Learning how to identify beliefs that will hold us back from more success requires a higher level of self-awareness.
How we view the world and the experiences we have, is often based on our beliefs. We create our reality to match our beliefs.
This means if we are not experiencing the reality we want, it’s an opportunity to install new beliefs.
If we pay closer attention to how we operate or the decisions we make, we’ll find evidence of our beliefs playing out. Knowing how to identify our beliefs will make a big difference in our lives.
Examples of Beliefs That Can Affect Your Success
We cannot see our beliefs because they’re not something tangible or physical. Beliefs are internal. They’re thoughts or ideas true to us, based on our model of the world.
While there are many beliefs, common ones include:
- I’m not worthy enough.
- I’m not good, talented or smart enough.
- I’m too old or too young.
- I’m don’t know enough.
- I’m afraid of failing.
- I’m not loveable.
- I won’t take risks, so I won’t be judged.
- I can only have what I want if I had more money.
No matter what level of success we’ve reached, we can always improve to achieve more success. To do that, we have to replace beliefs that don’t serve us with new, empowering beliefs.
A belief I was raised with was, to be successful in life, I needed to have a good education. The only education I knew early in life was formal education.
We have different definitions of success. I believed that if I were to consider myself successful, I needed to enjoy what I was doing and know it was making a difference.
Even with a high level of formal education, I never felt successful. That made me question whether that belief was true or not. I have since learned that formal education has very little correlation to success and fulfillment in life.
For a belief to be true, it has to be 100% accurate, 100% of the time. That’s rarely the case with beliefs, which means we have to question what we believe.
How to Identify Beliefs That Will Affect Your Success
Identifying beliefs requires a high level of presence and reflection. Here are five simple ways to identify beliefs that will affect your success.
- Pay more attention to the words you say. There are beliefs about cause and beliefs about meaning. Beliefs about cause are when we believe something (X) causes something else (Y). It usually plays out as, “If this happens (X), then this will happen (Y).”
Beliefs about meaning implies we believe an event to mean something else. In this case, X = Y. It usually plays out as, “If this happens (X), it means this (Y).”
- Reflect and capture your inner dialogue. What we think and what we say to ourselves is based on our beliefs. Becoming more aware of our self-talk is often the starting point of identifying our beliefs.
- Notice where or when you stop yourself from taking action. Our actions or behaviours reflect our beliefs. If we stop ourselves from doing something, it’s a sign we have a belief that is influencing our actions or lack of action.
- Assess how you deal with your challenges. The way we cope with or overcome our challenges will reveal our beliefs. If we let our challenges to affect how we operate, it usually means certain beliefs are playing out.
- Catch what you say to yourself when you disagree with someone. People will have different opinions, and they will not always match ours. If we don’t agree with someone’s perspective, we have to question why. It’s usually a sign of a difference in beliefs.
How to Change a Belief?
We can change our beliefs through introspection and a higher level of self-awareness. We have to be honest with ourselves and question why we believe our beliefs.
There are many tools and processes that can be used to change beliefs. Here is one process that works well, if we’re committed to being honest with ourselves.
It involves doing self-reflection and answering a few questions. It usually starts with identifying a feeling such as a discomfort or unease we may be experiencing.
- What specifically is causing to you feel that way?
- What is the belief you have around the feeling you have? Or what is the belief that is causing that feeling?
- What causes you to believe that belief?
- Why do you believe that?
- What would happen if you didn’t believe that? Or what benefit do you have by holding on to this belief?
- What is it costing you to continue to hold on to this belief?
- Is this belief true for everyone? And when it is not true? (Can you think of one example in which it hadn’t been the case?)
- What is a new belief you could tell yourself?
- What is the benefit of this new belief? What will it enable you to do?
- Which belief would you rather have—the old or new belief?
- What is one action you can take to lock in this new belief?
- What will you commit to doing so you can continue to live this new belief?
Our beliefs are powerful. They can lift us up to greater success, or they can hold us back from creating more success. If we identify and change the beliefs holding us back, we will create the success we want and become the best version of ourselves.
If we don’t change our beliefs, we will continue to create success at the level we’re at now. It’s our choice to change our beliefs.
Action Step: Reflect on something that is bothering you or some area of your life where you are not being the best you can be. Go through the questions above to identify then change the belief(s) affecting you.
Question: What are other ways to identify beliefs that will hold you back from more success?