One of the most powerful processes I use in my own life and in my work with people is continually becoming Aware of, accepting Personal Responsibility for, and learning to exercise Conscious Choice regarding Beliefs about ourselves, the world, and other people and the role these Beliefs play in creating literally everything about our life.
Many of you will already be familiar with the concept of LimitingBeliefs.These are the things that hold us back, keep us down, and cause us to hold on to an impoverished view of what we deserve, what we’re capable of, what we can expect from others, and what’s possible in the world.
Becoming Aware of and changing even a singeLimiting Belief can have a tremendous impact on a person’s life, but detoxing a person of problematic Beliefs one by one has always felt a bit like symptom-chasing to me.
Say someone Believes that they’re unlovable, that money is hard to make, and that it’s impossible for them to enjoy the kind of physique and physical wellbeing they really want.
I can guide this person through a quick and easy process to effectively eliminate, reframe, or replace each of these Beliefs, but what does that accomplish to ensure that the person doesn’t have other Limiting Beliefs that they don’t even know about?
And how do I know that they won’t pick up other, equally problematic Beliefs down the road?
In order to answer this question, we have to find out where these Limiting Beliefs came from in the first place.
To be clear, I don’t mean tracing back through the person’s personal history to pinpoint the specific emotional trauma or negative experience that caused the person to adopt a particular Limiting Belief.
There’s a place for this kind of personal history work, but that’s now what I’m talking about here.
In dealing with Limiting Beliefs one of the most important questions we need to ask is what cognitive context, what patterns, and what presuppositions made it possible for the person to adopt an unresourceful or Limiting Belief in the first place?
In other words, how is it even possible that a person would come to Believe something about themselves, the world, or other people that does not serve them?
It’s important to realize that Belief optimization is not just about changing Limiting Beliefs.It’s about changing the ways we relate to and think about what we Believe.
The key thing to understand is that Beliefs are tools.
Your Beliefs aren’t something that just happen.They aren’t something that just is.They are powerful tools that determine a lot about both how you perceive your present reality and, as a result that this perception has on your feelings and behaviors, how you create the reality of your future.
Beliefs are best thought of not as comments on or assessments of present reality, but as tools for shaping the reality of the future.
As with any powerful tool, you want to understand exactly how your Beliefs work so you can use them Consciously and in a way that creates the kinds of perceptual, experiential, and physical outcomes you want.
A hammer or a chainsaw can be very useful when you know how what their purpose is, when you understand how they work, when you respect their power and when you use them Consciously and in a way that allows you to channel and direct that power towards the accomplishment of your desired ends.
On the other hand, a chainsaw or a hammer can do a lot of damage and harm to your project, your environment, yourself, and those around you if you don’t understand how they work, respect their power, and use them Consciously and with an eye towards achieving a specific desired outcome.
To revisit the example from above, you want to be able to Consciously Believe things about your health and physical condition that cause you to see that your ideal outcomes are a possibility, to feel and experience on an emotional level the kind of motivation necessary to fuel resourceful Behaviors, and to create in reality the kind of body you wish to build.
The first thing to understand about Belief work, what would be printed on page one of the Beliefs Owner’s Manual and Safety Guide(had we all gotten one as children like we should have) is that Beliefs function as evidence magnets.
The mere act of holding a Belief, or rather the mere act of Believing something will cause you to Produce, Procure, Perceive, attract and be attracted to evidence which is consistent with and which seems to support whatever it is you happen to Believe.
This happens regardless of what the specific content of a given Belief happens to be, regardless of whether the Belief serves you, regardless of whether or not the Belief is true, and regardless of whether or not the Belief pertains to an area life in which objective truth or falsehood even exists.
To illustrate this point, consider the example of two neighbors living side by side who hold Beliefs that are in direct opposition to one another (If your experience has been anything like mine, envisioning such a situation won’t be much of a strain on your imagination).
Each of these neighbors has Beliefs on a given subject that are diametrically opposed to the Beliefs of a person who lives 20 feet from her, yet both experience themselves as having an abundance, and perhaps even a conclusive amount, of evidence that their Beliefs on the subject are absolutely true.
Bear in mind that these two people live on the same planet, on the same continent, in the same country, the same county, the same city, the same zip code, the same neighborhood, and even the same street as one another.
They live close enough to steal each other’s wifi and to smell each other’s garbage, and yet they each are able to do a tremendous job of each exclusively collecting evidence that the exact opposite Beliefs are true.
It doesn’t matter what the content of these Beliefs happen to be: they could pertain to the basic goodness or badness of human beings, about where on the political spectrum sane people can most easily be found, about what’s possible in terms of health, happiness, and love, or about the nature of money and material abundance.
Whatever the specific content of our Beliefs happen to be, they always cause us to Produce, Procure, and Perceive reality, what is, in a way that causes the Beliefs to come true in reality or, at the very least, to seem to be true in our experience of it.
When it comes to the quality of your Life Experience, these two things basically amount to the same thing.Both Physical Reality and your perception of it are incredibly malleable, and your Beliefs play a major role in sculpting both.
Beliefs are molders of your Perception, your InternalExperience, and Physical Reality.
The quality of the Perceptions and Experiences you sculpt, as well as these quality of the Physical Reality that you create as a result of these things has everything to do with the quality of the tools you use (i.e. the resourcefulness and potency of your Beliefs) and the skill, care and Conscious Intentionality with which you use them.
To Believe something, whatever it is, is to create a Perceptual, an Experiential, and eventually a Physical manifestation of it.
The most important step in making your Beliefs work for rather than against you is simply to recognize that Beliefs don’t come from evidence, they create it.
If you want to attempt to study reality as it is, become a scientist.
If you want to create and experience reality as you wish it to be, decide Consciously what kind of experiential and perceptual evidence you wish to accumulate in your life.Decide what you wish to prove true to yourself about yourself, about the world, and about other people, and then Consciously Choose to Believe inways that are consistent with generating the evidence you desire.
Want to develop an arsenal of resourceful Beliefs that will aid you on your journey to creating the life you want? Join the Free 7 Day New Mind Challenge beginning Monday, January 9th! Click Here!
About the Author
Dr. Steven Ravnstag an expert in pattern recognition, awareness expansion, and the cultivation of conscious choice and personal power.
Through his comprehensive Ever Better Life online course and personalized mentoring program, Dr. Ravnstag helps you identify and adopt a systematic formula for thinking and acting that will allow you realize your potential for happiness, success, and perpetual improvement in every area of your life.
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