Saturday, February 6, 2016

How To Change A Negative Belief

I think I may have talked about beliefs in a previous blog post or two, but in case I haven't, here is how a lot of law of attraction teachers and coaches define a belief: it's a general acceptance that a statement is true, or that something exists. It's also something that has become ingrained in us over time, usually reinforced by repeated thoughts and words. You can think of a belief like a law of attraction affirmation on steroids. Those thoughts and words are often our own but not always...your parents, for example, may have repeated something to you throughout your childhood about money (for example, "Money doesn't grow on trees, you know") and therefore over time you may have developed a belief that money is scarce, that you'll never have enough, and that you have to work real hard and bend over backwards to get ahead.

Beliefs can be good or bad for us, and it's usually the negative ones that can be pesky buggers that follow us around through life, but there is some good news. A belief can be changed. It's something that I've been reading about a lot lately and have only started putting into practice for myself recently. And when it comes to negative, limiting beliefs, it definitely is a good idea to work on changing them. Just keep in mind that it usually doesn't happen overnight...but in time, with enough reminders to yourself and soothing, I believe they absolutely can be changed.

Although I've come a long way, I'm aware that I still carry around some negative beliefs when it comes to love and relationships. One limiting belief that I was able to change a few months back was that as long as I live at home I'm not dating material. Oddly enough, most people that have a negative personal belief about themselves (such as "I'm too old" or "I'm too overweight to be loved") often have the hardest time changing it. For me, personally, this one was rather easy for me to kick to the curb, and that was because the only real evidence I had supporting it in my history was meeting one jerk years ago that had a problem with women that lived with their parents. That, and I remember a coworker many years ago chastising another grown coworker behind her back for living at home, saying that in doing so she was "still a child." But who gives cares what these people think, especially so many years later? Once I accepted it and realized that, hey, there's no law that says a woman living in her parents' home is undateable, that belief pretty much disintegrated.  

However, there was another relationship belief I had to put more work into changing, and that was the belief that all of the good ones (by ones I mean men) are taken (as in married or already have a girlfriend.) And the reason I found this one so difficult to budge was because I had been receiving a lot more evidence of it pretty much my entire life, as every guy that showed up that I hit it off with already had a girlfriend or worse, was married.

It was also a statement that I heard repeated from friends and family members through the years, and even in pop culture when it would show up in various sitcoms and in movies. It got reinforced every time I heard about a friend's dating horror story or relationship problem. It got reinforced further with my own crummy dating experiences, and then meeting men at singles and Meetup events that were...well, very socially awkward, rude, arrogant, physically unattractive or any combination of undesirable qualities in a partner. I am sure that it was carrying it around and vibrating it for so long that caused so many situations to be mirrored back at me that matched that belief. 

I knew I wanted to change this belief because I wanted to believe the opposite to be true -- that not all of the good ones are taken, and that there is still someone out there meant for me that is a great match. 

So here's what I did to start to flip this belief on its head. Every law of attraction teacher seems to have their own technique for changing limiting beliefs, so my personal process below may not resonate with everyone, but it is pretty close to what I've been reading about in various sources.

1. Identify Your Limiting Belief, and Write It Down

Expose that nasty belief like you're putting a spotlight on it. Writing it down, I think, is the first step towards confronting it and maybe even realizing how potentially silly/untrue it is once you see the words. In this case, as I said, it was "all of the good ones are already taken."

2. Ask Yourself, Is It True?

This step requires a bit of logic, but I'll let you in on a short cut to this step: the answer is no, your negative belief isn't necessarily true. Just forget about any evidence that may have led you to the limiting belief in the first place, because what you've experienced up until this point was showing you just a tiny slice of all of the possibilities in the universe. Is it really a fact that all good men are taken? In order for me to know for certain, I'd have to personally interview every single/divorced/available, straight man in an appropriate age range in the U.S. and talk to their families and friends to access if they're a catch for me or the right woman. Of course, that's impossible for me to do so. While we don't know the exact number, there are millions of them! Also, what I may consider a catch other women may not. So I'm going to take a guess here...although we don't really know the answer for certain, I am pretty sure with millions of single, divorced, and widowed men on the planet at least some of them have to catches and still available.

Also, there was something else I thought of a few months ago that helped me change this belief. Not all of the men that are taken are what you can consider catches. Some of them are bad. How many stories have we heard in the news about women getting mixed up with or marrying men that commit crimes, some of them quite violent? People marry all types of people. Therefore, that tells me that while married/matched people are made up of a mix of good and bad individuals, the same can be said of single people.

3. Write Down the New Belief, and Look For Evidence to Support It

I wrote my new, opposite belief down which is, "There are some really good available men out there, and there is one available for me."

Then I started to think about all of the evidence I'd experienced or seen that would support it. For starters, a few weeks ago I talked about browsing the engagement and wedding section of the New York Times and reading the stories behind the ways the featured couples met. I know, I know, those people aren't exactly available anymore; they're engaged or married. But just a few years ago, they were available and they met each other. There were a few stories I read about couples meeting while already in relationships but then reconnecting years later when they both found themselves single. There was one story I read about a self-confirmed bachelor that met the love of his life while in his late 50s and married her. And here's the thing...if there are no longer any "good ones" around, then people wouldn't be getting married. The supply, so to speak, would be gone!

I also remembered the young woman from my Meetup group that brought her then-boyfriend (now husband) to one of my events. They had just started dating after meeting on He was so...normal. Completely normal! Loved his family, had a great job, and was very easy to talk to. Obviously he was a "good one" still available when the member from my group met him. 

Then there's the U.S. census report I found discussing the numbers of unmarried and divorced people in the country. The numbers and percentages were mind numbing, but they didn't matter. What does matter is that these demographics are in the millions, and I am sure not all of them are partnered with somebody. 

Divorces still occur, as do break-ups on a daily basis. Right now, a soulmate of yours could be breaking up with somebody in an out-of-state city and planning on relocating to your area. It's entirely possible. The pool of available people changes daily, as does the pool of unavailable people. 

I also have decided to filter out any chatter (usually delivered to me by other women at my Meetup events) about how tough it is out there in the dating world or about how awful the men are. I want to focus on the success stories. In fact, I know of one woman in my group that is older than I am who met her current boyfriend at a contra dance event last year and is doing very well. She tried online dating and nothing panned out for her, but contra dancing is one of her favorite hobbies, and I'm happy it's working out for her. 

4. Rinse and Repeat As Needed

Like I said, often a negative belief won't change overnight, especially one you've been carrying around since practically childhood. Sometimes it takes repeating the process and just having patience and being easy on yourself. 

And another thing to keep in mind -- this is just one of the limiting beliefs I have around dating and relationships. I have a couple more that I need to work on changing, which is usually the case when it comes to manifesting "bigger" dreams. 

What are some limiting beliefs that you would like to work on and change?


  1. I have had issues with feeling I'm not good enough at work or with relationships for as long as I can remember. I'm working on changing that; it takes longer than a few days to change thoughts that have been zooming around in one's head for years. But I am determined to change it.

    1. It does take a while...good for you, Jeff, for being patient with yourself and working on them.


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