In the context of changing, improving and evolving the current version of your life into something better (whatever that means in your world), do your existing beliefs empower you or limit you? Help or hinder? Do they make you more or less likely to succeed? Do they lean more towards the positive or the negative end of the scale?
Coming from my professional background, people have always assumed that I work with bodies. Understandably. And while their assumption is kind-of right, it’s also kind-of-wrong. What I really work with is beliefs.
Beliefs residing in a brain, residing in a body.
Beliefs which determine choices. Beliefs which determine actions and reactions. Beliefs which make things hard or easy. Complicated or simple. Worth doing or worth avoiding. Beliefs which determine rules and standards. Beliefs which influence, if not determine, certain outcomes. Beliefs which lead to decisions and behaviours which ultimately waste or maximise a person’s potential.
Here are some of the beliefs that I’ve been dealing with for thirty years:
“Exercise is painful and boring.”
“I can’t live without chocolate.”
“I’m not a gym person.”
“I look at food and I get fat.”
“… but it’s easy for you (Craig).”
“I could never do….”
“He’s not fat, he’s big boned.”
“For me, it’s a time issue.”
“My problem is entirely genetic.”
“This is soooooo hard.”
Of course, the belief-outcome relationship relates to all areas of our lives; not just the physical stuff.
In the world of behavioural psychology, we know that negative beliefs are more likely to produce negative self-talk, negative decisions, actions, reactions, expectations and, of course, outcomes. Which then reinforces those existing self-limiting beliefs which started the whole messy and unnecessary process in the first place.
Quite the cerebral merry-go-round.
For what it’s worth (to you), thirty years of working with people who live in bodies has taught me that, in many cases, the psychology is more of a barrier than the physiology.
So, how do you create healthier, more empowering beliefs?
1. Recognise your limiting beliefs for what they are.
2. Acknowledge that your beliefs are optional and changeable.
3. Ask better questions.
4. New experiences often produce instant cognitive shift so try new things.
5. Talk to people who ‘live’ in a different paradigm to you.
6. Look through someone else’s ‘window’.
7. Face a fear. It’s one of the quickest ways to create positive internal shift.
8. Commit to being the solution person (not the problem person).