The Power of Beliefs

The power of beliefs is the power of a mindset. Mastering your growth mindset means becoming a master of your beliefs. The power of beliefs are magical… maybe even miraculous. Placebos are effective because someone believes they are effective. The person can literally change their body chemistry because they believe that what they are being given is a medicine that will change their biochemistry. Taking inventory of what we believe about ourselves is at the heart of mastering our growth mindset.

Carol Dwek's premise is people with a fixed mindset believe intelligence is fixed. They are born with some level of intelligence that they can not supersede. Her research says that is a false belief and in fact intelligence can and does improve. Therefore, part of the process of mastering that mindset is to be sure we are clear on what we believe.

As I have mentioned in other articles, the idea of ​​growth mindset has been associated with education because of this connection to the belief about intelligence. I have gone beyond that limited view because the behaviors Carol Dwek associates with a growth mindset are behaviors we see from highly successful individuals, and their success goes far beyond just believing their intelligence is developing throughout their lives.

So many people allow lies, false beliefs, to control their lives by limiting their actions and ther

The Power of Beliefs Can Cripple You, Potentially for Life or ...
They Can Empower You for Life

My students often come to me with many limiting beliefs about themselves as people in general and students in particular. Our job involves trying to interrupt that pattern of thinking - to break the power of beliefs they have which limit their potentiality. 

Unfortunately, some of the best interventions are not interventions I am directly permitted to use because of licensing issues around direct counseling intervention in the school setting. There are other tools we use and the most powerful is simply building success loops.

A student who does not believe they are a good math student who begins to see success in math and success compared to other students will begin to be faced with the incongruencies of their own beliefs. We are essentially overriding their existing beliefs with a more current and accurate belief system. The power of beliefs to change their perceptions of their own abilities is life-altering.

The above process is often much slower than other available methods because you have to build the success loops. Many people never become aware of the limiting beliefs they have been holding onto that hold them back. Student athletes are another place I see this often and the results when these beliefs are changed generally lead to very measurable performance results.

Positive Beliefs Override Limiting Beliefs

One such example of a student athlete was a high school track athlete who was a top performer. During her senior year she was looking to compete as a sprinter at the division 1 level. Her senior year though was not living up to what she had expected which at the very least reinforced, if not created, a belief that had snuck into her thinking. She came to believe she had reached her peak. All the work she had put in over the summer and before the season had done nothing to improve her times. She was still winning, regularly, but her times were not better than during her junior year. The power of beliefs was inhibiting her performance.

When we worked to find and eliminate those negative beliefs before the last meet of the season, it simply removed the psychological barriers she had put up. The last meet of the regular season she tied her personal record and the building record. In the league championship meet she set a league record and personal record. In the regional meet she set another meet record and broke her personal record. In the state meet she set the state record and another new personal record. In four successive meets after removing the limiting beliefs she proceeded to get better every week. She went on to compete at the Division 1 level.

Learn more about belief changing and mindset changing tools here .

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