(Becoming Your Best Self Series—Part 11)
It’s time to talk about the false and negative beliefs that you should leave behind. You’re going to replace these false beliefs about yourself with good ones, instead. When you hear about a new opportunity, do you tend to feel positive or negative?
You want to get to a place where every new opportunity is exciting and really gets your blood pumping. You want to feel strong, resourceful, intelligent, and innovative. But right now, you might be feeling fearful, not up to the task, and highly uncomfortable— so uncomfortable that you might not want to deal with it at all.
There are many beliefs that might be holding you back. Maybe it’s a certain way you interact with others. Maybe it’s the way you perceive others and the way you believe they perceive you.
You believe you have a certain personality. You might believe yourself to be stubborn, or a procrastinator, or lazy. When you fail at something or fall down on the job, it’s easy to blame the (false) fact that, “it’s just the way I am.”
But, that’s not just the way you are. Yes, you may have been born with a tendency to act a certain way or do certain things. But your patterns and habits are just that— habits and patterns. They developed over time. It’s a well-worn path and it’s easy to believe that you can never be another way.
We need to be careful of telling untrue stories about and to ourselves which are more about our patterns and habits and not really about WHO we are.
You definitely can change and replace those patterns and habits.
False Beliefs about the Consequences of Your Actions
The beliefs you have about the consequences of your actions may also be false. For instance, you might believe that if you do a bad job at work on a huge project, you’re ultimately going to be fired. You may believe that a lifetime of procrastination means that you’re a bad person who doesn’t deserve to earn more in your business.
You might also have certain false beliefs about what will happen if you do a good job. You might believe that if you knock it out of the park on a certain project, you’ll get an immediate promotion. You might believe that if you give freely of your time or really help someone out, you’ll get a ton of praise and good things will happen to you. You might believe that if you work hard, you’ll earn more money.
You may have seen evidence for some of these consequences throughout your life. But you have to stop believing that the rules are hard and fast. Understanding that there are no real “rules” to life is a big part of freeing yourself.
Yes, you may get fired if you do a bad job at work. But haven’t you ever seen someone you considered to be a terrible worker get a promotion?
Yes, you might lose money if your next product doesn’t sell well. But haven’t you heard dozens of stories about companies and individuals revamping their work or having that one key moment where everything turned around? It is called, "Failing Forward".
Yes, you might have to work hard to earn more money in your business. But haven’t you witnessed others who really don’t work that hard at all, yet seem to have cracked the code and earn a ton of money with relatively little effort?
It’s easy to believe that others can get “lucky” and that the rules don’t apply to them. But it’s much healthier to realize that there are no absolutes. There are unlimited ways for you to earn more with less effort. Failing once does not make you a failure. You’re an amazing person with unlimited, incredible potential— even if you’ve done, what you consider to be, something horrendous in your life.
How Your Beliefs Rule Your Life
If you’re constantly making promises to yourself but never following through, there’s a big chance your false beliefs are to blame. It’s as if you’re treading water— trying so hard to do better and be better but you fall back into the same patterns time and time again.
Your beliefs about yourself force you to do the same things over and over again. Your beliefs about how others will treat you is a self-fulfilling prophecy— you expect them to treat you a certain way and so, most of the time, they do. Your beliefs about the struggles or problems you might have come true.
If you’re constantly feeding your expectations with negativity and doubt, that’s what you’re going to get in return. You have to change what you believe if you want your beliefs to rule you in a way that helps you achieve your goals.
Identifying Your False Beliefs
Now that you’re aware that false beliefs may be ruling your life, it’s time to identify them. What do you believe about money? What do you believe about your ability to earn more money and do a good job? Do you feel you’re a good, worthy person? Do you feel life is out to get you? Do you feel you always waste the chances life hands you?
Do some freewriting about your beliefs in every area of your life. You’ll be surprised at just how revealing this activity is. You’ll discover things you repeat to yourself over and over again. Now take a step back and ask yourself, “wait a minute— can this possibly be true?” Most of the time you’ll find that it’s not.
The world is not out to get you. You’re not a bad person. You have done many wonderful, worthy things in your life. You have the potential to be and do whatever you want.
Get the limiting beliefs out of your mind. For each limiting belief, you come up with, write down evidence that goes against it. Real-life evidence is key in changing your beliefs. Look to past experiences and find new experiences that affirm your new belief— the one you want to take hold in your life.
Do you believe you’re a bad person? Write down a list of 10-20 things you’ve done that have made people smile.
Do you think you’re bad at your job and that you can’t possibly produce better work? Write down a list of at least 3 projects or assignments that put a smile on your face because you did such an awesome job.
Are you stuck on the mistakes you’ve made? Write down these so-called mistakes that weigh so heavily on your mind. For each mistake, write three ways you can turn them into a positive, or how you’ve learned from them, in some way.
This is about training your brain to focus on the things you want it to focus on. You’re not whitewashing your life and pretending everything is lovely. You’re simply giving proper weight to the beliefs and experiences that are going to move your life forward rather than hold you back.
In an upcoming series, we will discuss how to replace habits that no longer serve you with habits that empower you.
Until then, many blessings and much peace!