What you’ll learn in this episode:
Do you know what your beliefs are? Do you know which of those beliefs are untrue?
Yes, most of us have unconscious beliefs that aren’t true – and it’s important to know which ones they are, because they influence how you show up.
Today, I am going to be teaching you how to uncover your beliefs with one simple tool: asking questions.
By asking these questions, you will be able to dig up your beliefs, stare them right in the face, and get rid of them or change them in your favor.
Here’s a glance at this episode:
- A belief is simply a thought that you have over and over until you think of it as a fact. It’s that simple to identify, and it’s that simple to override with new thoughts.
- Beliefs make up our identity. The goal is to have as many positive beliefs as possible – imagine how you would navigate the world then!
- Unconscious beliefs don’t serve us. We need to be intentional with our thoughts if we want to make our beliefs have an impact in our lives.
- Sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between beliefs in our head and actual facts, so it’s important to make sure our strong beliefs are correct.
- You can believe anything you want. You are literally capable of re-wiring your brain to believe anything at all.
- The only difference between you and the person that you want to be is your thinking.
Mentioned in this episode:
Work/Connect with me:
[00:10] Before we jump into today’s episode, I want to let you all in on something fun coming up in the next week. Next week we’re going to have some fun with a bonus episode to celebrate the one month anniversary of the release of this podcast. We’re so excited about it. For fun, we’re going to do a special ‘Ask Me Anything’ episode. In this episode, I’m going to share a variety of questions that were picked from listeners who sent them in, from coaching to business, to general life questions, and I’m going to answer them live on the show. The good news is, there’s still time for you to send in your questions, and to have yours get picked and answered live on the call. So, if you’re interested, and you totally should be, send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org to get them in there.
[00:57] Okay, now on to today’s show. Today, we’re going to talk about one of my favorite topics. I could talk about this all day long, and it’s one of the number one things I focus on in my coaching that I do in all of my programs, and it is the topic of belief.
[01:16] If you want to live a rich life and grow beyond what you think is possible, you need to recognize and question your beliefs. By the end of this podcast, I’m going to have taught you: what are beliefs and why do they matter, how you can identify your beliefs, and how you can change them.
[01:39] So, what is a belief and why do beliefs matter? Why is it important to be able to identify them and question them? A belief is essentially a thought you have thought over and over so many times that you think of them as facts. Often, they show up in your brain like you’re reporting the news. For me, actually, it’s more like, you know when you watch those videos on social media, or the reels on Instagram, and you see those little captions and subtitles running across the page? That’s what a belief appears like in my brain. It’s just reporting “what is” like it’s a fact, but in reality it is not a fact. It is a thought that you have thought so many times that it appears as if it’s reality or a fact. But what it really is, is an optional thought that you are choosing to think over and over again.
[02:41] An example of this in my life is this: about a year ago, at the beginning of Covid, I was standing in my kitchen, leaning against my counter, and suddenly I had this horrible pain in my side – I mean horrible. It sort of came out of nowhere and it felt like it was the worst acid reflux I had ever had in my life. If you’re someone who’s ever suffered with acid reflux, you know how debilitating it is. It stopped me dead in my tracks, and it was so painful. I tried everything to get it under control, like all the usual antacids and everything, but nothing would work. Finally, I started working with a functional medicine practitioner, and was diagnosed with something called Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth – it’s also called SIBO. I was put on a special elimination diet and medications to try and get everything under control. During the process, I discovered that not only was what I was eating important, but also the quantity of food I was eating was an important factor too in controlling my symptoms.
[03:44] So, I come from a big Italian family, and I love food. Although, I’m excited to tell you that the journey changed my life, and I’m healthier that I probably ever have been, you can imagine all of the beliefs that came up for me around food as it related to controlling what I was eating and controlling the quantity. There were so many beliefs for me about what it meant to “eat normally” or what it meant to “eat all the food on your plate”. It was a lot, and they were kind of fast and furious – they would just show up all the time. Well, while I was going through this, one of the beliefs that I discovered that practically knocked me over (which I swear, I hear my little Italian grandmother in my head saying this as I share it with you), was that this thought that throwing food away is a sin – it is a sin. Do you believe it? That was the thought: a sin. I was so floored when I discovered this, but when I really looked at it, this belief was following me around all the time. I was eating so much food at every meal because it was right underneath the surface that I believed that throwing food away was a sin. It didn’t matter if I wanted or if it was right for my body, or if I was full. I was thinking it was a sin all the time, and I was struggling with managing what I was eating and making good choices because of it.
[05:11] Why is this important? Because our beliefs are the foundation of what make up our identity. It is how you literally navigate the world and your days on a day-to-day basis. Your beliefs inform how you show up. They inform how you walk through the world and how it shapes the things that you believe – all the things around you, like beliefs about other people, beliefs about what you eat, beliefs about the world around you, beliefs about what is possible, and, most importantly, beliefs about who you are and what you can or cannot accomplish. For my belief around my food, under the surface, I believed I was a sinner, and it was just there without me knowing it.
[05:59] The interesting thing about beliefs is they are both conscious and unconscious, and often when they are on autopilot and they are unconscious, they are not serving us. They’re there, they’re showing up, they’re driving the ship under the surface, and steering our life and our future in a direction without us knowing or choosing it. It’s kind of like a rudder under the water that is steering a ship. For anyone who’s ever moved a rudder, especially if you’re doing it manually, you know that many times it’s counterintuitive – depending on which way you’re going and where you want to go, sometimes you have to turn that rudder in a different direction than you would think naturally. To do that really requires you to focus your intention, otherwise you would be turning the boat or steering it to a place you don’t actually want to end up.
[06:48] So, how do we identify our beliefs? How do we know what we’re believing? Like many of the powerful things in our life, they’re often hidden and very stealth, but we can find them if we ask the right questions – really, questions are the most powerful self-coaching tools that you have in your pocket. So, I want to share with you some questions you can ask yourself to try and uncover your beliefs. Grab a pen and paper, and write these down. If you’re someone who’s listening to this on audio and walking or exercising like I do sometimes, you need to bookmark it so you can go back later.
[07:25] So, here are some thoughts to unearth your beliefs. “I don’t know how to…(fill in the blank)”; “I am not an XYZ kind of person (fill in the XYZ)”; “These two things can’t coexist (what are those two things?”; “Money is…”; “Please don’t (or good/kind/nice people don’t)…”. Here are my two favorites: “I couldn’t possibly (fill in the blank)…”, or “I could never (fill in the blank)…”. For me, where I see this come up a lot is when I find myself saying, “who does that?” And it seems so true to me. I don’t know if any of you have had this experience – when I say “who does that?” It’s like a fact, like “who does that?”
[08:29] So, what questions or statements do you see your beliefs coming up in? When does it come up for you? What is your “who does that?” I asked some of my clients to share with me their beliefs so that I could share them with you, and this is what they shared:
[08:46] People who want to make a lot of money are greedy. Non-profit leaders should model humility and a life of service and not money. Business is about helping people, not lining your pockets. You can’t enjoy your family and run a highly successful people.
[09:03] Are you feeling that? Do you feel the weight of those thoughts? They kind of just drag you down. One of my clients, Katy Bourgeois, who is an amazing photographer (and if you don’t know her, you should check her work our at studiobourgeois.com, and on Instagram she has a profile). She reminded me of a time when she wanted to change her business but she was stuck in fear that no one would want the type photos she had to offer. Katy specializes in personally branding and portraiture for entrepreneurs and creative souls, and she is incredible, and she was taking incredible photos and videos, and she had a growing business, but she was being pulled toward creating something different for her customers. Katy is also an established artist and she has done a lot of work in that space, and she wanted to merge the two and move her photography a little bit more toward something that was more moody and edgy, and a little bit deeper that the photos she had been taking before. Although she knew she was gifted and capable, something was holding her back from just going for it. When we started to dig underneath all this, we discovered that she had a belief that entrepreneurs and small businesses would not want the kind of photography that she wanted to take – that only artists wanted the kind of photography that she wanted to create. She had this belief that only artists wanted edgy or moody pictures, and she discovered that this is what was holding her back from going after what she wanted and building the business that she wanted to build.
[10:38] Like Katy, you will discover beliefs under the surface that you didn’t even know were there once you start questioning your beliefs. Once you start questioning your beliefs, you move into a space where you start to get really curious, where you start to question them, and you do it from a place that is not judgmental or accusatory, but is from a place of being curious and compassionate, and open. Once you let that curiosity lead the way, everything starts to open up to you.
[11:13] As a side note, I want to say that sometimes it’s really hard to distinguish the facts from your own fiction – the facts from your thoughts. For the sake of this podcast, lets just take a moment to define what I mean when I say fact versus thought or belief. A fact is something people can agree on – so, for instance, if you step on a scale and it reads 150, everyone can agree that the scale says 150. That’s a fact. A thought and a belief is what you think about the number on the scale – what you think about the 150. The belief might be, “people who weigh 150lbs don’t take care of themselves”, or “150 is unacceptable”, or “150 means you’re underweight.” Those are all beliefs. The fact is, the scale has the numbers 150 on them when you step on it. Do you see the difference between that? This is super important because it is so important that you separate your thoughts and your beliefs from the facts.
[12:27] Back to your beliefs. When you start to question your beliefs, you are starting to wiggle your little tooth of belief. You start to create a space where your mind can expand, where you can start to think about what it would be like if what you were thinking was truly just a thought – if your beliefs were just thoughts. And what is possible to think if what you’re thinking actually isn’t a fact – if this belief is not the “news”, what would happen if you were open to considering what to think. Another powerful way to look at this is: what would someone who thinks the things that I am saying you can’t do or that you can’t think, what would that person be doing? How would they be showing up? If I use my example from above with Katy or with myself, what would someone who thinks that throwing food away is not a sin be doing? How would they be living? What would their relationship with food be like? Or, for Katy, how would I show up if I was wrong about entrepreneurs not wanting moody, edgy pictures? What would I consider trying in my business if that was fiction and not a fact?
[13:57] From that place, we start to act differently. We start to expand. We start to go and consider things we would’ve never considered before. We literally start transforming the way we think, and our beliefs, right in front of our eyes. From a practical perspective, we need to literally practice these new thoughts to make them a habit, to build a new belief from there, because our old habits really area created from a habit of thinking the same thoughts over and over to now make them a belief. In order to change those beliefs, we have to intentionally tell ourselves new thoughts so we can re-wire our brain into a new habit of thinking these new thoughts that will form our new beliefs. This is literally neuroscience in action, everyone. You are re-wiring your brain. Isn’t it fascinating? And it is so, so powerful. From this place, what you discover is that you can believe anything you want. You are someone who can believe anything you want. You are free to believe anything you want to believe, and if your beliefs make up how you show up and what you do, then you can literally become a new version of yourself one belief at a time. This is why I tell my clients that you are one belief away from the person you want to become, because the difference between you and the person that you want to be is your thinking, it’s your beliefs, it’s the thoughts you choose to think over and over again that make up your belief system, which makes up who you think you are and what you think of the world around you, including your results. This includes all the money you want to make, the business you want to build, the family you want to have – all of it.
[16:07] When it comes to you, you have to believe in yourself harder than anyone else believes in you. You have to intentionally choose the thoughts to build your belief in yourself congruent with the person you want to be. No one can do it for you. You have to do it first. Once you get your brain on board, and you intentionally choose and practice those beliefs, you can be and do the things beyond your wildest imagination, and that’s when things get really fun.
[16:46] You know my client, Katy, I told you about who wanted to create all those edgy, moody pictures she thought nobody would want? Well, she dug under that belief, she rewrote her story, and she re-wired her brain by doubling down on herself, her talent, and the belief that her photos were extraordinary and that they were there for entrepreneurs, and not just artists in the traditional sense, and that they wanted them to be edgy and to stand out, just like she did. I’m here to tell you that customers came pouring in for her. Not only was she able to build her belief and her outcomes, but through her literal lens, the lens of her camera, she was able to help other business owners do the same. Now she gets to take amazing pictures, edgy and moody and all, and help people up-level their business and make the money she wants to make while doing it, and she’s not stopping any time soon.
[17:41] If you want to live a rich life and go beyond what you think is possible, you need to recognize and question your beliefs. You need to identify what your beliefs are, you need to get curious about them, you need to question them, and you need to decide whether or not they’re serving you. If not, you get to build different beliefs and re-wire your brain so you can grow and stretch beyond anything that you think is possible.