I find amazing with how much crap our minds can come up with to validate our beliefs, limiting or otherwise. It makes sense though, if we are to accept Dilts’ logical levels of change. Beliefs are quite high up the ladder next to our values – our beliefs, among other things, validate WHY we do things.
So what is a belief anyway?
Disclaimer: All I’m about to say I don’t claim as fact ..this is the way I view things. It’s my personal perspective.
In order to explain what a belief is, I need to give you my understanding (belief) of how beliefs function.
I am a big fan of brain mechanics as well as psychology so I’m very keen to learn how things work from a hardware as well as from a software point of view.
When it comes to brain mechanics, to me Kurzweil’s work makes the most sense. We have around 300 million pattern recognisers in our cortex. Pattern recognisers are sets of about 100 neurons that hold a snippet of the information about information that’s stored around it’s neurons path. With new research it’s becoming more and more obvious that the bulk of information in our brains is not actually stored in neurons but in their immediate vicinity in calcium ions.
Neurons’ main function is to create relationships, create paths to stored information if you wish. The more a neurons path is traveled(which means – the more a thought pattern is accessed), the bigger the amount of melanin surrounding that path becomes. The bigger the amount of melanin, the faster the access through that path becomes. That’s why it takes a bit of time to break existing habits – that melanin will not disappear straight away – it’ll gradually fade away if the path is not used. Our initial reaction will still be to access that path when it’s pattern recogniser is triggered because it’s the fastest response.
So for example – we cannot expect a person that gets angry quickly to all of a sudden not react in this manner just because she/he decided to do so. It needs conscious effort initially to chose not to use that response (that neurons path) and then as the levels of melanin go down, the pattern will fade away like an untraveled path fades away. It takes time for the behaviour associated to that path to go away, it’ll not be instant.
Everytime new information comes to us via any input(sight, hearing, touch, whatever), these pattern recognisers explode in a transderivational search and checks what matches with the new data. Whatever matches is then analysed in relation to existing patterns and relationships are updated.
So what is a belief?
A belief is a relationship between pre-existing stored information.
Beliefs can be deconstructed. The relationships of the belief in relation to the rest of your mighty brain structure can be tempered with until a key point is reached where that belief just doesn’t make sense anymore.
It’s immensely beneficial to do this if we want to get rid of our limiting beliefs however bare in mind false conclusions(beliefs) can be drawn from ambiguous relationships due to our human condition called the illusion of explanatory depth. Our brain fills in the gaps basically and it’s not always 100%.
Beliefs can be altered through reasoning.
Beliefs can be altered through reasoning. Which means we consciously asses and update relationships associated to the belief.
Beliefs are of two types:
- complex equivalence (A=B) “UK weather is horrible”
- cause-effect (A causes B) “I can’t lose weight because I don’t have time to go to the gym”
How to change my limiting beliefs?
Well in order to challenge your limiting beliefs, you first need to find them. Identify all of these beliefs that block you from living your dream, from having your ideal relationship, your ideal body, your ideal business. Spend time looking within and everything you find, big or small, write it down.
Now you need to acknowledge they are just your beliefs not absolute truths.
Next step is to deconstruct them and update the relationships. This is done via a series of belief related questions.
Let’s take a limiting belief example: “Loving someone will get your heart broken”.
Now, in order to deconstruct this belief, you can say things like:
- Not loving someone will not get your heartbroken, being alone will get your heart broken.
- So if you were to love someone, you would break their heart?
- Do you know of people that loved and didn’t get their heart broken?
- What will happen if you’ll never love anyone?….Is it worth it?
- Imagine your life if you didn’t have this belief…what would you do?
- What is there better to do than break people’s hearts?…[example answer: loving them]… So isn’t a bit more important to think about loving people than it is to think about breaking their hearts?
So to update your relationships, you go through a process of questioning your belief. In doing this you’ll soon see that your limiting belief holds no truth nor value to your life and the only logical conclusion is to change it. When you reach this point you also set yourself an anchor to this belief which will trigger your conscious mind to notice every time you’re going down this path. Soon this belief will fade away.
There are specific question flows you can follow coming from various angles(philosophy, NLP, psychology). I’ll write another dedicated post getting into more detail for each technique. They overlap quite a bit.
So update dear people, upgrade, create the life of your dreams..it’s 100% within your reach. You have the tools, you have the methodology, if you find your drive, you can do it.
If you’re one of those guys that think it’s too late now…to many years of your life have gone by to really start changing your beliefs now…. well… deconstruct this limiting belief and let’s see what happens.
To your success,