No doubt you’ve heard it said, “Your beliefs create your reality.” If you’re like many people, you are intrigued by the idea and feel, intuitively, that it makes sense. You may already have explored shifting your beliefs in order to create a reality – a life – you love, yet can’t seem to get there from here. Either it isn’t obvious what you believe that runs counter to what you want, or what you believe just seems so absolutely true you don’t see any way of shifting it.
You are not alone. That’s why there are so many of us offering perspectives on what it really takes to change a belief. Or more to the point, that’s why I’m offering my perspective on what it really takes to change a belief! Because it is possible to shift your beliefs in order to create a more deeply fulfilling life – in fact, positive change can only happen when the underlying beliefs support it – and learning to do it intentionally will give you an amazing sense of empowerment to create a life you love.
So I’m going to give you my answer to “what it really takes to change a belief” right here, right now:
Intention…Awareness…Willingness…Practice…all resting on a solid foundation of self-love.
Let’s look at the self-love piece. What it takes to change a belief is a choice to do so, a decision. And fundamentally the decision you’re making is that you are deserving of living a deeply fulfilled life, and you’re willing to find ways to empower yourself to do so.
That’s the foundation of self-love: you are worthy of happiness and fulfillment. AND you will love yourself through the experience of shifting your beliefs rather than being a taskmaster and using the process as an excuse to beat yourself up.
The process itself looks something like this:
You intend to live a fulfilled life, you become willing to expand your awareness so that you can recognize the beliefs that are holding you back, then you intend to shift them, and you willingly employ the practices that help you form more empowered beliefs.
Going into depth about this process and each of its elements is beyond the scope of a single article. But there is one thing I want to offer right here and right now which can help you immediately begin to let go of your limiting beliefs, and it draws on the element of willingness:
Be willing to consider that what you think is true about something- and particularly, what you think is true about yourself – is actually a belief and not a fact.
This is key, and it gets to the heart of why we often have difficulty letting go of limiting beliefs. We know intellectually that beliefs can be changed, but we don’t think “reality” can be changed. (We generally haven’t grasped that reality is not fixed and predictable but is, instead, an organic, fluid and ongoing creative process. More on that another time.)
We continually draw conclusions about life that we think are obvious statements of fact, when in truth they are interpretations. Interpretations that we believe to be true.
And because of the vibrational nature of this universe, beliefs – thoughts we believe to be true – are magnetic. So a well-established belief, either conscious or unconscious, will draw to us experiences we see as evidence that the belief is true. The more evidence we see, the more we think “this is the way it is,” and on it goes.
It takes a genuine willingness to step back from all of that and consider the possibility that the belief is the generative force and the circumstances are the result, and not the other way around.
But here’s the good news: If you ARE willing to see it that way, you immediately move to a more empowered place, and that’s because it is possible to change beliefs…and therefore to create a whole new lived experience. A new reality.
So become willing to notice thoughts you have about yourself and what is possible for your life, which you believe to be true and which obviously limit you in some way. Observe how those thoughts affect the ideas you have, the actions you take and the experiences that tend to show up. Become willing to ask, “What might my life be like if I didn’t believe this to be true?”
The simple but genuine act of asking that question will open new avenues of insight and experience. Explore those avenues with an open mind and an open heart, and let yourself be led to new possibilities that inspire you.
Remember, you are worthy of happiness and fulfillment.
I will be leading my catalytic teleclass, What It Really Takes to Change a Belief, on Saturday, February 23rd, from 10am – noon EST. We’ll go into depth about the whole process of shifting beliefs and you’ll be given the framework and practices to help you actually do it.