Swapping Out Beliefs

Where your beliefs are serving you, keep them in place. There is no need to disturb a perfectly good idea that is helping you feel better about yourself, feel more optimistic about life, or have a more hopeful outlook. These beliefs are doing their job and supporting you in life. The ones you want to check are the ones that are not.

Beliefs that aren’t doing their job are beliefs that are ripe for change. If a belief is causing you pain, or making you tense, start there. If a belief feels like a relic from a former life, swap it out. If a belief makes you feel like a schmuck, change it.

If a belief is causing you pain, or making you tense, start there. If a belief feels like a relic from a former life, swap it out. If a belief makes you feel like a schmuck, change it.

You are literally the only person living inside your head, so see yourself as an upscale interior decorator. Are you going to fill your mind with clutter and cheap crap? Or are you going to select tasteful pieces that will stand the test of time. I hope the answer is obvious.

I personally prefer a set of expansive, loving, and useful beliefs. I like my beliefs to serve a purpose. I expect my beliefs to be doing their part, contributing to my having a better life. If they don’t, then I don’t leave them around. I kick them out to make room for ideas that I enjoy.

That’s how I see it. I don’t have room for crap ideas, so I push them out in order to focus on, and create, beliefs that better serve me. That better complement my lifestyle. That seem true to me.

Here’s how I do that. I catch myself when I say things that I don’t want to be true. Things like, I can’t do that. Things like, she doesn’t like me. Things like, I will never get my work done. I literally listen to myself talk and then say, does that idea help me or hurt me? Note I didn’t ask whether it was true. I asked whether it was useful. And this one question changed how I think about everything.

When you make it a habit to listen to yourself, notice what you say. Do you say positive and life affirming things, or do you limit yourself on a regular basis? Do you regularly express hope and a belief in your own ability or do you walk around stewing in fearful thoughts? Do you take the time to ask yourself, what do I really believe or are you easily sucked in to others’ opinions on subjects they are not expert in?

I am seeking to cruise through the second half of my life with a set of lean, expansive, and fully functional beliefs that get me through each and every day. The one that I am leaning into today? I am not changing in fear.

This one idea helps me to remember that my beliefs are not something I need to worry about. They are something for me to change if that change feels good. Feels positive. Feels warranted. Change that is driven by fear is not for me.

Here is how that plays out. When I choose to change myself in order to have a better, first person life experience, I am changing to please myself. When I seek to change in order to be loved, accepted, or adored, I am changing in fear. And I don’t do that anymore. I used to, but I decided that changing in fear only brought me more to fear.

We are all eternal changers. I suspect it has something to do with our infinite souls. Whatever the basis, it seems normal to me that we are all trying to grow and learn. We all have some aspect of us we’d like to improve. We all have our eyes on a future state that is better than where we are. Here’s the trick I want to share: Finding your balance between loving what is, and growing and changing, is your own personal journey. Finding the place where you love your life and you hold hopes and dreams for the future is the sweet spot for all of us.

I found my sweet spot by noticing, and then changing, my beliefs. I found harmony, and super productivity, once I paid attention to how I talked. I found my own personal growth journey was a cycle of disbelief and new-belief, over and over. Until I found inner peace.

It’s so easy, I wish they taught this in schools. It’s so simple that it can’t be unlearned, once you learn it. It’s so helpful, I now watch with fascination at every word I utter, and somewhere in the background my inner voice asks, is that what I really think? If the answer is no, I flag it for further discovery work.

Here was the turning point for me. I began to choose beliefs that most benefited me. If I stewed based on another’s opinion of me, I decided that they were on my side and felt relief. If I was tense because I was running late, I said, I’m not late; I’m right on time. And instantly felt better. If things were going to shit, I said, this will all turn out fine.

This isn’t rocket science. But it has more power to propel you than anything we send into space. It has the capacity to change your everyday experience if only you believed that you could change your beliefs.

Which is where most of us hit a wall. We see beliefs as something external to us, and outside our control. Not true. Beliefs exist entirely in your own mind. Which makes them entirely your responsibility to change.

Here is how to change in a positive way:

  • Talk differently about yourself. Tell a new story about all your successes. Walk around the house and tell yourself how great you are.
  • Tell a friend that you are changing your self talk and she has permission to call you out if you express any negative or limiting beliefs about yourself.
  • Get a recorder and make an audio of the beliefs you want to have. Put them on repeat.
  • Tell yourself, every day, that you love yourself. Do it in a mirror for added effect.
  • Create a bulletin board, or use post-it notes, to write out what you want to believe about yourself. Look at it as you work.
  • Ask your higher power for help is showing you the best beliefs for you. Be prepared to be inspired.

The best part about cultivating your own set of beliefs? No one needs to know about them but you. It can be a private thing between you and your soul, that never needs to be shared with anyone. Be brave. Choose beliefs that make you love even more.

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