Children have maps which sometimes remind us that our maps are learned behaviour. One child saw a dog in a police car and asked the policeman, “is that a dog in your car?” The policeman confirmed that it was so the child asked, “What did he do to get arrested?”
Adults may have a more informed map but it is still only a filtered representation of reality.
When we are young we believe everything we are told about ourselves as we have no way of testing it. Later achievements and evidence often doesn’t change these childhood beliefs. If we are constantly told as a child, “You’re an idiot”, or “You’re fat”, it doesn’t matter how much evidence to the contrary we find in later life, those beliefs, those patterns are established in our brain.
Beliefs are strong perceptual filters. Events are interpreted in terms of the belief and exceptions just prove the rule.
Think about the placebo effect. If we believe the medicine will work, our mind will make it work even when there is no actual medicine in it.
Whether You Believe You Can Or You Believe You Can’t, You’re Right
How many of you want to slap people who tell you that? 😉
But the fact is, that as long as you believe it’s impossible you’ll never try. Or, if forced, you’ll give it a half-hearted try just to prove the point. And you’ll never prove whether it’s possible or not.
Tests have been done where teachers were sent into classes of equally able students. The teachers were told that one group had an exceptionally high IQ and sure enough in subsequent testing that group did much better. The only difference was the teacher’s expectations.
An essential part of being successful is having beliefs that allow you to succeed.
Take a moment to think of 3 limiting beliefs you have – e.g. I can’t do X, I’m no good at Y, I’m not a Z type person.
Close your eyes and imagine a big, ugly mirror. See in the mirror how you life will be in 5 years time if you continue to act on those beliefs.
Now see it in 10 years time. Then 20 years.
Now stand up . Take a few deep breaths. Think of 3 beliefs that would empower you – e.g. I haven’t done X YET, I can learn to do Y if someone shows me how. Close your eyes and imagine a big, friendly-looking mirror. See in the mirror how you life will be in 5 years time if those beliefs were really true. Now in 10 years time. 20 years.
Don’t say “I’m no good at…..” Say “I have a lot to learn about……” And then go and learn it.
No one was born being good at anything but eating, pooping and crying. Everyone had to learn by trying, getting it wrong and trying again – trial and error.
The quickest way to change someone’s belief is to give them a strategy to turn “I can’t” into “I can”. What strategies can you come up with?