This has been a truly incredible year for Sport across the board, with many of us touched by the success of athletes across the Globe. Yet how many of us have also been inspired by the athletes who, despite their background and upbringing have gone on to achieve so much?
Take Oscar Pistorious or ‘blade runner’ as he has been named. This incredible South African born individual caused a huge stir at the Beijing Paralympics games in 2008, winning 3 gold medals in world record times. He then went onto make history at the London 2012 Olympic Games by becoming the first double amputee to complete on the track and make an Olympic final.
Or what about our very own Mo Farah, the world’s fastest long distance runner? How many of us were on the edge of our seat as we watched him cross in the 5,000m line to win gold? Yet life for Mo was a far cry from privileged surroundings, starting life in Somalia and coming to the UK aged 8 barely able to speak a word of English and forced to integrate into a culture he knew little about.
So what is it about these extraordinary individuals’ accomplishments that we can learn from?
The power of belief
Our beliefs colour everything that we do, yet a belief is only a thought that you keep thinking. Why is that important? Because when you want something and you believe in opposition to it, your opposite belief will prevent what you want from happening.
We have all been there, we want to attract something or someone into our lives, boost our business, feel confident in social situations, earn more money, lose weight, do well in a sporting event or any number of other things, yet those core beliefs we hold about ourselves creep in, take over and prevent the thing we want and desire from happening. Instead we end up offering one signal and that speaks of doubt and disbelief.
Just consider instead for a moment thinking a thought that you don’t believe long enough that you believe it?
This held true for me when I set up my business as a Psychotherapist. I’d worked most of my life in the corporate world, but I had never ran a business, or done a course in marketing or finance. But I had an unshakable belief that this was the right thing to do, like it was part of my calling. The belief that I wouldn’t attract clients because Brighton is bumper to bumper with therapists did enter my head but I chose to ignore it. Instead I held fast to the thought that if there were that many therapists, there were lots of people who needed a helping hand. That thought soon became a belief and I now regularly see clients every week. These days I get to work with people every day dismantling the beliefs that are holding them back in life and the biggest belief I see day in and day out is ‘I’m not worthy’.
Our beliefs may have been formed before the age of 6 but that doesn’t mean we have to keep hold of them. You may have climbed trees as a child, or thrown your food around when eating it, but that doesn’t mean you still do that!
In a session I use specific techniques including hypnosis and EFT (emotional freedom techniques) to replace negative beliefs with more supportive ones, but for people reading this article, how do you overcome your own beliefs?
Listen to that inner voice and start to take note of what it is saying to discover what your own beliefs are. By identifying them on a conscious level, it becomes easier to spot them when they creep in.
Some beliefs for example are;
‘I don’t deserve to be loved’
‘Happiness doesn’t come easy’
‘I’m not worthy’
‘I have to be perfect to be loved’
‘My life is rubbish and it’s always going to be this way’
When our beliefs are formed we go looking for evidence that they are true and we will self sabotage any actions or behaviours that don’t fit with the belief. For example, I had a client who had the belief she didn’t deserve to be happy, so any chance of happiness she got, she would self sabotage it and put everyone else’s needs before her own.
Reflect back on where you have self sabotaged in order to keep your beliefs. It is useful to identify these situations in order to break the pattern for the future.
When you become aware of your beliefs and how they have played a part in your life begin to challenge them and see just how true they really are.
Maybe for example, you haven’t got everything right so far in your life and you believe that nothing ever goes right for you, but have you always got everything wrong? Has every single second of every single day since the moment you were born been negative? Chances are that it hasn’t, but you have just conditioned your mind to look for the negative aspects.
Take some time to write down the exceptions times when things have gone in your favour. There will always be an exception time, even if it is buried in the back of your mind, so get your spade out and go digging!
Take back your power by remembering a belief is just a thought you keep thinking. It doesn’t have any roots, it’s not part of your body, you have just thought it long enough that you have believed it. We once believed that the world was flat but now we know it round, proof that we can change our beliefs!
Find the opposite of your current belief and start telling yourself that every day. For example, turn ‘I don’t deserve to be respected’ to ‘I deserve to be respected and I choose to be respected’. Say it out loud in the shower, in your mind when you are brushing your teeth, sing it while you’re cooking, thinking about it as the last thing before you go to sleep and I wonder just how long it will take you to start believing it?
Sometimes our beliefs can need a helping hand to be shifted and one way to do this with immediate effect is through EFT (emotional freedom technique). EFT works by tapping on the meridians, one of the body’s energy systems. As you tap you release an electromagnetic message to the brain which changes the belief you were holding and releases it.
Sara Maude is an Edinburgh Hypnotherapist, Solution-Focused Psychotherapist, EFT Practitioner, Transformational Coach and International Wellbeing Trainer providing in-person and online sessions. Sara provides problem-free therapy which goes deep into the heart of the unconscious mind to create powerful lasting change.