About the Author: Lucas Bell is a success coach and consultant, working with individuals and businesses to help them discover and develop their full potential.
You Are What You Believe!
Ultimately, we become what we believe. Our beliefs are the guiding factors in shaping who we are. Our beliefs are rooted in our hearts, which contain the essence of our identity. In order to truly become who we want to be, we must address our personal development on a subconscious heart level. This is where the real power of our being resides. As Dr. Bruce Lipton says, “When it comes to sheer neurological processing abilities, the subconscious mind is millions of times more powerful than the conscious mind.”1
How do we discern our belief patterns and thus steer the course of our hearts and lives? Let’s start by understanding the roles of the heart and mind.
The Heart and the Mind
The heart is the seedbed of all emotion and the starting point of all our beliefs. Negativity causes the heart to shut down, while positivity allows for the heart to stay open and receptive. The condition of our heart will determine the state of our beliefs. In order for healthy beliefs to be present in our lives, our hearts must be open, receptive and tender. Dr. James B. Richards defines the heart as “the source of intuitive knowledge that supports who we are and how the world should work.”2
An open heart allows for this intuitive knowledge to continue growing within us. This intimate knowing of the heart then begins to shape the thoughts of the mind, as it is the logical interpreter for our feelings and thoughts. Dr. Richards says, “The mind should help us find functional ways to apply our heart leadings in this natural world.”3 In order to have a powerful mind, we must have a powerful heart that is living in full connection and honesty with one’s self. We cannot look only to the mind and positive thinking to overcome the negativity that may be embedded in the seedbed of our emotions and beliefs. We must deal with the root cause, the issues of the heart.
Negativity vs. Positivity
The emotions and beliefs of the heart create filters that cause us to both think and reason in a particular manner. These filters are the governing lenses for how we see the world; they are the foundation for our worldview. Both negativity and positivity residing in the heart affect us in a myriad of ways. Understanding how they manifest in our lives will allow us to be better equipped to identify their presence.
Negativity always seeks to limit, tear down, inhibit, and devalue our actions and us. It stops us from growing as people. It shuts down our hearts and our minds, and causes us to live from a place that is inferior to our inherent design. Negativity is the great enemy of our development as people.
On the other hand, positivity is the exact opposite. Positivity actually creates the very foundation we need to move into all we were designed to be. Positivity always seeks to build, uplift, grow, nurture, renew and add value to who we are, what we are doing, and who we are becoming.
A positive thought usually expresses an affirmative action or statement, something you can do or something that you are. “I am…” “I can do…” Negative thoughts usually have a big “NOT” in them; they are limiting to both who you are as a person and the reality of your potential. Negativity is limiting, while positivity pushes you into a new territory.
Positive feelings can be explained as the emotions that bring fulfillment, satisfaction and engagement. They usually make you feel happy and alive. The strongest most powerful emotion is love, which is actually essential to our development. Science has recently discovered that when a person encounters love, the growth genes in their DNA are activated.4 Love, as a positive emotion, has huge implications for the development of our lives. Not only is love something we all crave and long for in life, it is essential to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual development.
In the same manner, other positive emotions also have such a dynamic effect on our well-being. They can include joy, peace, hope, excitement, empathy, curiosity and desire. These are the feelings that actually let our hearts and minds develop in a healthy manner. They are the emotional responses that our beliefs need to take root within us, leading us into the healthy path of personal growth and transformation.
Negative feelings are those that shut us down, make us want to protect ourselves and keep us from reaching our potential. The real damage to our development comes when these negative emotions are not adequately processed and are given a home within our hearts and minds. Unreconciled emotions build strongholds within us, which ultimately shape what we believe and stunt our development as people.
Fear is the strongest negative emotion that we face. It finds its way into our lives in a myriad of different ways. Similar to love, science has discovered that when a person encounters fear, the protective genes in their DNA are activated.5 If they hold onto the fear, it actually causes their growth process to shut down on all levels.
Other negative feelings have similar effects, and can include apathy, hatred, shame, regret, anger, guilt and resentment. These do not sound fun, but they are real. Honestly, no one wants these present in their life. But they do show up, and we have the choice for how we will let our hearts process these emotions. Our well-being is dependent on it!
Increasing Personal Development
Those seeking to go to the next level in personal transformation must develop a lifestyle of overcoming negativity. We as humans are given the responsibility to utilize self-control as we steward the inner workings of both our hearts and our minds, and yes, we have power over our beliefs!
The level of negativity that one is carrying in both the heart and mind caps personal development and transformation.
Negative thoughts and emotions will reinforce a negative belief pattern. In turn, this belief pattern will be the platform from which you live your life. In order to further our development as humans, we can neither cultivate nor suppress negativity and expect to live a healthy, prosperous life. However, we can build powerful habits of responding to negativity so that it does not gain a stronghold in our lives.
By frankly identifying the negativity, we can then take healthy steps toward learning a new belief system. If you want to understand what you believe about yourself and life, start paying attention to the dominant thoughts you have throughout the day or the recurring emotional feelings.
Identifying Negativity in Your Life
The beautiful thing about identifying negativity in your life is that your true self does not want it. Your heart can actually recognize what is negative and positive, just as it can recognize what is love and what is fear. The key is being in touch with your heart, so that you can understand what your heart is saying. Here are few questions to ask your heart in order to identify if there are any negative patterns present. Ask your heart these questions, just as if you are asking yourself them.
- What negative emotions am I feeling?
- Where are these negative emotions coming from?
- What negative thoughts do I find myself thinking?
- Where are these negative thoughts coming from?
- What negative beliefs am I believing?
- Am I willing to let the negative beliefs go, pursue inner renewal, and change my life?
These questions are designed to create understanding of yourself and how you operate as a person. Understanding is key to overcoming negativity. Once a negative emotion is understood, it can no longer have power in our life.
Furthermore, these questions allow for root causes to be revealed. Negativity in our beliefs can often be a product of bad experiences. Experiences that produce negativity in our lives can include traumatic events, painful circumstances and emotional blocks. These types of experiences can actually fracture the growth of our heart and inhibit the development of our lives. They then begin to shape the formation of our beliefs and lead us down the path of negative patterns.
The good news is that our hearts are designed to desire healing and renewal from these experiences. There are proven techniques and tools that can be applied to your heart in order to bring about reconciliation and renewal in your life. There is a solution to these heart issues!
Reconstructing Negative Belief Patterns
Once you have been able to identify the negative belief patterns that are guiding your life, you are then in a position to construct new ones. This is a process as you are learning a new way of thinking and believing. For some, you have decades of living from a certain belief. Now that you have identified that belief as negative and limiting, you are taking a core part of who you are and exchanging it for something better. You will need time and space to settle into this adjustment; embracing the process is key to letting a new belief shape your world. Here are a few practical tools that can successfully establish this process in your life.
- Form the opposite belief with supporting definitions. If you believe that you are not going to be successful if you try something new, considering meditating on the fact that you will be successful. Furthermore, consider constructing a definition of success that actually empowers you to move forward in your life, rather than keeping you in a limited, negative state of being. Definitions are key to our fundamental understanding. Without a proper definition of a concept, we will not have the language to form a belief around it.
- Get to know yourself and spend time affirming who you are. Knowing yourself gives you a standard for your beliefs. If you know that you are inherently successful, you will have a foundation to ground yourself in the face of unknown and even trying circumstances. Consider writing out important identity statements or propositions that express who you are in your truest form. Even if you don’t necessary feel it, your heart has answers to these two questions: Who am I? & Who am I becoming?
- Reject lies. In a similar manner, when you know the truth of who you are, you can instantly reject thoughts or feelings that do not resemble who you are. Remember that both thoughts and feelings have to be given space to grow and manifest in your life. If you are quick and alert to address these lies before they find a home in you, you are essentially guarding your heart and inner belief system.
- Remove pain and trauma. If your heart is having a hard time believing and sustaining the belief, it is possible that there is some form of pain that is actually blocking your ability to receive this new belief. Our bodies and our hearts actually remember and store pain. We are basically a giant memory card for everything that we experience. The majority of our defining experiences are contained in our subconscious. The nature of pain usually wants to hide itself deep within our subconscious, even to the point of making us consciously unaware of what we have experienced. Through the process of removing pain, your heart is literally able to grow as intended. You may consider seeking an expert in removing emotional pain and restoring wholeness to the heart.
- Engage in activities that you love. Because we are people of experience, it is important to reinforce our beliefs with experiences that support them. If you are in process of embracing your success as a person, consider doing activities that you love and that you know you will get enjoyment from. When passion and beliefs align, you are positioned to experience exponential personal growth and development. As the beliefs are getting settled in their new home, be sure to take practical steps, filling your time with activities that bring excitement, joy, and fulfillment.
Embrace the Opportunity
As our hearts are cared for, our beliefs are allowed to grow and develop in a healthy manner. By utilizing self-control in our lives, we care for our hearts and ultimately form our belief patterns. Dr. Richards says, “By identifying your limiting beliefs and installing a new empowering belief, you instruct your heart. Learning to be a success is a heart change that renews the way you see yourself and the way you see your destiny.”6
Negativity is not natural to our normal operational system. Any time you are encountering negativity in your life, it is actually a brilliant opportunity to embrace the opposite and achieve a new level of personal growth and development.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi:
Your beliefs become your thoughts
Your thoughts become your words
Your words become your actions
Your actions become your habits
Your habits become your values
Your values become your destiny
- Dr. Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles (Santa Rosa, CA: Mountain of Love/Elite Books, 2005) 128.
- Dr. James B. Richards, Wired for Success Programmed for Failure (Travelers Rest, SC: Milestones International Publishers, 2010) 53.
- Dr. Richards 53.
- Dr. Bruce Lipton, How Our Thoughts Control Our DNA, March 1, 2015.
- Dr. Lipton.
- Dr. Richards 68.