We’ve all had experiences when we said something without thinking and then thought, “Who said that? I sounded like my mother!” For better or worse some of our instant reactions don’t really belong to us.
Beliefs from our parents or caretakers, siblings and peers make up our conditioning – the opinions that we hold without question, without examination, our knee-jerk reactions to life. Gradually as we get older we stretch a little and hit the sides of the small box we were conditioned to stay within and we suddenly see how we are restricting our own lives with other people’s beliefs.
Here is a small example. We may have been conditioned to believe that guys with tattoos are a bit dangerous or scary and should be avoided. Well, nowadays, pretty much everyone in the 16-35 bracket has a tattoo, so we could realize that belief is probably outdated.
This kind of belief change happens all the time as we grow in our own convictions and create new beliefs from our own experiences in life.
The way we can check out what our hidden beliefs are is to notice what makes us unhappy or what stops us from getting what we want. If we are sure we want something to show up in our lives and there is no sign of it then it’s a good idea to look at the beliefs we have in this area. We could be wishing for more money or more love, two universal areas of desire, but when we examine our thoughts there are many opposing thoughts. For instance, “I don’t want to give up my freedom”, or “I don’t deserve it”, or “I’m too old, it’s too late for me”.
I grew up in England and there were so many limiting beliefs that were totally accepted in that culture I knew I had to escape quickly before I found myself married with children before 20. So I came to the US alone at 18 and started fresh. I tried to leave all the limitations behind me. In fact in the cab driving down the street in Los Angeles I felt truly HOME for the first time in my life.
My basic belief when I got here was that now I could do anything, become anything I wanted. And that has proven to be true. My life right now is almost exactly what I pictured when I was a young immigrant. The only thing that has limited me since then is the smallness of my desires. I didn’t really get it that we can ask for ANYTHING 🙂
In many cases you don’t need to do anything to change a belief. When it comes into our awareness that it is limiting us or holding us back from what we desire, we can just throw it out of the canoe and start to flow downstream. But when we have been strongly programmed with value related personal beliefs, like – I’m stupid, I’m slow, I’m not up to par in some way, then we need to do a bit of work to dump the belief and move on.
One thing we can do is to first notice every time we are thinking it or using it as an excuse not to become our best selves. Then we can move on to having an image of some time in our lives when we were successfully being the opposite. We all have times when we excelled at something or felt really good about ourselves for whatever reason. We can find that image in our memory banks and have it ready. Then when we hit the wall and see our negative belief clearly we can bring out the image and point our awareness to that instead. It doesn’t work the first time and stay forever. But if we keep on doing this our body/mind takes the hint and belief change starts to occur.
You can also use the tapping tool from the Emotional Clearing section. You would bring your image to mind as you say the word “Peace” at the end of each round.
Another thing you can do is write down new beliefs that you wish you could adopt. We often come across them while listening to other people’s stories or reading about other’s lives. Then if you meditate or as you are walking say the beliefs like an affirmation, in a positive, uplifting way. I can do anything I really want to do, or I deserve love in every moment. Both of which I think are absolutely true for all of us.
So this is a small introduction to a huge topic and I will write more later with other tools that might help you.