«One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his greatest surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.» -Henry Ford
The following is an excerpt from Money, Success and You, a book by John Kehoe.
Beliefs are as necessary to us as our physical organs. We cannot exist without them. We need them as parameters to interpret what is happening in our life. One could never be without beliefs, nor would you want to be. What you do want, however, is to consciously decide the beliefs you want working for you. To choose the lens you will view the world through. And here your choices are unlimited.
You are not at the mercy of your past experiences, unless you believe that you are. With this new system you are free to break away from any past conditioning or limited circumstances by simply changing your thoughts and beliefs. When you change these you change everything. The future that you will encounter in your life is not preordained, nor does it happen arbitrarily. As you have seen in the previous chapter, your reality is forever being moulded and created from your thoughts and beliefs. Your possible future — and there are literally thousands of possible futures — is being formed by what you think and believe today. The present is the womb by which the future will be born. The future is dynamically alive within you now. You hold within you your own destiny. Change your thoughts and beliefs and you will change your future.
Once you fully recognize the power and influence beliefs have in your life, the next step becomes obvious. Change the beliefs that are limiting and holding you back, and create powerful new beliefs that serve and uplift you, beliefs that will take you wherever you wish to go.
There are three main methods for doing this, and all three should be employed. You can begin by using them individually or in combination with each other. Either way, you will eventually be working with all three.
1) Repattern Your Past
Don’t spend time and energy looking back at your life to find out why you have a certain limiting belief. Why bother? To look backward in this way will only lead you into the habit of seeking negative examples that verify your old belief. Your past has been distorted by the lens you have chosen to examine it through. What is accomplished by searching the past with the same old lens, other than to further reinforce that limiting belief already held within you? This is why much psychotherapy proves futile, simply miring the patient further in his or her own muck. A great many of the unsatisfactory conditions in our life have resulted from our becoming frightened or confused during an unpleasant experience. We began to doubt ourselves, and started concentrating upon negative aspects of our lives, thereby eventually creating that imprint within us. For example, one person, because of an unpleasant experience, begins to doubt his ability to get along with others. So he searches his past with an I don’t relate well with people lens, and much to his horror finds many experiences to support this idea. His mind begins to feed on these memories. His remembering becomes highly selective. Without even realizing it, he invents his own history, and furthermore convinces himself that this history represents an accurate picture of who he is. However, if this person had journeyed through his memories with the lens, I get along great with people, trying to find a different kind of proof, he would undoubtedly have discovered many instances when he got on very well with others. However you choose to view your life, through whatever lens you have constructed, this will structure and filter your memories, and you will always be able to justify your belief with «proof.» So in changing beliefs you must practice changing your lens. Look through your past in a new way, looking for new, forgotten or ignored truths. If you lack confidence, for example, search your past for instances when you were confident. If you are honest in this search you will find lots of examples of you performing tasks assuredly. But you must search with the lens, «I’m confident,» not the «I lack confidence lens.» Each lens will produce a different set of examples. There will be numerous examples of both. It all depends upon which you want to emphasize. In almost all cases of present limitation you have programmed yourself to stress negative aspects relating to that part of your life. We all do it. So to rid yourself of these restrictions, you repattern your past from the present. Whatever your circumstances, use the past as a rich source of power, looking through it for long ignored successes. Restructure your past. Reinvent it. Rediscover it. Its like finding a bank account with money that you didn’t know you possessed. Whatever you want to become or create in your current life, you can find ample evidence of it already happening to you in the past if you will only change your lens.
The Present is Your Point of Power
Stop for a moment and realize that the present is your point of power. When you are thinking about the past or imagining the future, both these actions happen in the present. When you act upon your life, it takes place in the present. In fact nothing you can do will ever happen outside of the present. So choosing in the present to reframe your past and future is incredibly powerful. An example: Pick a positive quality about yourself that you are proud of and absolutely certain you possess. Perhaps that you are caring, loving and compassionate towards others. Now, using your memory, search your past for times when you were not caring, times when you were selfish, mean, unkind and hurtful. Locate a number of these examples. Now imagine yourself lingering on these images each day. Each day you purposely recall these images and feel bad about them. Soon you begin telling yourself that you are indeed mean-spirited and selfish. If you continued this practice you would literally hypnotize yourself into believing that this selfish, mean-spirited person is who you are, and then you would begin to become this person. This belief would become self-fulfilling. Likewise with our negative qualities. We have programmed ourselves without even realizing what we’ve been doing. We have hypnotized ourselves through repetition and selective memory into believing that this reduced version of ourselves is who we are. But you can change this. You can look within yourself for evidence of whatever positive qualities you desire. Examine your past with this in mind. Do not let the past reinforce your limitations; use it to reinforce what you wish to become. Be diligent about this. Use the selective process of your mind to your advantage.
What is 6 x 6? , 7 x 5? , 9 x 9? How is it that you know these answers instantly, quicker than you can punch the numbers into a calculator? It is because you have imprinted the multiplication tables into your consciousness. Think back to when you were in school. Think of how many times these tables were repeated, written out and practiced, until eventually they became imprinted into your consciousness. And now they are firmly imprinted. You need not practice them or refresh yourself — they are there for life. What you have done with the multiplication tables can also be done with new beliefs you wish to permanently imprint into your consciousness. The process is exactly the same, and the repetition equally important. For five or ten minutes a day concentrate your attention as vividly as possible upon one simple statement. For example, if you wanted to imprint a belief about your subconscious that would help you to be successful you might use this one: «My subconscious mind is my partner in success.» Having picked the statement you wish to use, begin to concentrate on it. Try to feel the statement in whatever way possible. Do not allow your mind to drift to other subjects. If it does, bring your attention back to your statement and refocus. Feel the power and implication of what you are saying. Let it become alive within you. Repeat it over and over, allowing your mind to absorb its message. If your mind insists on images, channel the images toward your declaration. Close yourself off to all other truths or realities, focusing solely upon the feeling and power of the statement. The repetition, whether verbal or mental, is important because it activates neurological patterns. Do not strain. Do not question or doubt. Enjoy the process. Claim it absolutely within. Lose yourself as completely as you can in this one statement. Let it vibrate within you, letting you and it become one. Feel its power. Let it energize you. When the exercise is finished, do not dwell upon it, second guess yourself, wonder if its true. Put if from your mind until the next day, when you will repeat the process. Realize you are using the present as a moment of power to insert new beliefs that will naturally be materialized. It will happen automatically. You may want to experiment with the precise wording of your statement. Often it takes three or four revisions before the statement feels exactly right. Once you have it right then simply continue with it. You may experience spectacular results almost immediately. If you do, wonderful, but do not let this fool you into discontinuing the exercise. Often when people begin this process they do not realize how quickly results can be seen, and they become overexcited about the results achieved. In their excitement they forget to continue the exercise. If you want permanent results, you must fully imprint the new belief. A minimum of sixty to ninety days is necessary for a permanent imprint to take hold.
The sooner you begin to act upon the new beliefs you are creating, the better. Otherwise you are not trusting and using the present. If you are poor and want to have more money and you’re trying to establish a belief in abundance while still faced with your lack, then begin demonstrating abundance. In your outer reality take some symbolic action that shows you are changing. Maybe give some money (no matter how little) to charity. Indulge yourself somehow. A nice meal, a new article of clothing, a little gift to yourself. Or if you’re lacking confidence, you would first repattern your past, searching and finding past examples of you being confident and you would focus daily on these. You would also imprint new empowering beliefs supporting your confidence, and then finally you act as if it were true. Bring action into the formula. No matter how small or inconsequential the action may seem, it is a huge step. It is a manifestation in outer reality. Responding to your new beliefs in this way is sending a strong signal to your subconscious that new realities are beginning to take hold, that you are willing to change, that you are cooperating with the process, that it is in fact already happening. The initiative must come from you. Challenge yourself to find ways to demonstrate your changing reality.