For over 20 years we used essentially the same steps of the Lefkoe Belief Process (LBP) to help people eliminate the beliefs that were responsible for the undesirable behavior and emotions that kept them from fully enjoying life. There were few changes in the LBP because it worked for most people most of the time. Even though occasionally the LBP didn’t seem to work, it worked often enough to not really worry about the times it didn’t work. In late 2005 we finally realized why the LBP didn’t work when it didn’t and we made an important change in the Process.
Before I can describe what that important change was, let me explain why the LBP works so effectively with most people to permanently eliminate beliefs.
Why we think we can “see” a belief in the world
Although all the steps of the LBP are required to eliminate a belief, the most important part of the Process is when you realize that you can’t really “see” the belief you had thought you could “see” in the world.
When you form a belief you are giving meaning to events that really have no meaning. You are saying, for example, that mom and dad’s criticism and disappointment with my childhood behavior “means” I’m not good enough.
Once we give events a meaning, it seems to us as if the meaning we have attributed to them is inherent in the events; the “belief” is now something we think we know for sure as a result of observing the events. And one of the consequences of thinking meaning is inherent in events is that most people think they can “see” the belief when they observe or even imagine the events that gave rise to the belief.
In fact, the primary reason it is so difficult to eliminate beliefs using most techniques is that you think you could (and still can) “see” the belief in the world when you imagine the events that led to it. What could someone possibly say to talk you out of believing something you are convinced you “saw” in the world? How can something not be true if you can actually see it in the world?
As soon as you recognize that you can’t see the belief in the world, that the events existed in the world but the belief (the meaning you gave the events) exists (and has only ever existed) only in your mind, the belief will be gone. The belief will not longer seem like the truth.
We finally realized what the LBP was missing
As I said, this is how the LBP helped thousands of people eliminate beliefs for well over 20 years. There had always been signs that this process didn’t work for some people, who kept insisting, “I didn’t see (the belief); I felt it.” We just assumed this was just a matter of semantics and we told clients they must have “seen” the belief and then we went on to the next step of the LBP. By maintaining that they must have seen the belief even when they insisted they didn’t, we were arrogantly assuming we knew better what was going on in their minds than they did. This was a big mistake on our part.
For people like this, sometimes their belief was eliminated; often it wasn’t.
At the end of 2005 I became aware of a distinction that NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) had made that seemed to explain the difficulty some people were having with the “seeing” step of the LBP.
NLP distinguishes between the different representational system people use: visual, kinesthetic, and auditory. The predominant one is people who are primarily “visual,” who know reality because they “see” it. The next most common representational system used by people is kinesthetic, people who know reality because they “feel” it. Actually, most people are a mixture of the two, with most people preferring one modality to the other.
If you ask a visual person if he saw the belief when he imagines observing the events that led to the belief being formed, he responds, “Of course I did; if you were there you would have seen it too.” If you ask a kinesthetic person if she saw the belief, she responds, “What do you mean ‘see’? Am I looking for a sign that says [the words of the belief]? I felt [the belief].”
We revised the LBP
Once we understood this distinction, we added a few steps to the LBP especially for people who know reality primarily via their feelings and have revised those steps several times since 2006.
After 28 years of experience we’ve discovered that once a visual person eliminates a belief using the LBP, it doesn’t come back. It’s gone forever. I can’t think of a single person in 28 years who has complained of a belief coming back who has proven to be primarily visual.
Beliefs can come back for kinesthetic people
Unfortunately, beliefs sometimes do come back for some kinesthetic people, despite the steps we added in 2006 to the LBP. Not every kinesthetic person complains of beliefs coming back and not all of the beliefs they had eliminated come back. Moreover, when beliefs do come back they come back with less intensity. And if such people eliminate a belief several times very often the belief will continue to lessen in intensity until it no longer comes back. But the fact remains, even with the new steps we added especially for kinesthetic people, the LBP is not as effective with those people as it is with visual people, because getting rid of a belief is still not always permanent.
Fortunately somewhere between 80-85% of all people are visual and maybe 10-15% are kinesthetic, but that’s still a large number of people that the LBP is not fully effective for. A smaller percent of people are auditory. Remember that most people represent the world in all three ways but most have a preferred style. So it might well be that auditory people are visual enough to be able to eliminate beliefs using the “seeing” part of the LBP.
One of my goals is to find a way help all kinesthetic people eliminate beliefs permanently.
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