How Do You Control Your Beliefs So They Don’t Control You?

Is it possible to restructure, unlearn or change old beliefs that may be limiting us and imprint new ones that can expand our potential beyond what we currently imagine? If so, how do we do it? And what exactly is a belief?

Table of contents for Hacking Your Self Concept With NLP

  1. How To Hack Your Self Concept With NLP
  2. What Are Submodalities?
  3. How Do You Control Your Beliefs So They Don’t Control You?
  4. How Your Mind Codes Time and Why You Should Know

hack your self conceptIs it possible to restructure, unlearn or change old beliefs that may be limiting us and imprint new ones that can expand our potential beyond what we currently imagine? If so, how do we do it? And what exactly is a belief?

The dictionary defines a belief as “an idea or judgment held as true or valid.” A belief is a generalization which impacts our behavior and self-concept. Our beliefs are our maps of the world.

Geographical maps generalize by representing all paved roads with one type of symbol, no matter the differences in road surface, grade or other features. Maps delete details – stop signs, waterfalls and other landmarks of interest. Maps distort the landscape, representing the geography two-dimensionally.

Successful navigation is a process of comparing the territory with the map, using the symbolic representation as a guide, and being aware that a map is only as useful as its representation is accurate. Our maps are only a single, often incorrect, perspective.

Our maps of the world, our beliefs, shape our lives. If our beliefs have so much power over our self-concept, how do we control them so they don’t control us?

First, let’s uncover a limiting surface belief, i.e., a belief about your performance. Ask yourself, “What do I believe about myself that limits me in some way?” It’s pretty simple. Next, let’s uncover a limiting core belief, i.e., a belief about your state of being or life and death. Ask yourself these three questions, “What do I want? What stops me from getting it? If I got it, what would scare me about having it?” Do this now.

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Now that you’ve uncovered some of your limiting beliefs, let’s learn how to construct a positive, new belief. Ask yourself, “What would I rather belief?” Make sure your answer is stated in the positive and is in the proper context. For example, you wouldn’t want to believe that you can do anything you set your mind to, if that was to mean you can jump off a tall cliff and survive unharmed. Putting beliefs in their proper context is of the utmost importance. Ask yourself, “When do I want to believe it and where do I want to believe it?”

“Is it just as simple as that? I ask myself what I want to believe and then I automatically believe it?” Actually, sometimes it is just that simple. But of course I’m going to give you a more powerful technique to imprint a new and empowering belief. This is similar to what you’ve been exposed to earlier in this series, but with more detail. When I instruct you to “break state,” I’m telling you to change your emotional state dramatically. It’s a technique that’s usually used to pull someone out of an unpleasant state or to create a clean slate for the next step.

The NLP Submodality Belief Change Process

  1. Belief: Think of a belief that you value and is a resource to you. List the submodalities of this belief.
  2. Break State
  3. Doubt or uncertainty: Now think of something that you doubt. It might be true or it might not be true: you are not sure. List the submodalities of the experience of doubt.
  4. Break State
  5. Differences: Do a contrastive analysis to find and list the submodality differences between Belief and Doubt.
  6. Break State
  7. Unwanted Belief: Think of a belief you have about yourself that you wish you didn’t have, because it limits you in some way or it has undesirable consequences. List the submodalities of this belief.
  8. New Belief: What new belief would you like to have in place of the unwanted belief? Notice the content of this preferred belief.
  9. Break State
  10. Unwanted Belief into Doubt: Keeping the content constant, change the submodalities of the unwanted belief into the submodalities of doubt by first using the most powerful submodality differences: association/dissociation and location. Then change the rest of the submodalities of belief into the submodalities of doubt.
  11. Change Content of Old Belief into Content of New Belief: Send the old belief picture (which is now doubted) into the distance until it is out of sight. Then see a picture coming back from the distance and containing the content of the new belief (in Doubt submodalities).
  12. Doubt into Belief: Keeping the new belief content, change the submodalities of doubt into the submodalities of belief (that is, the same submodalities as #1 above.
  13. Break State
  14. Test: How do you think about this new belief?
  15. Future Pace: Think of a time in the future when having this new belief will make a difference. What is it like?

Do this exercise on a few beliefs now to get a feel for the structure of this process. Once you understand the pattern, you’ll be able to zip through it again and again. If you’re open to it, post your experiences in the comments.