When we examine the etymology of the word believe, we have the first part “be” – to make or cause something to exist. The second part is the word “lieve” – which means important or dear – a lieve friend is a dear friend. So to create and maintain a belief is to make something dear to us, it is an action of love. So when you are discovering limiting beliefs you have or notice them in other people, know that these beliefs were made most likely when you were very young, out of love, even if it is a belief that seems sad, hateful, or destructive. The belief can always be traced back to the experience that created it, and it is always helpful to the person in terms of love, safety, or belonging. At the time it was created, it is always the best available option for the person. And unfortunately, most of us have some of these limiting beliefs still running long after they stopped protecting us, to where they are actually holding us back from what we want. Our human brain grows, learns, and evolves, but we are not always aware of the patterns and beliefs that are tied to the love that kept us safe when we needed it to.
So how do we reprogram our patterns and beliefs? A few ways: repetition, making a habit. This is how we record things into our subconscious as adults. Like learning to drive a car. Practice and do it enough until it is a habit and we just automatically know what to do. This is a big part of the tools you are learning here – meditations, awareness exercises, visualizations – practice these regularly for one to two months, you will interrupt old patterns, and create new ones. It will also turn on genes that are good for your new perception of life.
Another one is hypnosis, which puts us back in that theta wave state, where the subconscious mind can be tapped into (we also experience theta state right as we transition from sleep to awake and awake to sleep).
Another way to change beliefs is working with a transformational NLP practitioner, who can help you update the parts of you that are stuck in these old patterns. I am actually certified in this.
One other method is called Psych K (Psychological Kinesiology).
A way to uncover some of your beliefs is to first identify an experience in your life that you no longer wish to have (your limiting beliefs). Then ask the question, what might someone else believe, in order to have that experience?
Let me give you an example: I always get nervous/anxious before talking in front of people-heart starts pounding, a little shaky, trying to remember what to say. I would like to not have that happen. What might someone believe in order to have that experience? That they will look stupid, or be judged by others, or not be heard. These are all beliefs one could have. I pick one that hits the hardest and ask, what would someone have to believe in order to have that experience? Of being judged by others… That they are not good at what they do.
One more tool is to imagine something about your life that you want, but don’t have. Then imagine yourself having that thing. Then ask yourself what might you lose that you value by having that thing. Or how might it affect the important people in your life by having that thing? This can uncover beliefs we have about ourselves, life, or other people. For example, I would like to earn more money, but if I do earn more money, I am afraid my relationship with some of my immediate family members would change, maybe for the worse. This would be a belief that if I make more money, I may not belong in the same way I once did with my family. Which is a scary thing for our creature brain because safety and belonging are key for survival. This would be something to talk about with my family to get more clarity on. And most likely this belief, this perception, is not going to be life-threatening. Getting reassurance from my family may even be enough to shift things so that I replace that belief with a better one. So, now that you have a better idea of how to access deeper beliefs, let’s do a little writing exercise.
- Write down three beliefs you have about yourself, your life, or the world now.
- Write down three beliefs you used to have about yourself, your life, or the world, but don’t have anymore.
- Write three things about you, your life, or your world that you do not believe, but would like to be true. (Stick to things that you are actually willing to invest yourself in.) Also, let’s stay away from religious beliefs for this exercise.
Once you have written these down, notice if any of these are the same or similar to the fears you listed earlier? You should notice that some of the big fears in your life that cause the most stress, are actually beliefs you have about yourself or your world. Notice how your beliefs may have changed over time, or maybe some of them have stayed the same.
The beliefs that you wrote about yourself, when did you first decide on them? Think about where you were, what you were doing, and what caused you to form that belief.
When did you first form these beliefs, and how did they keep you safe at that time? Know that most beliefs we make are made out of love, safety, or belonging.
Where might some of them be holding you back from what you want?
Are your beliefs really true? Or do you think they can be changed?
For the beliefs that you would like to be true, see if they line up with any of the attributes of a peaceful attitude. This is where you are headed. Shifting your model of the world into a peaceful and powerful one. Of course, there are always some deeper core beliefs that are harder to become aware of, running in our subconscious. These often require working with a therapist or Transformational NLP practitioner to help discover what they are. Working with someone can speed up your rewiring process. If you want any more info or recommendations, let me know and I’ll help you out as best I can. For now, stick with becoming aware of your patterns, and practicing the meditations and techniques I’ve shared with you. Making these a habit will also have a profound effect in disrupting old patterns and creating better ones.
Also, when discovering certain fears and beliefs that you find to be limiting or frustrating, it’s important not to blame or shame yourself. You did the best you could with what was emotionally available to you at the time. Your beliefs don’t define who you really are, they are simply your perceptions of the world based on past experiences you have had. Now is the time to respectfully acknowledge and thank the parts of yourself that created these beliefs and gently update them with any new wisdom gained.
In my example of feeling judged by others, some wisdom I would bring to those parts of me would be that being judged by others is survivable. what people think of me is not in my control. As long as I do my best, that is all that matters. Everyone has their own unique perspective of the world. There is also no such thing as failure, the only experience that helps me stay on track to success.
Join me in the next lesson where we’ll dive into a deeper root cause of our unhappiness.