Some limiting beliefs are easy to find. Some are quite elusive. To make lasting change in an issue, we need to find all of the beliefs causing it, including the less obvious ones. That’s why in today’s post we’ll show you three methods to find the beliefs that are hiding away in our minds.
It’s probably not unusual for a violinist in Washington DC, Metro Station to play music and have few people bother to stop, listen or even give a tip.
Even when 1,097 people walk by in 43 minutes.
Even when the violinist plays six pieces by Bach that are considered some of the most beautiful in the world.
Even if the violin he played with is worth 3.5 million dollars.
And even if the violinist is Joshua Bell who had already played to a sold-out crowd in Boston to a price of $100 a ticket, just two days before.
The many passersby were unaware that this man was a virtuoso and so they gave the performance little value. In fact, if you asked them about the violinist a few weeks later, I’m sure none of them would even remember him. And when a limiting belief is in our way we too are similarly unaware. We may have the sense that something isn’t right, but we can rarely put our fingers on it. That’s why we’ll discuss three ways that you can put your finger on your limiting beliefs.
The first way is noticing that a behavior doesn’t work.
The second way is to say the words of a belief out loud.
The third way is to notice thoughts that point to a belief.
1. We see that our behavior doesn’t make sense to us
Before Morty created the Lefkoe Belief Process, he was struggling to understand a troubling pattern. He was a consultant. Organizations paid him for his advice. The leaders would say they agreed with the advice. They then failed to follow the advice. Later, the same organization would pay him for more advice and the cycle would start again. Morty wondered if he was doing something wrong but other consultants had the same problem.
Advice given, advice paid for, advice not followed.
Morty also noticed that in his own life he did things that didn’t make sense. He tried to change his behavior but the changes often failed to stick. In fact, he discovered the belief process when he was looking for an explanation as to why he created various struggles in his business and life.
This led him to ask “What do I believe that has me make things so hard?”
His answer “I’m someone who overcomes obstacles.” He wrote for several hours about this belief and it seemed to go away. The notes he took became the basis of the Lefkoe Belief Process. With that process in hand, he was able to help organizations solve problems they hadn’t solved before and he was able to make changes in his life he was not able to make in the past.
So as you can see if you get in touch with behavior that doesn’t work and then ask “What do I believe that causes me to act this way?” you may find a limiting belief. But even when you find words that you may believe, how do you know if you really believe them? That’s where the next strategy comes into play.
2. We say a set of words out loud to see how they feel
Many years ago, we had a client who was afraid of dogs. After his facilitator talked with him for a while, it sounded like the client might believe “Dogs are dangerous.” When his facilitator suggested that to him, he said “Oh, no. I don’t have that belief. I know dogs are not dangerous. That’s why I’m here. My fear is irrational.”
So his facilitator suggested he say the words out loud and he did. “How did that feel?” he was asked. “I feel anxious to say that.” Now try saying “Cat’s are dangerous.” He did and his facilitator asked, “How did that feel?” “I don’t feel anything.” So his facilitator followed up with “You’re probably not afraid of cats, are you?” And at that moment he got it. He only felt something when saying “Dogs are dangerous” because he believed that.
So can you get in touch with a limiting belief by merely saying it out loud and noticing how you feel afterward?
Yes. To test this out yourself, say “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not capable.” Or think of some other quality you would hate to have. Put it in words. Now say those words out loud. How do they feel? Do they feel neutral? Do they feel true on some level? If so, you’ve found a limiting belief. But what do you do if you don’t know what your belief might be? Fortunately, you can find a belief using the next strategy.
3. Noticing thoughts that point to a belief
One clue that we have a limiting belief is our thoughts. Have you ever had thoughts like:
“I can’t do it”
“They won’t like me”
If so, then you may have limiting beliefs that contribute to those thoughts.
“I can’t do it” can come from “I’m not capable” and “I’m not good enough.”
“They won’t’ like me” can come from “People aren’t interested in me” and “I’m not good enough.”
“I suck” can come from “I don’t have what it takes” and “I’m not good enough.”
I’m sure you noticed a theme above. All three negative thoughts pointed to the belief “I’m not good enough.” A lot of negative thoughts about ourselves flow from that belief. But what about when we have negative thoughts about other areas of life – money, relationships, career? Fortunately, the same logic applies.
If you have thoughts like “I’ll never make my relationships work.” You may believe something like “Relationships don’t work.”
If you feel anxious about money and worry that you’ll never have enough, despite having a good income, you may believe “Money is scarce” or “There’s never enough money.”
If, when it comes to asking for more money from your employer you think, “It’s selfish of me to ask for more” you may have a belief like “It’s bad to ask for money” or even a belief like “I’m selfish.”
So looking at your negative thoughts can often point you directly to beliefs in your way.
To sum up, we’ve discussed three ways to get in touch with beliefs we didn’t know we had. We can notice behavior that we’ve been unable to change. We can say words of a belief out loud to notice how they feel. And finally, we can notice negative thoughts that get in our way and connect them to beliefs.
Just like the people who passed by Joshua Bell playing music without realizing what they were hearing, being unaware of our beliefs is totally natural. It takes work to find them, but the work is worth it because you can change your beliefs.
Eliminating limiting beliefs can be a challenge, that’s why we’ve created a training program that teaches people how to eliminate limiting beliefs. It’s called the Lefkoe Method Training 1. Once you complete the program, you can eliminate a belief of someone else’s (or your own) in 30 minutes even if the client has no idea what a belief is at first.
You get to that level of speed because the program involves daily practice and feedback. As a result, we only take a small number of students in any class. We will open up registration at the end of January 2021. To be considered, you must join the waiting list. Click here to join the waiting list.