Perhaps the most frequent question I get from readers of this blog is: You’ve convinced me that the behaviors and emotions I want to change are caused mainly by my beliefs. But how do I identify the specific beliefs that cause the problems?
For a full answer to that question you are going to have to wait until the second part of the Lefkoe Method Training is complete early next year. It will take almost 20 hours to teach you everything we know about how to find all the beliefs that cause any given problem. (For information about the next Lefkoe Method Training, Part 1, where you will learn how to eliminate your own and the beliefs of others, visit http://lefkoeuniversity.com.)
Nonetheless, there is one tip I can give you right now that will be very useful in identifying many of the relevant beliefs.
Our occurrings are the direct cause of our behavior and emotions
A few months ago I realized that, contrary to popular opinion, beliefs don’t affect our behavior and emotions directly. How events occur to us—in other words, the meaning we unconsciously and automatically give meaningless events—are the immediate cause of our emotions and behavior. Beliefs affect us indirectly by being the main source of our occurrings.
For example, imagine you are about to start a project and it occurs to you as: I’m going to fail. People are going to think I’m stupid when I don’t succeed.
Can you get how that meaning would inhibit you from taking action? On the other hand, if you had given the event the meaning that this project is going to be a total success and people will acknowledge you for the quality of the project, you would not be afraid to take action. You would move right ahead.
Beliefs cause your occurrings
So why would you give the event (the need to take action on the project) that particular negative meaning rather than any other meaning? The probable source is beliefs such as Mistakes and failure are bad, If I make a mistake or fail I’ll be rejected, I’m stupid, and What makes me good enough or important is having people think well of me.
I said that our occurrings are the source of both behavior and emotions. If we look further at the event I just mentioned (starting a new project) and if you have the occurring I stated above (I’m going to fail), can you see that you probably would experience fear when you thought about starting the project? The fear is not caused by the event itself and is not directly caused by the beliefs. It is caused by the meaning you gave to wanting to start the project, namely, I’m going to fail.
So if you wanted to identify the beliefs that ultimately caused the feeling of fear, first identify your occurrings and then ask yourself: What beliefs would cause these occurrings?
Use your occurrings to find your beliefs
Because our occurrings determine our behavior and feelings and because our beliefs are the major source of our occurrings, the best way to identify the beliefs that ultimately cause our behavior and feelings is to identify the occurrings that immediately precede the action or feeling and then ask yourself: What would I have to believe to give that specific meaning?
Try it and then let my readers and me know what happens. Your comments increase the value we all receive. I read all comments and respond to as many as I can.
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copyright ©2012 Morty Lefkoe