Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ways to identify hidden beliefs inhibiting dynamic change

Change is the only constant. And we are all changing, some to a greater degree than others. But how conscious is that process? And are we mindful enough of the changes around us to incorporate changes in our lives and business in order to keep up with the changes and better still innovate and create in anticipation of expected changes?

But I do not need to change...
There are many reasons for not noticing the opportunities and threats that changes bring. We often speak about people who stand out as being very lucky for being at the right place, at the right time. What if it is not luck at play here. What if you too are given the same opportunities, except, you do not notice them. What is it in us that stops us from noticing these windows of opportunities that open for us from time to time but we fail to look out? One legit reason is that we are all very busy. People would argue that when it is so hard to keep up with everything on our plate already, there is no place for more, so we do not even look. The other factor is complacency. When we get set in systems and thinking patterns, especially if they have worked for us in the past, we will be less likely to explore new possibilities. There may be many other reasons for resistance to change but the one I would like to focus on pertains to hidden variables creating a silent resistance to change.

95% of your behaviors is driven by the subconscious mind
According to Dr. Bruce Lipton and many other scientists, up to 95% of our actions are determined by our subconscious mind. This suggests that many of the reasons inhibiting us from growing into our highest potential are also hidden. For example, I may have a resistance to technology, which is intimidating to many women. Underlying this resistance may be another belief that I am not competent in areas related to technology. And on the surface what the conscious mind portrays to the world is a vehement dislike for the technology under consideration because of carefully constructed reasons that have nothing to do with the hidden beliefs. So I may say that I do not want to use Facebook because it will invade my privacy. That is a perfectly legitimate reason. Mind you, there may be many ways that I can use Facebook while protecting my privacy, but I do not know that because I have not systematically examined Facebook because it is not privacy but my own hidden fears that are driving my dislike for Facebook

If they are hidden, how do I identify my limiting beliefs?

Strong and Immediate Reactions
One way to notice that you may have a hidden belief operating under the facade of logical reasoning is being cognizant of extreme emotion when being asked about something related to that belief. If you have a strong reaction and especially if it is immediate, there is certainly a hidden agenda operating here.

For example, if you are a person afraid of technology, lets say, and if a friend suggests that you join Facebook (assuming that you are not on it yet), and you immediately say no, without even thinking through, most likely you are being driven by hidden beliefs that you may have related to Facebook. Think of something that is not driven by hidden beliefs and you will notice that you do not have a strong and immediate reaction. For example, if someone asked you to join a book club, you may disagree but notice the difference in how you feel inside when you respond. Assuming there are no hidden fears related to book clubs, you are likely to evaluate the situation rationally and then make a decision. Certainly, in situations involving hidden beliefs there are stronger emotions and less rational evaluation of the situation. Your feelings and any strong sensations in your body are a clue that there may be some hidden beliefs pulling your strings.

Elaborating your conscious limitations
Very often underlying a conscious limitation is a subconscious belief. So examining a conscious belief deeper will reveal the hidden beliefs. For example, take a limitation that you are aware of. For example, you may say, “I am not good with technology.” Further investigation into this statement may reveal other fears driving this apparent resistance. So journaling about limitations will bring to light the hidden issues. So you may want to elaborate with further questions such as:
• What specific aspects of technology do I not like about technology?
• Why do I not like technology?
• What do I have to lose if I fail in technology?
Write down your answer for each question, stay with your answer, and then honestly ask yourself if that is so. When you ask yourself if that is the truth, allow yourself to see the truth in the situation. When you investigate deeper, you may find that it is not technology that you fear but a belief you carry that you are not smart enough or that you can never be a savvy business person, etc.

Why have I not been able to achieve my goals?
Another way to tap into hidden beliefs is making a list of reasons for not reaching your goals. Just jot down every thought that comes into your mind about not reaching your goals. Do not think too hard. Just allow all thoughts, even random thoughts to come up. You can slash them out later if they don’t feel right, but if any thought does come up, put it down.

Other resources on Resistance to Change



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