In his book, The Believing Brain, Dr. Michael Shermer explains that “Once beliefs are formed, the
brain begins to look for and find confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs. This adds an
emotional boost of further confidence in the beliefs and thereby accelerates the process of
reinforcing them. This process goes around and around in a positive feedback loop of belief
Once you believe something, your brain looks for evidence to confirm and support those beliefs and it actively ignores anything that contradicts the beliefs you hold.
Believe you’re always going to struggle and never get anywhere, that’s all you’ll see.
Believe the streets are paved with gold and money grows on trees, then that’s what you’ll find in the world.
Believe women are mysterious and relationships a minefield, then you’ll hop from one explosive encounter to the next.
Believe everything always works out for you and everyone is on your side, and you’ll see the world as a kind and generous partner in your adventures.
Beliefs are everything, they are the boundaries to your world and they are as wide or as narrow as you believe it to be.
How do you change the way you think, the way you believe?
First, become aware of the beliefs that are holding you back. I like to journal to do that, but the evidence is in how I live, what shows up around me. Am I experiencing the life I want to live? Not always. Why? What beliefs are lurking that create stress, drama, upset?
Look for your evidence, what is showing up in your life that you want to change? Ask why it’s there?
Is it a belief that’s causing it to show up? Interrogating how you think by yourself is a tough thing to do because we all have our blind spots but it’s a good way to start change.
And the more you probe, the more you see evidence that other people who started in similar circumstances as you and yet have led very different lives, the more you’ll see that it’s not anything to do with your circumstances but about how you think.
Want to drop excess weight but finding it difficult during the pandemic because of anxiety? Think of the people who actually shaped up during the pandemic. How did they think differently to you? Can you incorporate even one different way of thinking into your day to help make a healthier change?
Need to change your job or find a new job but there’s nothing out there. It’s a challenging time to be sure but there’s always need for people to do more and help more. How could you start working for yourself? The government gave a £150 million contract to a company who had no references or experience in supplying PPE. I’m not suggesting you run off and start a business making promises you can’t fulfill but think about what you can do, and do that.
The best way to start opening up your mind is to ask questions, big, open ended, creative, challenging questions.
Our brains are designed to bring us answers. The better questions you ask, the better response you’ll get.
For me, I ask how can I serve more people? How do I communicate better? How do I reach more people? How do I get people to listen to my message? (there’s still some of my childhood bossy boots in my thinking :)) What can I use to disrupt the idea that there’s nothing we can do to make changes in the world? Where do I start?
And then I start. That’s the most important thing, once you’ve realised you’re capable of more and started asking questions, do something. The smallest action, but some forward movement is necessary at this moment.
And then celebrate, because you changed. In that moment you changed how you think. You challenged an old belief and disproved it. Celebrate and that dopamine hit will encourage you to do more, to keep going.
Change is hard. I’m not going to pretend its not. I struggle some days, and its important to know that sometimes we need to give ourselves a break.
And then, we come back and do more, move forward again. Because the world needs all of us to be our best.
Your beliefs decide on the world you see and live in. And many of us have beliefs formed when we were scared little children. That’s why the world can seem so harsh and unforgiving and unsafe.
But if its not that way for everyone, then it need not be that way for us.
Change you beliefs, change your world. Make it a big, bold, bright one where you’re safe to play, to challenge yourself, to live bigger and have more.
PS. Think what would life be like if your thought processes were upgraded so you became unstoppable. What would life be like if you were able to step up and show up as that best ever version of you that you know you’re capable of?
Picture yourself thriving in life, developing an instinct for making the right choices, knowing in your gut you’re always choosing the correct thing for you.
Imagine any addictions, old anxiety and fear melting away, no longer influencing your thinking, your behaviour, your decisions. You are free to make better choices.
Think how it would feel achieving your goals with far less resistance, whether it’s earning an extraordinary income, being a rockstar in your business or career, or excelling in your personal relationships. You can do it, you have no fears about any of it anymore.
See yourself fully present and grounded, living with total fulfillment and satisfaction with how life is unfolding for you, with zero regrets, as you fearlessly carve your own path forward.
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