Do you know the difference between beliefs and occurrings? They are totally different phenomena. And you need to be able to eliminate both of them to have a truly satisfying life.

Do you usually make a distinction between reality and how reality occurs for you?
Very few people even realize there is a difference between the two, which leads them to deal with a “reality” that exists only in their mind.

Do you know why the ability to make that distinction is crucial to having a truly happy life? Most people have no idea.

I was preparing a handout for the new Lefkoe Occurring Course starting February 1 that discussed these three issues and I realized that the information in the handout would be useful to all the readers of my blog. So I am reprinting most of the handout below.


Reality: What actually happens in the world. What you know through your five senses, especially what you can see or hear. What you would capture on a video recording.

Occurring: The meaning you give to events in reality. Usually we don’t distinguish between reality and how reality occurs for us (our occurring), so we think the meaning we give reality IS reality. For example, losing our job is a fact in reality, that it is a disaster or a great opportunity are two possible ways the event can occur for you. You can “see” that you no longer have a job. You can’t “see” that the job loss is a disaster or an opportunity.

No meaning: Events in reality have no inherent meaning. In other words, you can’t draw any inferences or make any predictions, for sure, as a result of observing any events. When you do the Lefkoe Belief Process you experience clearly that mom’s and dad’s behavior had no inherent meaning, that the way they treated you meant nothing about you.


The difference between a belief and an occurring and why that difference is important: Beliefs are the meaning we give to a series of events. The meaning usually is a statement about ourselves, people or life. A belief is a statement about reality that we feel and act is the truth (it is possible to intellectually disagree with something we believe). Beliefs are generalizations, for example, I am …. People are …. Life is …. Once formed, beliefs continue to exist and affect our behavior, feelings and perceptions forever, unless we are able to eliminate the belief.

Our occurrings are the meaning we give to a specific event. Each occurring is a distinct experience that usually lasts only a short time and then fades away by itself when we stop thinking about the event. An example of an occurring is your boss asking you a question and it occurring to you as she doesn’t trust you or she doesn’t like you or you’re going to get fired. That is the meaning you have given to the boss’s question. In reality all that happened is that she asked you a question.

Your long-standing beliefs are not occurrings. Occurrings require, by definition, an event. An occurring is how an event occurs for you. If there is no event, there is no occurring.

So beliefs and occurrings are two totally different phenomena. There is a relationship between them, however, in that beliefs are the major source of our occurrings. In other words, how a meaningless event occurs for us is determined mainly by our beliefs. Change your beliefs and how events show up for you will be different. For example, if you believe, People are stupid, they will occur for you that way. Eliminate that belief and your occurring probably will change.

But because each is a distinct phenomenon, it is possible to dissolve an occurring without eliminating any beliefs. If you don’t eliminate the beliefs that are causing a occurring, you are likely to continue to have the same occurring when similar events happen in your life.

The reason this distinction between reality and our occurrings is so important is that most people rarely distinguish between them, thereby acting as if their occurring IS reality. In other words, we rarely deal with what is actually in the world; we deal with the meaning we have given what is in the world, a meaning that exists only in our own mind.

Reality can’t cause feelings: Because events have no inherent meaning, they are unable to make you feel anything. What produces your feelings (apart from some conditioning) is the meaning you give to events.

So beliefs (which are meaning you have given to a series of events) can result in feelings, such as anger resulting from the beliefs, I’m powerless and What makes me powerful (in control) is having things exactly the way I want them. When people don’t do what you want them to do you feel powerless and then feel anger at the people who didn’t do what you wanted them to do. If you didn’t have these two beliefs, you’d either ignore the people who aren’t doing what you want or you’d ask again, giving reasons for what you want.

The meaning you give specific events—your occurrings—also result in feelings. If you don’t get something you want and you give it the meaning: I can’t get what I want and I never will, you will get upset. If you give it the meaning: I haven’t gotten what I want yet, so what do I have to do to get it?—you will feel challenged and excited. Therefore, dissolving your occurrings enables you to simultaneously dissolve negative feelings, such as anxiety, anger, and upset.

Please let me know if these definitions and distinctions are clear and if they are useful. I look forward to hearing from you.

For information about my next Lefkoe Occurring Course, where you learn how to use the Lefkoe Occurring Process to automatically dissolve your occurrings and your negative feelings, please check out:

For information about eliminating 23 of the most common limiting beliefs and conditionings, please checkout:

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copyright © 2011 Morty Lefkoe