You’re listening to the optimize Your Life podcast with Dr. Sharon Grossman, episode number three. Welcome back to the podcast. I’m super excited to have you back and to continue to have a conversation about the mind. Now your mind is the most powerful thing you have. It can bring you tremendous success and can also be your demise. So what’s the difference between the two and how can you use your mind to your advantage? State tuned.
Your beliefs are the driver of everything that happens in your life and I’m going to demonstrate that in today’s episode and explain what you can do if it’s not working out in your favor. So what we know is that when we believe in something very strongly we can actually create the results that we want. We see this sometimes in what is considered to be more woowoo kind of thinking where people create vision boards and are really focused on the result that they want. They program their mind with the visuals with the thinking and the focus and the intention and a lot of times people will say that they actually get those results, which is pretty cool.
We also can see that in other realms where people are super focused on a goal and they are very organized about when they’re going to work on it, what they need to do to accomplish it and then they get to work. Now, we see the reverse happening as well. Sometimes we notice that even though we want something on a certain level, we keep getting in our own way.
I recently worked with a client who noticed that in all of her relationships she was having the same result. She didn’t really believe in the relationship very deeply and so something would constantly get in the way. When she took a step back to really think about it, she realized that the thought or the belief rather that she held about relationships is that she believes that all men are cheaters. This may go back to her childhood where her parents got divorced at a young age and she knew that her father had cheated on her mother and so she was very afraid of getting hurt as an adult when she was in her own relationships. But what happened as a result is that in the process of defending herself from getting hurt, she also put up a lot of barriers. And so we went, we kind of did an inventory of her relationships and I asked her “what did you notice was the common denominator?” Now, it wasn’t that all of the men that she had dated had actually cheated on her but it was that she broke up with him at some point. And when she looked at it, it was because she had this belief that they were going to cheat on her. And so I asked her what about this last guy that you dated? And, you know, was that was that a an example of somebody who cheated on you? And she said she’s been with him for a number of years and nothing ever happened but she always had that in the back of her mind, this belief. Even though she thought he was the exception, there was always this belief driving her in the back of her mind and that’s exactly where it is, right? It’s in the subconscious mind. We’re not even aware of it most of the time, but what she recognized that she did, this pattern that she was stuck in, was that she would sabotage the relationship. She would create a whole bunch of drama out of nothing and that was in order to create chaos and to drive the person away. If the person is driven away, then you can’t get hurt so this is what our mind does. When she was able to recognize that it was a limiting belief that was keeping her stuck in this pattern, then she started to really work to reshape that. So I just wanted to share that with you because it’s important to understand how your belief system is super pivotal, super important when it comes to your success and that when you become more aware of the beliefs that you hold, you will see that they contribute to these patterns and that by working on them, you can shift out of your current reality and create the reality that you want.
So now I’m going to share with you the three-step process of what you can do in order to ensure that your beliefs are working for you, not against you.
Step 1: You want to first identify the belief. So what is it that you believe that is contributing to your current situation? So you want to obviously hone in on a specific area in your life. So if we were on the topic of relationships, we can stick with that for the time being.
So think about your relationships. Is there a pattern that you see across the board? If so, then you can ask yourself, “What must I believe to keep this pattern in effect” and you can look at your results to find out if you need help in identifying the belief. So what is the result that you’re getting?
In the case of my client, the result was that all of her relationships were ending and that she just didn’t trust any guy no matter what. So as a result of recognizing that, not only did she notice that the relationships were ending, but she noticed the behaviors that were leading to these relationships ending. Because she didn’t trust them and because she was noticing that they were all ending in a very similar fashion, she could identify the behaviors that she did that contributed to that pattern.
So ask yourself, “What are you doing that is contributing to the result that you have right now?” If you are in a pattern where you feel kind of stuck, you’re always getting the same results with your relationships, with your business, with your weight, whatever the case may be, ask yourself, “What am I doing to keep that pattern alive?”
From that place you then can rewind even further and identify “What is my emotional state that contributes to these behaviors?” One of the things we know is that the way that we feel can affect what we do. So notice that when you feel unmotivated you’re more likely to stay in bed. When you feel afraid you might want to get some support, you might want to hide, you know. So every emotional state has a number of behaviors that we can link back to them. So if you’re not happy with the results, we know that they tie into your behaviors and those behaviors tie into an emotional state, so you want to identify what that is.
Now ultimately, you want to get to a place where you’re in a really optimal emotional state in order to create those behaviors that will bring out the results. So how do we do that? Well, emotions are not something that we can just turn on and off. You can’t decide that you’re just going to be happy. What you need to do in order to access your emotions is you gotta take one further step and that is to identify your thoughts.
Now your thoughts are essentially just interpretations of circumstances that are happening in your life, that are going on around you. So when your mate is doing something, you have a certain thought about that that creates an emotion. So you might feel frustrated when they give you a certain look or when they don’t take out the garbage, right? And that emotional state, that frustration, is a result of how you think about what it is that they’re doing. It is not a direct correlation to what they’re actually doing. So understand that it is your thoughts, not their actions, that lead to your emotional states, to your frustration, to your anger, to your resentments, to your anxiety, whatever the case may be.
So we have so far mentioned that your results come as something from your behaviors. In other words, you do something and that leads to the results that you’re noticing and that your emotional state is what brings up those behaviors. You’re more likely to behave in a certain way when you’re frustrated than if you were happy, so it makes sense. And in order to change that emotional state to what you want it to be so that it aligns with your expected results or desired results, you need to change your thinking.
Okay, so that makes sense. However, we’re talking about beliefs, so really what is the difference between our thoughts and our beliefs and what can we do to tackle the beliefs so that they align with what we want?
Well here’s the big difference. So thoughts are fleeting. Thoughts are things that you have throughout the day and every moment and, like I said, they’re typically interpretations of things that are happening all around you. They might be things that are related to your current circumstances so you might be thinking about your to-do list. You might be thinking about the driver that just cut you off, something that was recent most typically.
Beliefs are thoughts that you have over and over again that become so ingrained that you don’t question them. And typically we talked about beliefs as there are things that are central to your identity, to how you perceive the world, so we call those core beliefs and typically they answer the questions, “What do I believe about myself, other people, and the world?” So if you can answer that, then you know those are core beliefs. And we don’t question them because they feel so true. And recognize that they’re there lies the problem because we always need to be questioning anything that comes out of our mind. Our mind, as we mentioned in the beginning, can create thoughts that help us and thoughts that can really hurt us and so it doesn’t help us to constantly just take any information that pops into our mind and run with it. Instead, you need to really question what’s happening and whether there’s a grain of truth in it even.
So getting back to our formula: if we want to create the results that we want in the world, we need to really tackle the beliefs that are aligned with these or that fuel our patterns. If you notice that you have certain behavioral patterns, it’s because you have certain beliefs and then everything inbetween is the behaviors and the emotions and the thoughts. And so those three components will, their kind of…We have like a sandwich here where we go from the beliefs to the results and in between we have to manage our thoughts and our emotions and our behaviors. But the first step is to really identify what those beliefs are.
Once you know what they are, Step 2 is recognize that if those beliefs are not serving you, then you have to ask yourself, “What results would I like to create in the world?” Now it’s not enough to just state a desire that is, you know, just kind of vague. So what we’re talking about here is two things. One is you want to have clarity, really specific clarity about what you want. A lot of people, believe it or not, don’t know what they want. So if that’s you, you’ve got to sit down and really dig a little bit and really ask yourself, “What is it that I want?” And then, once you have a sense of what that is, you gotta go even further. You gotta really get to the specifics. It’s not enough to say, you know, “I want my relationship to be better” because nobody knows what that means and how will you know when you’ve attained that goal?
So remember the early days in your marriage when you were head over heels in love with your partner? And now you like the person, but they just don’t excite you as much. You kind of got used to them, having them around, but you’re not feeling that pitter-patter every time they walk by. What if you want to have an amazing relationship? What if you want to get back to how things used to be or even make them better? In other words, you need to first identify what your beliefs are about your partner, about what is possible in a partnership or a marriage after all of these years (that’s another belief that people have that trips them up) and then get clear on what you want your marriage or partnership to be like, to feel like.
Once you have all that, so again–this is kind of a clarity exercise, then we go into step 3 which is reverse-engineering the process, asking yourself what you need to do in order to believe that to create that result.
So you probably need to believe that your partner is an amazing person, that you’re so lucky to have them, that you enjoy spending time with them, and even when they do things that don’t align with your ideal that you can overlook them and really focus on the positives.
Close your eyes and notice how when you think about these, your energy shifts. You feel closer to him or her. Picture them smiling as you walk into a room. How do you feel? What’s going through your mind?
So by using these different ways of thinking, we can really change how we feel which will change what we do and change our results. But even furthermore, you want to notice these beliefs that can keep you stuck in a negative place. Locate those limiting beliefs and work to change them. It’s really about being intentional.
So with that, I want to leave you with a message, that maybe your marriage is already stellar but you have friends who are struggling. If so, you can share this episode with them. And there are possibly areas of your life other than your relationships where your beliefs might be getting in the way. So you can use the same exercise, these three steps, to shift your beliefs and really change your outcomes.
And then please leave me a comment in the show notes about what you are focusing on and what you want more of in your life. I would love to hear from you and learn all about that. I’ll see you next time.