YouTube has plentiful options for ‘limiting belief meditation’ or ‘belief shift meditation’.

There are so many other tools and options to support you in rewriting your beliefs that a coach could support you with. Ask yourself ‘What would tomorrow be like if I believed I would succeed?’ Feel the excitement of that possibility and make time to examine your beliefs.

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Peterborough, Cambs, PE6
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Written by Emma Humphrey, Coaching (Dip. Personal Performance Coaching)
Peterborough, Cambs, PE6

Emma holds a distinction level diploma in personal performance coaching (via the Coaching Academy). Her mission is to support people through coaching to be well, feel well and live well through making changes in life, career, mind, and body.

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