Busting Open the Belief System Myth

For a few years now we’ve heard of terms like “growth mind-set or money mind-set and limiting beliefs,” and although very popular in the self-development and NLP groups, this whole premise that you are the way you are because of a “fixed” mind-set needs to be put to bed.

The unconscious mind does not have a separate agenda to the conscious mind

You may want to read that again…

It’s not thinking one thing while your conscious mind is thinking another. Your conscious mind won’t be thinking “ I’d like to earn more money and have more financial freedom” while your unconscious has developed a limiting belief system that “money is bad”. The unconscious mind isn’t separate from the conscious mind- it’s one of the same. You don’t have a belief system secretly buried away somewhere that your conscious mind isn’t aware of.

In modern psychology, our understanding now is that the unconscious mind can be linked to subliminal information processing. Really weak stimuli that we are not consciously aware of. Begs the question- how good are we at interpreting meaningful information from a subliminal stimuli that is so weak?

Of course (and unfortunately) the Freudian model of the unconscious is still with us and continues to cause havoc with peoples understanding of the unconscious mind, putting it as the primary guiding influence over our behaviors, creating this surface level understanding that can be liked to terms like “beliefs systems” . And while the debate on the depth of the role the unconscious mind has on our behavior and decision making is still very much heated among psychologists, psychotherapists and neuro-scientists the idea of having a unconscious mind and that it has role on cognitive activity is at least undeniable.

The idea of having a unconscious mind and that it has role on cognitive activity is at least undeniable

So think of your unconscious as a database with a software program attached, feeding the conscious mind with a mosaic of interpretations based on stored data (subliminal stimuli) – both experienced and imagined. The software program is the search engine, finding similar experiences & learnings, and then extracting the stored emotions which in turn influence our judgement and consequent behaviours. But because we know now how weak this database is at interpreting information, understand that its influence is relative to the conscious modes of information processing. So though we may act from this subliminal stimuli but out thought processes are still very much accessible, intentional, and controllable.

I find if people allocate blame to mind-set or belief system or even event it’s because people like a single casual model- one story to give one reason for our behavior and beliefs.

When you explain a reason- you are that way because of xyz, you load the problem up with unchangeable blame. Your childhood experience or upbringing can’t change, and no matter how many resources and re frames we give it, if the blame is outside of you then the problem will always be inside of you, because your pain doesn’t lie in the past it lies in the present.

Pain doesn’t lie in the past it lies in the present

When there is a skills gap people will always try and find a link between the problem and their story (usually from childhood) giving reason as to why they are the way they are as an adult.

The way I interrupt the issue in the problem space is by how someone has processed the issue and what action (if any) has been taken.

Problems are born out of ways of behaving and doing, not your history.

Problems are born out of ways of behaving and doing, not your history. It’s the pattern of behavior and action (or lack of) you are running in that space. A lack of distinction and skill is to blame, not the story you are giving it.

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