Sunday, 16 December 2007

Creating Conscious Choices

Have you ever wondered how your life would be different if you had lived in a different country or your parents were from a different religion and you had followed a different path?

Do you ever sit back and think about how much of your life has been created by what you believe in?

When we are brought into this world we do not have any concept of the conditioning that will occur during our lifetime and how that will either allow us achieve or not!

This is an important realisation and if you follow for a moment you will learn something useful.

For many of us we go about our daily lives and resign ourselves to believing that the job we do has materialised because that is the area that we excel and it fits with our beliefs about ourselves, and well, we just couldn’t be an astronaut or a rocket scientist as we don’t have the ability to be scientific.

The interesting point about that statement is that if you say you can’t, you can’t, but what if you could say and really believe ‘I can do anything I want!’ Would you really be where you are now?

How much of what we do is conditioned at an early age?

We are not born believing anything about our abilities. How many toddlers do you know who once they had made several attempts at walking and toppled over a few times gave up and said ‘Well walking is not for me!’

And yet when we reach adulthood we seem to have a whole ream of beliefs that stop us from doing things that really would be beneficial and could enrich our lives.

Beliefs are wonderful things that allow explorers to find new territories, mountaineers to reach great peaks and athletes to constantly challenge their best times. They are also the things that keep you from public speaking, getting promotion and trying something new!

Our beliefs are our truths and we live by them as if they are set in stone, when actually they are changing all the time. Beliefs are created unconsciously so you may have to reflect on your own patterns of behaviour and take a close look at what drives them to find what beliefs lie behind them. For example you may excel at public speaking, but are not sure why? Perhaps your first experience of speaking in public was an empowering one and everyone listened intently which started to create a belief that what I have to say is interesting.

Beliefs also create identities for us, some of which are wonderfully fulfilling and give us deep joy – mother, friend, achiever, christian. What about those that keep us from discovering our true resources and abilities – stupid, useless, incapable, insignificant.

How far do you think you would get on a training course if you were running the belief that ‘I am incapable of learning!’
Where did you learn this belief? As I said previously, we are not born with these beliefs. Our first source of conditioning is supplied through our parents and sometimes through no intention to do so we can start to create limiting beliefs.

Just imagine for a moment you are a six year old child who has come home from school and is excited and you want to tell your father what happened that day, but due to the great excitement you forget what you are going to say and father says laughing ‘It couldn’t have been that important!’

How would a six year old make sense of that? How would that effect you and what beliefs might start to be created?

Conditioning happens throughout our lives, but the core beliefs we hold are born in childhood, not just through our parents, but also teachers and other significant people around us.

The good news is whatever limiting beliefs we have created for our selves they are all learned behaviours and as such can be unlearnt.

We all know people who don’t see limits and follow their dreams and become successful at whatever they turn their hand to. We might say they are lucky people whatever they touch turns to gold, but the truth is they see what they want and only see steps to achieving it.

After you have mastered the skills needed to build empowering beliefs you will wonder why you held onto those limiting ones for so long.

If you want to assess the validity of your own beliefs ask yourself – What does this belief do for me, how does it serve me?

If the answer is not very positive, perhaps now is the time to learn how to change it, after all how many years have you already lived with that belief and what would be the benefit of keeping it for any longer? Is that belief ever going to produce the results you want when it hasn’t performed for you all of these years?

When you think about it, doesn’t it make sense to review your beliefs and weed those out that no longer perform? I am sure there are not many of you who still believe in Father Christmas, and for those of you who do, sorry! All beliefs have a positive intention and maybe for a while they did gain something for you, but there are many that just remain because they are a habit and have not been updated. These are the beliefs that have become outmoded, the ones that served you when you were younger with fewer resources. Now that you have your pick of resources you can pull on it is time for a spring clean of your beliefs.

As we grow we require the nourishment of beliefs that support that growth. If you grew a prize winning sunflower would you allow it to be strangled by ivy or would you supply it with fertilizer and water and constantly reassess its need for support as it grows taller?

Karen Oliver
NLP Trainer & Master Practitioner
EFT Practitioner
Emo Trance Practitioner
Health Consultant