The realisation of change can be daunting. We hold ourselves back, as we know the journey will not be comfortable. In my experience, the reason most of my clients take a long time to come and do change work is because they feel guilty. They feel as though their issues are all their own fault and are embarrassed to open up to the person who is going to help them.
Some clients are aware that their issues are related to their past. Beliefs are instilled in our neurology. Both limiting and empowering beliefs are stored and running through our neurology, but the outcome each one creates can be very different.
In this article, we’ll take a look at limiting beliefs, how they are embedded, and some tips to embrace the discomfort of change.
Understand how beliefs are installed
What many people don’t realise is the beliefs we live with in adult life were formed in childhood. Up until the age of seven, we learn in a hypnotic state. Our brains function in theta, a flow which enables us to absorb information from the environment around us. We have yet to develop the beta function, using our conscious mind to oversee operations.
This means at this young age, we see everything as truth. We have no objectivity, no reason to question or disagree. Whatever a child is told (for example, that the child is dumb), they will see it as their truth. Their unconscious mind will back this up, looking for evidence to confirm it. Even when this belief is positively challenged—answering a question correctly, for instance—this will still be discounted as lucky or deleted.
When working with clients to identify limiting beliefs, I discourage time spent digging too deep into the beliefs’ moment of installation. Looking backward will leave us stuck focusing on the past, and blame does not serve anybody. I encourage clients to instead reflect upon their past with a positive outlook, understanding that these harmful actions by others would not have been intentional, which allows us to let go of resentment.
The focus now needs to be on changing these beliefs. This might come with discomfort, but what clients need to understand is that this is okay—moving out of our depth to confront discomfort will ultimately set us on the path to where we need to be.
Lean into your discomfort
When embracing change, we need to understand that it comes with a level of discomfort. However, the important factor here is that it is only temporary. For some, it becomes more manageable when we understand this level of discomfort is connecting you to the source of pain so ultimately you can move away from it.
For many people, the element of discomfort may have been missing in past attempts at change. You have remained in familiar and safe territory. Here the emphasis is not to feel unsafe but actually to not feel comfortable—it is when we are in our comfort zone that we are not aware of learning and the concept of change.
This is where we have been living in denial, as it’s easier to pretend everything is okay and to distract ourselves from the hidden meaning of what is happening. To move past these behaviours, we need to uncover these signs of discomfort and break through.
Remember, it is the feeling of unease that means you are moving in the right direction. This is the key to uncovering what is holding you back. You are aiming to get to the root of the problem rather than only clearing the surface layer.
The unconscious mind in action
For real change to happen, the journey of self-discovery needs to lead us into our unconscious. This is why we experience discomfort here, as we don’t consciously know what this change will mean.
At our conscious level, we will see the symptoms of what we think we need to work on. Developmental biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton states 95% of our daily behaviours come from the unconscious mind, not the conscious. We live our lives on autopilot, and this is where we need to challenge our behaviours in our consciousness.
Empower your future
Now that we have uncovered the truth about limiting beliefs and discomfort, the next step is to build courage. It is you who has the power to embrace the discomfort of change.
You will need to be prepared for your journey into the unconscious mind. This journey of self-discovery will take you out of your comfort zone; it will not seem real. It may feel that you are making things up.
This is the stage where you need to take feedback—the point where your limiting belief starts to send messages, casting doubt and holding you back from the real you and your capabilities. The realisation of these beliefs is powerful, an awakening to your true self from which you have been holding yourself back all these years.
How your neurology is at play
You will be taking a big step on your path to self-discovery. Though this is empowering in itself, there is also more at play within your body physically and mentally that you need to understand.
It is known as Inertia, but in this context it’s within your neurology. Your cells have become so used to their environment that they have adapted to it. To replay messages across the body, your neurotransmitters are working in a constant state, listening in on thoughts but relaying them all as real. All of our thoughts produce a reaction. These are chemical: hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin producing positive, happy moods, whereas cortisol and adrenaline are the predecessors of stress and fear.
This is where the problem lies; your neurology has been led by your limiting beliefs, overflowing your cells with adrenaline and cortisol, and in turn, you have adapted to this pattern to survive.
What does change look like?
It might sound unbelievable, but a belief change takes around 30 minutes. Before the process can begin, we need to identify the core limiting belief, the key aspect, to make sure we base change work on the correct one.
Once uncovered, the process can begin. Start by imagining pictures, sounds and feelings internally, and then play around with these scenarios.
The results are instant, with 50% of clients noting that they can’t even remember the limiting belief they felt so intensely for so long, and the other 50% acknowledging the limiting belief but having released the negative emotions connected to it.
To understand how we embed the belief change, you need to observe your life for the next forty-eight hours, relating these changes to the concept of a new item of clothing—it is noticeable for the first few wears but soon becomes a part of your wardrobe, not even a thought when you wear it.
A belief change has the same attributes. You will be aware as you start to view things differently, conscious of your change in responses, thoughts and actions, but it will soon become normal in your daily life.
Practising as a coach in the field of belief change since 2005, it has been hard to watch the detrimental impacts of limiting beliefs and how these can take over a person’s life.
Many people are unaware that they have a choice. This reality has been created and forged by their limiting belief, which tells them that change is impossible and that this is how they are meant to be.
To make long-lasting change, we need to be honest with ourselves. We need to be willing to uncover limiting beliefs. The process will be uncomfortable and will undoubtedly come with a strong realisation of behavioural traits we might not like as we delve deeper into the unconscious, as this is where the change needs to happen.
Embrace feeling uncomfortable by turning this into your power. It is your connection to the unconscious part of your neurology, and you will be in charge of future change.
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