Does Transformation Have To Be Difficult?

During a recent presentation to the L.A. Chapter of the International Coach Federation, a coach questioned whether transformation could be as quick and efficient as I claimed.  “I’ve tried other techniques,” she said, “but the only thing that’s worked is long-term therapy.”   Although I’m a fan of psychotherapy (having studied it since college), I had to take exception to her assumption.

“Because our beliefs create our reality, if you believe that transformation takes a lot of time, you will have the experience of transformation taking a lot of time.  If, on the other hand, you eliminated that belief, and replaced it with the belief, “Transformation takes no time,” you would experience something quite different.”

With many of my clients, the first belief we need to eliminate is “This won’t work for me.”  Once that one is out of the way, it becomes easy — almost effortless — to dis-create the remaining beliefs (and get instantaneous results).

Our beliefs are always verified by our experience.  We seek and find evidence to support every belief we have.  If we have conflicting beliefs (I’m a good person.  I’m a bad person.), we find convincing evidence for both.

The Scientific Method of Inquiry is an attempt to get around this self-verification principal and find out what is “really” going on.  It works to some extent because double-blind studies take most of the bias out of the research findings. But there is clear evidence that scientists usually verify their assumptions.   The so-called “placebo effect” works — and works well — because patients believe that the “medicine” they are receiving will help or heal them.  Instead of discounting the process as “just” the placebo effect, we should be investigating the powerful role of beliefs in healing.

Doubts are simply a special category of beliefs, a sort of bet on a negative future.  “I doubt whether I will win” is a preparation for the expectation (belief) that you will lose, and an attempt to avoid disappointment.  Get underneath the doubt, and you’ll find a negative belief there every time.

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Six Impossible Things

Alice claimed that she sometimes believed six impossible things before breakfast. By doing so, she had great adventures, far beyond the limitations and possibilities set out for her by other people’s beliefs.

In Tim Burton’s fantastic new film, Alice in Wonderland, Alice is portrayed as a ingénue who is caught between two worlds: the staid expectations and beliefs of her Victorian era social structure (as lived and endorsed by her family), and the world of the possible, as taught and demonstrated by her late father, a man with visions of grandeur and adventure in far-off lands.

Like Alice, we have the same tug-of-war inside of us. Our biology drives us in two directions at once: toward the secure, same, and known on the one hand, and toward the new, the novel, and the unknown on the other. We live inside this tension, and we make our lives work – or not – by dealing with these opposite urges within us.

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Why Not Eliminate All Beliefs?

I am often asked, “Why not just eliminate all your beliefs? Isn’t that the point of enlightenment?”

It is possible to eliminate all of your beliefs with The BeliefCloset Process. It would take some time, because you have accumulated tens of thousands of beliefs in your lifetime.

Consider language, for example:  the word “cat” is actually a belief.  It categorizes (no pun intended) animals into two groups: “cats” and “not-cats.”  This is a useful distinction, especially if you own pets or if you feed animals at the zoo.

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Truth or New Age Fiction?

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” — Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) wrote this famous line in 1937 in his classic book, Think and Grow Rich.  Hill drew on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles called the “Law of Success.” It was the first book to ask, “What makes a winner?” But of course, a “winner” requires a game to win.  The game that Hill reports on (and is a cheerleader for) is the capitalist game of materialism and imperialism, the acquisition of more regardless of its effect on others.  By making these men paragons of modern virtues, he granted permission for an “ego takes all” approach to life. This has resulted in great harm to much of humanity and the ecology of the planet.

But is his quote true?  Yes and no. Truth is not an axe that divides the world into True or False.  It is a scalpel that, used skillfully, can heal and educate.  So what is true about this quote?  And what is not?

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