It has been said:
The implications are enormous. Am I able to climb out of poverty? Can I have my own business? Is it worthwhile to pursue my dream of being a top chef? A world-class photographer? A key player in my industry? Beliefs will lift you up or defeat you before you truly get started.
The capacity of the human mind is infinite – especially the capacity of the subconscious mind. There is debate regarding the processing speed of the subconscious mind. Some say it is 500 times faster than the conscious mind. But there is uniform agreement that the subconscious mind takes in and stores vastly more data than the conscious mind does. Dr. Bruce Lipton says that 95% of our cognitive functioning takes place on the subconscious level. The subconscious mind functions differently than the conscious mind. People are largely unaware of how much it shapes our lives. We all have great incentive to access our own subconscious mind and excavate what we’ve been programmed to believe.
The biggest challenge individuals have is overcoming negative, limiting beliefs – those pernicious beliefs that came into place and took up residence in the subconscious mind years ago – through learned behavior, through repetition and through the intention or unintentional programming by others – often loved ones unaware of how they were affecting us. As my friend and coaching mentor Christian Simpson likes to say: “until we make the subconscious conscious, we will be controlled by things we don’t understand and call it fate.” So growth requires excavating into our subconscious beliefs and eliminating those which don’t serve us and adopting new beliefs that serve us well. Only then can we escape from “fate” or the influences of others and develop new habits and actions that carry us in the direction of our goals and dreams.
What applies to individuals applies in similar fashion to groups or institutions. The impact of an organization’s core beliefs is the subject of BG’s next blog.
Beliefs drive action, yet it is astonishing how many of us spend little time examining deeply rooted beliefs and assumptions and the implications of those beliefs and assumptions as to our personal and business lives. We live in a media-saturated society in which it is convenient to simply borrow someone else's belief or just go along with the crowd.
Not examining beliefs leads to failure to appreciate how the law of cause and effect is at play. You or your company may end up doing the same thing over and over again without materially improving results. The bottom line stays flat. Worse, you may follow prevailing wisdom to your detriment. Following the crowd's beliefs can lead to disaster - just ask the investment banks or for-profit insurers who lost 20 billion to 40 billion dollars apiece by not questioning beliefs as to whether real-estate derivatives were safe investments.
If we're honest, it's not that hard to take stock of what is - i.e. what is the objective state of your company or whether you're happy with existing conditions in your life. But it's harder to drill into long held beliefs and assumptions and examine how they influence our life circumstances.
This 4 part series on beliefs and actions is designed to help you change circumstances by becoming more conscious of what you believe. Awareness enables new thoughts and new actions, moving you in the direction of your goals and dreams.