What do you believe?
Have you ever taken the time to step back and think about your beliefs.
I’m not just talking spiritual beliefs, I’m talking about all your beliefs.
For me, I never even thought about it until about a month or so ago.
I’m about 3/4 of the way through “The Power of Beliefs In Business” by Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingerman’s.
It’s part 4 of a book series I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, but it’s deep, deep stuff.
I’ve always enjoyed Ari’s stuff, and we’ve learned a lot from Zingerman’s as a company, and his thoughts on beliefs are right up there as some of the best stuff I’ve read about.
So, why am I telling you about this?
One, it completely opened my eyes to the power of beliefs in our lives.
Two, there are four levels of learning.
The first being reading, the second being reflecting, the third being assimilating or acting, and the fourth is teaching or writing.
So, by teaching/writing this to you, I’m actually forced to learn and retain the information better.
It’s a win, win :)
So, we have beliefs on everything.
We have beliefs of individual people….
We have beliefs about ourselves…
We have beliefs about what certain words mean like “successful, “ “organized, “ “fun,” etc.
Everything starts with a belief that you have.
That belief causes you to take a certain action.
That action produces a certain result.
Because of that result you have a certain belief.
And the circle goes round and round.
Let’s look at a few examples…
Suzie has this belief that she can’t do anything at the gym, that she won’t be able to keep up, and that she’s going to get hurt.
That belief, causes an action.
That action is to not join a gym, to not workout.
That action produces a result, which happens to be weight gain.
That result then reinforces the belief that she can’t do anything, etc, etc.
Until Suzie changes her belief that circle is going to keep going around and around.
On the flip side, let’s say Suzie has a belief, a vision, that she is going to get 10 workouts in July.
She’s positive about, she’s knows it won’t be easy, but she believes she can do it.
That belief causes her to take action and show up to the gym once.
That action builds motivation for her to keep showing up.
Suzie now gets a great result, and her positive belief that she can get results, and it continues to reinforce the positive action.
The difference between the two scenarios?
A different belief.
If you want a different result, you need a different action, and if you want a different action you need a different belief.
Let’s look at a belief about a person…
Let’s say you have a grudge with a co-worker.
You have a belief that they are slacking and not pulling their weight.
That belief is going to cause you to have a different action towards them.
The action may be negative feedback, lack of training/mentoring, or it may just be ignoring the person.
Because you did that it will reinforce the result that they are not pulling their weight and doing their job because that’s all you can see.
That result reinforces your belief that they are not a good team player.
Instead, going into it with a positive belief that this person is doing great work and maybe they’re just having a bad day.
That belief then changes your action to get curious and see how things are going with the person, maybe you grab lunch with them, train them, etc.
That action produces a better result because you had the opportunity to understand each other better and you see that they are actually a great team member.
That result reinforces a belief, which continues to guide your actions towards them, which leads to a certain result.
You can role play this cycle and power of beliefs with anything in life including relationships, parenting, your career/business, financials, fitness….everything.
The important thing to remember is it all starts with your belief.
If you want to change the result you first need to change your belief.
So, how do you change a belief?
In his book, Ari outlines a six-step “recipe” to changing a belief.
Identify the issue: self-awareness is always step one, you have to recognize the need to work on it
Backtrack to beliefs: Move past frustration and start to look below the surface and tie it back to a belief
Do some homework: Face our internal cannons, active reflection.
Check the equation: is what you gain from your beliefs worth what they cost you?
Mindfully adopt a new belief: You have to make a decision that you’re doing to adopt a new belief
Erode the old patterns with new thinking: this is done through time and exercises like visioning, journaling, and lots and lots of practice and reflection.
Most of our beliefs are deep rooted and take years and years to change.
So this stuff is not easy, and this is just the surface.
However, I hope it brings some light to just how powerful beliefs can be, and potentially motivates you to look at your beliefs, and maybe you decide to slowly work on changing some of your beliefs and adopt new ways of thinking.
Dedicated to Your Success,