Image by Johannes Plenio
With all the self-help information available today, why isn't everybody happy and why doesn't everyone get what they want. Why are so many people struggling to achieve something only to give up in frustration? How many self-help or motivational workshops have you attended only to have the excitement wear off after a short period of time?
What do you think an individual really believes who affirms 50 times a day. "I'm rich. I'm rich. I'm rich." You guessed it, he really believes that he is not rich. He is also strengthening the thought form that is already keeping him from being rich. He'll soon see no results for his efforts and give up in frustration. His limiting belief could have to do with money but my guess is that is has to do with a personal belief, such as not deserving it or something related to that.
One of the lessons I learned the hard way, when I began exploring belief systems back in 1988, was that experiences are determined by the sum total of your beliefs and your point of mental focus, your attention, not just the experience you selectively choose to create.
What's required for permanent change
in your experience
is a shift in focus from trying to
overpower old beliefs with new ones,
to a focus on identifying and simply dissolving
the old beliefs that no longer serve you.
I decided that, since I had all this profound knowledge of how the universe works, I would get up the next morning and simply create what I wanted. Well, it didn't work and, as you might guess, I generated a lot of frustration and anger for myself. I guess I had a transparent belief about how I learn things -- the hard way.
Limiting beliefs negate or subtract from empowering beliefs and desires. What do you get when you add +2 and -2? You're right -- zero! This is the part that didn't sink in for me. I was still trapped into believing that if I tried hard enough to believe in what I wanted, I didn't have to pay attention to my limitations. I didn't think that I had many anyway. Just ask me.
However, there I was using my old belief, "If I would just try harder, I could succeed." I soon learned that old beliefs continue to gain strength and become dominating. After I realized what was happening, I refocused my efforts to working on my liabilities -- my limiting beliefs. Yes, I did find some -- many.
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After awhile, it became a treat to find them. It meant that I was one step closer to being clear. To use an analogy, refer to the illustration of the balance sheet. Here, as in traditional accounting, are two columns. The assets (empowering beliefs) on the left and the liabilities (limiting beliefs) on the right.
At first glance we can see that the old limiting belief, "I Never Get What I Want" is very strong and powerful from years of having energy added to it. It will take forever to add enough "I am rich" beliefs to the left side of the balance sheet to try and overcome the strong limiting belief. First of all, the "I am rich", in this case, is not really a belief -- it's only a statement. It's a wish or, at best, a hope.
If it were a belief, it wouldn't have to be continually repeated. And, every time it is repeated, the real belief, "I Never Get What I Want", increases in strength to fulfill its original intent to make sure that you don't.
There are basically two limiting beliefs in actions here: (1) "I never get what I want" and (2) "I am not rich" (implied). For any real improvement in this situation, the belief, "I Never Get What I Want" must be eliminated.
There are numerous self-development books, tapes and workshops available -- all with good intent and of useful benefit. In many cases though, the benefit is temporary. There is a good reason for this. Many techniques don't address the cause of your experience. They try to implement new techniques that focus on overpowering or going around the old situation to create a new desired state. This requires on-going diligence and constant effort which soon gets tiresome and boring. The student usually gives up in frustration.
The main reason for limited success gets back to what we have been discussing -- the cause -- limiting beliefs. Old limiting beliefs must be removed. Trying to overpower them is not the best use of time and energy. What's required for permanent change in your experience is a shift in focus from trying to overpower old beliefs with new ones, to a focus on identifying and simply dissolving the old beliefs that no longer serve you. These limiting beliefs may have been appropriate when you were a child, but as an adult they hinder you.
It's like planting a flower garden. If you don't first till the soil and pull out all the weeds before you plant, you'll end up with a field of weeds that has some flowers in it. An improvement, but not the desired result. Till the soil, remove the weeds, and now plant your seeds. In no time at all you'll have a marvelous garden of your favorite flowers.
Ready, Aim, Fire
Another way to look at the same concept would be like trying to hit the bull's eye on a target on the other side of a corn field. The corn stalks (limiting beliefs) resist and deflect the path of the arrow. Rather than try and brute force the arrow through the corn by pulling harder on the string, simply remove the corn stalks between you and the target. Now, with an accurate aim and normal pull, a bull's-eye is assured.
People spend significant effort and money looking for ways to get what they want -- happiness, money, love, jobs, only to give up in frustration. The secret is to focus on dissolving barriers -- those barriers are the limiting beliefs that are generating your life's frustrations and fears.
Reprinted with permission (©1994) of the publisher,
Rare Shares Limited, P.O. Box 906, Lakeside, MT 59922.
Before You Think Another Thought
by Bruce Doyle.
NEW EDITION OF THIS BOOK:
How to Think Your Way to the Life You Want: A Guide to Understanding How Your Thoughts and Beliefs Create Your Life (2011)
How to Think Your Way to the Life You Want is a much expanded edition of Before You Think Another Thought with a new section covering ways to put thought and feeling into action.
Info/Order new edition of this book. Also available as a Kindle edition.
About The Author
Bruce I. Doyle, III, Ph.D. has over 25 years of experience as a corporate executive and business consultant and is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations achieve their full potential. He is the President of Growth Dynamics International (GDI). GDI is focused on providing interim “C” level management, business consulting, leadership development, and executive coaching to forward thinking leaders to facilitate business transformation that is driven by values, integrity, and employee passion. He has a passion for human development - driven by his own personal work. He has completed the Warner Erhard Training (now Landmark Education), the Avatar Masters and Wizards Programs, Hakomi Therapy Training and is certified in Jin Shin Jyutsu.