We all know what a fact is. It’s an irrefutable piece of information. Something that can be proven because it just is- unlike our beliefs. A belief is a thought that we’ve decided is true, but it doesn’t have to be.

For example, I’ve grown up with the belief that I’m blessed, but not necessarily lucky. I’m not the one at the carnival that goes home with the huge stuffed animal or wins $10 on a scratch off. As we grow, we pick up many beliefs along the way. Some are wonderful and serve us well, but others limit us. Beliefs are also things that we don’t usually question unless or until we are faced with a situation which forces us to examine or question them. At that time, we might redefine, tweak or even dismiss a belief. Scrutinizing our beliefs from time to time is not only a healthy thing to do, but it’s also an important thing to do because every single thing that you say, think, and do is based on your beliefs.

Let’s say for example one of your core beliefs is “I’m unworthy” or “I’m unlovable” or “I’m not good enough,” then everything you think, see, do, and say will be based on that. You’ll have to work on that core belief and change it so that it represents the way you want to view yourself and be known by others.

So how do you know what your beliefs are? Start by taking a look at your life. Your life is the complete representation of the beliefs you hold. You might want to grab a piece of paper, and write down three little phrases:

I’m so…

I can’t…

I’ll never…

See what flows. Don’t judge it, don’t criticize it, don’t critique it. What you’re going to see are the subconscious beliefs that are really running you. Most of our belief tracks are usually laid down by the time we are 7 or 8 years old. In our brains we have these neural receptors that wire our brains. They’re like little thought tracks that were laid down and that we travel thousands of times a day.

When you were young you may have laid down tracks like “I’m lazy” or “I’m fat” or “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not lucky”.  Over time, you reinforce those thoughts over and over and over again until they become a belief and your reality. You build your life, consciously or subconsciously, on those beliefs.

Imagine if there was a garden, and this garden only grows weeds and things you don’t like. You think that you can only grab your fruits, vegetables, flowers, and everything you need from this garden, but it’s not fulfilling because it’s growing lots of things that don’t really serve you. What many of us don’t realize is that we can plant different seeds to grow a garden that not only grows things we love, but also a life that fulfills us.

How does that happen? By changing our beliefs. Lots of people use affirmations, and for some they’re wonderful. For others, they’re a little hard to grab onto because if your mind doesn’t buy it, your mind will simply reject it. Let’s say a person weighs 400 pounds and decides to start saying affirmations. They might say something like, “I am a lean, mean 125.” The brain responds with, “No, you’re not!” It kicks the affirmation right out because it is not reasonable or believable. Your brain won’t grab hold of something it clearly knows is false.

This is where the notion of BRIDGES that I’ve created comes in and works for my clients and for me.

A bridge is a plausible affirmation between the belief you want to change and the new concept you’d like to embrace. It’s an idea that you can grab onto until a more empowering belief and track is created. It’s something that you can absolutely agree with and work with.

So, let’s take our 400lb friend. The track that he’s laid down is likely to be, “I’m so heavy.” In wanting to lose weight he may go to an affirmation that’s just too far reaching like, “I’m getting thinner each and every day.” The brain thinks, “No you’re not” and kicks it right out. But what if our friend is really trying and eating better, a good bridge for him might be, “I’m eating healthier every day.” Now let’s say every time the thought of “I’m so heavy” pops in to his head, he replaces it with, “I’m eating healthier every day?” Sooner or later, the “I’m so heavy” track will be replaced, and his new belief will be more aligned to his achieving his goals and creating the life he desires.

One way my clients use to truly integrate the new thought is by using a rubber band. Put the rubber band on using our friend who want to lose weight, here’s an example of how he would start using the bridge:

Let’s say he unintentionally keeps saying (because it’s deeply wired into his subconscious): “I’m so heavy.” (Here’s where he begins using the bridge). “Oh wait a second, what’s that bridge I’m supposed to say? Oh yeah, I’m eating healthier everyday”. He gently snaps, taps, or rubs the band as a reminderto say the new bridge he created. Over time, through repetition, and through consistency, that old track loses its charge. The new track of “I’m eating healthier everyday” is slowly being laid down, and soon the new track of “I’m eating healthier everyday” takes hold and takes over. That is literally how you can change your mind and your beliefs.

In my PhD study on betrayal, I identified the Five Stages people go through from Betrayal to Breakthrough, and an integral part of Stage 4 is laying down new tracks and a new belief system as those betrayed find and adjust to a new normal on their way to creating a life where they are their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual best.

So, what’s a belief that doesn’t serve you? It might be something like,“Oh, I can never lose the weight”, or “I can never make that much money”, or “I can never have that kind of relationship.” You’ve said that a hundred, thousand, maybe even a million of times, and it has bought you what you have. Take a look around, your life is a representation of the beliefs you hold.

So, what if you created a bridge?

Let’s take money for example: “I can never make that much money.” An affirmation of: “I can make a million dollars a year” may not feel believable to you. But what if you just start to unravel that belief a little bit. What if you said, “What if I canmake more money?” You’re just questioning your old belief and laying down a new track. What if you can? What if you can? So, every time you say to yourself, “I’ll never make that much money,” you gently snap the band and say, “What if I can make more money?”

The repetition and consistency you committed to repeating that bridge hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of times would slowly but surely end up creating another belief. When that takes hold, and when that’s firmly in place, you can create another bridge, but you’re a step closer to the body, health, life, lifestyle you want.

Have you identified any beliefs that no longer serve you? Do you need help creating a bridge? I’d love to help you. Let me know.

Dr. Debi