How to Change Beliefs

July 4, 2011 | 13 Comments »

change your beliefsDeliberate creators know that life unfolds according to what we believe and expect.

So it becomes pretty helpful to be flexible in adopting beliefs that support what we want to create.

How do you change what you believe?

If you ask around, you’ll hear things like:

There are also a variety of personal development techniques designed to support changing beliefs including Byron Katie’s Work, the Option Method, Theta healing, Psych-K, subliminal or hypnotic programming, guided imagery/visualization, and many more.

Here’s my simple take on how to change a belief: practice the new thought.  It works.  It’s that uncomplicated!

Just pick the new thought that represents the belief you want, and invest some time in it.  The more you think it, the more you build that neural pathway in your brain, the more natural it becomes to entertain it, and pretty soon, with enough repetition, you’ve got a new belief on board.

But to elaborate a bit, I’d suggest the following four steps to accomplish that belief change.

1) know that you can and it’s easier than you think.

Some folks think that changing beliefs is hard.  Whatever wiggle room you have to suspect or entertain that it’s really easier than that, take advantage of it.  Changing your beliefs is easier to do when you don’t make it hard.  (And yes, you are in charge.)

Instead, think of beliefs as flexible, malleable, and totally within your realm of power to manage.  I like Abraham’s definition of beliefs for this purpose: “a belief is just an often repeated thought.”  Not such a big deal.  I can repeat a new thought.

2) choose your new belief.

An easy way to pick this one is to think about your manifested desire, and then ask what you would be believing in those circumstances.  (Example, when I was building a coaching practice: “I am a brilliant coach in high demand.”)  Some people like to baby step their way up the ladder of progressive beliefs.  Some like to make the big leap right to the big goal.  Go with whatever feels more energizing to you.

Once you know what you want your new belief to be, you’ll benefit from a two-fold practice:

3) look for the evidence that supports your new belief.

Since we get whatever we look for, we will start seeing the signs that what we want to believe is already “true.” And that makes it easier to make it an official “belief.”

4) practice your new belief.

That just means thinking the new thought regularly and consistently.  Yes, you could call this affirmations or brainwashing or subconscious programming.  All it means is you’re creating and strengthening different neural connections in your brain.  The more you practice them, the stronger they get, the easier they are to think, the more law of attraction shows up to “prove it,” and before you know it you’re home free with a new belief.

We sometimes get tripped up in embracing a new belief when real life contradicts it or when we have to take an action that’s not in accordance with it.

We’ll hit that in the next post.

In the meantime, here’s Abraham on the topic of changing your beliefs:

Would love to hear from you on this one, too, if you’ve got tips or ideas to share.  🙂

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13 Responses to “ How to Change Beliefs ”

  1. toemaas says:

    Where to begin? I just wrote about this one earlier today. Like most anything my take on this is an evolving thing and while defined techniques actually work well and work in an instant in some cases, I absolutely love the entire process of watching the thoughts I have. If they don’t sit well with me or are not serving me, or just don’t feel good, I get the biggest kick out of being curious about them. Not where they came from, who cares about that….it’s the past. More from “thats interesting” and then I shift my thinking from emotional to cognitive and in an allowing way rather than resisting.

    In the words of Stephen Pressfield, “resistance is harder to kick than crack cocaine” which is true and beliefs or judgements or thoughts that do not move us forward are resistance in my mind. So when I find one of those interesting little, not serving me thoughts, I look at it as an invitation to expand and grow. Move from the emotional response that it generally is and change where I am thinking from the reactive part of thinking to the cognitive frontal lobe. Sometimes that requires a deliberate act, like engaging in a puzzle or some problem solving activity as simple as playing solitaire. Always works, and then its easy to get quiet and allow a better alternative to come to me.

    I do however believe that it is different for people, because of the perspective you are coming from which ironically is based upon what you believe to be true. Great topic, and one that choosing what feels best for you is very applicable

  2. Stephen says:

    not only is changing beliefs easy, we do it all the time.

    Once upon a time, crossing a busy street was thought to be too dangerous to attempt without a parent’s hand to hold, but I’ll bet most of us changed that one.

    I was convinced for a long time I could never learn to multiply fractions. That belief was modified as well.

    I once believed that life happened to me, now I believe I happen to life.

  3. Toemaas, I love your process of being curious about your not-so-fab-feeling thoughts, rather than immediately jumping to resistance.

    I read something today that called that “Deep Democracy” where all thoughts are allowed. ha

    And I totally appreciate your contribution that this process is potentially different for each person – because we’re each carrying a different belief system. In fact, I saw someone quoting Lisa Marie Hayes on facebook as saying something like, “What if reinventing yourself was as easy as making up a new story? It’s just a story anyway. Why not pick one that’s fun?”

    I like that thought, right along with yours. And your facebook comment cracked me up.
    😉
    Thanks for posting, my friend!

  4. I like your perspective, Stephen! Reminds me how I once believed I would have to be really really smart to be able to spell a big word like “bathroom.”

    Our beliefs evolve with our life experience. They change without effort in accordance with our best life. I like those thoughts a lot.
    🙂

  5. mango says:

    Thank you so much for writing this post Jeannette. This topic is one that’s been on my mind quite a bit lately. Would EFT also be a method of clearing limiting beliefs?

    Toemaas, I really like the way you describe yourself watching your thoughts. Will have to try that approach.

    Stephen, love this: “I once believed that life happened to me, now I believe I happen to life”

  6. Mango, I certainly saw EFT listed as a technique for aiding a change in beliefs when I was looking for article links for this post. I suspect there are a lot of readers here who will be able to testify to that.

  7. Oooh, that’s my favorite, Janette! Those limiting beliefs that instantly go “pop” when we see evidence to the contrary!

    In fact, I didn’t even see the evidence, but it just rang all my internal bells of truth, I guess – when I read in Ask And It Is Given that “You are not here to fix a broken world.” Instantly, immediately, and permanently my old belief was transformed. Just in reading that one sentence!!!

    Really really cool.

    And reading that Jerry Hicks didn’t have side effects from chemo. That’s helping me change that assumption, too! And that video that was shared at GVU on the placebo effect – that changed the surgeon’s belief that placebo doesn’t occur with surgery.

    SO much fun to be had when we really play with this area, huh?!

    Thanks for posting, Janette!

  8. Janette says:

    Ooh, good topic! These days my answer is “it depends” – on the belief and on the person.

    I’ve had beliefs change on a dime and I’ve had (still have LOL!) beliefs that dig their claws in and hang on.

    But KNOWING that some beliefs have changed instantaneously gives me that wiggle room to believe that the seemingly stubborn beliefs can change too.

    My favourite story about instantly changing beliefs – I was waiting at the airport to pick up hubby who had been on an overseas work trip. Back then we were poor as church mice and on welfare much of the time (out of work performers – sigh!). I watched a guy walk out through customs with gorgeous matched luggage, and I could see the labels for the most ritzy hotel in Melbourne at the time. I was hit with a HUGE jolt as I realised I had a belief which said “only in the movies are there any people rich enough to actually STAY in five-star hotels for real”.

    I literally felt that old belief pop out of existence, like a soapbubble.

    Oh, and last year I spent a week living in a six-star hotel. Pretty nice, huh?

    😉

  9. MissyB says:

    Timely post to meet my needs. For some odd reason the fear from my accident has suddenly interrupted my want to ride my motorbike…despite riding for 2 years after, I wonder what has bubbled up to the surface recently to cause this anxiety. There’s obviously a belief down there that needs hearing…and then I can make a new one.
    Simply put Jeannette – and you know how I like simple. I like my belief that this is all simple.

  10. petecito says:

    Fabulous subject, Jeanette!

    Someone once said “Adults are just children with beliefs” and I like observing children to see how I differ where it comes to joy and where my beliefs lie. That, to me, is the first step in changing them, to understand them and then it’s over to Abraham and practicing new thoughts.

  11. “This is all simple.” That’s another one I’d like to embrace even more myself, MissyB.

    Sometimes I find myself going to for the “complicated.”

    Thanks for that check. 🙂

  12. Peter, I love that! Seeing where the beliefs separate you from joy. Wow. I am so using that! What an easy way to spot a limiting belief!!

    Very very cool, my friend.

  13. Robert (oRbert) says:

    Troubleshooting. Is it the down to earth grounded way? So does it have the bad reputation among LOA students?

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