Friday, March 26, 2010

Where Did THAT Belief Come From?!

You’re aware many of your beliefs were imposed on you—and you’re working on this (yes?). See if you’ve ever had a subconscious belief similar to one I was surprised to recently discover.

A cold wind interrupted our early, warmer spring weather. I woke and felt chilled air from my partially opened window and smiled at the warm comfort of my bed. I felt deep appreciation for the comfort and the moment—and that delicious feeling was immediately followed by guilt on behalf of those who may not have a warm bed in their own space. Where did that come from, I asked myself?

I flashed back to when I was six or seven years old, dawdling over a lunch I didn’t particularly like. I heard my grandmother say what was likely said to her, “Eat! There are starving people in (whatever country) who would be grateful to have that food.”

I considered several substrata layers of that surface thought:
You have to “eat” (accept) even what you don’t feel is appropriate for you or desirable. (This can tilt into settling for less in any area of your life or permitting forms of abuse.)
Whatever you feel is inappropriate or undesirable for you, you have no right to your feelings (dissatisfaction is inappropriate) or to want something better for yourself (who do you think you are), because others have less and would be grateful to have what you have or have been given.
You should feel grateful for whatever you have AND guilty because if you have anything, remember there are others who don’t have even that much. Somehow, what you have (been given, earned, acquired) directly connects to what others don’t (or don’t go after). And somewhere inside that thought is a responsibility for their situation that you should absorb—and feel bad about.

This reminds me of something Wayne Dyer said, and I’m paraphrasing: You can never be hungry enough to feed all the people who have no food. I assure you I was stunned to realize any guilt about having a modest comfort was roiling around in my psyche.

A statement intended to make sure a child received nourishment locked in way more than it was meant to. It locked in guilt as a stronger emotion than appreciation, which wears many “masks.” It locked in a holistic, circular relationship with beliefs about lack. What kind of vibrational matching or order fulfillment will that create? Not the desired one, that’s for sure. What opportunities for self-sabotage exist through that belief?

Reread the paraphrased Dyer statement. How many of your desired outcomes have subconscious guilt statements attached to them? Have you ever experienced a similar fleeting thought (or another) and ignored it? I’m almost willing to bet you’ve had them and brushed them away like an annoying insect. Next time this happens, pay attention. If not then, as soon as you have or can create a quiet moment to look at it and assess its implications in your life.

We learn beliefs, and we can unlearn them. We can decide to keep or not any belief imposed on and absorbed by us, no matter the source. If any belief withholds a fulfilling life from us, we have a responsibility to give it real thought and reassessment.

It doesn’t matter how “evolved” you are after applying yourself to self-improvement and new thought, such beliefs long-buried deeply in your psyche will surface—if they aren’t already obvious. Let go of any embarrassment about this, it’s not useful. A natural part of the self-evolving process is to open to such moments so you can engage them and let go of them—see them for what they are and aren’t.

Do a quick check-in on some of your beliefs. Pay attention to the first answer that pops into your mind. Then look at particular experiences and see if they match what came up.

Men/Women are . . .
My relationship with money is “destined” to be . . .
Love is . . .
My self-worth is based on . . .
That race/culture is . . .
Aging is . . .
If I make a mistake . . .
If I do what is appropriate for me . . .
My right to success is . . .
I can feel lovable or worthy of love only when . . .

We take a limiting belief and act as if it’s real, as though it’s the truth. Every belief is acted on automatically through our thoughts, feelings, words, choices, and actions. Then, we are not surprised—or are—by our experiences and results. Even when we attempt to change at the conscious level, we don’t realize our subconscious still accepts the ingrained belief—until we see it, let it go, and grab onto one that supports us.

We’ve been conditioned to measure everything by results instead of what motivates us. We are motivated and directed—aware of this or not—by our conscious and subconscious beliefs. A good question about anything is what do you believe and who do you believe it for? If it’s not for you, what would you like to do about it?

Doing more of the same—thoughts, feelings, words, beliefs, actions—will not bring you different results.

Here’s a mental exercise from the training manual created by Bruce Schneider, Founder of iPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching). It works best if you allow private time to align with the feeling of it as a “real” experience.

“Imagine that you have just awakened from a night’s rest and whatever challenge you have come here with was miraculously overcome while you were sleeping. The challenge was completely solved overnight; but you were sleeping, and so you didn’t know it was solved. You wake up and something is different. You inherently know that something is different, that something must have happened during the night. What is the first thing you notice that confirms that something actually did happen?”

Out-of-balance beliefs create tension. Tension reminds you to return to the truth: You are an infinite creative consciousness deliberately having a human experience.

You are what you practice.

Feel free to reprint this article. Just include my bio as a complete statement.

(Test-drive Reinvent Yourself. Visit the Empowerment Extras page on my State of Appreciation Website to see how you can get Implement 3—Design Your Magnetic Life and Business Vision free!) Self-Doubters & Second-Guessers: learn to trust and follow what is natural, fulfilling, and even fun for you in life or business. Let Reinvent Yourself: Refuse to Settle for Less in Life and Business e-book or coaching program show you how. You Are More! Empowerment Coach Joyce Shafer, author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say ( Details, her books and e-books, and current free weekly newsletter at

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