What Are Your Beliefs About Yourself?
This step is my personal favorite, because my life’s purpose is to believe. Standing in that purpose, I created an entire methodology to help you believe in your own dreams. I’ve spent 30 years developing a doubt removal system that really works. In the previous Dream Coach ® Step #5: Deal with Your Doubter, we discussed how to identify some obstacles and limiting beliefs that prevent you from achieving your goals. In this segment, we’re going to focus in on how to change one of those limiting beliefs into an empowering belief.
I’m sure I’m not the first person point out that beliefs either hold us back or move us forward. Since attitudes and beliefs determine the choices and decisions we make, those beliefs will either empower or impede us. But what we often forget, is that we get to choose what we believe—nothing controls that except ourselves.
Our beliefs are our own opinions and judgments or the opinions and judgments we’ve inherited from others. But, for some strange reason, we often seem to forget we can choose them. In any given moment and in any given circumstance, we choose what we believe. If we choose a positive belief, we will move forward on our dreams. If we choose a limiting belief, then we simply won’t. This is how we get stuck and sabotage our goals.
When we are not consciously choosing empowering beliefs, unfortunately the default is the old, limiting beliefs—we are deeply programmed. Become suspicious of your default settings. If you are not thinking “yes,” then some part of you is already acting on “no.” This step is designed to help you manage your mind and notice the choices you are and are not making. The conscious step of asking yourself, “Why am I doing this? What am I believing?” is important in taking progressive action toward your goals. In fact, the answers to those questions might astound you. Are your beliefs serving your dreams?
Choose Your Beliefs
What does it take to change a limiting belief into a positive one?
As much as we wish it worked, we can’t just say, “I believe!” and wave a magic wand to fix the problem. To move from an old limiting belief to a new empowering one takes some work. But it’s a critical skill that is worthy of time and energy. The three keys to transforming your beliefs are willingness, courage, and practice. It takes willingness to choose a new empowering belief, courage to act on it, and practice to do it again and again until your reality shifts and your trust in yourself deepens. And it will!
Grasp this concept and you’ll have access to one of the most powerful tools for impacting your reality.
Everyone has attitudes and beliefs about the various aspects of their lives. Our opinions are long-term parts of who we are, and they’ve been developing for as many years as we’ve been alive. Human beings are meaning-making machines, constantly interpreting our experiences and the world around us and assigning meaning to things and experiences. This is how we make sense of our world. But this process becomes a problem when we give too much meaning to the wrong things or interpret events in ways that form limiting beliefs. Many of us seek meaning in the wrong places; we allocate it to external things such as fame, accomplishment, or material objects. We habitually think in ways that limit us, restrict us, and hold us back while we miss out on the beauty and wonder of life.
Dream University ® Certified Dream Coaches ® see this often when their clients have made mistakes, suffered a loss, or been betrayed. Those individuals interpret these kinds of events as meaning something about them, and as a result they form a belief that they can expect more of the same. If you did the sacred wound exercise in from Step #2, however, you will have seen a powerful example of this and seen how your belief can shift from victimization to empowerment. What other experiences in your life have you interpreted in such a way as to form a belief about yourself? Are those beliefs working for or against your dreams? Are they encouraging or inspiring you to take greater risks, or are they causing you to play it safe and seek certainty? The meaning we assign to a single event can either be liberating or devastating. Take a moment and check in with the pivotal moments in your life. What meaning did you consciously or unconsciously assign to them, and what’s another perspective you could adopt right now?
Attitudes and beliefs can be negative or positive, but they do not need to be barriers to achieving what you want. Use them to your advantage!
Transform Your Beliefs
To use your beliefs to your advantage, you must first transform them. Transforming your beliefs isn’t an instant process, but it doesn’t have to be overly difficult either. Here’s a visualization exercise that will help you with changing your beliefs. Find yourself a quiet spot and relax. Take several deep breaths and prepare yourself for a journey into your mind. Imagine that you’re in your mind’s attic. It’s filled with lots of dusty memories: your bicycle from when you were three, your mother’s wedding dress, old photo albums, and so on.
As you walk through the attic, you come to a corner. In the corner there’s a beautiful pedestal on top of which is a big book. On the cover of the book it says “My Beliefs.” Blow a little dust off of the book, open it, and turn to a page where you have a belief you want to change.
See your belief on that page. For example, what you read on the page could be, “It’s not possible to achieve my dream,” or “I am inadequate.” Whatever that old belief is, read it and prepare to change it. You can write about it in a journal if you like, or just picture it in your mind.
Read that belief from the page in the book, and then, in your mind’s eye, take a big, black marker and draw a huge “X” through it. You can even do this in your physical notebook if you like. Then visualize yourself tearing the page out of the book and burning it, leaving a new blank page in the book. Get rid of that harmful belief. Feel the emotion of finally letting it go.
Now you’re left with that clean page. Pick up a new magic marker in your favorite color and write your new belief. This new belief should correspond to the one you just destroyed, but it will be positive and stated in the first person: “It is possible for me to achieve my dream,” or “I am more than enough.” You might even consider adding the word “easily.”
Believe in Your Dreams Exercise
Meditate or sit in silence for 15 to 30 minutes and consider one of the limiting beliefs from the assignment in the Dream Coach ® Step #5: Deal with Your Doubter. Now, come up with a new belief that counters that limiting belief and that will also help you achieve your dreams. Spend the entire day believing in this new belief. Catch yourself whenever the old limiting belief comes up, and then reorient yourself to the new empowering belief.