Here’s why we need to change our beliefs to change our lives
We all have certain beliefs; about God, about the world, about others, and ourselves. These beliefs drive our responses or behaviors towards different situations and people. And these beliefs make up who we are. What we believe in, may not necessarily be true. But since we believe in it that becomes our truth.
This is also true when it comes to self-belief. What we think of ourselves and others to be true can have a positive or negative impact on our life. It marks the distance between success and failure, and confidence and doubt. While going through some literature today on what drives our behaviour, I came across Neurolinguistics Programming (NLP) and some of its presuppositions. NLP is an area that uses the power of belief to help people change and develop themselves to be better at areas in life where they fall behind due to their existing limiting beliefs.
To put it simply, NLP’s premise is if you are willing to swap your existing limiting beliefs with positive presuppositions, it delivers a better or much more desirable result. There are many presuppositions in NLP, but I found some of them to be more striking and easier to relate to than others. I have made an attempt to give my own connotations to these presuppositions, and I invite you to discover them together.
Everyone has their own model of the world
We are all born as empty pages or a brand new computer with nothing on it. And as we start to grow we learn things. Some of them are taught to us, some we pick up by observing others and our surroundings, and some we make up based on what we experience. Therefore, slowly our internal hard disk starts filling up with a tremendous amount of information. The sum total of this information being processed by us makes us who we are and how we act. It drives our responses to the situations we are faced with.
This is the case with everyone around us. They may have had different learnings, observations, memories, and teachings, and hence may have different views, behaviors, and values. When we understand this and accept it, we tend to start to open up to our differences, and become tolerant of each other. This opens up huge possibilities. It helps us connect and make a rapport. It helps us to lend our ear to what others have to say. It helps us to find the common ground, rather than imposing our views as the ultimate truth. Hence this presupposition helps make life easier and the world a much better place.
We respond to our reality, but not the reality itself
As I mentioned above, our responses and behaviors are deeply rooted in our learning and experience. So is our perception of reality. We make sense of the world around us through our senses and our personal experience. We view things in our own unique way, hence each individual’s perception of themselves and other are different.
There may have been many experiences in our past which makes us respond or act the way we do. And some of those experiences may have contributed to certain limiting beliefs that we have set for ourselves. Certain boundaries that makes us think that we are not capable of achieving something, or be where want to be. And due to our conditioning over the years those self limiting beliefs becomes our reality. But we make up that reality for ourselves, it’s not the reality in itself. In fact we are capable of much more than our self limiting beliefs. We can make so much more possible when we dare to step out of our self limiting reality.
I am in charge of my mind, and therefore my results
This belief (if adapted) is a game-changer. This belief empowers us to take charge of our own destiny. Along with empowerment, it also keeps accountability for the results of our actions, with us. As we are the one driving our life, we are also responsible for the results.
This belief measures the distance between action and inaction. Imagine the power to turn yourself into the person you admire (in the context of their achievements and results). From all the examples around us we know, we all have this power inside us. We just need to take charge, change our way of thinking, and change our beliefs. Everyone wants results, but are we willing to put in the work to get that result? Are we willing to take charge of our lives? Or we just prefer to leave it to others ?
I like to blame my fitness level on not having enough time to hit the gym, but in reality, I have the power to make all the difference. By doing so, I am just hiding behind excuses to avoid taking responsibility. We blame many things we don’t like about our current reality on other things. But ultimately our reality or current state is a result of what we chose to do, or how we chose to act.
Possible in the world, possible for me
This belief is closely linked to the previous one. If somebody has achieved it, it proves that it can be done, and hence we can also do it. We just need the right mindset, hunger, patience and drive to achieve what we set out to achieve. Any skill, talent, or ability that an individual has can be broken down into its components and taught to anyone with the right physical and mental state. We just need the drive and a strong conviction to learn, and work hard to achieve what we want to achieve.
There is no failure, only feedback
This belief helps set a positive mindset, and helps embrace challenges, and teaches us to look at failures as an opportunity rather than a stumbling block. It’s the same as saying failure is the stepping stone to success, or, if you don’t fail you don’t learn.
It’s a popular belief, but not everyone has the conviction to adapt it and implement it in their daily lives. Most people fear failure, no matter how much learning it can provide, we don’t want to fail. But if this presupposition is adapted in its true sense, and with conviction, then there is no failure. There is only learning and feedback.
Your past does not equal your future
If past equals to future, then the world is not possible. Everything we see around us from nano-chips to re-usable rockets would not have been possible. Progress itself is not possible if we assume the past to be equal to the future.
Similarly if we constraint ourselves to our pasts there is no growth, both personal or otherwise. We are not our past actions or behaviors however good or bad they were. It tells us that everyone is capable of change, and change is inevitable. This belief helps us to come out of our past and push forward. It makes us ready for new challenges. It drives us to explore new realities.
” Everybody’s got a past. The past does not equal to future, unless you live there.” – Tony Robbins
Flexibility is the key to success
A person who is flexible is more adaptable, and has the highest chance for success. Rigidity leads to dead end, whereas agility opens new doors. Flexibility is all about learning to listen, keeping an open mind and willingness to act.
Flexibility gives us the ability to see the changes that are happening around us, and also enables us to take the action needed to make alterations to suit those changes. If we keep reacting and responding in the same way, we will always get the same result. If we want something new, we have to do something new, and anything new could well be better than maintaining what is not working.
The meaning of your communication is the response you get
This belief will change the way we approach communication. The whole point of communication is to get an outcome. If we manage to get the desired outcome from our communication, then that makes us an effective communicator. But many times we fail to elicit the desired response from the other party to whom we are communicating. This means that the communication didn’t serve its purpose. And if I am are not getting the right outcome or response, then it’s not the fault of the person I am communicating to, but rather my communication itself. So once we adapt this belief, we will start to see the response we get on our communication as feedback, rather than brushing it aside as the failure of the receiving party.