Sunday, April 18, 2010

Creating Empowering Beliefs

"Belief is Power. The power to create. We create our reality simply by what we agree to believe.”
Ray Dodd, The Power of Belief

As you know, Beliefs are powerful and life enhancingly important. This week's blog entry continues with our short excursion into the process and skills of believing and how to change limiting 'beliefs' into empowering ones. Remember from last week's blog that you don't 'have beliefs', instead you do the process of believing and the keys to the structure of this are submodalities.

Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

Limiting and negative beliefs and attitudes are life denying. Many of these are unconsciously installed by our culture and the micro-culture of our family. They are often so ingrained and unquestioned that at first you may not be aware of them.

Have you ever travelled overseas to another culture and noticed how many strange and unusual customs there are? The inhabitants of that country think their customs and beliefs, their societal and cultural norms and practices, are totally sensible and normal. Yet, to your eyes they can appear crazy and non-sensical. Well, guess what, a traveller visiting your world would find your customs and beliefs equally weird and wonderful.

This is not an issue when your beliefs, values and generalisations are life enhancing and support meaning and happiness in your life. However, your beliefs and attitudes often don’t fully serve you. They are habitual patterns, mostly performed outside your conscious awareness, and can undermine your happiness and peace of mind. It’s vital that you become aware of these life denying, unnecessary self-imposed limitations and learn how to replace them with empowering alternatives.

The fields of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT) have generated a lot of research on limiting and negative irrational beliefs and how they become automatic and streamlined into unconscious strategies that limit your ability to cope with life. Such negative and pessimistic thoughts and self-talk can occur when you are under stress and can cause emotional and physical reactions.

The following is a list of typical negative irrational beliefs. Take a look through and mark off those that you indulge in:
  • In order to be happy, I have to be successful in whatever I undertake
  • My happiness depends on my performance
  • I must be accepted (liked, approved, admired) by all people at all times
  • I just can’t be happy without love
  • I should always be able, successful, and on top of things; if I'm not, I'm an inadequate, incompetent, hopeless failure
  • Happiness is having everything I want without giving up anything!
  • When things do not go the way I want and plan, it is terrible and I can't stand it!
  • I am hopeless and worthless
Think about and list any negative believing you have been doing in your life or that you have used unconsciously to limit yourself. Now let's turn those around and replace them with empowering believing that's more life enhancing.

Creating Empowering Beliefs

To replace limiting and unsupportive 'beliefs' -- unsupportive believing -- you can’t simply get rid of it; your unconscious mind resists change that takes something away. Instead, you have to replace old beliefs with new ones. This is quite easily done using submodality shifts so that you zoom away the old beliefs, and zoom in the new ones.

First, generate new positive beliefs that you like the idea of having. Create a list of powerful supportive ideas and beliefs. Attitudes of success. Then use the following 'New Belief Generator' process described below to install the new beliefs in place of old negative beliefs.

Here is a list of empowering beliefs garnered from the field of Cognitive Psychology to get you started:
  • I am a worthwhile person and I deserve and can easily achieve happiness
  • I give myself Unconditional Self Acceptance
  • Happiness is a skill that I can learn and continue improving in fun and powerful ways – I am a happiness master!
  • I can wonderfully embody attitudes of happiness and success
  • I am an Optimist and can easily cope with setbacks
  • I see setbacks as challenges that bring new opportunities and learnings and that I can overcome
  • I am a fallible human being and I forgive myself and empower myself to realise that even when I don’t get what I want I can still live a worthwhile and happy life
  • There is no failure, only feedback; I learn from my mistakes and get satisfaction in overcoming obstacles
  • I have High Frustration Tolerance, and know I can experience happiness as a choice, even when my preferences aren’t being met
  • I am a worthwhile and happy person and I know it!

The real key to amplifying and owning a new belief is to make it bright and big and bold. Fill the belief with colour and movement, so that it engenders fantastic juicy feelings. Add music and surround-sound to the image. Really amplify and enhance it. By repeating this process a minimum of three times you’ll create a new pattern of believing in your life and your unconscious mind will continue to embody the attitude in powerful ways.

New Belief Generator
  1. Picture and think about the belief you want to change. Elicit the submodalities of this image. Notice its size and position, distance and brightness. Is it coloured, is it focused, does it have a border or is it panoramic? Is it still or a movie? Write down the submodalities to use later in the strategy.
  2. Think about and picture something you really don’t believe. Something you just cannot believe at all. Elicit the submodalities of this ‘Don’t believe it’ belief. Write them down.
  3. Create a new, more empowering belief. You may not totally believe it yet, but decide on a belief you’d like to have. Write it up in bright bold colours. Refine it. Make it impactful in its wording and description.
  4. Now, take the image of the belief you want to get rid of and zoom the image off into the distance, getting smaller and smaller, then bring it back but to the size, position and other submodalities of the ‘Don’t believe it’ image. Repeat this process 3 to 5 times. You may have to do this whole process with an ‘as if’ quality. Not everyone sees the images in their minds eye with total life-like quality, and it doesn’t seem to matter for the effectiveness of this technique. You’ll find it will work, even if you are just imagining all this happening.
  5. Take the image of the new positive belief, and starting with it way in the distance, ZOOM it in to the submodalities of belief. Zoom it in powerfully, and as it comes in, closer and closer, make it bigger, brighter, bolder, more colourful and any other changes you’d like to see. Make a ZOOMING or SWOOSHING sound as you zoom it in. Repeat this process 3 to 5 times.
  6. Put this whole process together. Take the old negative belief and zoom it away in the distance. Bring it zooming back in to the position and submodalities of ‘I don’t believe it’ and as quickly as possible then ZOOM in the new positive belief to the position and submodalities of total belief.
  7. Lock the beliefs into position by hearing the sound of them ‘Clicking’ into place. Make a sound of a solid clicking sound in your mind or even with your voice out loud.
  8. Break state by looking around the room. Repeat steps 6 and 7 from 3 to 5 times. As quickly as you can.

Up to you

Ok, it's up to you now. This blog has given you some key life enhancing ideas, beliefs and processes to use and explore. Empowering beliefs can really make an incredible life enhancing difference to your world.

Believe this! You create your reality through what you choose to believe. So choose life enhancing and empowering beliefs now.

Want to learn more, get a copy of my book: Avoiding the Enemies to HAPPINESS!

empowering wishes

Using Your Brain - For a Change: NLP - Richard Bandler

Change Your Mind-And Keep the Change : Advanced NLP Submodalities Interventions

Belief Busting with NLP Unpacked (Audio CD)

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