The series of aspects that are roadblocks for our inner change continues.
Beliefs and convictions are, so to speak, the prayer book of your elephant, your subconscious mind. Thinking of beliefs may remind you of religion – and even though religion has nothing to do with it, the term is borrowed from it.
Because with our beliefs and convictions we create our own personal religion – with which we explain to ourselves every day what is possible and what is not, what we can and cannot do and why things are the way they are.
Have you ever heard yourself say sentences like “I’m just not an early riser” or “boys are just better at maths”? Then you know what I am talking about.
We are rarely aware of our beliefs – until we discover them. Lastest when we get stuck in a certain process, blocked or frustrated.
Whether consciously or unconsciously, they influence our actions, our possibilities and our progress. Basically, they are a tool – because to navigate ourselves through this world, we need explanations and the feeling that things have a meaning. When we are confronted with the unexplainable or when something bad happens to us, we look for reasons and a meaning. If they do not seem to exist, we create them on basis of our beliefs.
Beliefs are created through our experiences but also through our socialisation – some of them we take over from our parents (like the belief that you will definitely get sick if you walk barefoot all the time).
There are positive ones that are beneficial and negative ones that can block us.
Once you have identified a limiting belief, the next step is to remove it and replace it with a beneficial one. The following approach can help you to do this:
- The reality check – Questioning
Is this really true?
Is it always true?
Where does my conviction come from?
Is there any evidence to the contrary?
- Looking into the future – get the feeling
What does this belief do to you?
How do you feel?
How does it affect your progress?
Which feeling would be more helpful?
How does a belief sound that creates this helpful feeling?
This step has helped me to eradicate my belief that I can’t exercise before breakfast. Well, my dog has also played his part. When our dog moved in with us a few years ago, I regularly took him for a walk before breakfast. And because a dog needs exercise, I was usually out for between 20-30 minutes. Without breakfast. And then one day I thought: “If you can walk the dog for 30 minutes on an empty stomach without dying, you should also be able to do a casual jog for 20 minutes.” And voilà … 😉
- Role models and hero actions
You can also think of role models – historical or personal ones.
The other day, a friend of mine, whose kneecap had slipped due to an accident with her dog while walking in the woods – and who was walking alone and had to get to the car somehow, said to me: “Then I thought to myself, what would Rambo do in this situation – ha, he would just push it back again – and bang, I had it back in the original position.”
Maybe a drastic example, but it shows very nicely what our thoughts are capable of. She could have stayed lying there with the conviction that she wouldn’t make it to the car and that any further movement would ruin everything.
So you can ask yourself, “What would XY be thinking in a situation like this?”
- Mrs. Mickey Mouse – make it a joke
When nothing else works – and for the particularly stupid (but usually very persistent) beliefs like “nobody loves me” or “I can’t be helped” you can try the Mickey Mouse technique. Whenever the inner voice presents you with your belief, repeat it out loud – but at double speed and in a Mickey Mouse voice (just like when you used to fast-forward tapes). You’ll see, magic will happen 😉
Alternatively, you can call a voice to mind that motivates and builds you up – and imagine that voice saying your positively corrected belief.
Whatever step you try, be patient with yourself. Remember that your convictions have had decades to strengthen. They can’t be chased out of the yard so quickly.
Also remember that your beliefs are nothing more than thoughts that YOU have created. So YOU can change them at any time.
The most important thing, however, is that you believe it is possible that there is more than what your belief system limits you to. This is the first step towards your new, goal-supporting prayer book.
The next week will be fantastic! I am convinced 😉