So, what’s the problem with negative beliefs?
In the main, clients tend to believe that the negative beliefs they have about themselves are facts. And because they’re facts, they must therefore be true.
One of our most important jobs, is to help them see that these ‘facts’ are really just beliefs. And just like any other belief, they’re reliant on faith, to make them effective.
Because your client has faith that these beliefs are true, they act in accordance with that belief without question.
Making changes to negative beliefs
So, how do we change their pattern? You can’t just tell them that their beliefs are false. Well, you could, but they wouldn’t believe you anyway. they have to discover it for themselves.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t give them hints. For example, two of the most popular negative beliefs I hear are… I’m too old, or I’m too young. Yet, by recounting one of the stories HERE for I’m too old or HERE for I’m too young, you can start to open up new thought patterns.
There are an unlimited number of negative beliefs you can uncover during you time in practice. Some of the more common ones are things like…
- I’ll never be able to lose weight
- I’m too old to start something new
- I’m too young to do that
- I’m not smart enough to do that
- I never get anything right
- I fail at everything I try, etc. etc.
All of these things are simply beliefs. They’re thoughts about what they believe will be the case, based on usually scant ‘evidence’.
In fact, the definition of a belief is… “the feeling of being certain that something exists or is true, without the benefit of proof, or evidence.”
Our job is to help them recognise that a belief is exactly that. It’s something they believe to be true, and not necessarily what is true. And we do that by bringing it to their awareness.
Most of the time, a client will simply see the failing as an undeniable truth. But it’s usually fairly easy to help them see an alternative. The issue generally comes from the fact that, because they accepted the failing as true, there was never a reason to question it. So, you change the belief by getting them to question it.
The simplest way to do that is by asking… “Is that really true?”
So, for example, let’s say a client says, “I always fail at everything.”
You can ask them, “Is that really true? Have you always failed at EVERYTHING? What about learning to walk?, Do you have a partner, or children? Do you have a job/career?”, etc.
“All of these are things you’ve been successful at. So therefore, you don’t always fail.”
Although this is a simplistic example, it starts them questioning their belief. It begins a thought pattern where they can see another possibility. And usually, this is enough to start the ball rolling.
You’ll probably find that the negative thoughts have been circling in their mind for so long, that they never even realised another option existed. But, just that one simple question Is that really true? can make all the difference.
As I said before, you could tell a client that their beliefs are simply thoughts, not facts and they’ll understand that intellectually. But, understanding that, and believing it applies to that particular negative thought, are two very different things.
By getting your client to experience the fact that their negative thought is just that, they’ll come to their own conclusion.
I believe that a belief should be useful. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s true or not. One of my beliefs, is that I believe anyone can do anything they want to do.
And on the face of it, that seems impossible. But as with everything, is it impossible, or just very unlikely? Because if it’s only unlikely, then it is possible. Given enough time, resources, patience and money, anything is possible. Even things we’ve never seen before. After all that’s what inventions are for, making the impossible, possible.
And finally, don’t be too disheartened if they hold on to their negative belief for a while. Remember, their brain has got comfortable with the thought because it’s spent so much time thinking it. And the brain likes to be comfortable. Tell it it’s wrong and it becomes uncomfortable, at least for a short while.
So we need to help them work on their belief systems. Help them to identify those thoughts that they’ve thought so many times. And help them to unravel them and prove them wrong using questions.
Do you have any questions? You can ask them in the comments 🙂