‘If your beliefs don’t help you, change your beliefs.’

Recognising and understanding our beliefs is paramount to our wellbeing. Not only our physical wellbeing, but our happiness and emotional appreciation of life.

Our beliefs influence all subconscious thought and action - and are often assumed. Rarely, do we identify or connect with our true inner beliefs. We ‘think’ we believe something, when, following a little digging and self-enquiry, we can find a quite different supporting belief influencing, or in conflict with, our daily actions.

Beliefs are thoughts and feelings in manifest. A repetitive thought, often the influence of another person or collective – whether that be our immediate family, co-workers, friends, religion or other…including even, our ego-mind – becomes a belief. Beliefs and thoughts are not fact, and feelings are temporary, though we tend to adapt ourselves and our lives around them. On a subconscious level, this creates a split within us as our truth is pushed to one side.

Because thoughts and feelings change, we can tend to create - and hang on to - old beliefs, in the ‘belief’ it will create stability, and as a form of control. This disparity, between what we are experiencing, and our held belief, creates inner discord which becomes reflected in our external reality. We can become ‘stuck’ and experience feelings of separation and isolation. We cannot stop change (all is in perpetual motion and possibility) and have to learn to adapt with it rather than against it. We must create the very trust needed to let go and trust life to be as it needs to be. We learn to flow.

One way of doing this, is by updating, pruning and expanding our beliefs. Regularly and rigorously. It would be wise to care for our beliefs as we do our teeth. Conflicting beliefs require special attention as they create more confusion and discord than ‘negative’ ones. We will often hold a belief such as ‘I’m not worthy/good enough/OK’ alongside the equally powerful belief of ‘I am worthy/good enough/OK’. The drama and discord – the inability to action our dreams and desires – resides between the two. It’s a very uncomfortable place to be.

We can also harbour limiting beliefs; an example might be ‘that’s too much,’ ‘I’m not clever enough’ or ‘I can’t cook’. In the case of such statements, which might seem innocuous enough, it’s the effect the limiting belief has on us which creates the subconscious distress. We are not being honest or authentic with ourselves, dismissing our truth and potential – purely through ignorance of the deeper belief or desired intention. Not one, of the preceding three statements can be considered ‘fact’ but we distend our psyche around such untruths, thus impacting our self-trust.

Identifying beliefs can seem frightening, so we tend to leave it until ‘disaster’ strikes or we can no longer continue as we are. Sometimes, life happens to us in dramatic – or subtle – ways which can without warning turn a core foundational belief on its head. In the blink of an eye, we see the whole world differently. And what may seem like a breakdown, can be a breakthrough – an illumination to our truth.

The key word with beliefs is clarity. Little and often. If we update and tend to our beliefs as frequently as we do our mobile phone software, we would be much more optimised. We can find ourself running on old software…beliefs we may have had 5, 10, 15 or more years ago. Even yesterday’s belief can be outdated. It’s important to realise we don’t necessarily need to do anything with the belief but to be aware of it. To realise ‘it’ is not who we are, to allow it to be. This invites us to reframe the thought to one which is more truthful and more supportive for this moment or stage of our life. ‘I’m not clever enough’ might, for instance, become ‘I would like to learn a little more first’ or ‘I would prefer to do such-and-such’ or ‘I would love to, would you show me how?’ Once acknowledged, a belief reveals many hidden wishes.

Over time, beliefs recede completely as moment to moment awareness takes precedence. As we honour ourselves, as we create new levels of trust through the exploration and dissemination of our thought-held forms, an openness, willingness and new-found ability to choose and let go emerge. We don’t need to know what we think because we move beyond thinking. We become autonomous, aligned to the belief of trust itself.

A practice to regularly update your beliefs is to adopt 1 belief at a time - and to explore it. Use pen and paper, and work on updating or re-framing it. Take your time with it if you wish - perhaps 1 belief a week, or for however long it takes - and enjoy the process. See it as expansion of your being and purpose. As you gain the increased alignment, follow through with updated language (verbal and inner words) so your belief becomes your action.