You all know I me love some science…
We’ve all heard about the placebo effect, right? It’s when studies are done on patients who are told that a drug or a treatment has a certain effect, the patient then feels better, but the drug or treatment had no medical qualities that could be attributed to the patient improvement.
So what made the difference? The BELIEF that the patient had in the treatment or drug.
Nothing physically or medically made a difference in the patient’s body. The MIND changed. The mindset changed.
When I work with most of my clients, we’re not working on changing your boss, the economy, the political climate, your spouse, your annoying uncle, your irritating coworker or frankly anything outside of yourself.
We’re looking at how we can adjust and shift YOUR mindset.
Because your mind is powerful and capable of changing your level stress for the better.
Does that mean that if you instantly start a mantra that things will be better? Of course not.
So, how do we change our beliefs without a placebo? Let me show you.
1. I want you to identify the THOUGHT that is holding you back.
Sometimes this is called a limiting belief, but we all have that thought that keeps us from achieving our goals. You might WANT to have a marriage that’s the stuff of fairy tales, but if you deep down believe that you’re unworthy of love, it’s not going to happen.
But wait a second, is that a thought or a belief? A thought is an idea or a concept that appears in your mind. We have a million thoughts a day, but a belief is when you give that thought power.
For example, I could look in the mirror and have the thought that these jeans aren’t flattering to me, but my beliefs are so strong that I’m beautiful regardless of size, that I don’t let that thought bring me down.
Does that make sense?
So start by identifying the thought that is holding you back.
2. Be a scientist and notice the effect of that thought
Like I said, thoughts only become beliefs when we give them power. So say you have the thought that you’d be less stressed if your boss wasn’t such a jerk… notice how that impacts your day.
Do you then start under-performing because you don’t want to give your boss your best ideas? Is there a tinge of attitude in your tone? Do you ignore their emails more often than others? Or do you simply see an email from them and start to sweat?
What is the impact?
Is there a ripple effect of more thoughts about hating your boss, hating your job, then feeling physically ill or your motivation going down the tubes?
3. Rewire your thoughts and beliefs
This is the exciting part. YOU get to decide what you want to believe.
Yes, try mantras, but decide what the most supportive beliefs would be to help propel you to wherever you want to go. Say you want to enjoy your job more. What would a person who enjoys their job believe? Say you want to improve your health. What would a ‘healthy’ (whatever your definition of this is) person believe?
Write these down. Daily. Repeat them.
Then a funny thing called confirmation bias kicks in. Your brain will start to look for evidence around you (which was there all the time) that supports your belief. That’s why if you support a political party, you and a party opponent can read the same article and take away pieces that support your own viewpoint.
So let’s throw politics out and use confirmation bias to our benefit by deciding what it is we want to believe and begin reinforcing it.
4. Start with neutrality
Maybe the jump from “I hate my job” to “I love my job” feels monumental. It probably is a step to far, so start with “I’m neutral about my job” or “this is my job”.
Whatever you’re trying to go from and to, if it feels a step too far too fast, aim for a neutral middle stance.
Take body love for example. If you have years of programming that support the belief that you hate your body, then instead of trying to force yourself to say “I love my body”, start with “my body is deserving or respect regardless of its size”.
Does this all make sense?
So whatever you’re finding the most stress around at the moment, analyze those thoughts and limiting beliefs. Dissect the impact they are having on your life. Reframe them to beliefs that support your life and goals. And, finally, start with a neutral belief to gain momentum.
To make this a little easier, I’ve got a little worksheet for you for you here so you can actually write it down and do the work (that’s where the magic happens).