Have you ever felt that you were still despite wanting to move forward? You know the direction you want to go in, you have a great plan, but there is still something holding you back?
If this is the case, it is worth considering whether you are not a victim of one of the most insidious saboteurs of your actions: false beliefs.
It’s time to take a look at whatever blocks you, name it and take it down!
STEP 1: Understand the nature of false beliefs
A false belief is a very strong feeling that something is true and can affect both you (e.g. “I have to find a rich husband because I can’t manage in life”, “I’m hopeless at selling”), other people (e.g. “men are pigs “,”rich people are thieves”) or our surroundings (e.g. “only mindless and unhappy people work in large corporations”).
THEY ARE SNEAKY: These are the sneakiest barriers! It happens often that you may not realise that you are carrying a heavy burden, usually taken from your family home or school, in the form of harmful beliefs regarding topics important to you, e.g. finances or interpersonal relations.
THEY SABOTAGE YOU FOR YEARS: Unfortunately, people very often assume that something is true and live by it for years, without realizing how much it sabotages their actions and relationships with other people.
IT IS DIFFICULT TO CHANGE THIS: It is very difficult to change the above conviction because if you have a strong belief about a certain subject, which has been established over the years, you will always look for a confirmation of that belief in your surroundings. For instance: if you feel that you are not a gifted person, you will usually consider each of your successes to be a coincidence and you will blame yourself (often wrongly) for your failures. You just let only what you believe through your cognitive filters.
STEP 2: Spot false beliefs!
Think about your situation – if you have the right skills, a correctly set goal, you know the specific steps on the way to achieving it, but something keeps you still in place and you always think that whatever it is you are planning will not be possible to achieve, then it is probably worth considering what beliefs may limit your actions. If you don’t change them, it will be very difficult for you to take action and be fully committed.
Try to note down any beliefs that may be harmful to you. Example: you open a business but you follow the beliefs that selling always involves some sort of trickery, and that people will not like you when it turns out that you want to sell something to them; you are completely unfit to sell anything; promoting products is a manipulation; when you manufacture something good, the customer will find it; only men can do business.
Think whether you use generalisations such as: never, always, still, everyone (“I never make it!”, “Men always think only about one thing”, “Everyone just wants to make my life harder”, “It’s not worth building deeper relationships, because they never end well.”).
Perhaps you are falling into the trap of creating a false relations between two facts? For example: “The boss looked at me like that again, he probably doesn’t know how to tell me that he wants to fire me” or “He forgot about my grandmother’s birthday … he probably doesn’t love me anymore!”).
STEP 3: Make sure they are actually hurting you
If you are already starting to spot potential “candidates” to be the saboteurs of your actions, make sure that these beliefs are indeed holding you back and preventing you from moving onward.
Think where such convictions originate from? Are they yours or are they your parents’, teachers’, friends’ or your partner’s? Are you absolutely sure they are YOURS?
Analyse different situations that you remember from your home or school (or other situations, such as those related to building relationships or with work). If you think you can’t go without a well-prospering husband find out what your mother’s life was like.
What other women in your family (e.g. your grandmother) said about the need for a rich husband. How did they approach independent women who are also professionally fulfilling? If you want to start your own business, but for some inexplicable reason you are still very scared, what did your parents say about it in the past? Did they praise full-time work for someone and explain to you that safety is the most important thing? What did they say about entrepreneurs? How did they treat them?
Ask yourself the following questions that are used in Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (if you answer “no” to three or more of the following questions, your belief is unhealthy and needs to be changed):
Is this a fact-based belief?
Does this belief help me protect my life, health or self-esteem?
Does this belief help me achieve my goals?
Does this belief help me avoid or resolve conflicts?
Does this belief help me feel the way I want to feel?
STEP 4: Take down any barriers
Remember that often the most difficult thing is noticing your barriers that may seem invisible at first glance. Congratulations – you now have this behind you!
Once you are certain that you are dealing with false beliefs sabotaging your actions, it’s time to get rid of them. You should first convert them into beliefs that provide support to you and then use them consistently.
List all barrier-creating beliefs on one side of the page (e.g. “I’m terrible at selling and I will never sell my products”), and then replace them with ones that will support you (e.g. “I’m responsible for manufacturing valuable items that can help many people. I’m proud to present them to potential customers so that they can use them”) and write them on the other side of the page
Imagine someone who lives by these beliefs. What can you say about this person? How do they feel? How do they act?
Imagine that you are the one living this new, healthy belief. How will you feel then?
List any material, emotional and spiritual benefits that you will gain from this change. Note them down.
How will changing your actions affect the lives of your loved ones? What will it affect and who else?
Remember that when an event occurs, thoughts (beliefs) relating to it come first, followed by emotions and then actions. Therefore, if you want to feel better and act effectively, change the beliefs that are hurting you!
DISC behaviour styles: dominant fears and “difficult behaviours”
Keep in mind that besides false beliefs there are also have other barriers!
Remember that in addition to false beliefs, each of us hides other barriers. Each of the four DISC behaviour styles has its own dominant fears. Instinctively, those particular people want to run away from the fears. Often, it is these fears that make different DISC styles react differently to stress or a conflict situation.
Under pressure, difficult behaviours are triggered that make other people’s lives difficult. It is worth being aware of them. Read more about difficult behaviours of people with different DISC styles and learn how to deal with them. You can find a short cheat sheet below.
Dominant fear: USE/LOSS OF CONTROL
Examples of behaviours under pressure: ATTACK, ANGER, ARROGANCE, MICRO-MANAGEMENT
Dominant fear: REJECTION
Examples of behaviours under pressure: EXCESSIVE TALKING, TRYING TO GET OTHER PEOPLE’S ATTENTION, PRETENDING THAT THERE IS NO PROBLEM, EXCESSIVE OPTIMISM
Dominant fear: LOSS OF SECURITY
Examples of behaviours under pressure: WITHDRAWAL, DECISION-RELATED PARALYSIS, WANTING TO PLEASE EVERYONE
Dominant fear: CRITICISM
Reaction under pressure: CRITICAL, EXCUSES, LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO BLAME, STUCK WITH DETAILS
What is a stressor for one person may be a motivator for someone else! Work with your beliefs and carefully observe other people’s difficult behaviours. Most importantly, broaden your awareness of when you are making other people’s lives difficult.