The Fascinating Process of Changing Core Beliefs

The Fascinating Process of Changing Core Beliefs

We know the universe is vast, beyond our abilities to conceive. We can see how abundant nature is. Yet many of us believe that resources are scarce, and there isn't enough to go around.

This belief, like all others, is not true in itself, but becomes true in our experience if we believe it. And like all other beliefs, it can be changed. This is not a theory; a great many people have proven it can be done. I have changed my beliefs from scarcity to prosperity, so have countless others -- and so can you.

  We live in a limitless universe,
limited only by our beliefs.

This is the same as saying that, in an abundant world, we are limited only by our thoughts. Beliefs are thoughts. Thoughts can change -- in fact they change all the time. Usually the process is subconscious, but we can learn to consciously change our thoughts as well as our underlying beliefs. When we do, we change our entire life experience.

The Process Of Changing Your Beliefs

The process of changing your beliefs is not difficult: All you need to do is answer a few questions with as much honesty as you can and then craft a few effective affirmations. But don't let the simplicity of the core belief process cause you to underestimate it. This is an extraordinary bit of knowledge that gives us a phenomenal power: the power to consciously change our beliefs and, as a result, change our world as well.

I've written about it before, and so has Shakti Gawain, but it's one of those things we need to hear -- and do -- repeatedly before we get it on a deep, effective level. Once we get it, we have a powerful tool to help us create what we want in our lives.

We can consciously choose to create
a more satisfying life experience.

The process works best when you're upset about something, because then it's very easy to identify all your thoughts about the problem, all the tapes running through your head. But the process works very effectively too when you're not particularly upset yet have a problem you want to resolve.

Here are the steps of the process. It's good to sit down and take a deep breath and relax as much as you can before going through it.

THE CORE BELIEF PROCESS

1. THINK OF A PARTICULAR PROBLEM, SITUATION, OR AREA OF YOUR LIFE YOU WANT TO IMPROVE.

Describe it -- take two or three minutes to think about it or talk about it in general.

2. WHAT EMOTIONS ARE YOU FEELING?

Name the specific emotion, such as fear, anger, frustration, guilt, sadness.... (At the risk of making a broad generalization, I have found most women usually do this very quickly, and sometimes men stumble around in their heads before they can bring their attention down into their bodies and simply describe their feelings.) Don't get into any particular thoughts you're having about it at this point, just pinpoint the single word that describes the emotion.

3. WHAT PHYSICAL SENSATIONS ARE YOU FEELING?

Explore your body, from your toes to the top of your head. Is there tension somewhere? What's going on in your stomach? What is your breathing like?

4. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT?

What tapes are running in your head? What conditioning or programming can you identify? What negative thoughts, fears, or worries are you having? Take a few minutes to describe your thoughts.

5. WHAT IS THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN IN THIS SITUATION?

Ask yourself, What is my greatest fear in this situation? If your greatest fear came true, then what would be the worst thing that could happen? If that happened, what would be the very worst thing that could possibly happen? These questions bring your deepest fears to light.

6. WHAT IS THE BEST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?

What would you like to happen ideally? What is your ideal scene for this area of your life?

You may find this harder to express than your worst fears. If so, your fears may have been dominating and overwhelming your vision of success. Maybe you have been focusing more on the half of the glass that is empty than the half that is full in your life. Keep the best things, the best possibilities, in mind.

7. WHAT FEAR OR LIMITING BELIEF IS KEEPING YOU FROM CREATING WHAT YOU WANT IN THIS SITUATION?

Once you've explored this, write your limiting or negative belief in one short sentence, as simply and precisely as you can. If you have more than one, write them all down. Put them in the form of a belief: I believe that I'm inadequate.... I believe it's hard to make money.... I believe my life is stressful and unhealthy at times....

8. CREATE AN AFFIRMATION TO COUNTERACT AND CORRECT THE NEGATIVE, LIMITING BELIEF.

It should be short and simple and meaningful to you, in the present tense, as if it is already happening. I am enough.... I am now creating abundance in my life.... I now live and achieve my goals in an easy and relaxed manner, a healthy and positive way....

Your affirmation is the opposite of your core belief, turning a negative, limiting phrase into a positive, expansive one.

Here are some examples:

LIMITING BELIEF: I don't have enough time to do the things I want to do.

AFFIRMATION: I have plenty of time to do the things I want to do.

LIMITING BELIEF: I have to struggle to survive.

AFFIRMATION: I am creating total success in an easy and relaxed manner, a healthy and positive way.

LIMITING BELIEF: I'm under a lot of pressure at work; it's unavoidable in my high-pressure job.

AFFIRMATION: I now relax and enjoy myself at work, and accomplish everything easily.

LIMITING BELIEF: Money corrupts people.

AFFIRMATION: The more money that comes into my life, the more power I have to do good for myself, for others, and for the world.

LIMITING BELIEF: The world is a dangerous place.

AFFIRMATION: I now live in a safe, wonderful world.

LIMITING BELIEF: It's so hard to have a loving, ongoing relationship.

AFFIRMATION: I now have a loving, ongoing relationship, in an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way.

LIMITING BELIEF: I don't have what it takes to succeed.

AFFIRMATION: I have everything I need to create success as I choose to define it.

OR: I am now creating my success, in an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way.

9. SAY OR WRITE YOUR AFFIRMATION REPEATEDLY, OVER A PERIOD OF SEVERAL DAYS.

Write your affirmation down and put it where you'll see it often. Repeat your affirmation silently to yourself, while relaxing. Picture everything working out exactly as you want it to.

Write it ten or twenty times a day, if necessary, until you feel you've absorbed it as a positive core belief. If negative thoughts come up, write those thoughts on the back of the paper, then keep writing the affirmations on the front until it feels free of any emotional resistance.

That's the entire core belief process. It has worked magic in my life. I'll give you a real-life example.

A TRUE EXAMPLE

In my previous book, The Ten Percent Solution, my old mentor Bernie took me through the core belief process. It was a fictionalized tale; the true story is that I went through the process alone, in my car, driving down the freeway. The process at that moment was a powerful experience for me, and I remember it clearly, though it was more than twenty years ago.

I'd had my business for five or six years, and I was still struggling. The limiting beliefs that starting a business is stressful and life is a struggle and it's so hard to make money were obviously dominant in my subconscious mind. Our little publishing company wasn't making any money, and we had set up another company to distribute our books that collapsed and went bankrupt, forcing us close to bankruptcy -- and forcing most of the twenty-four other little publishers that were involved out of business, because the distribution company sold books for six months without paying any of us anything as it finally went belly up.

Life certainly looked and felt like a struggle. I had about $65,000 in credit card debt (and this was back in the early 1980s, when that was a much more significant amount of money). I didn't have the income to support my monthly "nut," as we called it: mostly rent and credit card payments. I kept going only because I was offered more and more credit cards, and I'd take the cash advances and use them to make the minimum payments on all the other cards. I felt like I was headed for disaster.

I remember one hour of one day so vividly: I was rushing down the freeway, heading for the nearest bank to make a cash withdrawal on a new credit card that had just been sent to me. I was frustrated and agitated -- and realized it was a perfect time to do the core belief process, something I had fortunately learned about several years before. I went through it by myself, as I flew down the freeway.

"Okay, what's the problem?" I said out loud to myself, "What situation in life do you want to improve?"

I answered immediately and vehemently. "My financial situation! I'm sinking! I'm way too deep in credit-card debt. Someday the bottom will fall out," I said, aware that I was echoing a line from one of Bob Marley's great songs.

"What emotions are you feeling?"

"Fear, anger, frustration -- definitely! Guilt." I took a breath deep into my heart. "Sadness, too."

"What physical sensations are you feeling?"

I took another deep breath. "There's a jittery anxiety in my stomach -- my neck and shoulders are tight. My chest is tight. I feel kind of tired and drained."

"What are you thinking about? What tapes are running through your head?"

"I'm thinking I'm just out of control financially. I'm not capable of dealing with money -- it's that simple -- money is beyond me. I'm a fool with money. It's sand through my hands."

I went on for a while, beating myself up for being so stupid and conflicted and inept.

"What's the worst thing that could happen? What's your greatest fear?"

"Bankruptcy. . . failure."

"What if that happened? What's the worst that could happen?"

"Despair. Destitution."

"What if that happened? What's the very worst thing that could happen?"

"I would die a slow, painful death in the gutter, with no friends, no one around me, no one to care in the least."

(It's very good to examine our worst fears -- when we do, we usually realize that the odds of them actually happening are extremely slim.)

"Now, what's the best thing that could happen? What is your ideal scene?"

I remember specifically that the best-case scenario was harder to imagine than the worst-case scenario, which had sprung to mind easily. The best-case scenario took me a while to envision.

"I seem to be incapable of saving regularly and budgeting my way out of debt, so the best thing that could happen is that my company has explosive growth, and I get big bonuses that completely pay off all debts and leave me with a large amount of cash for both saving and giving. I'd build a diversified portfolio that supports me for life, and give generously to friends, family, and organizations working for good. I'd save far more than ten percent of my income, and give away far more than ten percent as well.

"Ideally, everyone in my company becomes wealthy through profit sharing, and everyone is fulfilled as well, doing what they love to do. I become a king in his generativity. "

That was a phrase I'd heard from a friend who was quoting Robert Bly. It completely surprised me when it tumbled out of my mouth. I gave my ideal scene more thought, and got to other things that were more important:

"I have a life of ease, able to do what I want with my time...."

That sure felt good to say -- it even seemed to fill me with ease, at least for a moment, just by thinking of the word.

"And I contribute to the world, in a meaningful, substantial way, and help make the world a better place for all."

I was pleased with that ideal scene. It felt good to even just imagine it as a possibility.

"What fear or limiting belief is keeping you from creating what you want?"

I wrestled with this for a while. "I'm afraid I'm out of control. I'm afraid I'll fail. I'm afraid I don't have what it takes to succeed."

"Now put it in the form of a belief. What beliefs do you have?"

"I believe I'm out of control. I believe I don't have what it takes to succeed. I believe I'm heading for failure, maybe disaster."

"Now find an affirmation that completely counteracts those old limiting beliefs. What do you want to believe?"

"I want to believe I'm sensible and in control of my finances. I want to believe somehow I can be successful, financially and in every other way as well."

"Put it in the form of an affirmation, short and simple and in the present tense."

I thought about it, then these words came to mind:

I am sensible and in control of my finances.
I am creating total financial success,
in an easy and relaxed manner,
in a healthy and positive way,
in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all.

I had exited the freeway by this time, and I pulled over and wrote the words down on the back of a business card.

Just going through that brief process and writing those words made me feel better than I had felt in months. A great deal of my anxiety simply evaporated.

I went to the bank and withdrew the additional loan, but I told myself this wasn't going to happen again because I was sensible and in control of my finances and would soon pay off my debts.

Later that day, I wrote my affirmation on several different business cards and put one on my desk at work, right by the phone where I'd see it often, one in my billfold next to my cash, one on my dresser at home by my bed, one on the bathroom mirror. I kept that affirmation in front of me and repeated it often, especially when my anxieties would come up again.

A Fascinating Thing Began To Happen

My thought patterns began to change, and I began to see that in some ways I really was sensible and in control of my finances. I began to see that this whole arena of personal finances was not really all that complicated -- it certainly isn't rocket science -- and in fact there are just a few simple rules: You have to make more than you spend. (Duh!) You have to live within your means.

Another surprising thing began to happen: rather than feeling overwhelmed by my debt and all other the difficulties of a start-up business, I opened up in some way to seeing new possibilities. I began to see my ideal scene more clearly -- what I wanted and needed to solve the problems in front of me -- and new opportunities kept appearing that pointed me in the direction of success, in exactly the way I chose to define that success, in an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way.

All this as a result of repeating that single affirmation, over and over: I am sensible and in control of my finances. I am creating total financial success.

It was my ideal scene, rather than the scenario of my fears, that soon came into my life, exactly as I had affirmed it and hoped it would be.

Keep affirming your ideal scene, keep it in mind in whatever way you can, and soon you'll be stepping into it in reality.

Something of great value happens when you go through the core belief process: You let go of old beliefs and create new ones, let go of old thoughts and create new ones, and those new thoughts and beliefs have the power to tangibly affect your reality.

THE WATCHER

Another valuable thing inevitably happens when you go through the core belief process: You see how easy it is to stand back and observe your thoughts and feelings, and objectively describe them from a broader perspective. In doing this, you become aware of what is often called the watcher.

Just discovering the watcher is a valuable key in itself. Once you can take a good look at your agitation, or whatever else is going on, you realize there is more to you than those thoughts and emotions. There is a part of you that can stand back and observe -- and that part of you is not agitated, that part of you is calm, clear, at ease.

Eckhart Tolle writes beautifully about it in The Power of Now:

When you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness of the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in....

As you listen to the thought, you feel a conscious presence -- your deeper self -- behind or underneath the thought, as it were. This is the beginning of the end of involuntary and compulsive thinking.

Once we understand this, we understand the watcher. Eckhart Tolle goes on to take it a brilliant step further:

When you know you are not at peace,
your knowing creates a still space
that surrounds your nonpeace
in a loving and tender embrace
and then transmutes your nonpeace into peace.

-- Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

It is our own awareness of ourselves -- something each of us has and can quickly learn to recognize -- that gives us the key to a life of grace, ease, and lightness.

A MINI-CORE BELIEF PROCESS

There will undoubtedly be times when doubts and fears arise. They're a natural part of every human life. Try this when it happens:

Look at your doubts and fears -- and realize that just by looking at them, you have found the watcher, you've found a quieter place within that can simply observe, without judgment. Acknowledge all your doubts and fears -- become aware of them and accept them. Put them into words. Then steer them into an affirmation. Work with those doubts and fears until you find the words that counteract them.

Once you clearly look at your doubts and fears,
you can clearly imagine their opposite,
and affirm that everything is now working out smoothly,
in an easy and relaxed manner,
in a healthy and positive way,
in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all.

SUMMARY

* We are limited only by our beliefs. This is the same as saying we are limited only by our thoughts.

* Our beliefs are not true in themselves, but they become true in our experience if we believe them.

* We can change our beliefs. Many of them naturally change and evolve throughout our lives, but we can also consciously change them. So why not change them for the better? We can consciously choose to create a more satisfying life experience.

* There is a simple process that helps us change our beliefs: the core belief process. It involves answering these questions -- it is especially effective when we're in a difficult or stressful situation:

1. What problem, situation, or area of your life do you want to improve?

2. What emotions are you feeling?

3. What physical sensations are you feeling?

4. What are you thinking about?

5. What is the worst thing that could happen in this situation?

6. What is the best thing that could happen?

7. What fear or limiting belief is keeping you from creating what you want in this situation?

8. Create an affirmation to counteract and correct the negative, limiting belief.

9. Say or write your affirmation repeatedly, over a period of several days.

When you go through this process, you discover many things, including "the watcher," the part of you that can quietly and calmly observe what is going on in your mind, without judgment, without reacting. Just discovering the watcher is a valuable key in itself.

To do a mini-core belief process, just look at whatever doubt or fear has arisen within, observe it without judgment, and then find the affirmation that counteracts it in an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all.

Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
New World Library. ©2003.
http://www.newworldlibrary.com

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The Millionaire Course by Marc Allen. The Millionaire Course: A Visionary Plan for Creating the Life of Your Dreams
by Marc Allen.

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About the Author

Marc Allen

MARC ALLEN became a multi-millionaire using the principles in this book. He is the author of Visionary Business, The Ten Percent Solution, and A Visionary Life. He is co-founder (with Shakti Gawain) and publisher of New World Library.