Why and How To
Change Your Beliefs
We humans are limited by beliefs developed during childhood or from our environment. Our unconscious beliefs limit what our minds are aware of just as horse blinders limit what a horse can see. Like the grown elephant who can still be tied down with the small chain used in his youth, beliefs limit what we think we can do as adults.
Regardless of what we consciously want and consciously “do” our unconscious belief systems set things up to make sure that what eventually happens is what we believe will happen. Beliefs act like thermostats, returning to their equilibrium, which explains why many of our desires don’t pan out even when we think we are working hard doing the right things.
Luckily beliefs can be consciously changed by changing our thoughts and actions. Here are some practical suggestions to try:
- Body Language: Physically act as if your positive belief is true. Body language is one of the easiest things to consciously change though we rarely think about it. Start with our just smile tip. Also breathe deeply and keep your shoulders back, act calm and generally fake it until you become it.
- Self Talk: Talk to yourself; don’t just automatically listen to the negative talk that comes from many egos and associates. Positive affirmations really can change beliefs.
- WWW What Went Well: Start seriously tracking the many good things about your life. Focus on the full portion full portion of the glass rather than the empty portion. This can include making daily what went well lists or gratitude lists.
- Visualization: Visualizing positive beliefs helps to clarify them and to make them feel real inside. Create a detailed mental equivalent in your minds eye; this doesn’t have to be a visual picture but “see” it the way you would see yourself doing something like going to the grocery store. If believing something is initially difficult start by asking yourself the question “If this were true how would things be?” Or try stating “I am becoming so & so” rather than asserting “I am so & so” is already true. Another good practice is to mentally review past successes. In all cases feel the “good” … this is actually more important than seeing it.
- GIGO Good In Good Out: Consciously improve your mind’s environment. E.g., what you read, listen to, & watch and who you associate with. Studies have shown that the impact of environment on our unconscious beliefs is amazing. So control your environment. Use this psychological fact to your benefit.
Start studying your own unconscious beliefs. What are they? Then ask yourself “Is this the most beneficial belief for my life?” Being beneficial is more important than being right or wrong. Then, start improving your beliefs, one by one, using the tools described above.
Here are some related areas to consider when working on your unconscious belief system:
- Attention: Different aspects of attention to start working on include being here now, mindfulness and concentration. Meditation is an excellent practice for consciously sharpening these skills.
- Habits: What we habitually do, our physical and mental habits. Watching for and becoming more aware of your physical and mental habits. Becoming more aware of your habits will give you clues as to your unconscious beliefs.
- Best Friend: Be your own best friend and coach. Who better knows you and wants you to do well. If you treat yourself, your best friend, right than others will also start treating you well.