Whenever we fail to take action on our most desired goals, the reason almost always comes down to an underlying, unexamined belief that we don’t even know exists.
I remember when I first had the thought that I wanted to be a dancer. I was 12 years old and I wanted to be in our school performance. My best friend, Nancy, was sent to tell me that I did not make the cut because I was “uncoordinated” and was obviously not a dancer. That belief stuck with me until I was in college and, at 23 years old, I really wanted to dance. So I signed up for dance classes anyway. For the first 3 semesters I could barely look at myself in the mirror during class, so I stayed off to the side so I could not see myself.
I deliberately challenged my beliefs about dancing and, within a year, I was in a public performance with four other people. Just this past Sunday (at 61 years of age) my 30-year-old dance partner told me that he thought my dancing was “astonishing”. I am now totally confident about myself as a dancer in a way that would never have been possible before I challenged my beliefs.
Discovering that I could dance when I thought I couldn’t was a big revelation to me. The same thing happens to all of us when we believe something is true without investigation.
What are your core beliefs that are unconsciously blocking your success? Where are you not seeing the opportunities to grow? And where are you not even aware that you could get some help?
There are certain steps to uncovering your beliefs that are blocking you from experiencing the success that you desire.
Step One: Identify the belief
Is there a goal that you have wanted, that no matter how many times you write it down, it doesn’t seem to happen? This is an indicator that there is probably a belief in the background that is unconsciously distracting you from proceeding.
Step Two: Write down the belief
It’s important to write down the way that your mind is conjuring up that belief. For example, I don’t think I can make a video. I don’t know how to market myself. I don’t like selling. I’m not good at promoting myself. These are all examples of common beliefs that may seem to be true, but are not truly examined.
Step Three: Ask 5 questions
This process, which I learned from Byron Katie, is by far the simplest and most effective belief reversal process I have ever found.
To start, make a list of all the ways you react when you believe the belief. For example, do you react with fear, do you feel angry, do you feel like a victim, do you feel hurt, do you feel self-righteous? Then ask yourself these questions:
- Is it true?
- Can I absolutely know this belief is true?
- Can I think of a reason to drop this belief?
- Can I think of a reason to keep this belief that doesn’t cause me any suffering?
- Who would I be without this belief?
Make a list of how you would feel and who you would be if you could no longer access this thought. For example, would you feel relieved?Would you feel compassion? Would you feel freed up?
Step Four: Turn it around
Turn the belief around by taking the belief statement and turn it into its exact opposite. For example, the belief “I don’t know how to market myself” becomes “I do know how to market myself.” Then list three pieces of evidence that you already know how to market yourself.
Step Five: Take action on your new belief
This is the most important step. Make a list of three actions you could take immediately that would start proving the new belief.
This is the most efficient way to unravel these seemingly unmovable beliefs.
I believe that we all have way more potential to manifest our dreams than we think, and I encourage you to try this simple but profound process of inquiring into your long-held beliefs. Investigate and prosper!