The beliefs we hold close to us are nothing more than mindset adaptations made by our brain to cope with various situations around us. We start creating our belief systems at a very young age, and even though they may change over time, our life finds ways of “creating” experiences that match our mindset.
In the mid 70s, a frustrated writer sat in a makeshift desk in his double-wide trailer and crumpled up hours of work that he considered to be trash. He lost his vision, he lost hope, and was ready to get a “real job”. With every page he wrote, his negative beliefs started to tighten their grip around him. It was easier for him to believe he was just a bad writer and call it quits, than to take a leap of faith and risk rejection.
But his wife refused to watch this man’s talent thrown in the trash, and she urged him to refocus and finish the work he started. So, he decided to make a major mindset change. He purged his mind of the old stories he told himself, poured his heart and soul into the book, and sent it out to dozens and dozens of publishers.
He received a whopping 30 rejection letters.
But this man wasn’t about to give up on his dreams. He stuck to his new beliefs, keeping the negative thoughts away, and continued sending drafts to publishers everywhere. His work was finally picked up by a tiny publishing house and sold to a paperback publisher. His book sold 1 million copies in the first year, it’s called “Carrie”, written by Stephen King. Maybe you’ve heard of him before.
Humans have a natural tendency to latch onto beliefs that serve them during a specific point in time, but beliefs that may have helped you in the past may not always be the best option. Look at Stephen King, who spent years comforting himself with negative beliefs in order to soften the sting of potential rejections. The reason these beliefs exist is to help you survive difficult times, but you can’t live like that forever.
Right now, you might be carrying old beliefs that have served you in the past, but you can’t carry them with you any longer. The only way to create an unbreakable mindset is to purge your old beliefs. The purpose of purging your old beliefs is to give you space in your brain for new behaviors and strategies to take hold.
So, here’s how to purge any mental leashes from your mindset.
- ADOPT A POSTURE OF GRATITUDE.
An important part of purging is gratitude. Gratitude for the belief you’ve had up to this moment, but understanding that it’s time to release it to make space for the new strategies that will serve you better. At FPG we define gratitude as the unyielding fuel for courage, because we know that looking through the lens of gratitude allows you to acknowledge that everything around you is happening for you, not to you.
- DEFINE YOUR “WHY”.
Make sure you have a clear reason for why you need to purge this belief. Maybe it’s no longer true, or maybe it’s not helping you in a new situation. You can take this idea one step further and actually write out: “I’m purging my belief of ______ because _______”. When you have a solid reason for letting go of a belief, it will make it that much easier for you to stick to your new strategies.
- TAKE MASSIVE ACTION.
If you avoid taking any steps based on your new belief, you will just feed your old limiting beliefs. Taking action, even the smallest step, will cement your new knowledge into your behavior. Your first steps don’t have to be perfect, just headed in the right direction. Again, gratitude is a key piece in this process, having gratitude around the fact that you’re improving a little more each day will motivate you to keep taking massive action.
Your previous beliefs have shaped everything you do up to this point. They have prevented you from seeing opportunities, and maybe even discouraged you from trying something new.
Just like Stephen King, you’ve got to pick yourself up and purge your brain of these old beliefs so you can improve your life. Imagine if he had let his limiting beliefs remain in his focus, that draft of Carrie might have been lost forever. That’s because our beliefs influence our thoughts, our thoughts influence our behaviors, and our behaviors influence our outcomes.
I know you are motivated to improve your life, so give yourself the gift of freedom and release your old beliefs. Purge the old beliefs that don’t move you forward and commit to adopting new beliefs that allow you to improve your life every single day.