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September 11, 2023

How To Diagnose Your Beliefs

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I talk a lot about the concept of identity and belief system. The reason it’s so important is because your beliefs make up your unconscious environment and it influences everything you do without you being aware of it. Since beliefs are unconscious they’re very difficult to discover and gain insight into, so I wanted to teach you the process I use to confront my own beliefs and share a few examples that came up this weekend about how I used it.

Before that, let me share that it’s important that you don’t judge your beliefs. Good or bad, it’s often not your doing that you have them in the first place. So approaching this topic with curiosity rather than judgment is essential.

The core process to diagnosing your beliefs are as follows:

1) Bring to mind a specific choice you made, when you decided to  take action or not take action, or react in a certain way.

2) Ask yourself what you were thinking in the moment that caused you to follow through on that thing in that way

3) Go layers deeper, asking yourself “why” that was you conclusion until you arrive at something that feels really personal.

Here’s my first example: I was kayaking this weekend and was deciding if I wanted to go further down the coastline. My gut reaction was to turn around, but ultimately I chose to keep going. Wanting to understand what was motivating me to turn around, I became clear on my main reason - The wind usually picks up in the afternoon and I feared it would make it really difficult to get back, a classic rationalization. Probing deeper into that and asking why there was fear involved, I discovered that I didn’t want to expose myself to a potentially strenuous situation. And deeper than that, I connected what was going on to something that I’d already known about myself which is one of my greatest fears - That if I were faced with the challenge to take care of myself through the most dire circumstances, I lack confidence that I could.

I share this this to show you something - The expression of the old limiting belief came up in the most normal of ways. There was an unconscious reason that I caused me to feel a certain way and now I’m more aware of it. And with that reminder I can begin to choose something different.

Another quick example. This weekend I was at an outdoor jazz concert and people were dancing right in front of the band. I love dancing but chose to be reserved and dance on the side rather than front and center. Thinking more about it, that decision came from a belief that I see it as "self-centered to dance in front of a crowd and make yourself the center of attention". Whether I want my behavior to change next time doesn't matter, it's the awareness of it happening at all that's the golden nugget.

Anyway, this is the real stuff. And the more you pause to reflect on how everything is being motivated by something greater, you gain insight into the most powerful force for growth that you have - your unconscious beliefs.

I appreciate you holding space for me as I got a little more personal today. I'm in this alongside you and it's only fair that I give you the reality of my process through it too.

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