Beliefs are mental notions and assumptions that you have about yourself, others and the world around you. Beliefs are formed through our experiences and interactions and influence your habits.
Many of your beliefs were formed in childhood and are heavily influenced by our parent’s beliefs.
Often we are not aware of how our beliefs influence our actions and reactions, they are unconscious. Beliefs can limit you or propel you towards excellence.
Your identity is heavily influenced by your self-belief. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
James Clear summed it up quite well with this example:
“My girlfriend is great at remembering people’s names. Recently, she told me a story that happened when she was in high school. She went to a large high school and it was the first day of class. Many of the students had never met before that day. The teacher went around the room and asked each person to introduce themselves. At the end, the teacher asked if anyone could remember everyone’s name. My girlfriend raised her hand and proceeded to go around the room and accurately name all 30 or so people. The rest of the room was stunned. The guy next to her looked over and said, “I couldn’t even remember your name.” She said that moment was an affirming experience for her. After that she felt like, “I’m the type of person who is good at remembering people’s names.” Even today, she’s great at remembering the names of anyone we come across. Here’s what I learned from that story: In order to believe in a new identity, we have to prove it to ourselves”
If you don’t believe that you can achieve your goals or build those positive habits then you need to work on your identity. You are a reflection of what you believe you are, your current habits are a reflection of your current identity.
If you have a limiting belief you can change it.
You need to believe that you are the kind of person that you want to become.
How to change your identity/beliefs
- Decide the type of person you want to be.
- Find the source of your current limiting belief.
- Identify a counter instance.
- Identify an alternative meaning
- Reframe or Flip it
- Form a new belief with small wins.
Find the Source/s of your current limiting belief
Think back to an experience that brought you to this self-belief conclusion. You might need to dig deep, but there will be a stand out instance that led you to this belief. This experience might have been the catalyst for future proof of the belief and that identity.
Identify a counter Instance
Look for one specific example where the statement is not actually true, where you did something or experienced something that is not in alignment with that belief.
Identify an Alternative Meaning
This part has two concepts
- 1 -There is a strength or positive that you have not focused on from the source. You need to find it
- 2 – Your perception of the event is distorted.
Example: My father examined one of my artworks when I was a kid; he just did not get it and openly discouraged me from pursuing any career in the arts. This contributed to my belief that my art was crap. I had chosen that perspective out of the many possible perspectives that could have explained the situation. But at the time, I chose one and attached myself to it. Nothing has any meaning unless we give it a meaning. Find the strength or Positive
- Maybe I have found a unique style of art
- Maybe my art has shock value and had depth that is not apparent to some.
See the alternatives:
- Dad might have been having a bad day.
- He might have an analytical brain and not appreciate different forms of art.
- Maybe it wasn’t my best performance, but it was an isolated occurrence.
Being flawed in one aspect of your life simply means that you are strong in a different area. Flip a weakness into a strength.
“I struggle with execution”, flip it, to “I always try to give my best work, no matter what”.
“I’m suborn” flipped = single-minded determination.
Form a new belief with small wins
Become the type of person who can achieve the behaviors of the identity. Start by completing small behaviors synonymous with the type of person you want to become. Ie. If you want to lose weight become the type of person that moves more every day. Walk around the block every day or buy a pedometer and add 50 steps everyday It is of paramount importance that you start with incredibly small steps. The goal is not to achieve the targeted result, the goal is to become the type of person who can achieve those things. If you aim too high, you might not follow through. Consistency is key.
Go get em tiger…