If you’ve practiced mindfulness, meditation, self-development or other inner work and want to keep moving past the obstacles of your programmed mind, then you probably already know that unconscious beliefs are a big part of what’s running your emotional reactions, thoughts and behaviours.
But being aware of unconscious beliefs, track them and “being present with them” won’t necessarily change them. Some spiritual work even create stigma about having them and now your mind is having thoughts like: I shouldn’t have this reaction, I should be further along, I should feel grateful. Now you’re keeping the unconscious beliefs and patterns trapped by wanting them to go away.
First step to become aware of and change your unconscious beliefs is daring to look at them honestly, from the observer point of view. As you already might have realized this takes practicing some skills – from focusing your attention, to stepping out the observer and being present with your emotions. Things that might be completely opposite to what your mind has been programmed to do.
But when you do practice these skills and get better at them, they are skills you have for a life time that gives you the power to change your inner world and your experience of life. This is what I call Self Mastery.
Even though a spontaneous change of an unconscious belief can happen from a life event or other circumstances, I want you to have the long term skills to access and change your unconscious programming.
Here’s a summary roadmap for building the skills to shift the programming of your inner world and gain Self Mastery:
I won’t be able to go into all of these areas in this short training. See this as a powerful sampler that can help you decide if these are skills you want to master. After you’ve done the practices here I’ll link to more resources on possible next steps for getting better at changing your unconscious beliefs.
In this mini-training I’ll give you a small but powerful taste on how to
identify, map and access an unconscious belief in three guided steps.
LET’S GET STARTED!
Some of your unconscious beliefs are so “normal” and embedded in your everyday routines that it’s hard to notice that they’re there. Other’s are creating drama and strong emotional reactions and we often try and stay away from activating them or blame other’s when they do get activated. In this training we’re going to consciously activate one or two of them so we can observe and learn about them. Take it easy, we’re not going for the big ones. Let’s start with something manageable so we can learn the skills.
In this step I’m listing five suggestions for things you can go do to activate a part of your program that’s running on an unconscious belief. Pick the one that seems challenging but not overwhelming. Something that you feel “Oh, that one does not feel comfortable doing” about, but doesn’t make you paralyzed by fear and anxiety.
The assignment: As you do one of the examples listed, focus inward and feel into what’s happening in your inner world as you do this. Don’t try and manage everyone else’s potential reactions and your projections of what they might be thinking. Just stay observing of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations going on inside of you.
BONUS: Already start noticing the thoughts and reactions your mind has to reading the examples listed. Also notice if it starts making strategies or rationalisations to avoid the uncomfortable experience of doing these assignments. Now you’re noticing the structure that has been built around a certain belief – with emotions, stories, projections AND protective mechanisms to avoid getting into that situation and feel the emotions connected to it.
Once you’ve done one of these, come back here for step number 2.
If none of these seem challenging enough, or if they all seem to scary – are there a different situation you can think of that your program would feel very uncomfortable with you doing and would have loud opinions about? Disclaimer: Stay away from hurting other people or yourself.
Reminder: These are not suggestions for how you should live your life or treat other’s, we’re just hunting situations where a part of the mind has very strong opinions about what you should be doing.
Well done. Now that you’ve got some material to work with,
you’re going to inventory a little deeper into the thoughts,
emotions and reactions that were going on in the situation.
Wether it was a strong or small reaction for you with the task you choose – if there’s an opinion about what you should or shouldn’t do, what will happen if you do/don’t and what kind of person you are for doing/not doing, then you’ve come across a part of your mind operating from a belief. Jackpot.
This particular situation or belief might not be causing a lot of discomfort in your life and it might not seem important to change. That’s okay. You’re learning a process and practicing by finding the smaller ones first. This way you’re getting some personal power back and can go for the next one, and later the bigger ones.
Now it’s time to look more closely at the thoughts, emotions and reactions you had in the situation, and see if we can identify what beliefs they are resting upon.
Once that’s done, come back here for step number 3.
Great. Even if you only have pieces of it mapped out you have much more than you started with.
Most importantly – you’re taking the action to observe and build awareness around these unconscious patterns. That in itself is huge.
With the data you have collected and a better understanding of the underlying beliefs,
it’s time to go visit the unconscious and have a chat.
ON TO THE LAST STEP!
We can’t change our unconscious beliefs with our thinking mind, because that’s not where they exist. The thinking mind doesn’t have access to the unconscious. You’ve probably felt at times that you understand the origin of behaviour or why it doesn’t “make sense” to feel the way you do – but that doesn’t make it change. In this step I’m guiding you into accessing and get a better understanding of the part of you holding this belief.
We’ll be doing that through a guided meditation journey. But first, let’s have an honest look at what it takes to do this. How easy it is to access the unconscious and stay focused while there depends on a number of things:
How practiced you are with directing your attention
If you’re attention is constantly being pulled along by your automated program into thoughts impulses and reactions or if you have exercised that muscle and can direct it consciously. This is something we practice extensively both in the Self Mastery Course and the Meditation course.
How used you are with accessing different brainwave states
Most of us spend our days in beta brainwave states solving problems and hurrying to things, and are not used to accessing alpha, theta or delta when we’re awake. When trying to go there we might feel anxious or restless or simply fall asleep. This is something we practice a lot in the online Meditation Course I’m teaching.
How comfortable you are with being present with your emotions
We’ve often learned through domestication that some emotions are okay and others are not. It might have been unsafe for us to show them. So where does these emotions that don’t get expressed go? Nowhere. They stay until they can be released because that’s their natural state – passing through you as you feel them. If a part of us are still afraid of having certain emotions it will most likely feel scary when they start showing up. Not because they ARE scary but because a part of you has the belief that something bad will happen if you let them out. There are ways to build a different relationship to your emotions and to release them. We practice this throughout the Self Mastery work.
Your motivation with going to the core of things
It can feel uncomfortable at times and there might be resistance showing up. Do you believe the stories about it or is your drive stronger so you can stay with it. This doesn’t mean pushing through and overriding, it simply means staying present, knowing it’s all made up of ideas and thoughts.
Your ability to stay as the observer
The more you practice observing the stories and reactions the more you’ll realize they are part of a virtual reality, an illusion, and stop identifying with them. In the beginning you’ll most likely believe them and more easily get pulled into that reality – now you’re looking THROUGH that world instead of AT it. A guide/coach/mentor is helpful to stay in the perspective of the observer and you will get better at doing it on your own with practice.
I’m not saying all this to make you feel discouraged, but to allow for a more realistic expectation on yourself. Your inner judge might beat you up about what you should experience doing this for the first time but now at least you have a different perspective from someone who knows more about this process than your inner judge. If you have experienced guided meditations before and done inner journeying, you have practiced more and it will probably be easier.
Try it out, do your best and notice the voices saying you’re failing, not getting it or wondering of you’re doing it right. They are operating from beliefs as well and you don’t have to believe them.
You’ve just finished this mini-training on how to find, inventory and access your unconscious beliefs.
Thank you for trusting me to guide you through it.
I’m guessing that something along the lines of these three things might be going on for you:
1. Holy cow. This was a LOT to process! I feel like I’m by the edge of the rabbit hole and seeing how much of my experience of life is run by my unconscious program. I definitely want to learn this but it also feels a little scary. What will I find going in there?
2. I get the idea of this but I also feel a lot of resistance or objections for if this will work for me. Will this just become another project that I don’t complete, another project to keep me busy?
3. This was somewhat helpful but it’s not the right timing for this for me.
You might be digesting and integrating all that or feel that this was not your cup of tea. That’s okay. Give it time and check back in with yourself in a while. This work is here if you want to come back to it.
If you did get a sense that there’s something important here and started understanding just how big of an impact the unconscious beliefs have on your experience of life and are wondering WHAT’S NEXT? Then here are some suggestions for you.