Had Enough BS? How to Stop Your Belief System from Sabotaging Your Success
Your belief system can be forged at an early age; but even if you are filled with self-limiting beliefs and constant negative self-talk, you can stop the BS in its tracks and accomplish great things! I discuss how in my e-book, Get Out of Your Way. In the meantime, however, here are some life-changing insights and actionable lessons to help you stop the BS, defeat self-sabotage, and start living a more successful life:
A Definition and a Startling Fact:
First, keep in mind that a belief is an opinion you perceive with certainty to be true. It’s not a fact, although you probably give it much the same weight as a fact. But it is nothing more than an opinion you have decided is true. On top of this, consider this amazing reality:
By the time you reach age 18, you’ve heard approximately 180,000 negative remarks directed toward you! In other words, you’ve had some 25,000 hours of negativity pumped into your brain during the most influential time of your development. Even more distressing, according to researchers, is that 80 percent of this negative programming occurs by the time you are just eight years old.
Let me repeat that these remarks – the seeds for your negative self-esteem – were directed toward you by others. But even if you weren’t the one who put all those negative thoughts into your brain as a child, you are the one who continues to support them as an adult!
I’ve used hypnotism to help hundreds of people uncover self-limiting beliefs that were based on comments made to them during childhood. As a child, you didn’t have the mental capacity to understand all the circumstances coloring what others said to you. But now that you are an adult, you have the capabilities to see things in a bigger picture perspective.
Remember, a belief is an opinion you perceive to be true. It is not a fact. So, even if you were pumped full of limiting opinions from those around you as a child, those negative opinions were pure BS! But while such fertilizer makes weeds grow faster, you have the power and the adult responsibility to yank out those weeds and replace them with the fruitful seeds of self-empowerment!
It’s Not About Willpower or Logic
Willpower lasts for about two minutes before fizzling away, and logic has nothing to do with most behavior. Every time you place another cookie or cigarette into your mouth, you realize it’s a bad idea, yet you do it anyway. Every time you fail to reach a goal, you agonize and wonder why.
Here’s the secret: While willpower does not last, positive habits – fully developed and reinforced positive habits – do last; and they can turn your life around! To make that happen, of course, you need to remove the BS from your belief system, eliminate self-sabotage, and take back control!
The first self-sabotage you may encounter is the fear that this emotional transformation or mental reconditioning is going to take a long time and require a huge amount of effort, struggle, or pain. Because we live in an instant gratification world, the idea of personal growth and sustainable positive change is often dismissed as bogus.
Nonetheless, the happiest and most abundant people understand that learning new information and becoming a more competent and successful person requires the same amount of time and energy you’re already expending supporting your bad belief system. In fact, you’ll actually spend less time, effort, and energy while getting more of what you want from life.
How to Improve Your Belief System
The first mental shift you must make is to decide you will succeed in reaching your goals. It is in that decisive moment you actually become more of a success! Self-belief is the only element that separates those who win from those who don’t. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” So, those who believe they will succeed do succeed.
But to eliminate an unwanted belief, you must use a surprising ally: doubt. Here’s how: Think of a belief as a round table with many supporting legs underneath. Every time you knock a leg out from beneath the table, it becomes unstable. Eventually, with enough supporting legs removed, the table will collapse. Those table legs begin to disappear when you start to doubt the truth of their existence. In other words, your self-limiting beliefs will fall when your doubts about them are stronger than your perception that they are true.
To accomplish this, you’ll need to recognize your self-limiting beliefs (write them down) and then ask yourself these Six Power Questions:
- Is this self-limiting belief a fact?
If you answered YES, proceed to the next question. If you answered NO, then you can discard this false idea you used to believe about yourself.
- Has there ever been a time when this thought wasn’t true? If so, could it truly be factual?
- If this thought were false, how would your life be different or better?
- What would you rather believe instead? (What is the opposite of this old belief?)
- Is this new belief as true as, or more true than, the original belief?
- How will your life be better now by supporting this new belief?
Remember, a belief is an opinion you perceive with certainty to be true. When you introduce doubt, you lose the certainty, and the belief becomes just an opinion.
Making Your New Belief System Even Stronger
For each self-limiting belief, loudly declare, “What a bunch of BS!” For example, “I can’t do it. What a bunch of BS!” Or “I’m not worthy. What a bunch of BS!” Self-limiting belief after self-limiting belief can be dealt with this way. Finally, repeat the following out loud: “All those things are BS, and I’m not putting up with it anymore! I’m better than that, and every day, in every way, I am getting better and better, from now on!”
To learn even more about how to turn self-limiting beliefs into an empowering new belief system, check out my e-book, Get Out of Your Way, my audio book, The Power of Optimism: Mental Strategies for Silencing Your Inner Critic, or contact me at 317.579.7500.
Tim Shurr, MA, is President of Shurr! Success, Inc., a personal and professional development company based in Indianapolis, and Director of Indy Hypnosis Center. He is an award-winning speaker, business strategist, TV personality, and an internationally known expert in Peak Performance. For more tips, visit www.OvercomeSelfSabotageNow.com or www.indyhypnosis.com/blog.