ARTICLE: Building Supportive Beliefs


“Life is what you think it is, and gives you what you dare to dream it will.” – Anon

smileOne aspect of the human condition that I find fascinating is the way that we overcome the challenges in our lives tends to be consistent with how easy or difficult we first imagine those challenges to be. We pre-empt the obstacles that are likely to present difficulties, and run a mental rehearsal of our ability to deal with them. Of course, this is a very handy skill to have if you use that rehearsal time wisely, to solve any potential problems before they occur. But if it conjures up images of you getting stuck and frustrated then that is likely to act as precursor for you getting stuck and frustrated in reality.

Barry Kaufman (founder of the Option Institute) once said, “The eye sees what it brings to seeing”, and I think that sums things up perfectly. The moment we predict something is going to be hard, we engage in a search for all the evidence we can find to back-up our assumption. – “I believe life is a struggle, and just to prove it here I am struggling”

So here is a nice little exercise to get your brain accessing the parts of your wisdom that make triumphing over challenges seem effortless.


1, Think about a specific challenge you have that you feel is preventing you to achieving the kind of results you want. Make a statement out of it. Examples:

“It is going to be difficult to learn this new skill.”
“I’m no good at managing money.”
“People are not interested in what I have to say”.

2, Turn that statement around so that it has an opposite meaning. Play around with a few opposites until you find one that feels right and you want to work with. E.g. for some people it might be, “Learning this new skill is going to be a breeze.” For others it might be “Learning is a natural part of who I am”

3, Add this sentence starter onto the end of your statement:

“And I know that’s true because…”

4, Finish that sentence with as many ‘real’ pieces of evidence as you can think of. I’d suggest at least five, but encourage you to keep going and going.

“Learning this new skill is going to be a breeze, and I know that’s true because….

… skilfulness has more to do with practice than talent”
… I’ve seen other people doing it well, so I know it is very possible for me too”
… there is an abundance of people who will help me if I ask”
… I am willing to keep going with enthusiasm”
… there are many skills I can do easily now that I once found challenging”

Take great care. Namaste.