Changing Your Beliefs 101 Part 2/3
Changing beliefs starts by challenging beliefs. Once you start to doubt what you believe, change starts to become possible.
Because a belief…
… is simply a thought you have made real!
It’s not real, it just feels real. Let me explain.
Very simplified, this is how you form a belief:
- You have an experience at one time in your life.
- You have a thought about that experience.
- You then make a decision that it is a valid thought.
- You decided to believe it and this forms a belief.
- You collect evidence in “the real world” to support your belief.
After you’ve formed a belief, you don’t challenge it anymore. After all, it feels true to you.
And what feels true, is the truth, right?
I’m going to be a bit in your face and tell you that this is WRONG.
It simply feels true because it’s your truth. But what is your truth is someone else’s lie.
You might believe that the world is an unsafe place. Another person might believe that the world is a safe place.
Nobody is right or wrong here.It’s merely a difference in beliefs.
You might have formed the belief that the world is not safe due to some experience(s) you’ve had earlier in life.
The other person might or might not have had those experiences.
Fact is though, that the other person did not come to the conclusion the world is unsafe and therefore has not formed that belief.
Now whether the world is safe or not, you might want to ask yourself which belief makes you feel better. Do you feel more anxious or less anxious if you think the world is an unsafe place?
If you decide that you rather believe that the world is a safe place, then you want to start challenging beliefs that make you believe the world is unsafe.
As a side note, I believe the world is a safe place because it makes me feel more comfortable. This doesn’t mean that I realize that there are some places that are not safe. I’m not putting myself in dangerous positions, I can still rationalize that some places are better for me to avoid. But in general, I feel very safe.
Questions For Challenging Beliefs
By challenging beliefs I simply mean finding ways to doubt the beliefs that you want to change.
You do this by picking one belief you want to change and then asking yourself the questions below:
- What caused me to believe this in the first place? Where did I learn this? Is it even valid?
- Can I think of a time where this belief would not hold true?
- In what way is this belief absurd or ridiculous?
- Has there ever been a time when this belief was not true or did not apply?
- Does this belief hold true in every situation? For everyone? Anywhere? Always?
- What are the exceptions to this belief?
The answers to these questions will help you to see that the belief isn’t as solid as you thought it was. This starts to weaken the belief and makes it easier to change.
Realize that challenging beliefs is you trying to figure out the truth. You are living your current life with beliefs that are old and outdated.
If you formed the belief that the world is an unsafe place when you were six years old because you have a negative experience and you are still having that belief now…
If you think people are nasty and mean and are out to get you because you were bullied in school when you were twelve years old…
Then you are still living out the decisions you made when you were six and twelve years old. Some of those beliefs you formed still serve you. Others don’t.
Now when you want to change the ones that don’t serve you…
You start with challenging beliefs!
Go to part 3/3:
Changing Core Beliefs To Improve Your Self Esteem
Go to part 1/3:
How To Change Your Beliefs
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