10 Steps How To Change Beliefs #7


The cost-benefit analysis has helped you to define why you stick to your self-limiting beliefs. Today I will show you how to eliminate the pay-offs.

My thoughts, my beliefs, my feelings are all in my brain. My brain is going to
rot. Richard Dawkins

Pain And Pleasure

Firstly, learn some facts about pleasure and pain.

You have already noticed that avoiding pain can cause that you stick to a given belief. Therefore, you would rather stay in an abusive relationship than risk the pain of the breakup and facing the unknown.

We are more inclined to avoid pain than seek pleasure. You might want to be happy, but again the discomfort of making changes and the risk of vulnerability can be scary. Hence you stay in an abusive relationship or are single, being afraid of another abusive incident, if you come from dysfunctional family.

Create a Leverage

It is the only way to break the negative belief. It may be not enough just to question the pay-offs of the negative belief. You need to find a leverage, associate as much pain as possible with the negative belief to abandon it. How to do it?

Choose the biggest pay-off As an example, if you believe that people will make fun of you when you show them the truth about yourself, the greatest pay-off is to avoid the pain of criticism and humiliation. Doing so, you will attract such behaviour from other people and become paranoid. You will also lose some opportunities to meet decent people as you assume that they will hurt you.

If you are not sure how to find your leverage, answer the question:

What is one, nastiest thing in my life which I avoid as it brings me pain?

For example, you might dread losing control or being humiliated, criticised. For other people, just discomfort is unbearable.

Now take your pay-off and imagine what will happen if you continue using the self-limiting belief to the end of your life. Assume that you will never talk to new people, stay with your abusive spouse to his (or maybe yours?) death, being humiliated, rejected and hurt in many other ways. Would you like that kind of life? If not, you have found your leverage.

If you dread people, then you may end as isolated, with no hope to find help in case of an accident or financial trouble. Many single people with social anxiety do not realise that having any friends is dangerous and may even worsen their fears.


Visualize the pain until you feel repulse to your negative belief. Use all the senses

When you were a child, pictures had a significant impact on your life. You were afraid of ghosts and believed in the stories told you by your parents or other carers. Your imagination acted like a Stormbringer. Later you have learned to question the stories told you by teachers or friends, using common sense. Now it might take some effort to awaken your imagination again. If you use it for creating leverage, your belief will be destroyed because how long are you able to think about the nasty consequences of your belief? How long can you tolerate eternal loneliness, pain because of name calling or emptiness? If you imagine these states using all your senses, I can assure you that your old belief will be repulsed by your vision. If you visualize the biggest pain on a regular basis, your old belief will lose its strength and eventually you will be able to substitute it with something more empowering.

Summing up, if you do want to transform your negative, self-limiting beliefs, use the leverage and visualize the nastiest scenario in case you stick to this old beleif. Good luck.

Victoria Herocten

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