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  • Writer's pictureAnnelisa MacBean

Limitations and Possibilities

Beliefs create our limitations, AND they create our possibilities.

The belief, “I can’t play the piano,” creates a solid barrier, a reality in which learning, practicing, and getting better are not possible. The opposite belief, “I can learn to play the piano” creates a reality in which it is possible to become an accomplished pianist.

The most important thing to know about beliefs is: they can be changed.

It is said, “Your beliefs create your reality.” More accurately, beliefs act like colored lenses in front of our eyes. They filter out everything but a limited range of possibilities. If you change your belief filter, you can suddenly see different options. When I help my clients clear their negative and limiting beliefs, they experience possibilities opening, and may feel some relief, even sense they are unlimited in some ways . . . while at the same time they perhaps become more attuned to other limiting beliefs that still remain!

Earlier in this blog’s belief series, I reviewed how we formulate beliefs, how they function, and how they impact our lives. Beliefs are not just a mental phenomenon. They are multidimensional, multi-sensory experiences that affect all aspects of our psyche. They can appear as thoughts, physical sensations, emotions and feelings, urges, drives, or invisible barriers.

To clear or transform beliefs, it’s helpful to have a process that reaches into all aspects of the human psyche. There are many techniques available for changing beliefs. Many are based in a conscious, mental process, or inquiry.

Byron Katie’s “The Work,” for example, helps people recognize that a belief is not true –– offering the subconscious mind an alternative interpretation. Conscious recognition or cognitively dominant techniques tend to produce results that are only partially effective, or temporary. It is our subconscious mind that drives most of our behavior, not our conscious realizations. So, ultimately it is experiencing the alternative viewpoint that alters behavior. The knowing in the body is what changes the mind. As with many techniques, the degree of personal work and self-awareness of the facilitator or practitioner greatly affect a client's ability to drop below cognitive understanding into direct experience.

There are belief-change methods that employ muscle testing, which is a highly subjective art. It carries the potential of facilitator-caused bias or error. Some people do report permanent relief from these methods, however, myself included.

Many belief-change methods employ tapping on acupuncture points while saying “clearing phrases” out loud. For many clients, tapping is a bit “woo-woo,” although it is becoming more widely accepted. Some methodologies, such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) have been scientifically validated in long-term studies, showing that the subconscious mind is being impacted. One advantage to the tapping techniques is that they are easy to learn and apply.

One of the best-known techniques for belief-change is NLP, or Neuro Linguistic Programming. Originally designed to model and change patterns of mental and emotional behavior, it has been widely used and promoted since the 1970s. Learning and mastering the processes can take many years, but in the hands of a skilled facilitator its effectiveness is profound.

Regardless of the approach you choose, be aware that awareness is key. Moving from blind transparency toward a capacity to perceive and experience the earliest, foundational holding patterns and the beliefs that created them will bring you the experience and wisdom you'll need to choose and follow-through on the new behavior that will best support the manifestation of your desired state.

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