How we can change our beliefs
"First you make your beliefs. Then your beliefs make you. And when you go out in the world, the world will support your beliefs" Marisa Peer
It has been said that the 10% of our life is decided by uncontrollable circumstances and 90% is decided by how we react to those circumstances.
The brain is a complex and extremely effective mechanism that is doing a great job at taking repeated patterns and turning them into automatic habits and reactions. Our brain is conditioned to stick to familiar and to resist change. In many cases this is necessary, because who wants to start their day figuring out different ways of making breakfast?
There are, however, many occasions when the brain’s tendency of “attachment” to habits can results in limitations or even suffering. A belief system keeps going for as long as we affirm it, justify it and we don’t question it.
Changing an old belief, that not only doesn’t serve us anymore, but it keeps us stuck, is not an easy thing to do because our brain cannot hold conflicting beliefs. You might, for example, consciously desire to prosper, but unconsciously to believe that you don’t deserve it. In such a case you won’t be able to achieve your goal because our life is controlled in 97% by the unconscious mind and only in 3% by the conscious, according the neuroscientists.
We are, each of us, the source of our experiences. So we need, if we want to change, to observe carefully and become aware of our thoughts, our emotions and our beliefs, since all these determine, consciously or unconsciously, our life.
The first step, for someone who wants to transform their beliefs, is to recognize and identify them. One way for this to happen is to add the word “because” to statements such as “I am not smart enough”. By reciting the reasons, it helps if we speak aloud, we are able to perceive if they sound reasonable or not. We are usually driven to the realization that our belief is based on an interpretation of the moment in the past.
The next step is to question, one by one, specific beliefs. We ask our self “Is what I’m thinking true?” “Am I absolutely certain that it is 100% true?” “If it is true, why is it so bad?” “How do I react when I believe that this is true?”
Another step is to ask our self “Who would I be without this belief?” “How would I feel?” “How important is it to me to feel that way?”
Usually at this point we can reverse a belief; we can inactivate the negative belief and replace it with a positive one.
We can reverse a belief, for example in case we believe “I am incapable”, we reverse it into “I am capable” and we ask our self “Is this belief truer than the original one?” We examine the existing evidence and we reflect on the impact it will have on our life.
A widely used procedure is to discover how and when a specific belief was established (almost always this take place during our childhood and in specific occasions). Then the person brings in mind the scene, as they remember it, and contemplate what other interpretations their friends would give to the specific event. Thus they discover a number of interpretations and realize that every person would give a different meaning to the same event. So, it is proved that events have no meaning until we give it to them. Then the person returns to the specific situation in the past and change the meaning, and since feelings are not caused by the events, but by our interpretation of the events, the new meaning (the new interpretation) weakens the belief.
It is important to remember that the meaning we create about ourselves and the world is mostly based on wrong conclusions, which results in sabotaging our own self.
ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC), ICA Certified Professional Coach (CPC),