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As we are growing up, we are conditioned to believe certain things and see the world in a certain light. For many of us, the things we have been taught to think about ourselves are usually positive and are meant to serve us. So where do we start having all these negative beliefs about ourselves?

One of the most common questions I get from our listeners and clients is, “How do I change my beliefs?” Tune in to this episode for easy-to-follow steps that will set you on the path of believing new things about yourself, your goals and your life. Get comfortable and get ready to take notes. You don’t want to miss this valuable advice!

What you will discover

  • What we are truly worth.
  • The definition of a belief.
  • How our thoughts reflect what we believe.
  • The difference between a belief and an observation.
  • Three steps to believing new things.
  • How do build your beliefs up to be the most positive ones.
  • Ways you can practice your new beliefs.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Life Coach School Podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. Now your host, master coach instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Hey, what's happening? Hi everyone. So happy to be here, so happy to be connecting with all of you. I just received an e-mail from one of you saying how connected you feel to me because I'm always talking to you every week. I feel so connected to each of you by the comments you put on the blog and hearing how my work has affected you. So, I really, really appreciate hearing back. It's kind of a one-sided relationship if I don't hear back from you all.

I have you all in my mind and I'm thinking about you. The other thing that I want to invite you to do is come to the website and sign up for our free call. In that way, you can get some live coaching with me and we can talk live and you can ask questions. That will be super fun too. That way, we can have a two-way conversation.

Today, we're going to be talking about how to believe new things. I would say this is a pretty common question I get actually is okay I understand the model. I understand that my thoughts creates my feelings. I understand that my thoughts drive my actions, that they create my ultimate results and so it's really important that I have good thoughts in my head. I want to believe awesome things because I want to create awesome things in my life. It really is as simple as that.

One of the comments I get a lot from people is you make everything so simple. I think the truth is, everything really is simple. I'm not making it simple. I think we make things complicated, right? We make things harder than they have to be. I was just talking to one of my students this morning. She was telling me that she really feels like she can't believe certain things. She can't believe in herself. What I told her was is that she really genuinely gets to believe whatever she wants to believe.

Now, this is not just something we get to do in America which is amazing. We have the freedom to believe what we want and express that belief in any way we want. It's also our right as a human being to believe and to choose what we want to believe. My family and I were just watching a movie the other night together. It was a story of Jackie Robinson. I think it's called 42 is the name of it, I think, that was his number. We were just so baffled by how people treated him and how people really didn't want to accept any African Americans in baseball at all.

One of the things that we were talking about is that if you're raised to believe a certain thing, if you're raised to believe that you're somehow superior as a white person and you're taught to believe that and you're taught to think that, that is going to be something that if you're taught from a very small age, it will probably be unquestioned.

I look at some of the, even the children in that movie and how their beliefs were formed so young and how they were taught at such a young age to believe certain things. Never did anyone come to them and say, “Hey, do you want to question that belief? Does that belief makes sense?” You watch a lot of the ballplayers as they got to know him and as they saw what an amazing player he was. As they experienced him as a human being, they really changed the way that they had been thinking about it but only because they were prompted to change their thinking.

I think about this stuff the time, if you raise someone from a very small child to believe that they're not good enough, they're not worthy, they're not capable, they are not lovable, that's what they're learning, just like they're learning about religion. If you teach someone from a very young age to be very religious and to believe in a certain religious doctrine, they most likely will grow up and continue to believe that because that's what you’ve taught them as true.

On a very open level, we can look at the beliefs that we were taught as we grew up and we can see the ones that have really served us in our lives. One of the things I talk about a lot was my mother always used to tell me how bright I was. You're very bright, meaning I'm very smart. She’d had me tested for these intelligence test. I had done really well on them and so she was always telling me how bright I was.

Now, she was also telling me that I was always going to have to watch my weight all at the same time. She really helped me get some beliefs about my body that she translated to me from a very caring, I think, intentional place, from a really well-intended place, not in any way to hurt me, although I used those beliefs to hurt myself so much. But here's the thing, she taught me both of those things and I believed her as a child. We believe what we’re taught when we’re children. That's what we're taught to believe, 2+2 equals 4.

We have to rely on our teachers to teach us about the world and so my mom was my teacher. She just taught me that I was bright and so I believed that it was true because my mom taught me that. She told me that and I had no reason to question her. She also taught me that I would always struggle with my weight. I believed her. I never questioned that. One of my best friends Jodie, her mother told her everyday of her life how beautiful she was, that she was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen. To this day, she has this really deep belief in her own beauty. It doesn't matter how much she weighs, it doesn't matter what she's wearing, doesn't matter anything, she really believes that she is beautiful all the way through. I love that for her. I think it's so refreshing to have someone in my life that believes in that way.

Now, think about yourself. What do you believe? I don't know why it is but I have found that most of us believe in really negative things. It's almost like our brains are genetically programmed to go to the negative. Have you guys found this for yourselves too? I was teaching a class this morning. One of the things that I told them was when I wake up in the morning, I'm usually filled with negative thoughts. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and it's just self-loathing. It's just thoughts of self-loathing. I know that I love myself. I know that I believe in my value really deeply.

I'll tell you a little bit more about that in a minute but it doesn't prevent me from waking up and spinning tales of woe and spinning thoughts that create a lot of negative emotion inside of me. I am always baffled by this, baffled by my thoughts. Now, I have been studying coaching for a long time and I've been studying a lot of self-help teachers for a long time. I've come to the conclusion that I do not determine my worth, that my worth has already been decided. I'm here on the planet. The universal intelligence that created every magnificent thing that is on this planet also created me and created it for a reason.

I didn't create me. I was given this life and the essence of me is worthy. It's not negotiable. I believe that so deeply. For me to question my worth as an essence of the universe or even as a human being is in my belief system, not even my right to do, and to question whether the body I have is worthy or the face I have or the toes I have or my height or any of that, that I had no control over that, was created for me really, is not really worth any of my time questioning its worth. That's where I come from.

I will tell you, I have taught this to a lot clients and it is such an incredible sense of relief and freedom to know that questioning your worth is like questioning if the sky is blue. There's really no reason for it. There's really no reason to put your energy behind something like that because it's already been decided. It's a fact. It just is. So questioning it … You never look at a baby that's born and question its worth. Is it worthy to be in this world? Is it worthy to have a life? Is its body good enough? It just is and we were all that way.

At some point, we've decided that, oh we should question whether we’re good enough. You just are. You just are enough period. I really do believe that. I believe it in the deepest part of myself but still I wake up and these thoughts go crazy. These thoughts question my worth. These thoughts say that I should be better than I am, that I should be different than I am in all those ways. So I am able now to look at that thinking and see it for what it is. It's just my brain thinking thoughts. It's nothing to do with my worth.

If I think that I'm unworthy, it doesn't mean I am. Now if you can wrap your mind around that, you are all set. Just because you think you're unworthy doesn't mean you are. Just because you think you're too fat, too ugly, too slow, too unaccomplished, not good enough, doesn't mean you are. What is true for you will be what you believe. Your life will reflect what you believe. You get to believe whatever you want. You get to believe that you are worthy or you get to believe that you’re unworthy. Nobody can take that away from you no matter … you're in captivity, no matter if someone takes away all your right, you still have control over what you want to think and believe.

Now, the only exception, I would say, to that rule is if you're being brainwashed and tortured in a way where someone has control over your brain, which is possible. But in most instances, that's not happening to us. Most of us are just brainwashing ourselves with negative thoughts. The question then becomes what do you want to believe and how do you believe it. Here are the 3 steps. The 1st step is you have to find out what you believe now. What do you believe about yourself? What do you believe about your life? What do you believe about the people in your life? What do you believe about your past? What do you believe about your capacity in your future? Those beliefs that you have are so important.

Do you know why? Because they will determine your results, your thoughts that you keep thinking over and over again are your beliefs. A belief is just a thought you keep on thinking. Your thought, your beliefs will determine how you feel about your life. They will determine what you do and they will ultimately determine your results. Any of you thinking that you don't need to know what you believe, it's the most important thing to know. I can look at your beliefs right now. We could sit here and talk about your beliefs and I will tell you what your future will be like.

That student that I was talking about this morning, she was saying, “Brooke, I don't have as much resolve issue. I don't have as much commitment as you have. So therefore, I will not get the same result you will.” I said to her, I said, “But your belief that you don't have commitment, your belief that you don't have resolve is what's going to give you your result. It's not because you don't have. You have the same amount of ability to commit to something as I do. You have the same amount of ability to have resolve as I do. Your belief that you’re not where I am, that's what's preventing you. You won't get your result that you want because you won't follow through on the feeling and the action.”

If she believes I'm not is committed as Brooke, she'll be less committed which means her actions will be less committed, which means she won't get the results she wants. If she believes I am as committed, I do have resolve, then her feeling will be determination and commitment. She will take action from that place and create a result that will blow her own damn mind. But in this instance when I'm talking to her, she can't see that the thought, “I don't have as much commitment as you,” is a thought. She thinks that's just an observation.

That's the secret to the universe right there, separating what you believe, what you think about what is possible. I did say to her, I said, “If you took the same action that I took,” we were talking about planning meals ahead of time. I said, “If you had planned all your meals ahead of time, would you have a different result if you hadn't?” And she said, “Yes.” She was, “But I don't think that I can plan my meals ahead of time and commit to that. I don't think I'm capable of that because I'm not where you are.”

That thought right there, that's just a thought, will determine her result. If she believed that no matter what, she would do it and she could follow through on doing it by choosing the internal control of deciding when she's hungry and deciding when she's full and deciding what fuel to eat, not using it as an external control, she would get the exact result that her actions dictated. That's how it works. She didn't recognize that that was just a belief. She thought she was just making an observation.

Step 1, you have to find out what you believe now. Do you believe you can lose weight? Do you believe that you can make $1 million? Do you believe that you can achieve that goal you want to achieve? Building your business, becoming certified as a coach, losing weight, whatever it is, finding the man of your dreams, the woman of your dreams, making your marriage better. Do you believe that that's possible for you? You have to know it. If you don't believe it, you won't create it. What you do believe is what you will create.

If you believe that you're destined to weigh this certain amount for the rest of your life, that's what you will get because there's no other way it can work. Your beliefs of course create your results. If you believe that you can do something, you will do it. If you don't believe you can do something, you absolutely won't do it. That's just the way it works. I'm not simplifying anything. That's just the truth. If I believe that I can create a podcast that will help people, I'm going to create a podcast that will help people. If I don't believe that I can do that, I won't create it. I won't even record it. I won't send it out into the world. I have to decide what I want to believe. First step, find out what you do believe. Second step, decide what you want to believe. Third, practice believing.

Here's how I recommend that you do it. You write down all of your current beliefs about something. Pick something specific. If it's your weight, pick your weight. If it's your job, pick your job. If it's your relationship, pick your relationship. Write down all your beliefs.

I'm working with one of my most beloved clients right now and she's having issues in her marriage. I asked her, she's debating whether she's going to stay in the marriage or not. I asked her to write down all of her thoughts that she's having about her marriage. She sent them to me in an e-mail. I look at these thoughts and how in the world can you have a good marriage when you have these thoughts that are so painful and so blaming and so negative. When you're able to see, wow these beliefs are really creating my experience of my marriage and it's not my marriage causing my beliefs, that's kind of a bummer to find out initially because you're like, “All right, great. Now I have to take responsibility.”

But on the other hand, “Okay great, because this I have control over, this I can work on.” So have a look at what you do believe. Then what I recommend you do is you run a couple self-coaching models on a few of those thoughts. Have a really deep look at how those thoughts are creating effects on your life. For example, if you believe that your husband doesn't love you, that's a thought, that's a belief. My husband doesn't love me. How do you feel when you think my husband doesn't love me? You feel sad? You feel angry? You feel despair?

Then how do you act towards your husband? You withdraw, you pull away, you'd probably lash out. The result of course will be that your husband loves you less. He doesn't express love to you because you’re withdrawing from him and frustrating at him. You're creating a whole situation where you're not loving your husband. Looking at the effect of your thoughts by running a couple models and seeing the effect of the thought, I think, is really powerful.

The next thing that you do is you do what I'm calling and I took this a little bit from Abraham is this idea of rampage of positivity. You take a bunch of thoughts that you’ve written down about your marriage, for example, that are all negative and then you counter those thoughts. You create the positive version of them. I did a thought download this morning and I had a lot of negative thoughts. Then I did a couple models and then I did a rampage of positive thoughts to counteract them.

For example, I had a thought, “I don't know if I can do it,” and I changed that thought to, “I can do it no matter what.” I had a thought, “I want to be a better friend.” I went to, “I'm an amazing friend.” Now, when you're coming up with thoughts, when you're doing these rampages of positivity, you have to make sure that these new thoughts are thoughts you believe about yourself and you have to adjust the wording so you can really find a way to believe them.

Some of my other thoughts were, “I can make things work out. This is my life and I am very strong. This doesn't need to be easier. I've got this. Liking myself is available and worthy effort. My Christmas is going to be magical. This work is going to be so cool. This is an awesome tool for me to use.” Instead of having all these negative thoughts about I was having negative thoughts about my work, negative thoughts about myself, negative thoughts about my kids, I switched it all around made all of the thoughts positive, made all of the thoughts so I could really believe them, so they almost become affirmations.

What that does, I become aware, step 1, I become aware of what I'm believing and then I decide what I want to believe instead. Now, people will say that's a better feeling thought, I wish I believe that thought. I wish that that's a thought that I could believe. Now remember what was my definition of a belief, a thought you keep on thinking. If our brains want to go to the thought, “I don't know if I can do this,” which I mean how many times a day do you guys think that? I swear to God, I think that all the time. It's so frustrating. Why do I have to think the thought, I don’t know if I could … It’ll never work. I don't know if you can do it. It's probably not likely.

That's just like on a loop in my brain. I'm sure you guys can relate to this. I coach you guys all the time. You have the same damn thoughts. That was our thoughts that are well practiced and that's going to be the default of where your brain is going to go if you let it but if you decide to think something else on purpose, I can do this no matter what. I know I can do this no matter what. I know I can do this no matter what and you practice thinking it.

To say it, you have to think it. One of the things when I'm having a hard time keeping a new thought going is I say it out loud. I can do this no matter what. You can do this no matter what. You can make a commitment to do something no matter what. You are an amazing friend. You really are an amazing friend and really emphasizing and teaching yourself and telling yourself and believing by practicing thinking thoughts.

Now, back in the day, I used to study Louise Hay. She teaches a lot about affirmations and they are so powerful. Here's one of the problems with affirmations for some people. You try and practice a new thought that you don't believe and so the exact opposite thought is what gets ingrained. For example if you are struggling with your weight and you think your body is very ugly, to say my body is beautiful, my body is beautiful, my body is beautiful. That may not resonate with you at all. You may not even be able to hook on to even a little bit of that thought and believe it.

If you can't believe it, it won't feel good. When you say I'm beautiful, you'd be like, “Yeah right, I'm beautiful. No, you're not.” So it'll end up feeling really negative. Some of the work that I do with my clients is instead of saying, “I have an ugly body,” I take them to, “I have a body.” It doesn't feel amazing but they can believe it and it feels better than
I have an ugly body. “I have a body. I have a body. I have a body.”

When you're coming up with these new thoughts, sometimes you have to move to a more neutral thought before you can get to a really positive thought. One of the thoughts that I love to tell myself when I wake up in the middle of the night with self-loathing is, “I love you, it's okay. I love you. It's okay. I love you and it's okay.” I believe that I love myself. I know that I love myself and I believe that it's okay.

Sometimes if I'm really beating myself over something that I've done that I think is horrible or whatever, my thoughts are spinning me on it, “I love you anyway. It's okay. I love you anyway. It's okay.” Just repeating that and just practicing that thought, “I love you. I love you. I love you.” When I look in the mirror consciously thinking something, “There you are. Hi, there you are.” That's what I say to myself every time I look in the mirror. “Hi, there you are,” in a really friendly nice way, the way that I would greet any friend of mine, no matter what she looked like, no matter what was going on with her hair, no matter if she had just woken up, “Hey, there you are. Hi.” That's how I try and talk to myself because that's how I want to think about myself.

What do you want to believe about yourself? You may believe that you're not good enough. You may believe that you're not capable. You may believe that you're damaged goods but is that what you want to believe? If it's not, then you get to decide what you want to believe about yourself. Isn't that amazing? Nobody can tell you what to believe about yourself. My girlfriend who thinks she's beautiful, people will tell her all the time, “You're significantly overweight.” By the way, she has a kind of personality that invites people to say stuff like this to her. I just want to make that clear. She'll just be like, “How is that relevant?” She believes so deeply in her beauty that she doesn't think her weight has anything to do with it.

I love watching that happen. I believe certain things matter. I believe certain things don't matter and that's what I want to believe. Think about that. What do you want to believe is the most important thing to you? What do you want to believe about yourself? What do you want to believe about your children? What do you want to believe about your life? Whatever you want to believe is what you must practice believing. You must believe it enough. If you can't quite get there, you have to build the ladder to it. You may not be able to believe that your body is beautiful, but you can believe you have a body. You may not believe your life is awesome but you can believe you have a life.

You can practice thinking the thought, “I have a life,” overthinking the thought, “I have a horrible life.” “I have a life, I have a life, I have a life.” Practicing these thoughts over and over. I like to put them on post-its. The other practice that I do and this is really important, is I write down my goals. I don't know what you all are doing but a lot of you are not writing down your goals. What's the reason why? Because you don't believe them. You don’t believe that you can achieve them. That's okay, goals are supposed to be unbelievable. You haven’t achieved them yet but working and practicing on believing them will do what … When you believe in a goal, what does that tell you? When you believe in it with your whole heart, then you're going to achieve it. Because what you believe, truly believe, is what will create the results in your life.

What you truly believe, your thoughts will create your feelings, actions and results. If you believe you can get a better job, you'll get a better job. Have you ever met someone that totally believes in something they're doing and you're like 100%, they're going to get that, 100%. It's like I absolutely am going to get this promotion. I absolutely am going to create my own business. I absolutely am going to get some clients. You're like I'm 100% behind you. It may not look exactly like you think it's going to look but you know they're going to achieve that because they're so committed and they believe in it so deeply.

You don't even question them. You're like, “Yeah, done.” That's what we have to do. We have to practice believing. We have to state it in a way where we believe it. Think about a goal you have. I'm going to lose 20 pounds, 100%, 20 pounds good as gone. I will lose it no matter what. By this time next year, I will be 20 pounds lighter. Done. If you have a client that says that you, you will believe them. I will overcome any obstacle. It's not an option. I will lose 20 pounds by this time next year. You're in.

That belief can't just be strong today. We have to practice believing it. Our thoughts are going to determine all of our choices of action because our feelings will determine what we do. If we think I believe that I can do that today, we have to keep believing it tomorrow and we have to keep believing it the next day and we have to keep, keep, keep, keep practicing believing it. When we notice that we're waning on believing something, that's when we have to recommit, to believing it and practice believing it.

It's just as easy for me to believe that I won't hit my 2015 goals as it is for me to believe that I will. It's so easy to just slip back in to not believing. If I make a choice, I will believe. The default is for me not to believe, so I actually shouldn't say it's just as easy. It's a little bit harder to believe but it's worth it. It's worth it for me to believe that I can achieve that goal no matter what. When I believe that, I take a very different level of action then when I don't believe it. Then I prove it true and I say, “Ha! See I was right.” Or if I don't take the action, “Oh see I was right. I knew I wouldn't achieve that goal.”

We think that the belief is just an observation, when the believe is what is determining the result. What do you believe now? What do you want to believe? Are you willing to practice that new belief? Here are some ways that I suggest you practice new beliefs. First of all, you give yourself time every day to practice thinking. Clean out your mind and practice thinking new thoughts. I can do it no matter what. I love you anyway. You are amazing. You are strong.

Here are some of the thoughts that I have been practicing lately when it comes to my goal. I'm going to share them with you. I have my goal listed at the top of a page. Then underneath, I have bullet points that are thoughts that I want to practice. “I am smart enough. I have enough time. I have the ability. There are more than enough customers. What I have is needed and wanted. People are excited to learn what I know. I have the support and the direction I need. It is my responsibility and my capability to be successful, to achieve this goal,” and then I practice that again and I practice it again and I practice it again. I think those thoughts. I believe those thoughts on purpose. I practice them again.

My brain would prefer to go to, “I don't know if I can do it. This is hard. Never been able to do it before. Who do you think you are? Look at that. That didn't work out very well.” That's where my brain wants to go. Really? Why can't it naturally just go to the happy place? Why can't it naturally go to the achievement place? I don't know, but it doesn't so I have to practice believing that I’m smart enough. I have to practice believing that I have enough time, that I have the ability. I practice those thoughts over and over and over again.

I read my goals over and over and over again because I need to tell my brain what to focus on. I need to tell it what to do. I need to tell it what to believe. The way I teach my brain to believe something is by repeating it over and over and over and over again. The reason why you believe that you're … The reason why I believe that I would struggle with my weight is because my mom told it to me over and over and over again and then I thought it over and over and over and over and over again. It took a long time for me to switch to, “I don't have to struggle with my weight. My weight isn't a struggle.”

Now I really believe that, but it took me a while to get to that place. Sometimes you have to do a lot of intermediary thoughts along the way. What are you practicing thinking? What do you want to believe? Are you practicing believing it by repeating it over and over, by stair stepping your way up to the belief you want to have. I am strong. I want my brain to believe that. I want my brain to think that I am capable. That's what I want to use the power of my brain to do, to find evidence that I am capable, to think that I am capable, to think that I'm amazing. I don't want it to think I'm not capable. That's where it wants to go. I have to direct it back.

Now, if you're willing to spend at least 30 minutes practicing believing, your life will change so fast, you won't even know what hit you. But here's the thing, most of us don't do that. If our thoughts create our results, why don’t we spend more time managing our minds. I asked someone that in class today. She said, “Because we don't believe it’ll work.” I said, “Well, isn't that funny, the only way to do something is if you believe it’ll work and the only way to believe it’ll work is to practice believing it'll work and to do it, to take the massive action. But in order to take the massive action, you have to believe that the massive action will get you what you want. In order to believe the massive action will get you what you want, you have to practice believing it. You have to commit to believing it. I'm going to believe that I can do this. I am not going to entertain other thoughts about it. I am going to direct my mind to believe this new thing. I want to believe that people are capable. I want to believe that people have the capacity to change and to make their dreams come true. I want to believe that you can change your opinion of yourself. That is what I believe.”

You may come at me and tell me it's hard. You may come at me and tell me you don't think you can change it but I believe you can. When I believe that, I feel amazing and I make an effort to help you. When I agree with you that you can't change your belief, we do nothing together. What I want you guys to do is I want you to write down what you believe. Think of a specific goal, write down what you believe. Write down what you want to believe and then make yourself a list of thoughts you want to practice believing.

I dare you to practice thinking them for at least 30 days. If your life doesn't change, if your life doesn't change, you e-mail me. I will feature you on the podcast. I don't ever have a guest on the podcast but if you commit to 30 days and your life doesn't change drastically, you're not doing it right. You're not practicing it right because there's no way your life doesn't change if you commit to changing how you think. I promise you that.
Go to the comments, tell me what you want to believe, tell me what you're going to practice believing and share any of the results you get. Even after just 7 days, I bet you’ll have results. I believe that you can change what you believe, so show me. All right everybody, talk to you next week. Bye bye.

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