A belief is basically an opinion or statement that you have, consciously or unconsciously, decided to be “correct”.
A belief is something we convince ourselves is a fact, however, as we all have such different opinions (or ‘beliefs’), it is impossible that it can be fact.
Let’s say that you believe you are worthless and good-for-nothing. You believe this to be true. You have decided there is no other truth, other than this one. But your best friend thinks you’re dependable, generous and kind. Your mum thinks you’re intelligent, loving and lovable. And that person who has a secret crush on you, thinks you’re attractive, have a great smile and is terrified to tell you because you’re ‘out of their league’.
All of these beliefs are true because they’re true to the individual’s own interpretation of reality. But if there’s so many different ‘truths’ and we all interpret reality differently, then that means there are options to how reality is interpreted and options means choice.
If that’s true, then it would make sense that everyone chooses to think the best of themselves and think positively all the time. However, due to life events, other people, your environment, and other factors, you have come up with a version of ‘the truth’ that has been formed to protect you and keep you safely in your comfort zone in order to protect you.
Your brain will always look for the meaning of things and patterns to make sense of so that it can produce an answer and subconscious mind, as much as it hugely helps us to regulate and maintain our bodily functions that keep us alive and well, also processes information in a very black-and-white, childlike manner.
If a teacher scolded you at school for not understanding an equation like the rest of the class, you subconscious mind may have taken that to mean that everybody else in the whole wide world is smarter than you and you are dumb. You may also also now be terrified to ever speak up if you don’t understand something to keep from getting scolded so further restrict yourself from learning, really driving in that belief you have that you’re not intelligent.
Throughout your whole life, thanks to a part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS), you have only consciously received evidence to support the belief that you are unintelligent. So to you, of course that belief is the truth! Your RAS has filtered out any information that it is told is insignificant by your subconscious mind.
In reality, we know that the teacher was just getting frustrated because they couldn’t be bothered to explain it another way, even though we know that human beings learns and process information in a number of different ways whether it’s visually, practically, verbally, or other.
Maybe the teacher was having problems at home or had been pulled up by another member of staff about their own lack of knowledge and was projecting onto you to make themselves feel more intellectually superior.
Perhaps the teacher had a very old school idea that ‘children should be seen and not heard’ or perhaps you reminded them of a class member from their own childhood that made them feel low so now they’re projecting all the things the wished they could have said in the past.
Who knows? Not your problem. Forgive them for going through their own demons and not knowing any better and now decided to let it go and replace it with a new empowering belief.
Think of a belief you have about yourself now that is unhelpful and limiting and write it down.
To replace your old limiting belief with a new empowering belief, cross out your limiting belief and underneath write:
“This is not true because…”
Now I want you to bullet point every piece of evidence you have that contradicts the old limiting belief.
Using the example above, here’s what it might look like.
I am not intelligent
This is not true because…
*I am very knowledgeable about motorbikes
*I have always managed to find a job to make money
*I have learned to manage my money in the best way I know how.
*Friends come to me for advice.
*Other people ask for my help at work
*Every single thing that I do in life I have learned to do from scratch from brushing my teeth, to driving, to cooking, to using my phone and laptop, to reading, writing and speaking.
This is not about being vain or even self conscious. let’s just be honest and real about the value you hold. If you’re really stuck, firstly congratulate yourself for being a pro and defending your beliefs, then get help. Who do you know and trust to be honest about what evidence would counteract this crappy belief?
You get the idea.
Now write a new empowering belief and tell your subconscious mind that this is your new truth so that your RAS can start to filter in evidence for this new belief. Every time that old limiting belief crops up and the negative self-talk starts, look back at this list, and add to it every time you think of new evidence that your old limiting belief was total B.S.
Get a pen and paper now and write your old limiting belief, then cross it out and start pointing out the evidence to disprove it.