Coaching Discoveries: An examination of Disempowering Belief Systems
“I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like me; I think whoever I see must be happy” – Walt Whitman.
Coaching is all about Revelation. And eventually, the only revelation that matters, is the revelation of one’s own Beliefs (aka Belief Systems).
“As you think, so shall you become” – Bruce Lee.
(Y)our Beliefs are ‘Funda-Mental’ programs that dictate your Actions. Beliefs cause us to feel the Emotions that we feel, and hence act in the specific manner that we act. They are the source code of our Behaviors.
About beliefs, Albert Einstein succinctly stated, ““The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or a hostile universe”.
The Purpose of this article is to:
(a) Highlight a set of (three) Dis-empowering Beliefs that I oft encounter in Coaching conversations with clients.
(b) Suggest a single ‘Replacement’ Belief i.e. one belief that is Empowering.., and that can substitute the ‘troublesome three’.
(c) Challenge you to embrace this New & Empowering Belief!
Here are the Three dis-empowering beliefs.
A large chunk of humanity abides by one or more of these.
Belief # 1: Conflict (aka fighting) is necessary for (my) growth / progress / success.
Belief # 2: Struggle (aka exertion or resistance or push) is necessary for (my) growth / progress / success.
Belief # 3: Pain (aka grief or sorrow or hurt or anguish) is necessary for (my) growth / progress / success.
Note: The growth / progress / success here could be in the domain of your health, finances, career, relationships, philanthropy or spirituality.
The old adage says, ‘No Pain, No Gain’.
..that adage certainly rhymes.. it’s surely a cliché.. and I’d like to contend that it has even become a Belief System that has pervaded human consciousness.
Now let’s examine each of these three Beliefs.
I Think Again!
- If I believe that Conflict (aka Fighting) is necessary for my growth… then… if I want to grow and succeed… I will always need someone or something to fight against… Right? Any wonder why such folks or situations keep showing up in my life!
- If I believe that Struggle is necessary for my growth.., then I will always require a problem or a person to struggle against!
No surprise then that struggle and exertion tend to be a pre-requisite for my achievements. Hmmm!
- If I believe that Pain is necessary for my growth… then I will explicitly or tacitly demand that pain comes to me!
- Is pain prevalent in all or most of my endeavors? Have I become so numb to the pain, that I even vehemently deny its existence? Hmm!
I Think Some More!
- If quarrelsome and strife-ridden people and situations keep coming to me.. then what have I chosen to believe that causes them to come to me? Hmmm.. (Perhaps Disempowering Belief # 1, as above, in the ‘I Think So’ section)
- If labor, exertion and toil is ubiquitous or pervasive in my milieu.. then what am I believing, that makes this so? Hmmm.. (Perhaps Disempowering Belief # 2, as above)
- If pain is commonplace for me and gets expressed either physically, mentally or emotionally.., then what am I believing that causes this pain to manifest? Hmmm.. (Perhaps Disempowering Belief # 3, as above)
I Think Even Better! (New Belief)
What If.. instead.. I Believe, that:..
(New Belief) ‘The only necessity (or pre-requisite) for my growth & success…, is Joy!’
Will I not start attracting Joy into my life?
What if…, I believe that:
(Another way of stating the New Belief) ‘Joy in itself is sufficient for my growth!’.
Will that not come to pass?
What If I believe this New Belief with the same emotional intensity that I used to believe that old belief(s)?What If I develop that intensity over time?
And what if I allow myself to believe that I have the capacity to foster this intensity?
I Fight Again!
- Do I now observe my resistance to even considering this New Belief? Do I notice that I may even want to Fight against it? And hence perpetuate my existing beliefs!
- Any insistence that I change my former beliefs.., any effort to persuade me to give this new Belief a try.., is encountered by me, with a perfectly logical, evidence-based, empirical response. And.., quite possibly, followed up with an emotional appeal decrying the fallacy of practicing or propagating such a juvenile concept.
- To strengthen my argument.., I now produce more empirical evidence. I actually try out the New Belief (fully believing of course that it won’t work). In a short while and with much glee.., I now contently conclude that the New Belief surely doesn’t work (because I tried it), and I must therefore continue with my existing beliefs!
- If anything, the sheer simplicity of the New Belief causes me to treat it with disdain (because I also believe that anything that is so simple.., cannot possibly be effectual or worthy :)).
In the words of the late Michael Talbot (best selling author), ‘We are addicted to our beliefs and we do act like addicts when someone tries to wrest from us the powerful opium of our dogmas… We are not going to surrender our addictions lightly’.
Opinion Piece: Arjun Aiyar is a Mentor, Life Coach, Speaker & Corporate Trainer based in Dubai. He is also a Tarot Card Reader and Teacher of Mindfulness with ‘Sacred Geometry’. He is available on LinkedIn and Facebook @CoachArjunAiyar