Why our beliefs create our reality and how you can challenge that

If you’ve ever heard the saying 'Our beliefs create our reality', it is not at all a fallacy and what does this statement actually mean anyway?


It might at first seem like that means we have no control over our life because when we believe bad things about ourselves and the world, those bad things tend to happen to us. We often end up confirming our own negative beliefs about ourselves. For example…

  • “I knew that would happen.” 
  • “I told you I couldn’t do that.”
  • “See, you are doing that again.”

But it really isn’t like that. It is about how the mind works, how the brain wires itself and how we can have influence over those mental processes. With greater personal awareness of how we think and the beliefs we hold, we can develop much more personal power and the ability to better control our thoughts, emotions, and behaviour.

Beliefs are the way we interpret the world through our own unique perceptions and lens. We experience life through the vast amount of information that comes into our senses. Every moment of every day what and how we experience life creates, shapes, and reflects our belief system.

Knowing our beliefs means knowing who we are at our very deepest levels. Much of our belief system lies below the surface of our conscious mind, like seeing the top of an island but not having visibility of all that lies below the water line. We have no visibility of them, yet they still dictate how we think, feel and behave. They are at the core of who we are and have been built up since our very earliest thoughts and memories in childhood.

Beliefs are the most powerful state of your mind because they shape who you are and what you think and feel. Your beliefs are those thoughts that you believe to be true. However, whether those aspects of life are really true is immaterial to your mind. When you believe something, it is accepted as fact rightly or wrongly, positive, or negative without question. It remains unchallenged unless you make a conscious decision to question your own belief system. Now that is a hard thing to do! Why should you second-guess yourself about something you believe is true? Well, because sometimes those beliefs do not serve you and without you realising it, these negative thoughts undermine you and create negativity, unhappiness, and insecurity in your life.

Many beliefs were created in your childhood mostly before the age of seven. And they were very relevant then, often allowing you to feel safe, secure, accepted, and connected. They were serving to protect you as a child. However, they have remained unquestioned over time and may not be valid beliefs for you to hold now. And when you find you have negative thoughts and unhelpful mental strategies that create feelings of fear and anxiety, catastrophising, self-deprecation, poor self-esteem, poor self-worth and many more unhealthy negative thought strategies, these are often based on an old belief system that is not valid, relevant or even true for you in adulthood.

The underlying beliefs you hold are beliefs you have held for many years, and so they are well used and have become automatic and habitual. You will, of course, have positive beliefs, but equally, you can also have a lot of negative beliefs.

Whilst positive beliefs are supporting and act as a beneficial framework for life offering direction, and purpose and keeping us on a positive path, negative underlying beliefs are damaging and unhelpful. They continually sabotage our ability to live a happy, successful, and fulfilling life. They create the many negative thinking styles we operate in our minds that are detrimental, and that limit us in so many ways.

Working with underlying beliefs

Many clients come to coaching for reasons they are not really aware of. They often come to me feeling anxious, stressed, stuck, confused, facing a midlife challenge, etc. It might be, for example, negative feelings about something, a behaviour that needs to change, or emotions that they don’t understand. Beliefs can surface in a multitude of ways.

They haven't explored their beliefs before and can't see that these are the very things that are keeping them from experiencing and living a wonderful life full of happiness and purpose.

For me, coaching allows us to shine a light on your thoughts, feelings and beliefs and have you become more aware of them and be open to challenging them with curiosity and compassion. Where they came from is less a focus for me than becoming aware of what they are for you now and why they aren’t serving you and changing your thinking in a way that does benefit you going forwards.

I offer a more practical journey to help you explore your own thoughts, feelings and beliefs and understand what you are believing about yourself that doesn’t serve you. I help to challenge these and find the right strategies so you can believe better for yourself for the future to be happier, confident, resourceful, and positive.

We use a safe, confidential space to explore the areas to focus on and once we have more clarity, we create strategies for powerful change. We use compassionate challenges to explore these beliefs with a curious, non-judgemental mind. This is how to think differently and because your thoughts, emotions and behaviour are all linked, by challenging and changing how you think, you alter how you feel and how you behave to direct you to more positive outcomes.  

How do we challenge the more negative limiting beliefs you hold?

We start by asking questions such as:

  • “What is your inner voice saying to you right now?”
  • “How is it speaking to you: a quiet or loud voice, harsh or softly spoken, talking fast or slow?”
  • “What belief underpins these thoughts?”
  • “Is this belief you hold really true?” 
  • “What happens when you believe that?” 
  • “What does it feel like to believe that?”
  • “How is this belief relevant or serving you in the present?"
  • “How do you know it’s true?”
  • “What would you rather believe?“
  • “Who would you be and what could you achieve without this belief?”

When you start to ask these kinds of questions, you are challenging your mind and it is a transformative process. It increases well-being, affects all aspects of your life and shifts who you are. It is empowering and enables you to take more personal control and make better life choices.

If this is something that interests you, or would like to explore, drop me a line and I will be happy to talk with you to see how I can support you.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Hereford, Herefordshire, HR1
Written by Caroline Knight, Personal Development & Midlife Coach BSc (Hons.), MAC MANLP
Hereford, Herefordshire, HR1

Caroline is a Personal Development & Wellbeing Coach, and NLP Master practitioner. Caroline blends coaching approaches to support clients in their personal and professional lives to reduce anxieties, build confidence, resolve issues and remove blockages that hinder their wellbeing, for a happier, healthier more successful life.

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