What a fitting topic to start out the month: beliefs. When we fall for an April Fool’s joke, isn’t it because we believe something, then we find out it’s not true. The laugh is on us for believing in the first place. So where else in your life do you believe things that just aren’t true? Isn’t now a good time to check your beliefs and not be a fool or hold yourself back?
First, let’s get clear on what exactly is a "belief". You may find those little rascals can be identified as a sentence. For example, "Eating is good for me." You may notice this little belief is running quietly in the background in everyone. Check it out. Beliefs exist in humans to cause us to behave and feel. Since we all believe we need to eat, we eat. What a concept!
Now imagine this belief quietly running inside: "I’m just an average guy." What would be the behavior and feeling created by that belief? Now imagine another belief: "Today’s going to be a great day!" What kind of day do you think the person will have?
How many until-now quiet beliefs did you just identify in yourself? And a better question: where’d you get them? Now notice the language. Is it "You need to eat"? Did you catch the "you" in it? When you hear a "you" in the sentence of the belief, it’s probably someone else’s belief sentence that you inherited. Check it out. Be honest. Did someone say something long ago and you tossed it somewhere deep in your mind. How about "You’ve got to work hard for money?" Are you working hard for money? Well knock it off. That was someone else’s belief. Rich people believe "money works hard for me." Which is true? I don’t care. It’s the one that supports the happiness of me and the world that I choose to believe.
L. Ron Hubbard did great work in the 50’s on these sentences and releasing them. NLP has gone much further in creating a brief process for changing those beliefs to empowering beliefs quickly.
So let’s call this "Check your beliefs month" or "Don’t be a fool" month. Use your Inherent Excellence and choose your own beliefs!
Next time you’re talking to someone, listen for what quiet belief may be running for them. Then notice you’ve got one too. We all do. If you’re having a disagreement, it may just be the sentences are opposites.
For example, I recently had an example where my belief sentence was "If you respect me, you’ll challenge me." The other person was running "If you respect me, you won’t challenge me." Imagine the confusion. Neither is very useful. Just noticing this little belief, or rule, completely changes the conversation. You can say "Ah, we just have different beliefs."
Of course we both respect each other. A better new belief could be: "I respect you because you are important to me."
Where could this be useful? How about when talking to a client, your boss, your spouse?
Using your Inherent Excellence
You’ve got a natural ability to listen below the surface, are you using it? When you hear something, are you checking if it’s a belief based on culture or myth?
For example, "everyone" knows you’re supposed to drink 8-8 oz. glasses of water a day. Right? How do you "know" that? Did you hear it from someone you trust, like in an Internet email forwarded from a friend? I did. BUT, I’ve got a huge belief filter running though, so I searched for the source.
Well check out this article from a professor at Dartmouth College. He found no research to support that "belief". Seems the International Bottled Water Association is bothered by this study. I wonder why?
Now I don’t know what is "true". The moral of the story is: Here’s an example of a person using their Inherent Excellence: the human ability to ask questions, to be curious. Are you using your gift of asking questions, of curiosity?