It’s interesting isn’t it, beliefs are a fascinating topic. What we believe guides our decision-making in every aspect of life.
There was recently a post on Facebook with the following maths problem..
(7+7+7)-(7+7)x 0 = ?
On reading the comments, it was funny to see how some people were arrogantly quoting zero as being the answer, while others equally arrogantly quoted 21 being the answer.
This observation got me thinking how people were so sure in their belief in the answer, that they were happy to comment to the world, and potentially in front of their friends, family and other associates, without ever doubting that they may be wrong, and the possibility of looking stupid.
Now I’m not judging people who got this wrong, as being stupid, but I’m sure that if they found out they were wrong, they would feel a little embarrassed that they didn’t know the answer, after all “it’s something you learn in 3rd grade” – and I’m quoting a comment of someone who got the answer wrong.
But people do this kind of thing all the time, particularly on social media. They believe they know something when they wrong – they have false knowledge.
Having false knowledge can be problematic for decision-making, if you’re basing your decision on that false knowledge.
Doing a quick Google search will undoubtedly give you the right answer to a simple maths question, and the consequences of getting it wrong is nothing greater than a little social embarrassment, but there are situations where having false knowledge, while believing you are right, can cause significantly more serious consequences.
The answer to dealing with false knowledge and misguided belief, is not to hold beliefs with such certainty. Question them, look for proof that you are right or wrong, before acting on them.
The moment you believe you are right, is the exactly the same moment you stop looking for evidence of contradiction. You look for confirmation you are right, which further entrenches you into that belief mind-set.
One solution, drawn from a famous insight of philosopher Karl Popper, who argued that in science, evidence against a hypothesis, called
disconfirmation, is much more important than evidence for that
hypothesis, called confirmation.
So, let go of beliefs, and instead look for evidence that disconfirms them. If you believe “all politicians are self-serving”, then you only have to find one that isn’t self-serving, and you’ve disproved your belief, good luck with that, only joking. But you get the point, it’s easy to fall into the trap of finding evidence that supports your belief, after all, there are many politicians who you can find evidence of being self-serving, if you look hard enough, and this further embeds the belief.
A word of warning before I finish this post, if you find yourself using generalities such as “all”, “most” or “none” you’re over-relying on stereotypes and biases, and this is a lazy and foolish way of forming beliefs.
Comments like “All BMW drivers are arrogant”, and “most politicians are self-serving”, play on stereotypes, prejudices, biases and vastly overgeneralise, so stop holding such beliefs, and start looking for contradictions. You’ll undoubtedly find that many of your beliefs are based on false knowledge.
Just one last point, the answer to the maths question, if you didn’t already know, is 21 – the rule that makes it so is called “order of operations”, so now you really do know the answer.
Eradicating LIMITING BELIEFS should be your focus.
Empowering beliefs can be used as a tool to help motivate, but use them wisely.
For example Saying “I’m going to be the best football player in the world”, is probably less doable than being a professional football player. Some endeavours are dependent on physical attributes and genetic limitations, while others are less so. You can be the best of your potential for sure, but if you can’t sing a note, you’re unlikely to be the best singer in the world, even with 10,000 hours of practice. But hey, if you aim for the stars you might make it to the moon.
You can aim to max out your potential in any pursuit, the best singer, the best footballer the best whatever you want, with enough desire and application.
Any sustained, purposeful practice will improve performance, remember the beginning is always going to be the hardest because it’s new and different. It will get easier and you will get better the more you do it, the more you practice, with the aim of improving on your previous attempt.
Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to try new things out because you might happen on a new path forward, that fills you with delight when you do it, which enthuses you when you wake up in the morning because of the prospect of doing it again today.
If you don’t have that something in your life that you love to do, maybe it’s simply because you haven’t discovered it yet, it’s out there waiting for you to find it. You might need to try 10 things, 100 things, a 1000 things before you discover it, but it’s out there.
Limiting beliefs act like coping strategies, they arm you with excuses not to engage, not to expose yourself to the chance of failure and disappointment. You may say to yourself I can’t do that, I don’t have the time, I don’t have the necessary skills or experience etc these excuses are tricks of the mind. You won’t start off with all that you’ll need at the beginning, but in the process of doing, you learn, and acquire all that you need to reach the next level, if you apply yourself effectively.
You can’t learn to ride a bike or walk by simply reading an instruction manual, you have to try to do it, you fall and you learn from falling, that’s how it’s supposed to work. You wouldn’t tell your child to give up walking because they failed to do it the very first time, or the second or third would you? You’d encourage them to keep trying until they could do it.
If something has been done before, it can be done again. You have an example you can model and learn from.
If something has never been done before then ask yourself why. 4 minute miles couldn’t be done until Roger Bannister did it. Men being able to fly wasn’t possible until the wright brothers did it. Getting a man on the moon wasn’t possible until Neil Armstrong did it.
Don’t let limiting beliefs discourage you, instead scrutinise such beliefs and ask of them, why can’t I, who says so? How do I know until I try? What’s the worst that can happen if it doesn’t work out? Is that so bad?
Never fear failure, because it’s an integral part of the learning process. You’re not really failing, you’re learning how not to do it. Embrace the learning process because a better version of yourself is waiting on the other side.
As we begin another general election here in the UK, I think it’s important to understand how the art of persuasion will be employed by all sides in the battle for our vote. I’m going to keep updating the list below as the campaign goes on.
I think it’s important to understand what politicians say and why, then research the accuracy of such talk. You may notice that some things are repeated again and again; such as ‘fall off a cliff edge’, ‘regain control of our borders and laws’. These become sound bites that if repeated enough times become political truths in the minds of receptive listeners/viewers.
Instead of blindly allowing such comments to be integrated into your beliefs system, question their accuracy. It’s not about what you want to be true, but what is true. So consider all such sound bites as the start of your research, not the end. Take the scientific approach and look to disprove them, before you integrate them into your sense of self and believe them with complete certainty.
Remember, both sides are trying to manipulate your opinion, don’t be outraged by this fact, and it is a fact, it is a truth, after all, this is what the game of politics is founded on. Politics is about each party presenting their argument and trying to convince onlookers that their argument is more compelling.
Personally I think the whole political system is broken, it should be about having a system of governance that provides the best outcomes not the best and most persuasive arguments, and party politics is often reduced to throwing insults at the other side rather than establishing effective solutions to real-life problems.
We must hold politicians to account more; promises made should be the same as promises delivered, and often they are not.
Whoever you decide to vote for, and you should always vote, don’t blindly listen to the words, question their validity, research them and make sure you insist that promises made are honour with action, and if not, hold the promisers to account with your next vote.
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.
If you’d like to learn more about beliefs, subscribe to our newsletter for up-to-date notifications and exclusive content not available on the website.
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.