The dictionary definition doesn’t quite tell us the whole story:
be·lief bəˈlēf/ noun plural noun: beliefs
- an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists. “his belief in the value of hard work”
- trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something. “a belief in democratic politics”
synonyms: faith, trust, reliance, confidence, credence “belief in the value of hard work”
The kind of beliefs we are talking about are the ones that are constantly running under the surface of your conscious awareness that tell you how to behave, what’s possible, what’s true or not, what’s good for you. What your purpose is. What’s not possible for you. One of the most universal beliefs that shows up in my private practice over and over again is “Not good enough.”
For me a key limiting belief that I’ve discovered in my own unconscious mind is a variation on that, even though I now believe that my music IS good enough to be heard by other people (and almost a million views of “Together We Can Change The World” prove that), I had a belief that being good enough wasn’t good enough to get people to actually listen! I first noticed myself saying, “Nobody wants to hear my music” like some kind of self torturing “mantra.”
Negative, limiting beliefs like that can be devastating to your dreams. Ultimately it was my struggle to get my music out into the world that forced me to learn all this hypnosis and NLP stuff so that I could get out of my own way. So while I’m grateful that I learned these tools, I also appreciate that there are always new layers of the “onion” to clear and release as we grow and mature and work on healing ourselves.
Here are a few deeper definitions of what beliefs are and what they do…
- Beliefs are filters through which we process reality. If you’ve ever seen an entertainment hypnosis show, you may have laughed your ass off at some audience volunteer brought up on stage and given a brand new identity or personality. All of a sudden some shy guy is openly walking around kissing everyone. Or as was the case for me, as an audience volunteer, I was told my name was “Betty” and for about 20 minutes I was definitely NOT MYSELF. In the case of that show, it was temporary. But in the case of most of us, we walk around with these limiting beliefs like, “I’m not good enough” or in my case, “Nobody wants to hear my music” that are like thought cages that we walk around in without even knowing it.
- Beliefs are extremely powerful unconscious “programs” that often defy logic. AND they can sometimes be so powerful as to affect whether someone lives or dies. In Ernest Lawrence Rossi’s book, “The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing” he recounts a story that exemplifies how powerful and non logical beliefs can be. There was a cancer patient named “Mr. Wright” who insisted on receiving an experimental drug named Krebiozen even though he didn’t actually qualify for the study. Finally his doctor relented and gave Mr. Wright his first dose Krebiozen and then went off for the weekend. When the physician returned to the hospital on Monday morning, Mr. Wright had somehow made an almost full recovery! A short while later he checked out of the hospital and went back to his normal life… UNTIL he read in the newspapers that Krebiozen was proving to be a dud. Suddenly he was riddled with cancer again. He went back into the hospital and the doctor this time administered a placebo, telling Mr. Wright that it was a “new and improved” Krebiozen. Again Mr. Wright rapidly recovered and went back to his life. Finally Mr. Wright stumbled upon an article that basically trashed Krebiozen and called it a failed experiment. This time Mr. Wright returned to the hospital, once more filled with cancer and died not too long after that. Ultimately it was his BELIEF in the efficacy of that drug that cause Mr. Wright to recover so rapidly twice as well as to relapse and die.
- Many beliefs were “installed” in us without our knowledge or consent by well meaning parents and teachers as well as by our nefarious and ubiquitous Media Machine. Remember when butter was bad and Margarine was healthy? Remember when eggs were vilified because they had cholesterol in them? Both of those turned out to be false beliefs. But many people never changed back and there are still millions upon millions of people out there who still think butter and eggs will give you a heart attack and saturated fat makes you fat. So one aspect of mastering beliefs is to become aware when some belief is being imposed on you from external sources and how to immunize yourself from those kinds of “thought viruses.” It turns out that the evidence pointing to SUGAR was suppressed and researchers were PAID to point the finger at FAT… and 30 years after the Low Fat craze, just look around. We are waaay fatter as a nation than ever. These kinds of limiting beliefs may have been installed in us by outside voices, but we are the ones who keep them playing on our internal radio station. What’s cool is that we can change the channel.
- Beliefs are “rules” that we are living our lives by. The sad thing is that most of us don’t realize how limiting these “rules” are and how small they are keeping us. Few people can even conceive of how easily these rules can be updated to serve us instead of crippling us.
- Beliefs can last for an entire lifetime or be changed RAPIDLY. Old beliefs that limit you can be replaced with new beliefs that empower you… RAPIDLY. IF you know HOW! And if you don’t have a limiting belief about how long it takes to change limiting beliefs!
That’s all I have time for today. In my next post I’ll explore this a little bit more.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to catch yourself the next time you have some limiting belief skip across your awareness… Even without the full Beliefs change course, you can still CHALLENGE any limiting thinking you catch yourself indulging in. Start today! I BELIEVE in YOU.
In the meantime, here’s a song for your day. If you could help me by subscribing, liking and sharing this song it would help ME to add more evidence into my own unconscious mind that people actually WANT to hear my music :o) thanks!
Want to go deeper? You can still audit the new “Beyond Beliefs” Course. You’ll get all the videos and class materials as I build the course over the next 10 weeks.
just use the contact form to let me know you’re interested and I’ll send you the secret link to sign up.
Note: you have to be a member to get access to this