How to create empowering beliefs
'Why do my goals and outcomes seem impossible to achieve, regardless of what I do?'
This is a question I am often asked by clients. They have set amazing outcomes, are clear about what they want and why they want it, but for some reason they just cannot seem to achieve it.
The main reason for this, is their own limiting beliefs. In this article I share what they are and how you can begin to remove them
Let’s start by looking at our belief system
Beliefs are formed throughout life based on our experiences. Some are empowering and some can be disempowering, getting in the way of the things we want to be, do, and have in life. Surprisingly, it only takes two or three pieces of evidence to form beliefs that remain with you for the rest of your life. Beliefs feel true and real, so we don’t think to question them. It is just how it is, or who we are.
Many beliefs are formed in our early years, (age 0-7) when we don’t have the ability to believe anything to be untrue. We accept everything at face value, so if someone tells you that you are smart, helpful, or fun to be around, you will grow up holding this belief. Equally, if you are told you are lazy, stupid, or bad, these beliefs will stick too, even though they are generalisations about the past, which no longer serve us.
All beliefs affect our relationships at home and work, in fact every action and decision we make. So much so, that the things we believe we can and cannot do are governed by our belief system.
Limiting beliefs are negative thoughts about yourself or other people. They affect the meaning we give to things and how we behave.
So, what does this have to do with achieving goals and outcomes?
Once you are clear on what you want to achieve and why, the next step is to remove the things which will prevent you from having it if you don’t deal with them. These are your limiting beliefs. They create a self-fulfilling prophecy making it impossible to achieve our dreams.
This is because our Reticular Activating System (the part of our brain that heightens our perception and your ability to see things) focuses attention on the things we have strong emotions about. It helps us to notice them more, reinforcing the beliefs we already have. So, in order to live the life we want, we need to remove these beliefs, allowing them to slip away. Once we do this, we forget we ever even had them.
How do I know what they are?
Ask yourself a question: if I am sitting here in 12 months’ time, not having achieved my outcome, what will all the reasons and excuses be that I tell myself for not having it? This will uncover the limiting beliefs you have, some of which may be small and others quite fundamental in your life.
How do I change my beliefs?
There are different ways in which this can be done, some at a conscious level and others working with the subconscious.
Start by asking yourself the following question about one of your limiting beliefs: What is the evidence that proves it to be true? Write down four or five specific pieces of evidence.
Then, take the opposite to this belief and do the same, writing down the specific evidence that supports it. With this evidence you have proven to yourself that the limiting belief is not in fact true. So, what is a better, more empowering way of describing it? What is your new belief? And what action is possible now, to help you achieve what it is you are aiming for?
Once you have created empowering beliefs you will be able to work towards your amazing outcomes more easily.
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