If You Don’t Like the Conversation, Change it!
Sometimes, it’s necessary to take the time to excavate and examine your beliefs to learn whether your subconscious is helping or hindering you, both in business and in your personal life. It’s a lesson I’ve had to learn more than once – old beliefs really can hold us back.
Our personal and professional beliefs come from all of the life events that occur as we grow from children to adults – they include all of the experiences we’ve had, what we were taught by our parents, extended families, peers, teachers, coaches, religious leaders – anyone who had any significant impact on our development into adulthood.
If you’re like most of us, you often aren’t fully aware of the beliefs that drive how you conduct your life, whether in your work, with your family, or just you alone. As we grow up, the beliefs that we hold become increasingly ingrained in our lives and our behaviours – but do those beliefs help you to succeed in building your business? Do they help you to have the life and relationships you desire?
If not – if you’re not completely satisfied with every aspect of your life, maybe it’s time to do a core beliefs audit. Sounds like a complicated and daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple. You just have to be willing to invest the time and energy to change what dissatisfies you in your life.
The first step is, of course, to identify your beliefs. Only through the process of identifying your beliefs can you make the choice to develop new beliefs that can take you where you want to go. Most of our beliefs can be identified by acknowledging our own internal talk dialogue – mental discourse that could include “I don’t deserve to be happy,” or “the pursuit of money and success is shallow and bad,” or “I’m not good at sales” or “I can’t be a good parent.” These internal dialogues can pertain to both your personal and professional lives (not that they’re really separate, anyway!).
Negative beliefs often lead to inaction, self-sabotage and a damaged sense of self worth, so becoming aware of these negativities in your thinking can help you to change the conversation. What you believe either supports or blocks your goals, so gaining an inner alignment of beliefs and goals is the first step in creating the success you desire.
The good news is that with determination and practice, you can change your beliefs – so let’s move on to step two in changing your inner dialogue.
Once you’ve identified negative beliefs, take some time to examine each one. Ask yourself if it rings true. Here’s an example: I’d always believed that to make money, you had to be willing to work day and night. When I examined this belief, I realized it wasn’t true. So I made a conscious decision to reduce my working time to 21 hours per week, and in doing so, worked smarter and more efficiently – and I was astounded that I quickly more than doubled my income. Once I realized it was a negative and false belief, I changed my inner dialogue and saw positive changes within weeks.
The key to step two is to practice your new belief. Remind yourself frequently, through whatever means works for you – whether it’s scheduling time to remind yourself of your new belief, or posting notes in your work area to prompt the new belief throughout the day. The objective of step two is to build a new foundation of positive beliefs that align your inner dialogue with your goals.
You may not fully accept the new belief at first. That’s why reminding yourself of the new belief is important; it helps us to recognize the old, false beliefs that have held us back. Think of this process as de-cluttering your mind, a form of mental housecleaning.
In doing this exercise, take the time to make a list of all the things you believe, recognizing that some of your beliefs are aligned with your goals. Then list the ones that hold you back from the success in life you’re seeking. For the final step of this belief-changing process, write down your new belief and remind yourself of it over and over.
We are all driven by our belief systems, but it is a fallacy to think that we have no control. Once you invest time in understanding your own beliefs, you can change them so that your beliefs and your goals mutually support each other. And that’s the first step on road to happiness and success.
Dr. Terri Levine is a business mentoring expert who has served more than 5,000 clients as Chief Heart-repreneur at Heartrepreneur LLC. She is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, radio host, and appears regularly in the media as a business coaching/consulting expert.