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Beliefs

Friday, October 21st, 2005 by Steve Pavlina

In this podcast, I want to talk with you about the subject of beliefs. So the first thing I want you to do is picture a goal that you have for yourself.

Maybe it's a goal to lose a certain amount of weight, to earn a certain amount of money, to complete a particular project. Whatever your goal is, just get one in mind.

Now I want to ask you, what do you honestly believe it will take for you to achieve this goal? Now if this is a goal you've already planned out, then that should be easy to answer. You would have your plan as the answer to that question.

But perhaps it's something like — oh, your goal is you want to lose weight. And so, what you believe it would take to achieve that goal is:

"Well, I'm going to have to change my diet, I'm going to have to exercise a lot more, and then, if I can change my diet and adopt a new exercise program and maintain a consistent level of discipline for a period of months, then it will work. Then I would reach my goal weight."

So that might be what your thinking is on what you believe it will take to achieve that goal. And if you honestly do what you believe it will take to achieve your goal, you will probably succeed.

But what I want to address is those situations where you look at what you believe it will take to achieve your goal, and it appears overwhelming initially. So you don't do it. It looks like it's going to be just too much work.

The first method we've talked about for achieving your goal is working within a certain belief system. In other words, you have these beliefs about what it will take to achieve your goal.

Now that's not necessarily the same thing of what it will objectively take to achieve your goal — your plan is not reality. Your plan is your thinking about reality. It's your mental model of reality. But that doesn't necessarily mean your plan is the only way to achieve your goal, or even that your plan will work.

But working your plan — following the steps of your plan to your goal — whether it's a clearly documented plan, or just kind of a basic idea of the steps you think you'll need to take — working that plan is working within that belief system, the belief system that led to the creation of that plan. In other words, it's working within your beliefs -what you believe it will take to achieve that goal.

Now that's a very common method of goal achievement. If you make a plan based on what you believe it will take to achieve the goal, you think you're creating a plan based on some objective model of reality, but you're really not. Because you never know objective reality totally perfectly. There's always imperfections in your understanding of it. So what you're really doing is, you're creating a plan based on your mental model.

What I want to do is offer you an alternative way of achieving goals. The first method we talked about is working within your belief system. The second method I want to introduce you to, is working on your belief system itself.

So what this means is, instead of accepting your current mental model of reality, and then setting goals within in that model of reality, and then using that mental model of reality to create the plans to achieve your goals...

...what we want to do is take a step back, and look at that mental model that you have, and say, "Can we work on this model itself to make the goal easier to achieve?" Does this make sense?

So, let's use that weight loss model again, and in this case, you would say, I want to lose weight. So now, instead of working within your belief system about what it will take to lose weight, you're going to work on your belief system. So what you really want to do here is to condition yourself to believe that you will reach your goal weight.

And, you don't even need to be concerned with how it happens, because that's working inside the belief system. In this case, you're working on the belief system, so you want to install the belief that you will most definitely lose weight and reach the goal weight you've set for yourself.

Now, the way that this could work is that what it might do is, it installs a new belief system in yourself. and my experience has shown me time and again, that there appears to be some type of process in ourselves, that will tend to make reality. or at least our experience of reality, congruent with our beliefs. In other words, our mental model of reality is not merely our best guess observation of reality — it's actually our best guess creation of reality as well.

It is an observation on one hand, but our mental model of reality is also creating our experiences. It's creating the paths to our goals, it's creating how much success or failure we experience. And because of that creative aspect of mental model of reality, we need to take a greater degree of control over what it is were actually creating.

See, I think very few people realize that when you have a belief. that is a creative entity. Your belief about reality is not merely measuring reality and giving you feedback on reality — it is actually actively creating.

And there's two mechanisms by which that can occur. The first is through subconscious action. If you create a belief, for example, that your going to lose weight and your absolutely certain that you going to lose weight, don't you think that that could potentially have an effect on your behaviour, that could lead you to take the correct actions that will eventually cause you to lose weight?

In fact, it might be far more easy to do it that way than it would be to struggle against your belief systems and fight with your beliefs. Because in your belief system — the original one we talked about, where you decide you need to have this restrictive diet and do lots of exercise and maintain a certain level of self discipline — what you're doing is really fighting your beliefs about reality, your beliefs that say it's hard to lose weight. And so you're trying to come up against that belief and fight with it.

Instead, what I'm suggesting is an alternative approach is to recondition that belief to get yourself to believe its going to be easier to lose weight. To get yourself to believe that you will succeed, thereby conditioning your subconscious mind to take the correct actions. So that when you're thinking about what to eat — and you'll find it when you think about what to eat, rarely do you have a totally conscious choice there. You're often just getting a subconscious craving, and you go and eat what pops into your head. But what if healthier food started popping into your head, because you had an underlying belief that you were going to succeed?

Let's take a step back and consider, how do you actually change these beliefs? Well, first of all, realize that beliefs are choices, and you can make these choices subconsciously or consciously. And thinking that you don't have the power to change your beliefs is actually itself a belief, if you think about it. It's one that keeps you trapped. Your belief that your mental model of reality is accurate is actually part of your mental model of reality. And in fact, it's a creative part, not just a passive observing part.

So the first door you have to go through in order to be able to use this — this other method of goal achievement — is to consciously decide to drop those beliefs that unnecessarily limit your options. And the beliefs that unnecessarily limit your options would be called disempowering beliefs, and the ones that free you up and give you more options, would be called empowering beliefs.

And empowering believes are simply more congruent with the way that reality actually works. And that greater congruency comes from recognizing that your mental model of reality has a creative effect on your experience of reality — is not merely passive, it is also active.

Now the one method I already mentioned was the subconscious process, whereby your beliefs about reality are programming your subconscious, and through your subconscious actions you're creating results one way or another. Which may be congruent with your mental model of reality or incongruent with your mental model of reality. And in the long run we're going strive, whether we like it or not, for congruency with our mental model of reality. We'll strive for congruency with our beliefs.

The second mechanism, though, where I can see this working — and this is an area I'm just beginning to explore more deeply — is the possibility of superconscious action. What this means is, that somehow, some way, through some mechanism, your beliefs and your thoughts about reality are going out into universe and extending beyond your own subconscious mind, beyond your body, and they're impacting the world in some way, and we can conjecture about how this might happen.

But one of the best ways to do it is simply to test and to see for yourself that there may be something more to your beliefs about reality in the way they manifest that goes beyond your ability to explain it as merely subconscious action.

As an example, when you set a goal for yourself, and you are convinced that it's going to happen, you adopt a new belief, you change your mental model of reality — you may start to see synchronicities occur. You may start to see strange coincidences within the next. say, one to two days after making this change for yourself in your mind, you start to see coincidences, in your reality.

Now there is certainly the possibility that that's subconscious, that there are things there all along that you begin to notice. However, I would suggest that if you actually adopt the belief that there is the possibility of a superconscious action at work, you will in fact open yourself up more, to receiving superconscious help, to receiving more synchronicities and more coincidences.

And in fact I found that the more that I relaxed into that belief and said, I wonder if there is superconscious action? I wonder if there is a way for my beliefs to manifest that goes beyond my conscious ability to take direct action or my subconscious ability to take indirect action? And somehow, my thoughts are affecting reality in some way. And the more I did that, the more I saw evidence that that was true.

Now, on the one hand, you could say that this is simply a self fulfilling prophecy. That yes, maybe I'm just convincing myself that, that's true. And that may be the case. I have no real way of disputing that.

But on the other hand, what if it works? If it works, it works. Does it necessarily matter if you're slightly deluding yourself into believing that your goals are being manifested through superconscious action, when really they're just being manifest even more deeply through subconscious action that your not aware of? But yet, you're still getting results.

So the thing is that this may be an empowering belief, whether or not it is objectively or provable true. I can't see a way that it could be proven true or false. But I found that simply to believe in it, simply to open myself up to it — and you don't have to necessarily blindly jump in with faith and accept that it's true. What I'm suggesting though, is that you simply open yourself up to the possibility of it. You allow it to be possible, and what this will do is open yourself up to other ways of achieving your goals that may be much easier then taking direct action within your current belief system.

And everyone's belief systems have some degree of conflict. They're incongruent. They may be internally incongruent, or they may be simply incongruent with reality. So, allowing yourself the flexibility of bypassing those incongruencies, can sometimes allow goals to manifest far more easily, far more quickly, through a process of bypassing the blocks, bypassing those beliefs that would prevent your goals from coming to you easily.

For example, with the weight loss goal, bypassing all that hard work, that conscious effort, because you have beliefs that are slightly in conflict. You believe you want to lose weight, but you also believe it is going to be very difficult to do. Or you want to make a certain amount of money, but you believe you would have to do something unethical to make that much money. Or that it would be very difficult, or you would have to make to many sacrifices.

So to get those blocks out of the way is something that can be achieved by opening yourself up to the potential for both subconscious and superconscious action.

So how do you actually do this? Well, the way you actually do this, is to choose a belief is essentially to hold an intention. What you're doing is creating an intention. Now, many people know how to use intentions in very limited ways, such as intending to go to work, or intending to take out the trash.

But intentions can be much more powerful then that. You can create intentions that are much more broad — such as I intend to weigh a certain number of pounds (as we already mentioned), or I intend to attract a mate. Or simply, I intend to be happy, or I intend to feel good, or I intend to be at peace.

And when you hold these intentions long enough, they'll eventually become beliefs, and for one, this will affect your subconscious actions so you'll be acting congruently with what you want.

But then we also talked about the possibility for synchronicities to occur through superconscious action. Whether or not that is actually what is happening, I don't know. But I do believe that you will begin to see these effects for yourself if you open yourself up to them. I suggest that you experiment with this ability and see how far your can develop it. At the very least it will help you bypass those disempowering beliefs that are holding you back, and at best, it can help you manifest your goals much more quickly.

Really, what we're talking about here is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm sure you've heard that expression before — saying that someone is a self-fulfilling prophecy means that they have beliefs that they're going to manifest one way or another.

Well, why not use that process to your advantage? Adopt a belief such that you become a self-fulfilling prophecy, for what you want. So prophesize what you want to happen. And the way you do this is actually very simple — because you simply need to recognize that it is a choice. When you realize that your mental model of reality is at least in part creative of your reality — then you have the potential to make choices that are creative to install beliefs simply because you have that ability to create.

For example, let's say you want to go and make dinner for yourself. OK, you don't need some special permission to be able to do this. It's simply, you decide to make dinner, you decide what you want to create, you decide what you want to have, and you go do it. You just say. I'm going to have this for dinner. and you make it so. It's the same process with beliefs, except people tend to make it so much more complicated. They think that they don't have this ability to do this, when they really do.

So you simply say, you state your goal, you state it to the universe, and you simply say, make it so. Simply say, I believe I'm going to lose weight, and I believe I'm going to weigh this much weight. Or I believe I'm going to make certain amount of money, or I believe I'm going to attract a mate into my life — and you tell the universe, make it so.

So what you're really doing here, the process you're really doing here, is you're changing your mental model of reality by choice, by conscious choice. And of course, you have to recognise that you have this ability, that you can do this.

So if you can overcome your resistance to this process, and simply try it with an open mind, I think you'll find it's really an incredible way to achieve goals. And note that it actually doesn't conflict with the first method we talked about for achieving goals — the one where you work within your belief system?

Really, what you want to do is apply both. You want to both work within your belief system, but also work on the belief system. So my exercise to you is to select a goal that's important to you. something that's specific, and relax your beliefs about what it will take to achieve that goal. And then use this model of intention to attract the goal to you — to work on your beliefs about what it will take to achieve the goal. What you want to do is install the belief by choice, simply by choosing that you will achieve the goal, and that you will achieve the goal quickly and easily.

Don't give it a specific deadline — don't force it to come to you in any particular way. Don't try to control the process of how the goals achieved. Simply intend the goal you want, and allow the process to unfold however the universe sees best. That gives you the option of working on it with direct action, that gives you the option of manifesting some way through subconscious action, and also there's the possibility of superconscious action, if you happen to believe in that.

So try this intention-manifestation model for achieving your goals to work on your beliefs system, not just within it.

And until next time, live consciously.