The Power of Your Belief System

You may be asking, “Come on, Lisa, do my beliefs really have that much power over my behaviors?” I would respond emphatically, “Yes!”

Your beliefs are the driving force behind your behaviors. Beliefs send powerful messages to your brain that affect your actions (and their outcome) in either a positive or negative way. Your beliefs will cause you to do one of two things:

be fearful and RETREAT or

be empowered and ACT

Think of the immigrant who has been raised with the belief that America is the land of opportunity. Even before coming to this coun­try, he has the advantage. Once he arrives in America, he begins a business with the conviction that in America he will be successful because that’s what he has heard and believes. His beliefs are his reality. With time, he manifests that conviction and becomes suc­cessful in his business.

That’s how powerful your beliefs are. Success takes two ingredi­ents: belief and time. The more belief you have, the less time it takes. Your belief system causes you to either retreat and repel suc­cess, or to act and attract opportunity and success.

Your belief system was ‘taught” to you by society, peers, family, life experiences, environment, and many other smaller influences. Just think back to what your family said repeatedly concerning your circumstances or your life, and you will find the beginning of many of your beliefs.

The Making Of A Belief System

 1. Parents and Family

Remember the countless times as a child you heard: “You’re gonna fall!” “You’ll put your eye out.”  “Slow down!”  ”I told you you’d get hurt!” I know parents need to guide their children away from dan­ger. But, most parents overemphasize safety and demonize risk-taking by too often inflicting the message of their own fears.

Wouldn’t it be great if we parents warned our kids of the danger by saying: “Be safe.” “You’re safe.” “You’ll be fine.” “Be alert!” ”No­tice things.” These statements help build a positive, empowering belief system about life and our children’s capability to handle what­ever comes their way.

 2.  Society’s Influence

Society has a huge impact on our belief system.  Look at Titanic, a movie watched by more people than any other film ever made. Its depiction of wealthy and poor people helped create dangerous, nega­tive belief systems. Wealthy people were portrayed as rude, boring, wicked people who would shoot each other to save their own lives. The picture also reinforced a huge negative belief about love and commitment, as the main character, Kate, planned to marry for money, not for love. We witness her mother telling her to toughen up, because that was what their situation required her to do. An­other strong negative belief the movie put forth was that poor people knew how to have a good time and poverty was the answer to Kate’s problems.

 Negative belief:

People of wealth are evil, rude, and obnoxious.

Money is evil.

Poor people are more loving than rich people.

It’s “spiritual” to be poor

3.  Life Circumstances

Marilyn’s Story:

I don’t want to be successful again because it hurt so badly the first time.

I participated in the triathlon at the 1976 Olympic games and won a medal. “Wow!” I thought to myself as I boarded the plane to come home from the Olympics. “I’m the first woman triathlon champion of the United States of America.” I guess I thought my friends, fam­ily, and colleagues would react the same way. But, much to my chagrin, I was hit with something quite different.

“Did you get to meet Mark Spitz?” was the repeated question I heard over and over. That hurt so much. It hurt enough for me to know that success isn’t for me.

 Negative belief:

Success hurts.

It’s lonely at the top.

Women should not be successful (athletes/business


Girls should be seen and not heard.

What about you? What family saying, life circumstance, or so­ciety influence has shaped and molded your belief system? We’ve all had a lot of negative programming, whether we’re conscious of it or not. But, it matters less where these negative beliefs were taught and more that you are aware of them and learn how to break through them.

It is the beliefs you have about success that creates an incred­ible—very real, very evident—fear of success. This kind of fear is the most powerful form of bondage. This fear-bondage—rooted by negative beliefs about success and failure—is the one thing that will cause you to sabotage your success and never achieve what you really want. No amount of money or time spent on goal-setting classes or positive-thinking techniques will help you create success until you break through the negative beliefs that your fear represents.

The good news is that you have control over your beliefs. You can change your belief system, which will help you conquer your fear forever! Read on to find out how.

Identify Negative Belief Barriers

Do you ever make any of the following statements?

“I’m too old.”

“I’m too young.”

“There’s never enough time.”
“Love hurts.”

“There are no good men left,”

“I don’t deserve that.”

“I work better under pressure.

“Successful people are always busy.”

“Selling is hard.”

“I can’t lose weight.”

“Millionaires are selfish.”

“Successful people are bad parents.”

“My relationships never work.

“I can’t save.”

“All great ideas have been shared.”

“Sales people are pushy.

“Everyone will laugh.”

“I’m not good enough.”

“We can’t do it this way.

“Women don’t hold those titles.”

“Chocolate is bad.”

“IF it’s not one thing, it’s another”

“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

“Children (girls) should be seen and not heard.”

“Woman should be modest and humble.”

“You’re so smart. If only you’d apply yourself”

“Anything worth doing is worth doing perfectly”

“Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

These negative belief barriers are powerful motivators that will actually cause you to repel success. You will just push it away like a child refuses spinach. The problem isn’t just your fear. No, your fear represents a powerful, self-limiting belief! Until your beliefs are iden­tified and replaced with empowering beliefs, no amount of positive thinking will help you create and attain success.

What makes negative beliefs so powerful and so insidious is that most of the time you don’t even realize you have them. You will say you want something, you’ll write it down, you’ll back it up with positive thinking, but then something happens to keep you from the very thing you say you want. You’ll start misplacing important items. You’ll procrastinate on deadlines. You’ll forget names. You’ll miss an opportunity... the list goes on and on.

Linda’s story:

Growing up I always heard my parents say, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.” This seemingly harmless phrase was so imbedded in thought processes that it was affecting my ability to accomplish tasks—not to mention enjoy life. I always felt overburdened. Every little thing seemed to overwhelm me. I always said, “There’s not enough time in the day.” I knew I had to break through this negative behavior and stop this insanity of constantly feeling defeated and incapable.

The negative belief:

There’s never enough time.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another

I don’t have what it takes.

Life is hard.

Expose Self-sabotaging Behavior

The first step to your breakthrough is to listen to what you say and watch what you do. What comes out of your mouth is very reflective of what you believe.

Truth #6

Your everyday habits are broadcasting your belief system, your fear, and your unmet needs loud and clear.

Your behaviors are broadcasting hidden messages of negative be­liefs, fear, and unmet needs.

First, I’ll address unmet needs. Psychology explains that behind every behavior lies a reason. Freud said, “We are insatiable beings and we always get our needs met.” We will get these needs met in a healthy, conscious way, or we will get them met in an unhealthy, subconscious way.

So, what does all this mean? Human beings have four innate needs.  The degrees to which you need these vary with your personality and who you are.

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 Copyright © 2001-2003 by Lisa Jimenez.  All Rights Reserved.