We all have patterns in our lives, and these patterns are created by our beliefs.
We keep creating the same job with a different boss, or the same relationship with a different face. Maybe we have a habit of starting projects we don’t finish, or procrastinating to the point where tomorrow never comes, and we don’t even get started.
Some patterns support us, and some don’t. We can fight them, or we can embrace them and learn to have them work for us.
I’m going to tell you about 5 ways you can begin to deconstruct those limiting beliefs and create new ones that support the life you choose to create.
Your Mind Is A Database
Your mind records your life experiences, analyzes them, compares them, and then attempts to create causal relationships between them. It’s the natural way that our minds “learn,” and it serves us well, to a point.
The downside to this way of learning is that it is dependent on the past repeating itself. It is dependent on a paradigm that states that if something happened in the past, then it is likely that, given similar circumstances, it will happen again.
This is often the case, and to a large extent we have come to depend on it. However, the saying, “those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it,” can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It Is An Iterative Process
Your mind is always recording new experiences and placing them into context within its organizational structure. Every experience is put into a box with known relationships to all the other boxes.
The more experiences you have with repeating causal relationships, the stronger that structure and the more rigid its pathways become; expectations develop, beliefs, and eventually belief systems are born.
The more experiences we can relate to the justification of a belief, the more influential that belief becomes, the stronger expectations based on that belief become, and the more likely that those experiences will be repeated.
This is why beliefs play such an important role in what we create for ourselves. They often become self-reinforcing.
That is great if they are experiences we want to repeat, but how do we access potentials and possibilities beyond the limited set created by a belief system which no longer serves us?
You Can Change Your Beliefs
Yes, it is possible to completely let go of a belief and instantly free yourself of its limitations, however this is rare. Beliefs, especially the most influential ones, are often the result of years of repetitive experiences.
Your beliefs did not suddenly appear in their present form. They were either consciously, or more likely, unconsciously adopted or created, then reinforced incrementally, one experience at a time. It is reasonable therefore, to deconstruct them the same way.
This takes patience with yourself, and no small amount of courage. Our most ingrained beliefs are often so intertwined with our self-identity that releasing them requires that we adopt a new view of ourselves.
Most people identify themselves by the summation of their experiences. “I was a student, I received a degree, I lived there, I worked here, I am a father or sister.” These are life experiences, but they are not who we are.
We are much more than the sum of our experiences. However, our beliefs ARE the sum of our experiences. As we begin to question, identify and deconstruct beliefs which no longer serve us, we often end up running into our self-perceived identity.
So How Do You Change Your Beliefs?
In order to deconstruct beliefs created and reinforced through past experience, we need to allow experiences which contradict them, even in the smallest way.
We do this by looking for the changes, the contradictions, the discrepancies between our belief of what would happen, and what actually did happen. Focusing on the differences helps us to weaken the resolve of a belief, and open up a crack to possibilities beyond it.
So without further ado, here are 5 ways you can use to soften, open and deconstruct limiting beliefs that no longer serve you, and reinforce the beliefs that support the life you choose to create.
1. Do It Again For The First Time
Adopt the approach of doing it again for the first time. No matter how many times you have done something, do it again for the first time. Allow yourself the possibility that something different can happen, that future outcomes need not be limited by past outcomes.
As an example, sit in your living room, or at your desk in the office. Now look around with “new eyes”. You usually gloss over items with which you have been accustomed in your surroundings. Take a look around the room as if it is the first time you have ever been there.
You will notice things that you never noticed before. As we practice allowing ourselves to perceive life without assumption, we will also begin perceiving new potentials, possibilities and solutions.
2. Leave A Little Room For Something Better Than You Can Imagine
Another tool I have found useful in creating and opening cracks in a belief is to leave a little room for something better than you can imagine. You may be able to temporarily suspend your disbelief while using your imagination, but your imagination can be limited as well.
Think of a belief as a puzzle made of experiences, with all the pieces in the correct order. It is very structured, everything has its place in relationship to every other piece.
Now with your imagination you can move those pieces around creating new pictures, putting them in any order you choose. You can rearrange those pieces in many different ways, but even then, you are limited by the pieces or experiences you have to work with.
True creativity, inspiration, or the “AHA” moment can strike like a bolt of lightning; powerful and crystal clear, more perfect than anything we imagined… and gone just as quickly.
It is in these brief moments, that we move beyond the mind, beyond imagination.
We don’t need to go out and try to find these moments. What we can do is leave a little space, a little crack open to the possibility that something better than we can imagine might happen.
When you do this, you will find that these brief moments of realization, inspiration and synchronicity occur more frequently, and can be a truly beautiful source of new experiences to help you open that crack just a little bit wider.
3. Don’t Be Certain
If you know that all men are pigs, because every man you have ever dated was a pig, then your chances of meeting a man who isn’t a pig is small at best.
Now concede that perhaps you have not met every man in the world, that somewhere, anywhere in the world there might exist a man who is not a pig. You laugh, at least I hope you are, but as obvious as this example is, it demonstrates my point.
Certainty is often a red flag that you are stuck in a self-reinforcing belief. If you begin an experience anticipating an undesired outcome, then why begin at all?
If you desire something different than what you anticipate, then the solution is easy. You have identified a limiting belief that is no longer serving you, and you can begin deconstructing it.
Certainty will never give you anything different than what you expect. If you can admit to yourself that maybe you’re not 100% certain, then you leave room for something different in your life.
4. Take Responsibility For What You Create
Your ability to create what you want in your life is proportional to your ability to take responsibility for what you have already created. If you want to feel like a creator, you first have to acknowledge that you always have been.
You don’t get to be a victim up to this point, blaming anything or anyone else, only to suddenly become a creator now. Nothing has changed. You are the creator of your life now, and you always have been.
As you continue to take responsibility for everything you create in your life, whether you perceive it as good or bad, you reinforce the belief that you are in fact creating your life.
As this belief grows within you, it will help to create additional experiences to reinforce itself. Now we are using the self-reinforcing nature of beliefs to our benefit!
5. “Thank Me”
Thank you very much! (I prefer “Thank me” 🙂
Learn to say thank you to yourself. Taking responsibility for what you create in your life isn’t limited to those experiences you perceive as bad.
Give yourself credit for all the wonderful things too! Acknowledge the great things you create for yourself on a daily basis; the perfect parking spot, the perfect cup of coffee, or even a perfect moment, when time seems to stand still as you watch the wind play with the leaves on the sidewalk. Life is filled with gifted moments from you, for you.
We usually say “Thank you,” when someone does something nice for us. It’s only polite after all. Remember to thank yourself when you do something nice for yourself.
When you are doing the dishes, or maybe driving to work and all of a sudden you remember, “Oh, it’s so and so’s birthday! I need to call them,” say “Thank me!” If someone had reminded you, you would have thanked them, so thank yourself.
The added bonus of realizing all the times you are there for yourself, or “got your own back,” you will start to trust yourself more. The more you trust yourself, the more you trust what you are creating for yourself.
So, when you identify a pattern or limiting belief that is no longer serving you, here are five tools you can use to deconstruct that belief, and replace it with one that serves you.
- Do It Again For The First Time
- Leave A Little Room For Something Better Than You Can Imagine
- Don’t Be Certain
- Take Responsibility For What You Create
- “Thank Me”
Before long, you will find yourself traveling along the path from the crack of “remote possibility” to “self-realized truth” and a new belief which serves you, the creator.
Eventually, you will move beyond a simple mental acknowledgement of your creatorship, and begin to feel like a creator.
Through continued experiences, this feeling will grow until it is no longer distinguishable from yourself. No longer just a belief, it is a realization, a state of being.
You simply are the creator of your life.