How to Make Real Lasting Change - Pt.4: Beliefs
In this week’s episode, I will be discussing one of my favorite topics in the world. When it comes to making the change in your life there are few things more powerful than underlying beliefs.
Your beliefs drive EVERYTHING. Especially your behavior.
And once you really understand this, if you want to make a behavioral change, it only makes sense to start at the belief.
Now to put simply, a belief is a story you tell yourself - often unconsciously. You can even think of beliefs as the assumptions we just carry around in the background and never think twice about it.
So, in this episode, I will be discussing why uncovering and changing your limiting beliefs can be one of the most transformational things you can do.
Enjoy the show!
All right. Hello. And welcome to this episode where we're going to talk about making change that lasts in your life. And in this episode, we're going to talk specifically about beliefs. Now, this is one of my favorite subjects to talk about because I just think the change that happens is so powerful and can be very quick, you know? Um, and, you know, belief, when we, when we talk about it is just this idea of a story, right? A story that we tell ourselves. Right. Um, and, and people talk about beliefs in different ways, right? So, you know, it's like, I've heard, uh, one author, you know, John Eldridge, he talks about this idea of agreements we make with ourself. Right. And again, the, the idea that the agreement is not universal for everyone. Right. And that's really what we're talking about when we talk about beliefs, right.
Is, is a story that you're telling yourself that's not true for everyone. And that's the way we identify if something is like a law, so to speak, right. Like it's just true for everyone. Like the idea of the law of gravity. That's true for everyone. Right. It's just across the board, a belief on the other hand is something that you tell yourself about that. Right. Um, so for instance, the idea that flying's impossible. Well, that's, that's a belief because once and, you know, people thought that probably forever, but then we created planes. Right. And that's the idea of like, okay, there's the truisms. And then there's like the belief about it. Right. Um, and so when we talk about making change, we talked about kind of our levels thus far in this series, in the first part, we talked about environment and why that was an effective.
Then we talked about behavior and then we talked about skills. And as we know, you know, we are looking for behavior change usually in our life, but it's important that we back that behavior change up with things that are really gonna promote that change. So this idea of changing behavior, getting skillsets to help that help facilitate that change, but then also backing it with the right beliefs. And, um, you know, I was thinking of a couple of stories to share with this, but there is a story I heard once where, um, there's a gentleman, he started out his, his particular life. It was successful and entrepreneur, and, um, long story short is that he was kind of a mess up, you know, a screw up in high school. Right. You know, where he just wasn't doing well, wasn't getting good grades decides to take the sat on like a whim, right.
Ends up scoring, like almost a near perfect score. Right. And based on that, he kind of tuned things up, supposedly, you know, and got better. Grades ended up getting into college, creating a real successful business, you know, and creating a really positive life years later, um, the board of the SATs, you know, contacts them, Hey, you know, we actually sent you the wrong scores. Right. And finds out that he like completely botched the sat. Right. And like just failed beyond belief, but it was his belief in himself. Right. That allowed him to then propel himself all the way up. And, and that's why like belief is w we need to understand is like one of the most powerful things, right. That, that drives us as humans. Um, what we believe is possible and what we believe about ourselves and our capabilities is going to dramatically alter the kind of success we're going to have at whatever we're trying to work towards in our life could be successful mental health.
Right. If we believe that we're broken or that there's something wrong with us or that, you know, like that we can't, it's impossible to get better. Right. I mean, imagine if you carried that belief in, uh, you know, to your recovery process, if you deal with something like OCD and anxiety, imagine if you carried the belief that, you know, recovery is impossible. It's like, no, like that's, if anyone I work with, and if you've guys have been through, you know, my, um, overcoming OCD and anxiety program, like that's where we start. It's like recovery is absolutely possible. And that's like starting point number one, because if we're, if we're coming into these skillsets of learning new skills and changing behaviors with the idea that recovery is impossible, well, you can see how that's just not going to work. Like you should see, um, some of the beliefs people bring into marriage or parenting.
Right. You know, like I'm not going to be happy unless I get married. It's like, it turns out that's a real, um, you know, tough foundation for a relationship because you put your happiness in the hands and in the control of someone else. Right. And when that person, um, you know, doesn't meet it well, then obviously you think that the marriage is the problem or anything like that. You know what I mean? It just applies in so many different ways in our life. And so what I want to accomplish in this particular episode, those, I, I really want you to start kind of looking at some of the stories that you bring in to the kind of change that you're looking to make, like, whatever that is. Right. Even, even the belief that I am. Right. Right. You know what I mean? Like, like, I think that's one of the biggest beliefs that I have to challenge, you know, in many times in my life, is that like, is that I know, right.
99% of the time, that's just not true. You know, it's, it's just like, there's many times that I'm just, I've been completely wrong. Right. I mean, let's just look at when we're talking about again, changing as a society. Right. And when we're talking about all the, um, you know, the political turmoil that's happening between people on both sides of the fence right now on the right and the left, think of the beliefs that people are bringing into these conflicts. Right. That belief that if you don't think like me, then you're this right. Or the belief that just this belief, that I'm right. Right. And I, and I can think of so many times where, like, especially when I look at myself when I was younger, there's been many times in my life where I thought I was right about something. And then flash forward to this point in my life.
And I was like, that's totally wrong. Right. But if we maintain this belief, that we're right, what that does is it prevents us to open up the door to us being wrong. And then more importantly makes us get defensive. And then we get defensive. That's when we clash and our ability to open this idea, open this story, that, you know, what, I don't always have all the answers. Right. I don't always know. Right. That's a real, a real important step. And, and we don't realize that our belief that we have to be right, or that we have to have the answer that we are. Right. You know, that obviously bleeds into skills and behavior and environment, right. Like it comes from within. Right. And when we talk about making change in our life, challenging our beliefs is, is again, one of the most powerful things that we can do for ourselves.
And so with whatever change you're trying to make, it might be with your own mental health. Right. Kind of really taking the time and even a good exercise could be simply taking out a piece of paper and just kind of asking yourself these questions of what do I assume, right. That's always a good way to figure out a belief or, you know, or at least surface a belief. Right. What do I just assume to be true? Because that, that really is how you start to surface beliefs, because one of the things is, is beliefs are generally created sub verbally, right? Like kind of beneath the surface. They're not necessarily stories we tell ourselves repetitively, they're there things that we just assume almost. Right. And that's what I mean when I say like, stories that we kind of repeat, it's just these assumptions that we come in with.
Right. That we just assume to be true. Right. It's not even almost on a verbal level in our mind. Um, it's just these, these things that we're like yep. You know, like a hundred percent, right. Like we just default to that idea. And, um, what, one of the ways that we challenged beliefs, right. Is that once we surface the belief, then it's about asking, okay, well, does that belief apply to everyone? Right? Is that, is that universally true across the board? Right. So like, let's just look at this belief of recovery is possible or impossible. Right. Because a lot of us will, will come into, you know, our own recovery from whatever we're dealing with, whether it's, um, OCD and anxiety, you know, PTSD, uh, addiction, um, depression. Right. And we will, we'll already have a story there about what is possible right now. Some of us come into it with not a lot of preconceived ideas and we come, maybe we come into it with the belief that, Oh yeah, this is possible to get better from and move forward.
But many of us come into it with preconceived notions, things that we've heard people say, you know, it's like, Oh, this is chronic. You're going to deal with this forever. Right. I think of that language forever. Right. It's like, life's not forever. How they, you know, you know what I mean? Like, I mean, w w where we come into, we come into situations sometimes where we have language, that's just so limiting and beliefs that are so limiting and realizing that you have the ability to change beliefs. And so then it comes back down to the question of, okay, well, how do you change beliefs? Right. And, and some people are like, well, do I need to have like brain surgery? You know, how, how do you do, how do you believe change? Right. Um, and, and really how you change your belief is by first surfacing, what the false belief is, and then actually rewriting the belief that you're going to choose to move, like move forward with, and then aligning your behavior with that new belief.
So, in, um, in the overcoming OCD and anxiety program, I use the example of Santa Claus, right. So let's just go ahead and use this example of Santa Claus. Um, because again, it's, it's a belief that a lot of us have, uh, have, and, and I kind of want to you to see how quick this can happen. So at some point in our lives, most of us believed in Santa Claus, right. This idea that there was this guy and he had this big list, he had these presence and on December 25th, he would just drop him off at my house if I was good that year. Right. And at some point in our journey, right. We just default and assume that I was like, of course, yes, Sam is going to bring him to, you know, that's the idea of a belief, right? It's just something that we just don't even question.
Right. We just assume it to be true. And then at some point, someone, you know, it's your older brother, or, you know, someone at schools like Santa is not real. And you're like, you know, this, this paradigm shift happens in your mind because it challenges something that you've just assumed forever. And you start to question like, Oh, well, hold on. You know, and this new belief kind of comes to the surface of like, well, maybe Santa isn't real. So we start to find evidence for it. And maybe we ask our parents, but at a certain point, the only way to solidify that belief is we have to take the behavioral leap of not writing Santa letter, right. Not, um, you know, leaving milk and cookies out, doing all the things that we not writing, not going to see him at the mall, whatever. Right. We had all these behaviors that aligned with the old belief that Santa was real.
But once we changed the belief and we actually align our behaviors and we don't write a letter, we don't see him at the mall. We don't leave out cookies. We don't, you know, like stay up late or go to bed early the night before, and then presence are still arrive on Christmas day. That's when the belief, the new belief solidifies, right, is when we actually align our behaviors with the underlying belief. And do you see, like how, how quickly, maybe in your own life you went from believing Santa was real and doing all these behaviors that aligned with it to then when you shifted the belief, all these new behaviors just created almost immediately. And when we talk about making change in our life, this is the parallel that I want you to see is that once you believe something, behavior is just a natural follow, right?
You always, you always can tell what someone believes based on their behavior. Right? Always someone comes into my office and they say, Hey, you know, I'm, I'm not afraid of, you know, germs. Right. They'll tell me they, Oh, I know I can't get sick from touching that door handle. And I'm like, okay, touch it. And they won't touch it. Right. And it's like, because at the end of the day, there's a belief there, right. That they might get sick or they might get hurt or whatever. Right. And when we talk about making real change in our lives, changing beliefs and challenging beliefs is just one of the most, most transformational things that I can watch someone go through, you know, where we really hit a core belief in their, in their mind. And, you know, it's funny, even the word belief, you know, there's the word lie right in the middle, right.
L I E. And if a belief is not true for everyone, that is the key indicator, that is a belief. And we have the ability to choose what we believe. And once we start aligning our beliefs with things that are going to propel us, you know, throughout life and actually create that kind of a change, that's when I really see true change start happening in people's lives. But even then there's a level underneath that when it comes to identity and in a next week, we're going to talk about what that really looks like about changing your identity and why that's so important. Um, but you know, for those of you that found this episode helpful, um, you know, we always appreciate if you'd like and subscribe and share, and also, um, for any of you that are looking for additional resources for support, um, especially if you're dealing with something like OCD, anxiety [email protected], we have, um, you know, assessments, we have downloads many things to help you on a journey as well, as well as, um, our, our programs and live workshops that we provide as well. And there's some links down below in the notes where you can, um, you know, get access to those. Because again, we just, you know, it's important that once we start healing ourselves as individuals, that's when the real ripple effect happens within the world. And so thank you guys for taking the time to hang out today. And we look forward to seeing you next week, where we're going to talk about identity.