The most common question asked by coaches is: ‘What is the one goal that you hope to achieve?’
The question is often followed closely by the more provocative: ‘What are your current circumstances and how did you create them?’
Think about these questions and consider an obvious word that is missing. It’s hidden behind the meaning of the questions but it is too often omitted. The word is beliefs.
Our behaviours and actions are the result of various programs that run within us. Our beliefs act like triggers to set off these programs. The programs were almost certainly ingrained in us since childhood to satisfy certain needs within us and became imprinted in our subconscious mind over time.
As soon as you learn that certain beliefs that you have been holding for many years will never help you achieve your desired results, you will begin to feel the need to work towards changing them.
How to make significant change?
As a starting point, identify the area of your life that you want to transform. Then clarify your current situation. Ask yourself which of your beliefs has created your current circumstance. This is a helpful exercise that not only clarifies your belief system but sets you in responsible mode.
Then flip the question around and ask yourself what beliefs you need to develop in order to create your desired results and achieve your ultimate goals.
A client of mine, Rima, is a perfect example. She was regularly affected by the behavior of her colleagues and, always perceiving everything as personal, she never managed to maintain good relationships at work.
When an ‘always and never’ issue arises, I instantly know that a belief system is holding her back. Rima held a deep belief that she was socially naïve and vulnerable and that everybody who came to her wanted to take advantage of her. Her behavior reflected that belief and others interpreted her actions as almost an invitation to take advantage. The result was a series of unsuccessful and unhealthy workplace relationships.
Is it possible to change a belief? Yes. It really is.
The moment you doubt the validity and the usefulness of your thoughts and beliefs, you are already shaking the foundations of that belief.
Then install the new belief. This is a challenge but can be done effectively by bombarding your subconscious mind with the new belief over and over again. Surround yourself with people who hold the same belief, in-line your self-talks with the new supporting beliefs and visualise your life – holding those beliefs.
To help Rima, I reframed her approach to relationship building. I helped her believe that she was trying to be helpful to others which she saw a value. Rima wanted to build and maintain strong relationships at work where she could trust others and be influential. She wanted to come home and enjoy her down-time instead of feeling anxious about interactions with colleagues and analysing every conversation.
To see results, she had to install a new belief. She had to believe that she was valuable and able to help others and make them happy. I needed to be aware of her values and to believe that her values would be fulfilled by giving and helping.
She affirmed that statement to herself over and over again and started to talk about it openly with her colleagues who had similar values. Rima became much happier, more valued and more productive at work.
You will soon realise that you cannot use the old programing (behaviour and actions) with the new beliefs. You will then begin to behave and take action according to your new beliefs.