“Our most effective tool to change the world is our ability to change mentality concerning the world.”
At this precise moment, all of us who inhabit this planet are in the process of change. From the moment of our creation, we change incessantly. If we take a moment to see our photographs we can find an embryo becoming a fetus, the growth of a fragile baby, the dance of a playful girl, the style of a rebellious teenager, the smile of an adult friend, the embrace of a mother or a protective father. We can observe the years passing by in our physical appearance. The color change of our hair, or the marks in our skin. But we can also remember how we used to act, speak, and perceived things. We may notice that there is no permanence in what constitutes our “I” today. We will observe that the nature of living is changing, and it’s engraved in the evolution of our being.
However, we tend to resist change over and over again. We frequently caught up in concrete stories of past situations pretending to make of time an illusion. Why do we do it? My way to understand it is that behind any resistance to change, there is a belief. Beliefs maintain attachments with our inner child. Beliefs “protect” our fears. We think we need them in order to avoid (even temporarily) sadness, or perhaps to have a sense of survival of our current self.
I invite you to reflect on the beliefs that impact our lives and our worldview in a paralyzing way. Besides, review resources used in Coaching to work on rooted beliefs so, a process of liberation can begin. A process towards a life of less resistance to change, and focus on achieving objectives is triggered.
It is said that meaning is not in things. The meaning is given by us with our perception. In the case of beliefs, depending on the value we assign to them, they either fade or become stronger over time. They become imposed limitations or catalysts of change. Beliefs not only impact the way we perceive ourselves but also our interaction with our environment and the way we interpret it.
Beliefs in many cases are inherited. Inculcated by people who were in our care when we were little. Our brain has absorbed them in any way they have been transmitted. For example, transferred verbally or through behaviours. Represented by archetypes, such as legends, stories, and novels. Culturally shared throughout sayings, superstitions, and music. It is even said, they are transmitted thru our DNA which contains the memory of our ancestors’ beliefs.
In addition to the cluster of inherited beliefs, each of us acquires our own set of them. We build them based on our experiential “truth” in the different aspects of life. They appear as what we have believed without question, and had become our generalizations and/or conclusions with which we perceive the world and make decisions.
Beliefs are judged as powerful and limiting. The former empowers us, motivates us, generates a feeling of peace, love, and achievement. The second, as the name implies (and which we will talk about here), limit us, creates a conflict of interest, invalidate, generate resistance to change, and provoke feelings, such as anger, fear, sadness, and anxiety.
There are several ways to recognize our beliefs. We can observe them in our behaviors, emotions, values, opinions, and arguments. Some are presented in the form of excuses. Others begin with the format “I am …” Beliefs are found when we generalize with words such as always, all, never, none, nobody and never. Others through conditions such as I can’t, I can, I should, I shouldn’t, I have to, I don’t have. And others can be observed when they are present in a physiological way to an internal contradiction. For example, when thinking or expressing some of our strongest beliefs, we may experience tachycardia, sweating, insomnia, anxiety, change of tone of voice, contraction of muscles and crying.
Below, a few phrases that I notice in myself, or notice in my interpersonal relationships. All of them carry a limiting belief behind.
My grandmother and my mother died at this age, so I know what awaits me.
In my family, it runs “x” disease, most probably I will have it.
I can’t lose weight because that’s my complexion. I have my mother’s genetics.
If I don’t work, I don’t eat.
I must work hard to be recognized and have a better life.
Everything that I do has to be done with excellence, and I expect the same from others.
The father is in charge of providing, the mother in caring for the children.
I don’t have time, I have to take care of my children / bring the money home.
I am selfish if I do something for myself. Family is first.
Without money, you can’t live.
That is for the rich, for me, it is very risky.
Money is to be spent.
I don’t deserve it, he should think about my feelings.
Men do not listen / women complain about everything.
When you love, you have to give it all.
I don’t have what it takes to succeed, I still have a lot to learn.
I don’t have the talent or skills to achieve it.
I would have to be a millionaire, that’s not for me.
That is not my responsibility.
How can I impact the world if I am one in billions!
Let him who is without sin cast the first stone
This is who I am, who likes it well, and who doesn’t well too.
I’m not enough.
It is very difficult for me, I have no will.
We project what we believe, isn’t it? So why do we hold onto limiting beliefs? What benefit do we see in them?
First, I think is our attachment to the inner child that we carry inside. The child who wants to be defended, protected, guided and approved. Many of us were educated to depend emotionally on others. We were taught to obey and believe our validation was achieved through doing not being. Therefore, the management of our emotions or the recognition of our values and abilities Today is not an area we have mastered. We keep trying strategies to control, avoid, fight with, change or get rid of unwanted responsibility for our actions, thoughts, and feelings. Any means to avoid suffering, and keep us away from fear is usually our automatic choice as a learned pattern.
The second reason is the survival of our current self. The illusion of “I am well, it could be worse” has taught us to victimize the past and dramatize the future. We have seen we can walk with the pebble in the shoe that, although uncomfortable, we have created tolerance for it. Maybe someone will realize someday and help us remove it. In the meantime, we lack the recognition of our true identity and power to achieve confidence in removing the stone with our own hands. We are blind to see that not only the natural rhythm of life generates changes, but we are also capable of generating them. And it’s not about survival but evolution.
It is only then, when a person exceeds their level of endurance, when their courage and suffering are greater than the fear of change, when there is an openness to change beliefs. At that moment, we open ourselves to seek, to experiment, to reflect on what makes us feel this way. We realize that we act based on beliefs. And notice beliefs that do not work, that invalidate, and stop our self-development. We observe how they have impacted our health, our relationships, the view we have of the world around us, our well-being and prosperity. Is about time! The AHA moment has sparkled! This is when we decide that it doesn’t matter anymore to lose whatever we have now. The fear of tomorrow’s uncertainty is no longer that big compared to the need to free ourselves from torment. We start looking inward. It is time to question everything! Release attachment, victimhood, guilt, beliefs of scarcity and lack of responsibility. This is the time when we decide to redirect our life.
So how can we exchange those paralyzing beliefs for wings?
Change perception. Questioning our interpretations of something or someone is a way to lead that change. According to Marianne Williamson in her book Back to Love, she tells us:
“Our perception of ourselves determines our behaviour. If we believe that we are small, limited, inadequate creatures, we will tend to behave that way, and the energy we radiate will reflect that belief, no matter what we do. If we think we are magnificent creatures, with an infinite abundance of love and ability to give, then we will tend to conduct ourselves in that way, and the energy that surrounds us will reflect our state of consciousness.”
Here are some tools that I have tried to question some of my most devastating beliefs. Those tools have light up the way of my internal working. However, if you have the possibility, I recommend you to enrich your experience of self-awareness in areas where you feel lost with the accompanied support of a coach. For me, it has been a totally transformative process.
1. Review of values and emotions to complement the recognition of own identity with beliefs. This review can be done through the tools that you can find Here-Emotions, Here-Values. Between the three there is a connection.
2. Generate a list of the beliefs you see in yourself in each area of your life and realize where a change of perspective would be helpful and needed. Write your list of “I think … I have to … I must … I am …” Question them. Check if they bring you love, growth, appreciation, or destroy, limit, make you sick, provoke anger, or cause sadness. Ask yourself: what moves me to believe in this? What do I get away from with this approach? What would I like to change about myself? Is there anything I want to do, and any of these beliefs does not allow me?
3. Review family loyalties attached to beliefs. Ask yourself, who are you loyal to in your family keeping that belief. In what unconscious way are you acting like your father or like your mother. Do you feel you owe them? Who are you still looking for approval? Are you projecting blame on yourself, or your children, for not meeting the needs of your parents or your partner?
4. You can perform the exercise called “the four boxes of beliefs”. Draw a square and divide it into four boxes.
What I believe and I have/am
What I believe and I don’t have / I’m not
What I don’t want to believe and I have/am
What I don’t want to believe and I don’t have / I’m not
Make use of your list in point no. 2. Write the title of your belief accordingly and define the actions, attitudes, thoughts, decisions that confirm your thinking. To answer you have to recognize yourself. Put intentional attention to what you do, say, think or feel. Then ask yourself, which of these boxes has the most negative influence on your life? Does the belief to which you give your time, your thoughts, your love, gives you the same kind of payback? Do you notice any underestimate of attention to what your heart spirit, intuition shouts? Ask yourself, what is the benefit that am I getting while keeping those beliefs? what is the cost? What is the benefit you would get by investing effort in changing the belief to match your scale value? The idea is to move us from our present attention to the real intention. Transform our current beliefs where the focus is on our fears, anger, and suffering, to a specific intention generating light as well-being, prosperity, health, harmony, and love. Transforming our thoughts into intentions will create new guidelines for us when acting.
5. “The Work” by Byron Katie. The North American author of “The Work” process invites us to detect a general discomfort of some situation in our life, and make an inquiry that consists not in abandoning thoughts, but in understanding what is true for one. Her work uses self-awareness questioning through six main questions and inversion.
Is that true?
Am I absolutely certain that this is true?
How do I react when I have that thought?
Can you find a reason to give up that thought?
Can you find a reason that is not stressful to keep that thought?
Who would you be without that thought?
You make the inversion of your belief.
It is a process that requires from us total objectivity, honesty and 0 clinging in order to find new lenses with plenty of possibilities to find peace of mind.
6. Reprogramming of Thoughts through Neuro-linguistic Programming. A coach can make use of tools such as the Separation of Synesthesia, reprinting technique, the meta-mirror, measurement of confidence and importance, failure strategies vs. successful strategies, to mention a few. Based on such tools, the coach will accompany you (a client) to observe the relationship between your beliefs and your actions. From that recognition experience, you may be able to modify and/or construct a new belief that will be more useful to your given situation.
7. Meditation and visualization. Both can help us to redirect the focus of our thinking to release limiting beliefs and flow. In Buddhism, it is said that “authentic intuitive vision cannot occur in a mind that is not open to receive it. Delivery is a process of emptying the mind.” This is precisely what we want to achieve through the practice of meditation and visualization. On the internet, there is a vast content of material in reading form, audio, and audio-visual that can be of support once you have found the belief on which you would like to meditate and/or visualize.
In conclusion, we are in times that ask us for an individual change, a revolution of consciousness to heal ourselves and therefore the healing of the entire planet. We realize that within us exist grips such as limiting beliefs, but as well the resources to transform ourselves. We carry the wings to fly. We just need to make room for the new journey, and the way is to look inside. Let’s get rid of what is not necessary, and does not add value. Let’s flow without resistance to change. Choosing love, well-being, prosperity, peace, forgiveness, instead of fear, anger, victimization and suffering is a human decision. Tony Robbins says “If your beliefs don’t empower you, change them!” The radical change will be replicated in all dimensions of your life.
If you want to free yourself from beliefs in a coaching process contact me Here! I will be very happy to accompany you.
Yes, changing the mind-sets will be one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish in this modern society if we, humans, want to survive and meet the unpleasant surprises of the unpredictable future…