How to Assess Your Beliefs
A Brief Explanation
This is a really simple exercise which is designed to help you work out which of your beliefs are supporting you and which could be holding you back.
The example here looks at general beliefs you have about yourself. Once you have completed the exercise, you can use the same formula to explore your beliefs about other areas of your life.
For example, if you do not have the secure financial position you’d like right now, you might change the headings to be something like:
Positive Things I Believe About Rich People / Negative Things I Believe About Rich People
That’s usually a real eye opener and you may well find that although on a conscious level you think you want to be rich, you might actually have lots of negative beliefs around what being rich actually means. It’s no wonder with all the negative press we see about the rich and famous is it! If your deep seated beliefs are not aligned with what you consciously want, I’m afraid you just won’t get it!
You can use whatever headings you like, provided they show two sides of the same coin.
Other examples might be:
Reasons Why I Want to be Rich / Reasons I cannot be rich
Great Things About Being Wealthy / Reasons Not to Be Wealthy
Positive Things About a Serious Relationship / Negative Things About a Serious Relationship
Why I Should Have Better Relationships / Why I Don’t Have Better Relationships
Really, the world is your oyster!
Everything in your life is underpinned by your beliefs. Making them the best, most empowering and helpful they can be really is the least you can do for yourself!
1) Make a table with 3 columns in as shown below. You can download a ready made copy by clicking the link at the bottom of the page. In this first instance you should label the columns as shown
Positive Things I Believe About Myself
Negative Things I Believe About Myself
2) In column 1 write down all the positive things you believe about yourself and your life. Write as many as you can, at least 50.
3) In column 2 list all the negative or unhelpful things you believe about yourself and your life. Write as many as you can, at least 50.
If you only complete this part, you will already begin to see which way your beliefs tend to function and if there is an imbalance in your life.
Are they mostly helpful and supportive beliefs or mostly unhelpful and limiting? You can see this by looking at which column is fullest and which was the easiest to complete.
What does this tell you?
Imagine for a moment that none of them were true. What difference would that make to your life?
Imagine that you could change the unhelpful ones right now, what would you prefer them to be?
4) Start with the thing you believe most strongly in column 1, and list, in the third column, at least 3 things which support and prove this belief to be true. If you don’t have much time you could pick just a couple a day and work your way through the list.
5) For each of the things you list in column 2, you must write at least 3 examples of things which go against or disprove this belief in column 3. Again, pick the most firmly held beliefs first.
6) Pick two or three really key beliefs that you would love to change now. Every day for 10 days make an effort to consciously notice the things which you do, say and think which either:
a) reinforce or back up the positive things you believe about yourself
b) undermine or go against the things listed in column 2 unhelpful beliefs
7) Write down what you notice in your Evidence column
When you find that you are consistently spotting the things you do which make the unhelpful beliefs stronger, start challenging yourself.
Stop the thoughts in your head and replace them with more positive ones.
If you find it hard to completely turn those thoughts around to start with, you might go from a thought like ‘I can’t do it’ to ‘I’m going to find a way to do this’ or ‘I’ll need help to do this but I will get there’ and that’s fine. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
As time goes by make your challenges to yourself harder. Make the new statements stronger and even more positive. Push yourself to think great things about yourself even if you don’t yet believe them. With repetition, these thoughts will become as automatic as the negative one’s you’re replacing them with.
Once you find you can think great things about yourself without feeling anything negative – in other words when you can say them comfortably – go back to your first list and see which beliefs you no longer hold about yourself. Read them to yourself and you’ll be surprised that many of them will just seem silly now!
Keep going until you no longer hold unhelpful beliefs about yourself at all!
If you are consistent in the amount and intensity of the effort you put into this activity, it only takes about 10 days to install a new behaviour, or change a belief and replace it with a new one. So get cracking with that list and change the way you behave and think about yourself.
Remember, your beliefs are your business. You can choose to believe whatever you like so why would you pick anything except great things which serve you well?
You don’t have to accept anyone else’s beliefs as your own. They may have been right for you once but there may be some that are even better for you now.
Start exploring yours today!