If You Want To Improve Your Life, You Only Have To Change One Thing
By changing your beliefs, you can drastically change your life.
Psycho-cybernetics is defined as the idea that what you believe will dictate your thoughts on a moment-by-moment basis.
“Beliefs are the meaning we give to the experiences of our lives that oftentimes take place before the age of seven.” In other words, before the prefrontal cortex of our brain has developed. If these experiences involve other people, then it is likely our beliefs have been influenced by another person’s words. Once our minds begin to adopt these beliefs, it reshapes the lens through which we experience all things in the future. Thus, when approaching experiences with the goal-achieving machine that is our mind, we process these events in a way that supports and reinforces the beliefs that we already have.
In an interview with David Bayer, he advises that the bad experiences in our lives deserve to be questioned. He goes on to share that all human beings spend their lives in one of two states — primal (suffering) or powerful (joy).
With each moment we spend in a ‘primal’ state, we are surrounded by emotions that are prompted by untrue beliefs. That being said, the fastest way for us to eradicate a limiting belief is to see it as being untrue. Once you see the belief as a lie, your mindset shifts and reorients you to your life experiences from that point on.
Bayer reflects on one of the first experiences he had where an untrue belief was introduced to his life. He recounts an afternoon as a child where he was working on a project in the garage and his dad came out and offered to show him how to build an even better version of what he was working on. Bayer’s adolescent mind took those words and formed the belief that he didn’t know how to build the Capistrano to begin with and allowed that to introduce a distorted perspective which he carried through the majority of his young adult life.
The same can be said about many of our childhood experiences. We grow up in a household where money is scarce, which leads us to the belief that income is hard to come by. We see conflict between our parents as children and we form this belief that relationships are messy and true love is rare to find. These are the beliefs that impact our thought processes through each life experience after that point and we don’t even realize it. Bayer went on to explain that if the limitations of our joy are created by thoughts shaped from our beliefs, then a necessary starting point is to begin with the belief itself — suggesting that by changing our beliefs, we can change the way we experience life, particularly from an emotional standpoint.
“The most important decision you make is whether you live in a friendly or hostile environment.” ~Albert Einstein
Our beliefs are congruent with our desired outcome so by understanding that you belong every place you are and that any negative emotion you feel is prompted by an untrue belief, you can reframe that bad experience into something necessary to your life.
The challenge is to catch yourself before you allow the untrue belief to impact the moment with emotion. We have a clear picture of the things we do not want out of life, but a less focused image of the things we do want so the next step consists of re-introducing the imagery you wish to become a reality.
In a 2009 study done at Harvard, a series of piano players were hooked up to machines that would simulate brain activity, particularly the parts that would light up when each would play the piano. The interesting part of the study found that those same parts of the brain lit up even at the mere thought of playing the piano. These findings solidified the idea that our brains do not know the difference between imagination and reality.
So, since the brain knows no difference between the two, we can use these realizations as opportunities to build what Bayer refers to as “neural networks” that support a new belief — the same way the false belief was created to begin with.
The goal is to eventually build neural networks of an experience that has not happened yet. Why? Because once you have done so, it will become clearer the steps required in order to make it a reality. Until you exert intentional effort into calling out the bluffs in your existing belief system, you will continue to focus on that which reinforces the beliefs that you’ve created within yourself (or have allowed others to create).
If an employee comes to you as a manager and requests clarity for the fourth time, rather than translating their frequency of need to incompetence, it might be time to question how your initial explanation may have been unclear. A failed test doesn’t signify a lack of intelligence, but perhaps insufficient study time; however, you have allowed the belief that a poor grade is a direct reflection of stupidity because you lacked the self-awareness to know the areas for habit improvement. A breakup doesn’t indicate you are unlovable, but if someone along the way left for the reason that they “fell out of love with you,” then you might begin to allow this to be the reason for all relationships ending, even when it likely isn’t.
The root of all primal emotion is that we are not enough for a positive outcome so it begins with self-awareness and requires reshaping of beliefs in order to bring you back to a state of power and positive emotion. This is necessary in order for us to show up in support of those around us, especially in a position of leadership.
You’ll Never Become A Leader If You Don’t Take The Time To Do These Things First
It’s not always about being the strongest, bravest, and most intelligent person in the room.
Everything that should be is what is, otherwise, it wouldn’t be there. Understanding this will help you to operate from a place of growth, rather than frustration. There are no bad experiences in life, only opportunities to ask “why?” and chances to say “What is really true about the emotions and thoughts taking place inside of me?” Once you have been able to adopt a new belief for yourself, the next steps become clearer, but it starts with your primal beliefs.