We all have beliefs. Things we swear by. Some really serve us. For example, I believe that everyone has unique talents and skills. I also believe that we are what we think (and eat!) so change your thoughts, change your life.
Unfortunately, many of us have beliefs that don’t serve us. I’ve always dreaded public speaking. Yes, you read correctly. I taught at University for 4 years and I’ve presented at work countless times, yet, I dread public speaking.
I’m training in hypnotherapy at the moment and I learned yesterday that this fear typically comes from having critical parents or being ridiculed at school. Hum. I’ve always known that being made to recite poetry in front of the class at 8 had something to do with my fear. Now I’m sure!
My limiting belief has something to do with becoming tongue tied. I’m scared that at some point in my presentation, the words won’t come out. I can’t remember for the life of me if that has ever happened but that’s the fear. And I’ve just discovered why I also don’t like selling. It’s nothing to do with selling per se. I just worry that I won’t explain what I do very well or won’t be able to counter an objection.
So, you see, this fear / belief is really not serving me and guess what I’ve had enough! 🙂
1. Beliefs live in your subconscious mind
The trouble is, this belief is held in my unconscious. So, although this may seem obvious to you. I had never until yesterday made the link between my fear of public speaking, my fear of selling and my worry that I may become tongue tied with a hypnotherapy client. It took a 3 hour lesson on anxiety to help me join the dots and learn that this has a name, it’s called Social Anxiety. Woooooooo.
2. They are typically formed when you are young
Another reason for beliefs being hard to uncover is that they typically come from childhood. I can’t for the life of me remember if I ever got tongue tied when reciting poetry or if anyone made fun of me. But that doesn’t matter, I know that my fear comes from there.
3. Your brain filters what you don’t believe in
Our conscious mind can only really handle a few things at a time so we filter information and only focus on certain things. The way this works is that the filters look for things that reinforce our belief system. This is why different people often remember the same event in different ways. Their brains will have filtered based on the different experience maps they hold in their unconscious.
Because our brains look for experiences that match our beliefs, my brain remembers all the time I messed up a presentation or a sale. It doesn’t remember the 100 times that I did really well. These experiences get discounted and my belief of ‘when I present, I become tongue tied’ is reinforced.
4. They are hard to shift with intellectual awareness
Obviously, intellectually, I can find countless occasions where my belief was not true. I taught at university for 4 years. I may have been tongue tied at the beginning but by the end of the 4 years, I’d been put on the spot more than once and I left confident in my ability.
But somehow, knowing this doens’t help. I still shy away from presentations (I’m talking big ones not work ones, those are OK) and from sales call… Not helpful.
5. Shift the beliefs
So, what can I do? Well, whilst I think awareness is key: you have to know there is a problem to want to do something about it. I don’t think awareness alone will help me shift this.
I think to shift a strongly held belief, you have to go to the unconscious and in my view the only techniques that work at those that ‘reprogram’ your brain so things like hypnosis, NLP and affirmations. I’ve used all of these successfully and this is why I’m currently getting a qualification in hypnotherapy. I think I need these tools to truly help my clients shift their beliefs and live their dream.
So what deep belief or fear is stopping you?