Thoughts have a profound impact on our lives. A belief is a thought behind a thought. Yet a thought is not necessarily a belief.
If you truly believe something to be true, it is. Good or bad. Positive or negative. Helpful or not.
Are you confused? I’ll try to break it down a different way.
A Belief is NOT:
- something you simply say with confidence (though confidence helps)
- something you state repeatedly like an affirmation (though this can have an impact)
- something you commit to doing
- right or wrong
A Belief IS:
- an inner emotion tied to a thought
- a knowing felt within
- often built on patterns created during our childhood
- part of a silent inner-dialog that you alone can hear
We Are All Lying to Ourselves
Day-in, and day-out we have thoughts that hold us back due to beliefs that we created about our past, present and future situations. Here’s an example.
If I were to ask you, “are you a Millionaire?” what would you say?
Did your mind immediately say “no,” or “ha! I wish!,” then, why do you think that is? Why do you believe you’re not a millionaire? Is it just because you don’t currently have $1M in your hands?
Until you absolutely believe you are something, you are not. It’s that simple. You might be thinking, “how can I believe that I’m a millionaire when I am not?” And the answer is that you can’t because you don’t believe that you are. Just because we believe something, doesn’t make it true. But unless you believe it, you’ll never be able to realize it in person. Does that make sense?
Beliefs are as infallible as the sky is blue or that water is wet. Neuroscientists have proven that humans act and respond to things based on beliefs. So if you believe you’re not a millionaire and you believe you never will be, then it can’t possibly happen.
Here’s another example: The Yo-Yo Dieting Cycle
You may have been there. Maybe you’ve tried dieting and you had some success, only to put the weight back on (plus some) later. Why did you succeed only to lose that momentum? Because you believed you could lose the weight and you believed that you would lose the weight. Once you lost the weight, you felt good. You had proven to yourself that you could do it, anytime you wanted to. So you relaxed, knowing that you could do it again if you wanted to. The belief in the process was solidified but with a lost focus. You believed you could and would, and you probably also believed that to keep the weight off requires you to sustain your efforts. The part that was missing was the belief that you could and would make the lifestyle change necessary to lose the weight and keep it off. Our lives are controlled by our thoughts.
If you don’t believe you can commit to a lifestyle change, then it’s not yet going to happen. Not all beliefs require a lifestyle change like healthy living does. But if you think you can do something and believe that you will, then you open up the possibility for it to happen.
So How Do We Fix Our Thoughts?
Lying to ourselves doesn’t actually change our beliefs. So if you simply tell you’re self “I’m a millionaire” do you think you’re going to start believing it? Maybe if you said it enough, your mind might start to come around. But there are better, more direct approaches you can take.
Beliefs can be changed when we align them with our desires, emotions and our gut feelings.
First things first, simply start noticing if your belief is a limiting one or an enabling one. Do you close the door with your thought and build a wall, or do you leave it open to possibilities?
- I’m too old/young to start anything new
- I can’t be as successful as that person because they went to a better school
- No one else is doing what I’m doing so I don’t know how to do it
- I don’t have enough training and the competition will blow me away
- I don’t have enough money to get started
- My youth helps me to bring a fresh, out-of-the-box perspective to the opportunity.
- My school taught me a different perspective that will help set me apart
- It’s exciting to be the first to offer my product/service to people knowing no one else has done it before
- My inexperience allows me to think outside the box
- I can be resourceful while getting started. I can find ways to market my product/service without spending much money at all. The money will come.
Keep in mind that if you have a belief such as “I don’t have the money to afford X” and then you suddenly find the money to afford X, you haven’t removed the limiting belief. You’ve only set it aside until the next time. To remove a limiting belief we have to re-write it. “The money to afford X will show up. It always does.” If you truly believe that, it will happen. Re-writing beliefs takes time. If you’ve been told all your life that you have to work really hard to be successful and to earn a lot of money, do you really think you can just stop believing that to be true overnight? Nope. But persistence and consistency go a long way toward re-writing your beliefs.
Re-Write Limiting Beliefs
Start a journal, or a list, a spreadsheet, notepad, etc – whatever works best for you. Jot down every limiting thought you have throughout each day and come up with a version of that thought that is an enabling one instead. You can list them throughout your day and then spend 10-15 minutes that night re-writing them and reading over them. Or just re-write them as you go about your day and read through them each night. Work on re-wiring your mind to leave the door open, vs. closing the doors and creating walls.
Find Someone to Follow
If there is someone else that inspires you to reach higher or to keep going, follow them. Do what they do. Make them your role model. Sometimes we just need to see what’s possible to believe it’s possible.
Start Believing in the Impossible
I’m sure you’ve heard, “the sky is the limit,” but really it isn’t. There is no limit. Dare to dream and believe that anything truly is possible if you just put your mind to it and allow yourself to believe that it can happen. Thomas Edison tried several thousand times before successfully creating a light bulb.
I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that did not work.
– Thomas A. Edison
Break Things Down
If you feel like something is too difficult or insurmountable, break it into smaller tasks or goals that you do feel are attainable. Take baby steps.
Ask For Help
If you don’t know how to do something, stop and figure out who does! It’s not always about the “how.” Sometimes the “who” is really what you should be considering. Don’t let your own skills and knowledge, or the lack thereof, to be your reason to quit. Get help from someone that knows more about it. Ask them how they did it. Ask for their help. Hire them to do X, Y, Z for you. There are a lot of great resources available through places like Fiverr.com.
Research Your Limiting Belief
Have a limiting belief that you just can seem to shake? Try researching it. See what others have to say about the topic. Chances are, you’ll find, through your research, that your belief no longer holds any weight. You’ll build a new belief around the idea, one that opens the door for other possibilities.
I’ve just shared six different things you could begin doing to tackle your limiting beliefs. There are many more methods and you could use any combination of them to start shifting your beliefs. The point is that until you start believing in yourself and your future and where you see yourself in five years, nothing will happen. Learn to believe wholeheartedly again, like you did when you were a young child. When you do, you will be amazed at the abundance of new opportunities that start coming your way.
Oh, and one last thing. The next time someone asks you if you’re a millionaire, tell them, “not yet.”