A belief is a feeling of certainty about what something means. Limiting beliefs are the stories we tell ourselves about who we are that hold us back from becoming who we are meant to be.
Some beliefs we acquired or downloaded into our subconscious when we were children as many of our beliefs about ourselves are formed by the age of seven. This can be conditioning from parents, family, culture, or society.
Other ways we develop beliefs are from defining moments or events in our lives that carry significant emotional value for us.
Dr. Bruce Lipton, a developmental biologist, explains that in the first seven years of our life, we live in a different vibrational state called Theta. Theta is our slowest brain wave state. This state is responsible for our imagination, among other things. Until age seven we see half of our world as imagination, which makes us quite impressionable.
There are so many rules an individual must learn in order to be a functioning and accepted member of a family and community. There can be quite literally thousands of rules. So, how do we teach an infant thousands of rules when you can’t give them a book or give lessons about these kinds of rules in school?
The answer is OBSERVATION.
Until age seven, we observe the behavior of those closest to us, and because we are in a Theta, hypnotic-like state, we download the behavior of others as the foundational aspect of behavior, or what we think our behavior should be based on those we observed most.
This includes our parents, siblings, other family members, and people in our community. Libby Weaver, a brilliant nutritional biochemist who appeared in Food Matters TV TRANSCENDENCE, explains that belief formation is based upon a need for love.
To quote Libby,
“When we are babies we develop beliefs with our Autonomic Nervous System, the part we can’t govern with our thoughts.
With our Autonomic Nervous System, we believe deeply that love is essential for our survival.
As small human babies, it’s because we must have someone care for us to give us food, clothing, and shelter. Therefore, it is in our DNA from the time we are born that love is essential for our survival.
Even though as adults we don’t need love to survive, we can buy our own food and clothing, but for many of us, it still drives our behavior.
When we are children, we are ego-centric because since we have not achieved emotional maturation, we develop the belief that the way people behave in our environment is because of us.
When others are happy, we link it automatically in our mind, not consciously, to ourselves.
It is wired in our nervous system immediately that they are happy because I told a joke or I made a beautiful finger painting. Parts of our personality are formed from those moments.
When we observe people's faces light up, we link their response to our own behavior. This also happens when people in your environment are dissatisfied and unhappy, we also link that to something we did.
As a result, before the age of 7, every human being has created a belief in their own deficiency.
We do this to make sense of our environment. For example:
If your father normally comes home from work and plays with you and then one day he doesn’t because something else is on his mind, all you know is that it feels bad in your nervous system and so you relate it to you.
Your brain at that moment is looking for an explanation for this scenario because it is brand new and it is uncomfortable for you. You can’t see with your egocentric mind that your father is speaking with intensity because he just lost his job and is terrified how he will continue to take care of the family. The only way your brain can make sense about what is going on is to begin to believe there is something wrong with you.”
This is how our beliefs get formed and we unconsciously live from them. In the 5-part TRANSCENDENCE documentary, there is an entire episode called Beyond Belief that will bring this to life to help you understand how your own beliefs were formed and still driving most if not all aspects of your life now.
Think of building beliefs like building a table.
A situation happens and the belief appears (I am not safe. I am not lovable. I do not belong. I am not supported).
The situation and belief are the tabletop. In order for a table to become real and usable, it needs legs. Therefore, our subconscious (survival) mind, creates supporting thoughts and evidence from our environment to support our new belief.
Here’s an example…
If I asked you to identify everything in a room that was the color blue, you would only be scanning the room for blue things. And if I later asked you what was yellow – you wouldn’t be able to tell me because you only saw exactly what it was you were looking for.
In order to make our new beliefs about ourselves or the world true, we find evidence in our environment that makes it true and ignore all the other evidence that would disprove it.
Now, we’ve got our supporting evidence and now have added legs to our tabletop, which allows this new belief to become a real and tangible part of us.
Now, going forward in life your beliefs act as a constant filter. You only identify with and attract experiences that continue to support what you “see” through the colored lens of your limiting beliefs.
Our beliefs change how we see the world.
Our biology and biochemistry then adapt to our beliefs as do the people, places, and things we attract into our lives in order to perpetuate them.
Many of us struggle to see how prevalent beliefs are in our life, yet we must do the work to identify and overcome our limiting beliefs because they can cause us to miss out on the things we want most in our life.
The great news is that once we reach either a level of desperation (something happens that puts us in crisis) or a level of emotional maturation, we are able to recode limiting and untrue beliefs about ourselves and the world and replace them with supportive, empowering beliefs that drive us toward what we truly want in our lives.
We must interrupt the automatic operating system of the subconscious mind that has created negative, defeating thoughts and feelings because if we don’t do that, our thoughts will continue to affect our emotions and our emotions will continue to affect our biology and the chaotic hormonal whirlpool we’ve just begun to recode, will begin anew.
Understanding Our Two Selves
The Memorized Self
Our Memorized Self is very comfortable and familiar to us.
It’s the state of being where our thoughts and feelings automatically go – as if they are on a cyclical loop like a computer program. It’s the autopilot tape that’s always running in our head.
Just like you don’t need to think about how to push down the brake pedal and start the engine in your car, or to stop at a red light or put on your turn signal, the Memorized Self is the automatic whirlpool that flows on its own with no effort at all.
While we need it for things like driving and brushing our teeth so we don’t have to consciously focus on those things, it doesn’t support us well when it recirculates false meaning and negative thoughts and emotions from the past onto new life events, circumstances, or situations.
The Memorized Self lives by a set of memorized behaviors, thoughts, and emotional reactions that are directly downloaded into the subconscious based on what we observed up until age 7 without discernment and without consciously choosing them.
Sometimes these beliefs, thoughts and emotional reactions are not healthy.
Some of those fundamental perceptions about life and our role in it are learned without our having the capacity to choose or reject those beliefs because we are too young.
This is why we all grow up with a slightly different definition of the same world based upon what was happening in our households.
When we live from the Present Self which is our True Self, we respond in the present moment, to present circumstances, versus emotionally react from past fear, pain or trauma or previous conditioning.
Neuroscience has proven that we can change our brains – and therefore change our behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs.
Through mental and emotional re-coding (repetition) we replace habitual memorized beliefs and behaviors with new re-coded beliefs that represent your Present True Self and in turn, allow you to develop healthier, better ways to think, feel, act, and BE.
Over time, with repetition and hard work, you will ‘install’ a new re-coded computer program into your subconscious mind that you consciously chose so that your Present True Self can become the new automatic and familiar operating system.