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Operating Beliefs Basics


We’re about to have a conversation about the power of our beliefs. We invite you to experience having a belief you’re walking around in come alive. We hope you will walk away understanding—from you own experience—the power of your beliefs. You’ll be asked to identify some beliefs—both empowering and disempowering—that you recognize as you own.


We have beliefs: They are thoughts-feelings-stories we tell ourselves about the way life is or the way we think it should be. We walk around in these beliefs every day.


We live from these beliefs. When we tune into our self-talk, we’re experiencing our beliefs coming alive. They’re telling us what we believe is true in that moment. This process is unconscious for most of us. We simply hear our own thinking inside and act from it. We hold beliefs, we have thoughts about our beliefs, and then we act out our beliefs. It is not quite that simple, but for the sake of this conversation, that’s where we’ll begin.
• We operate from empowering beliefs that serve us well and help us to reach our goals.
• We hold beliefs that support us to grow within ourselves, our relationships, and our work.
• We operate from disempowering beliefs that keep us stuck and stop us from reaching our goals.
• We hold beliefs that don’t support connective relationships within ourselves, others, and our work.


Living with—experiencing—the results of our beliefs. What happens when I live out my empowering and disempowering beliefs? What difference does it make in my life?


Please pause to do this activity.
• Try out this empowering belief: I’m a lifelong learner. Learning something new every day is expansive. What results do you think you’d get operating with this belief?
• Try out this disempowering belief: I’m spread too thin. I never have enough time. What results are you likely to experience when you operate with this belief?


How important are the beliefs I walk around in? Beliefs shape and determine our lives. They are that powerful. We each decide the beliefs we walk around in, whether we’re conscious of making the decision to live in them or not. We’re pretty sure that what we believe is true. We believe what we think is right or should be right. We feel it in our whole body. Our beliefs are so powerful!


We literally see what we expect to see, based on our beliefs. We’re constantly creating our own personal reality and believing it’s true. Pause. Try this out: I literally see what I believe to be true. Some examples: When I say I don’t trust my coworker—I focus on how they are not trustworthy. When I say I hate filling out government forms—I put off doing government forms. When I think I’m not enough—I compare myself continually with others and come up short. Please give your own examples.


Please pause to do this activity. Two people look at the same event and see different events, and each believes their version is right. Give examples of experiencing this yourself. Beliefs are that powerful.


Beliefs are powerful … we are powerful. Beliefs are so powerful, that if we choose a new or different belief, we are likely to have different results in our lives. Try it. This is what we’re saying: We choose the beliefs that empower us. We choose the beliefs that disempower us, and keep us stuck.

We are belief-makers. We have the power to take any experience in our lives, and create a new belief. We have the power to consciously choose the beliefs we live in. We can begin to notice and have a choice about our beliefs: Does this belief empower … or disempower? Does this belief lead to more fear … or does it lead to loving action?

©2020. Center for Self-Sustaining Leadership (CSL). No copy may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, including photocopying without permission in writing from CSL. (802) 229-1908