Springtime is all about fresh growth. What once seemed lifeless in winter, such as a bush or tree, blossoms with new leaves and branches in the spring. Nature is constantly changing. We should follow nature’s example and continue to grow. But how do we do this? By examining our thoughts and beliefs. Below are 5 ways to change your beliefs and stories.
When we look at what we believe in and what we are giving our attention to, we may see that these old beliefs no longer work. They may have been relevant at one time, but as you’ve grown and the world has changed, these old views may no longer apply. But if we don’t examine them, they will stay our default setting. Depending on the belief, it may just need a minor change or a vast change.
These are changes that are revised or expanded on current beliefs. If having good health has been a philosophy of yours, then adjusting your exercise routine or eating habits might be all the change you need. If believing financial strength is important, then saving a little more or adjusting your spending may work. Or if you view service as valuable, then donating your time to an organization that is important to you can get the desired outcome you seek.
These minor changes are easier to make because you are expanding on an existing belief that is already in your safety zone. It’s not pushing you much out of your boundaries. Being familiar in this terrain doesn’t create a lot of uncertainty, so it’s a comfortable space to be in.
But what if new information appears, and you realize you had gotten it all wrong? That what you believed in is no longer or wasn’t even true in the first place? This can bring in havoc and make you feel unstable, especially when they are beliefs based on who you are.
Maybe you had the belief that you couldn’t get a certain job or education, or that dreams coming true were not possible, or you weren’t good enough. None of these are true, but somewhere along the line you picked them up and believed in them. I’ve struggled with false opinions myself and I know that these deep-seated beliefs take work to be revised. Especially when they contradict your current beliefs. But they can be altered.
Major changes can make us take a 180-degree turn and will send us out of our comfort zone into new undiscovered territory. This can be scary because we do not know how it will end or even the steps we need to take to get there. And this unsettled feeling is unpleasant and may even be painful.
It’s like when we move. Moving can bring in anxiety. It’s like we have lost our inner compass and have no sense of direction. What we once knew is no longer there.
We have new neighborhoods to navigate, maybe even different terrains that brings in new weather. If we never lived in the snow before, there is a big learning curve on how to drive, why snow can’t stay on the roof, or how to prevent freezing pipes. We’ll need to find new grocery stores, gas stations, doctors, and maybe even friends. All of this can bring in a lot of stress. But once we become familiar with our new surroundings, the more comfortable and less stress we become.
For some, this may take a month, others it may be several months or a year. Be patient with yourself. You will get there. It’s in the rushing of wanting to get things done or already be there that you create more stress for yourself.
Being open to a new perspective helps in these transitions. When you are open to the possibility that your thoughts and beliefs may need to be changed, it’s easier to accept the new. But if you close yourself off to the possibility of something different, you will stay stuck in the past. So here are some steps to help you change your beliefs.
6 Ways To Change Your Beliefs and Stories
1. Write the beliefs and stories you want to change. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.
2. Examine them. Where did they come from? Are they really true? Are they learned beliefs you received from others or did you create them?
3. Do they start with “I can’t” or “I am?” When you use these terms, you’re creating your own reality. What past experiences have told you that you can’t? Are there any, or did you just believe it wasn’t possible? If so, why? Even if you were unsuccessful in the past, that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful in the future. As for “I am,” anything that follows “I am” states that you are that. So, choose your words wisely.
4. Rewrite these beliefs and stories. Delete what you don’t want in your life and create a new story of what you want.
5. Change your default settings. What I mean by this, is the next time you have a negative thought such as, “I can’t” or “I’m not good enough,” revise it to something more beneficial like, “I can do this,” “I’m capable,” or “I am good enough.” Use positive words and statements until this becomes your new default setting. When it does, you will have created a new habit.
6. Embrace the new changes and live the life you dreamed of. You have the power to change your life.
The thoughts we think daily strengthen our beliefs. If we want to have a more empowering storyline, we need to upgrade our beliefs and the stories we tell ourselves. Only you can change them. Choose better stories.
Finally, a clue to see if you need to change a belief is to ask yourself, “How does this belief may me feel?” Your feelings express your true self. The next time you are wondering if a belief needs to be changed, pause for a moment to feel. Then ask yourself, “How does this belief make me feel?” The answer will lead you to the right path.
Glinda, The Good Witch, in The Wizard of Oz said to Dorothy, “You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.” Then the Scarecrow asked, “Then why didn’t you tell her before?” And Glinda says, “Because she wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.”
Drop the old belief baggage at the door. Write a more empowering story. You’ve had the power all along!