Henry Ford once said, "Whether you believe you can or you can't, you're absolutely right!" A very simple statement, yet it's impact is massive. Consider the effect that your beliefs have on your life.
Do your beliefs accelerate you towards your goals or do they put the brakes on? Do they enable you to do more or less? So, what are beliefs, and how do they work? Beliefs are decisions that you made in the past about what is true or false about yourself, other people and the way the world works. They are normally held in the part of your mind that is out of your everyday awareness – your unconscious mind.
This means that for the most part we are unaware of the beliefs that are affecting our lives. Lets say you have a belief that you can't be successful in running your own business. If that were true, how much of your business potential do you think you would tap into? Not very much! Therefore the action that you take toward being successful in your business would be rather half hearted. What sort of results would you get from half hearted action? Disappointing, and that's what you believed in the first place, so you have more evidence that your belief is true. It becomes a vicious circle, a downward spiral, a self fulfilling prophecy.
What would happen if you held the belief that you could easily be successful in business? You would tap into your full potential as a business person, and the action you take would be focused and positive. Therefore the results you created would be excellent, giving you more evidence that you can easily be successful in business. Yet again a vicious circle, but this time its an upward spiral, one that takes you to more and more business success!
It's not only our business life that is effected by our beliefs, it's all areas of our life – health and fitness, relationships, family life, personal development, everything.
How do we know if we have disempowering beliefs? Well, if there is an area of your life in which you are not achieving your goals it is worth investigating your beliefs. One of the best ways of doing this is to play a game. Think of a situation in your life that isn't working the way you want it to. Pretend that you are in a strange world where whatever happens to someone, they in some way created it for themselves.
Imagine that you meet someone in a bar or on a train and you start talking to them. They begin to tell you about their life and to your surprise they have exactly the same situation in their life that you do in yours. Ask yourself, "If we are a result of our beliefs, what would this person have to believe to have created this situation for themselves?" Write down any answers that you get and keep going until you can't think of anything else. It's important that you write down everything no matter how silly or ludicrous it may seem, they're your beliefs.
Think of each of the beliefs in turn and ask yourself the following questions:- "Does this belief empower me?" "Does this belief enable me to do more or less?" "Does this belief give me more choice or less?"
Put a cross next to the beliefs that don't empower you, enable you to do less or limit your choices. Since we were not born with our beliefs we must have learnt them, so we can always learn something new.
Think of each of these beliefs and fully consider the following questions: How would I know if this belief was false? For whom is this belief not true? When was this belief not true for me? In what ways do I know that this belief isn't true? In what way could the opposite of this belief be true? What will happen if I continue to believe this? How is it possible that I could have believed that? What was the purpose of having that belief?
Now think about the belief you had, do you notice that it's changed? For each of the old beliefs fully consider the following questions: What do I want to believe instead? How do I know this is true? Who else do I know that knows it's true? How many times in the past have I experienced this being true? What will be the consequences of me believing this?
Make it a habit to stay focused on what you want, work on your beliefs and take responsibility for what you create in your life. In that way you have the power to create it the way you want it.
And remember:" If you always do what you've always done, you'll always learn what you already know!"
By David Shephard
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Biography: David Shephard is Director of Research and Training for the Performance Partnership Limited. David is a certified Master Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming, a Master Hypnotist and a Certified Practitioner of Time Line Therapy™. The Performance Partnership offer both public and in-house corporate training in NLP, Hypnosis and Time Line Therapy™.
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