BELIEFS are what make the world go round, at least for us as human beings. They determine what we will and won’t do, they determine what we pay attention to or ignore.
They are thoughts we invest a sense of ourselves into and hold with some certainty that they are true.
Beliefs are our path to freedom or the prison that keeps us trapped and hold us back from following our dreams.
Beliefs are picked up throughout our journey of life, from our parents, teachers, peers, friends and from wider society through the media, social media and authority figures.
Beliefs should be scrutinised and seriously questioned, because they are often based on nothing more than assumptions, inferences and the testimony of other people, rather than being derived from facts and truths and being evidence based.
Consider self-limiting beliefs like…
I’m not good enough
I’m not skilled enough
I don’t have the talent
I don’t have the experience
I don’t have the time
I don’t have the money
I don’t have the resources
I’ll forget my lines
Beliefs about what others think or will think about you
If it doesn’t work out…
They’ll know I’m a fraud
They’ll see me as a failure
I’ll make a fool of myself
I’ll embarrass myself
They’ll be disappointed in me
They’ll laugh at me
They want me to fail
They’re just wanting me to fail
They’ll think I’m fat
Beliefs about past performance
I’ll mess up, I always do
I failed last time, I’ll fail again
I’ve never been able to do it before
Seriously, stop buying into such beliefs, they disempower you, they turn you off even trying things. If you want to believe anything believe….
Self limiting beliefs are not going to put me in the best frame of mind to succeed
The opinion of other people isn’t important, it’s my life and only my opinion really matters; I must start being kind to myself
The past doesn’t dictate my future. Learn from my failures and improve going forwards
You can do whatever you put your mind to with enough effort, dedication and determination
You can learn what you can, and draft in help to fill the gaps
There is always a way, you just have to find it
You never fail at anything unless you give up trying
Getting results is a matter of acquiring the right knowledge, improving motivation and being productive
Take a long, hard look at your beliefs, write them down on a piece of paper. Question their validity, even ask someone you respect and trust to give their opinion of them. Replace the limiting beliefs, you wrongly, hold with more empowering beliefs that will give you the best frame of mind to succeed. If you’re going to make shit up, make it empowering.
As I began to love myself
I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living
against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is Authenticity.
As I began to love myself
I understood how much it can offend somebody
if I try to force my desires on this person,
even though I knew the time was not right
and the person was not ready for it,
and even though this person was me.
Today I call this Respect.
As I began to love myself
I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything
that surrounded me
was inviting me to grow.
Today I call this Maturity.
As I began to love myself
I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time,
and everything happens at the exactly right moment.
So I could be calm.
Today I call this Self-Confidence.
As I began to love myself
I quit stealing my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects
for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness,
things I love to do and that make my heart cheer,
and I do them in my own way
and in my own rhythm.
Today I call this Simplicity.
As I began to love myself
I freed myself of anything
that is no good for my health –
food, people, things, situations,
and everything that drew me down
and away from myself.
At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.
Today I know it is Love of Oneself.
As I began to love myself
I quit trying to always be right,
and ever since
I was wrong less of the time.
Today I discovered that is Modesty.
As I began to love myself
I refused to go on living in the past
and worrying about the future.
Now, I only live for the moment,
where everything is happening.
Today I live each day,
day by day,
and I call it Fulfillment.
As I began to love myself
that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick.
But as I connected it to my heart,
my mind became a valuable ally.
Today I call this connection Wisdom of the Heart.
We no longer need to fear arguments,
confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others.
Even stars collide,
and out of their crashing, new worlds are born.
Today I know: This is Life!
Having done some research, we found that this poem“As I Began to Love Myself” was not actually written by Charlie Chaplin. As far as we can tell, the poem is actually an English translation of Portuguese translation of an English language book written by Kim and Alison McMillen in 2001 entitled “When I Loved Myself Enough.” That text was then altered even further into the shareable form it consists of today.
The BELIEFS we hold so dear, are often, indirectly holding us back from chasing down our goals. The way we use beliefs to make decisions, and to interpret the world around us, can result in, both positive and negative consequences for us as individuals.
Our beliefs are the core of how we evaluate the world we live in. They determine, often on a subconscious level, who and what we pay attention to, or ignore. They influence what we do, or don’t do. They shape how we interact with others. They inform our choices about what groups we decide to join, or not. They affect who and what we are drawn to and who and what we avoid, who and what we disagree with and whether we take action or stay put.
I like to think about beliefs like bullet points that form the backbone of a story we tell ourselves, which we believe with some certainty, that we use to navigate the world around us.
For instance if you believe the following…
The world is a dangerous place – The news is full of horrible, violent events, I can’t remember it being this bad when I was younger
People are more violent these days than they used to be, I can’t remember all this knife crime and shooting I hear about now
People only care about themselves, and are less likely to help others, than they used to be
Community spirit is long gone, people aren’t as friendly as they used to be
So these beliefs form the backbone of a story that depicts the world as a lonely, scary place, with danger at every turn, where people are out to get you or rob you. – okay I’m exaggerating for effect here, but you get the point. The stronger you hold these beliefs, the more powerful the resulting emotions you will fear.
So how do you think this thought process is going to shape your behaviours? You might go out less particularly at night, or avoid certain places altogether because you see them dangerous. For instance, you might turn down the opportunity to go on holiday to somewhere you’ve heard has had problems in the recent past.
You might be less trusting of strangers when you interact with them, coming across as unfriendly and uncaring from their point of view. This impacts how they react to you in return. You can see how we can easily get the wrong opinion of someone and vice versa.
If you see someone in distress you might rush by, for fear of falling into a trap. It might well be a trap, it does happen, but it might also be someone that desperately needs your assistance.
You might prefer to keep yourself to yourself, rather than seek the company of others in social situations, making you seek aloof and unfriendly.
It’s not hard to see that these underlying beliefs are impacting the way you might make decisions, how you interact with people and places and how others see and interact with you. This shapes your relationships and directly impacts the quality of your life.
Life’s experiences are a combination of interpretations, emotions, behaviours, reactions and interactions which act like a feedback loop; all of which, are built on top of our core beliefs.
So what can we do about beliefs that are spoiling the quality of our lives? Surely we can’t just change our beliefs to suit us, after all, they are based on truths and reflect how the world actually is, right? Otherwise they wouldn’t be our beliefs in the first place, would they?
Well, let’s consider what a belief is. My definition of a belief is ;
“It’s a thought (which is a mind constructed abstraction) we hold with some certainty to be true.”
The dictionary definition is;
“An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.”
The directory definition is interesting because it adds “with proof” at the end. Yet I’d bet few of us consider our beliefs not to be based on proof, we might not even contemplate this possibility. When in fact, many beliefs we hold are based on nothing more than assumptions, inferences, and the testimony of other people.
Beliefs are absorbed through social conditioning. We learn them from people around us, from the media, from influential people like teachers, parents, authority figures, experts, from peers, work colleages and friends. Increasingly we are strengthening such beliefs through social media algorithms that are designed to feed us more information that we have “liked” in the past.
Okay our personal experiences shape our beliefs to some degree, of course, but consider than our beliefs are underpinning how we even interpret our experiences.
We see or hear something and almost instantly give is some meaning. This meaning is based on our beliefs. At the same time we are filtering out incoming stimuli and data that we aren’t interested in. For instance we buy a red Mini, we suddenly start seeing red Minis everywhere. Where there no red minis around before we purchased one, or were they always there but we just didn’t notice? Check out this video, follow the instructions, and see the power of our minds to filter out unnecessary stimuli.
So beliefs are core to what we pay attention to and what we filter out.
Something else that’s important to understand about our beliefs are they are often invested with our sense of self. This means we psychologically attach to them. They become our belief, we and the belief become one. Because we do this particularly with strongly held beliefs we fall into a couple of traps.
The first trap we fall into is we notice evidence that supports the belief, and ignore anything that contradicts it. This is known as confirmation bias.
The second trap we fall into is we find it hard to change a belief because we’re invested in it. To change the belief we must first accept we were wrong to begin with, and this can be unacceptable for our fragile Egos.
The way to avoid these traps is to avoid investing our sense of self in them. How? Well, use a scientific approach, consider beliefs like a best guess (hypothesis) that you actively try to disprove. That way you don’t fight for them, instead you’re open to hearing contradictory evidence. You suddenly stop trying to be right, and instead try to find the truth.
So the question becomes, which beliefs should we keep and which should be abandon? In truth, we should, as I’ve said previously, turn all beliefs into best guesses. But specifically it’s the beliefs that are holding us back from going after our goals we should target first. If it’s not serving you, drop it or change it.
Beliefs that hold you back tend to be self-confidence focused. Consider these common beliefs…
I’m not capable of doing [blank]
I don’t have the experience/resources/skills/ talent to do [blank]
You need to be [blank] to succeed at doing [blank]
We often allow these beliefs to put us off even trying to make progress, due to fear of things like disappointment, failure, loss, embarrassment, etc.
Changing such beliefs or incorporating new beliefs that empower us will help us to overcome such limiting beliefs
The best way to learn is by doing
Failure is a necessary part of learning and making progress
I am capable of doing this, I might have to learn something new or develop a skill further, but I can do it
If I lack a particular skill, I can find someone who I can hire to help me
Where there is a will, there is a way…always
I can only truly fail if I give up completely – I will not be beaten
You are never too old to learn new tricks
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change
These are empowering beliefs, but they are also very true, and more grounded in reality than simply saying “I can’t do this”. Why can’t you do it? Who says so? Based on what, the past? Remember the past doesn’t equal the future, how’s that for a belief.
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Time spent on self improvement is time well spent. Investing time into educating yourself is of the utmost importance on your journey through life and it can also be great fun.
I’ve been interested in self improvement for many years and during time I collected many gigabytes of information.
I realised I needed to organise this knowledge into a coherent form, so that I could retrieve and deploy it when needed. I figured it was not enough just to discover and learn the information, but far more importantly, to make use of it.
People talk about the benefits of education; reading books, watching tutorials and sometimes they’ll brag of reading a few books a week, but how much of that knowledge is forgotten over time? Before I’d developed the model, I’d forgotten much of what I’d learned previously.
I decided to record what I’d learned and try to break things down into a framework that would help me make the most use of it. I intended to do one for business, one for marketing, one for spiritual wellbeing and one for health.
However I realised that what I’d developed could be transferred from one area of life to another.
This is the deep down framework is focused on how people actual behave in the wild; why they do and don’t do things, how thoughts form into beliefs and instruct behaviours, and subsequently, experiences. And how experiences feedback into thoughts and beliefs and ultimately influence our motivation, knowledge acquisition and productivity going forward.
After developing the basis of the GETRESULTS model, I developed other subject specific layers on top of it, which could be used in particular areas of life, such as business, marketing, spiritual wellbeing, health and relationships. These included specific strategies and tactics. – for instance marketing requires winning and keeping attention at its heart, and there are a number of tactics that can be executed to achieve this.
This website is a labour of love. I have other business interests, but enjoy helping others on their self improvement journey, and use this website as a vehicle for doing that.
Have a good look around the site, and thanks for taking time to check us out.
Laughter is one of mankind’s greatest gifts, it can get us though the toughest of times and situations.
The ability to laugh at yourself, lifts the burden of taking yourself and life too seriously.
It frees you from the worry of other people’s opinions about you; if you don’t seriously judge yourself, why should anyone else.
Sure our teenage years are all about fitting in, conforming with our social circles. It’s a time when we’re genetically wired to care about how others view us, but as we get older, we can appreciate our individuality a little bit more objectively.
We can relax our critical, judgmental side in favour of a more accepting, look-for-the-funny-side-of-this situation, disposition.
I used to take life far too seriously. I was in a very responsible management position, and played the role the way I thought it should be played, with a great deal of seriousness. I used to get really uptight about presenting the best impression to senior managers and peers.
There was another more junior manager that came along some time later, who was refreshingly lighthearted, a self -deprecating sort of bloke, who was popular because he was so easy going, jovial,and easy to work with. Sure he’d get the work done, and make sure he didn’t get taken advantage of, but he did it with humour and humility.
I learned a lot from him, and let go of my stuffiness, I worried less about what others thought of me, because I judged myself less harshly. It was amazing how less stressed and worried I became, it really was like a weight being lifted from my shoulders.
I now love to laugh, I try to find the funny side of any situation and am happy to laugh at the silly things I find myself saying and doing from time to time.
I came across this poem by Walterrean Salley that I really like, so I thought I’d share it with you here.
Laughter is infectious.
It is a joyful sound that
Once it starts ringing,
Passes all around.
Laughter is infectious.
Some folks have no clue
As to what another’s laughter
Could do unto you.
Laughter is infectious.
You can get it on a whim,
But chances of it harming
Are very, very slim.
THOUGHT is the key driver of ACTION and BEHAVIOUR. Another way of saying this is we do things based on our thought processes.
THOUGHTS either made up of fleeting distractions that pass through our minds briefly, and while we may question their origin, they have very little impact on our daily lives, or thoughts that repeatedly replay over and over, which wear grooves into our psyche, otherwise known as pathways into the neural network of our brains, forming what we often describe as BELIEFS and VALUES.
These beliefs and values become the RULES we operate against. To implement rules we have to make JUDGMENTS, deciding if something is right or wrong, good for us or bad, whether we do it or not etc.
Understanding how thoughts impact behaviour; what we do, or don’t do, why we do something or don’t do something, is vitally important, because they directly impact the quality of our decision-making and subsequently the quality of our lives. Self awareness is so important in this respect.
The difficulty with scrutinising our psychological mechanisms is that we may be forced to confront things we’re not particularly comfortable with confronting. We may have to admit our shortcomings, our weaknesses, or vulnerabilities, which goes against how our brains are wired and how we are conditioned, which is to always be looking to increase our sense of value, to be more than we were yesterday, to be better, more valuable.
In reality, knowing the hard-to-admit shortcomings of our makeup frees us to move forwards more effectively, we can plan the best path towards our goals, knowing where we need help from others, or through training, and what we should focus on by doing what we do best, what comes more naturally to us and what aligns with our inner workings.
We have BELIEFS and VALUES which are predominately made up from, ASSUMPTIONS, INFERENCES and the TESTIMONY of others, and often have little to do with facts, or being backed by evidence. We should question such BELIEFS and VALUES. Where do they come from? Well generally they come from social and cultural conditioning, they are less about what we want and more about what the world around us wants from us. Are they based on truth and fact or are they just a convincing story we tell ourselves repeatedly? Are they an attempt to increase our sense of self?
Your SENSE OF SELF, is that bit of you that attaches to and emotionally invests in thoughts, possessions, people, cultural and social ideas and affiliations, so as to increase your own value. At some level, you believe having more makes you more, but this is a lie.
Learn more about the EQUATION OF EMOTION which will help you with dealing with EXPECTATIONS, PERCEPTIONS OF REALITY, ATTACHMENTS. For more about it, click here.
Change EXPECTATIONS to APPRECIATION. Nothing is promised. Lose that sense of entitlement you might have. Be grateful for each day, which is a gift. If you find this hard to believe, go to your local hospice and spend time with people that are living on borrowed time, to help you get a better perspective and appreciation of what’s really important.
Question your PERCEPTIONS OF REALITY. Change the story you tell yourself. Choose a different narrative because none of it is based on fact anyway, so make it empowering so it serves you.
Let go of ATTACHMENTS. They are designed to increase your sense of self, but in reality, you are not your attachments. Also be careful of SEPARATION because this too is an attempt to increase your sense of self, by lowering the “other” and thus rising above the “other”.
Bring awareness to your IDENTIFICATION WITH THOUGHT (EGO) processes. You are not your thoughts, and your thoughts are not who you are. You are not separate from the universe of formless or form, you are in integral part of life. Also stop using this moment as a stepping stone to the future and to relive the past, instead fully engage with the here and now because it is the only access point we have to engage with life.
You can see that there is more to THOUGHTS and THINKING than initially meets the eye. Thoughts are so integral to the way we live life. Mastering thoughts and the thinking process, helps master life. We can’t control external elements or other people, but we can control our thoughts, our reactions to events and situations. We can make better quality decisions, less influenced by emotions and emotional reactions, we can approach situations from a different, more empowering perspective, with a different interpretation than we had before.
The quote “Often wrong, never in doubt” is often used in the context that you have to be confident in yourself and not doubt yourself even though you may be wrong. Doing something and failing is far worse than doubting yourself and therefore not even trying.
An alternative view can be taken from this statement, the meaning I took from it when I first heard it, was that it refers to over-confidence in some belief that could very well be wrong. It’s the delusion of certainty without actually having the full facts.
I see this as a major problem, rather than something to draw inspiration from. Sure we have to take risks in pursuit of dreams sometimes, but we should always strive to have the full facts and not follow things on a whim.
Beliefs shape behaviour and at the extremes, people are willing to die or kill in pursuit of their beliefs, As a society, we really don’t want beliefs being built on such shaky ground.
Question yourself, where have your strongest held beliefs come from? Can you back them with evidence? Are they built on truths?
I’ve done this myself, and many of my beliefs, held for many years are built from assumptions, inferences and from the testimony of other people, often people I considered experts and authority figures. Very few have come from my own research, from facts and backed by hard evidence.
I’ve learned to test and check as much as possible, and take everything else with some level of scientism.
Relying on the testimony of others seems like a good strategy, it makes sense, after all we don’t need to reinvent the wheel, we can stand on the shoulders of giants and make use of their knowledge. If you want to learn about wealth creation, learn from someone who has built wealth, if you want to learn about health, learn from someone who has achieved great health and fitness.
However be wary of authority figures manipulating you for their own ends. We’ve all seen scandals and cover-ups from banks, politicians, businesses and trusted individuals who turned out to be lying and misleading for their own ends. I take the view, the bigger they are the less we can afford to trust them. Mainly because financial pressures change people, the more they have the more they fear losing what they have. This makes them do things they might not have done before.
I am now very cautious of anyone who is certain of being in the right, knowing the truth, and who are subsequently certain that this or that will happen in the future, but have no real evidence or data to back that opinion up. If they are unwilling to at least, listen to an alternative view, I tend to run a mile. Their beliefs are out of control, and it’s likely to end in tears for somebody.
So what should you do if someone tells you something?
Critically evaluate information right away. That may help prevent your brain from storing the wrong information. “You want to avoid encoding those potentially problematic memories,” Rapp said.
Consider the source. People are more likely to use inaccurate information from a credible source than from an unreliable source, according to Rapp’s previous research.
Beware of “truthy” falsehoods. “When the truth is mixed with inaccurate statements, people are persuaded, fooled and less evaluative, which prevents them from noticing and rejecting the inaccurate ideas,” Rapp said.
I would add a couple of other things to this list. First, whoever is telling you, ask yourself, what’s in it for them? What’s their angle, have they anything to gain for telling you what they’re telling you? Even if you can’t answer these questions, be skeptical.
Finally I would add one last thing, ask them, how do you know? where’s the evidence? If their answer is something like, they’ve heard from a friend, or from unnamed source, take it with a pinch of salt. If they’ve got first hand experience of it, then take note, but again refer to the previous point of questioning their motives.
So in conclusion, we should be very cautious about our beliefs and those of others. Question everything, don’t just take things at face value. Beliefs are dangerous, particularly when you hold them with conviction, and have little insight into where they really come from. Social conditioning is very effective at indoctrinating people into doing what’s best for society or for a particular cause. This is not always the best for individuals.
For instance, parents often push us to play safe and not take unnecessary risks because of their social conditioning and fears instilled in them by their parents. They are just as socially conditioned and as blind to their conditioning as we are. It’s kind of like the blind leading the blind. They love you and care for you and want you to be safe, so they project their fears onto you, and so the cycle goes on through you and your children.
We might grow up with the belief that we should always PLAY IT SAFE, when we’d be better taking calculated risks at certain times or WORK ON OUR WEAKNESSES, when we’d be better doubling down on our strengths.
Question your beliefs and subsequently your opinions and views, and don’t be one of those people who are often wrong, never in doubt.
Learning any new skill can be a very intimidating prospect, to begin with, we’re likely to clumsily fumble around like a baby learning to walk, often falling on our asses, but over time, with enough perseverance, we’re all capable of metaphorically rising elegantly to our feet and not just walking, but running, dancing and jumping, and some people, with practice, can somersault and land back on their feet with great style.
In these modern times, with technology driving the business landscape to change so rapidly, there is a greater requirement for individuals to also be able to change rapidly, to be able to learn and develop new skills, and be open to new challenges and demands.
The ability to learn rapidly is going to be increasingly necessary if individuals are going to thrive.
So learning quickly is going to be a must, moving forwards. So the question is, how can we learn and master new skills fast?
Tim Ferriss has developed a learning framework he calls DiSSS, which is an acronym for Deconstruction, Selection, Sequencing and Stakes.
1. Deconstruction: What are the minimal learnable units we should be starting with?
2. Selection: Which 20% of the blocks should we focus on for 80% or more of the outcome we want?
3. Sequencing: In what order should we learn the blocks?
4. Stakes: How do we set up stakes to create real consequences and guarantee we follow the program?
We’re looking to break a skill down to it’s most important components.
I find it easier to imagine starting a new project from scratch, and walk through it, step by step, noting down each requirement as I go.
I have recently put some of the teachings, found on this website, into practice for myself, while learning Python programming. Things like, finding reliable sources of accurate information by using role models, mentors and mastermind teams, and finding out the methods, relationships, systems and habits they use for success. You can find more about these things on other articles on the site, so I won’t go into depth here, but as part of the learning process I also looked to deconstruct the skill of programming into it’s essential ingredients. This is what I came up with..
Essential elements of programming
Understand the syntax for Python code, so that it does what I need it to do.
Develop the ability to break a problem down, so that I can use Python code to address or solve it. After all code is written to solve problems, some of which are complex and some of which are more straight forward.
Following on from number 2, being able to spot problems to begin with is also a skill that can be developed, not everyone has enough empathy for others to be able to stand in their shoes and see how they see any given situation. Good coders either solve problems they, themselves experience and need fixing or they empathise for other people.
These were my major findings when it came to DECONSTRUCTING Python, these being the top level concepts that I needed to learn about and develop. They constitute the 20% that needs learning to achieve 80% of the results, in my opinion, as Tim Ferriss advocates in his DiSSS framework.
In terms of number 1, understanding the syntax of Python, there were/is countless websites and YouTube videos devoted to the subject. The most time consuming part of it was finding reliable ones that made it easy for a newbie like me to understand.
Some of the tutorials mixed mathematical principles and coding together, which for me, made it rather confusing, as I needed to brush up on maths I hadn’t used for years, such as Algebra. I eventually found the tutorials that linked the new concepts I needed to learn about Python programming to things I already understood, and this made the learning process much easier.
The list of important syntax included:
Commenting on your code
Conditionals such as if, elif and else statements which effect a programs flow
Loops – for, while loops particularly
Built in library
External library and use of modules
Data types – strings/ integers/ floats/ booleans/ lists/ tuples/ dictionaries
Dealing with errors and exceptions
I practiced code examples, repeating time and time again, until I could recall the code without any prompting and completely from memory.
I practiced the code, broke it apart, removed some of it to see what happened, moved the order around to see what difference it made. I changed it so that I knew what each part did and why.
I progressed by making a few small apps for myself, such as one that just did a simple “to do list”, another that converted currencies, sizes, weights. I did one that helped in the decision making process, another that evaluated moods and so on. Through this practicing and the subsequent trial and error, I gained a better appreciation for what could be done using Python.
I went on forums and groups and tried to spot the problems in other people’s code and solve them. Some forums and groups had challenges that I tried.
Through this I not only improved my coding skills, I developed my problem solving skills and ability to use code effectively to provide real solutions, this also realised number 3 in Tim’s framework criteria, SEQUENCING. I didn’t set out to learn code before sharpening my problem-solving skills, it just intuitively happened that way.
My programming skills are still a work-in-progress but I’m getting better all the time, through purposeful practice, and challenging myself.
I’m 50 years old, and coding with Python is a completely new experience for me, but I’m enjoying the learning process which means I don’t really have to bother with the final criteria of Tim’s framework, STAKES, the shear joy of doing it is enough to keep me going, mixed in with the fact that it’s giving me new skills and a greater knowledge of the new technical world we are facing. With knowledge comes power as they say, but equally with knowledge comes less fear, fear of the unknown.