Beliefs (Exercise for self-exploration)

Carlos Durana Ph.D., M.Ac. offers counseling and therapy in Bethesda, MD and Reston, VA.

Make a list of the positive and negative beliefs in any or all of the following areas of your life: sexual behavior, ideas about right and wrong, beliefs about your role(s) in life, your self-worth, your work, friends and recreation, intellectual abilities, creativity, family, and home life, money, love and romance, spirituality, and aspirations, or any other beliefs that you can think of.Choose a number of beliefs that are related to emotionally intense charged events in your life, or you can think of emotionally intense events, and then see what beliefs you hold about the situation (your behavior, your expectations, other’s behavior and expectations, etc.). Then rank these beliefs according to intensity, number (1) being the most emotionally intense. Once that you become more adept you can work with more intense situations.

1. Let your feeling and emotions about the situation flow. Allow images to emerge. For example, if you feel inferior, allow yourself to feel that way.
2. Ask yourself what is the belief(s) in this situation, and/or what is the origin of the belief.
3. How does it feel emotionally and physically to hold this belief?
4. Examine the belief as if it belonged to someone else and look at the positive and negative value of holding such belief.
5. Now take a belief and emotion opposite to that one and evaluate it. How does it feel, look, etc.?
6. Now imagine yourself letting go of the original belief. How does that feel? What does it look like?
7. If you wish to let go of a limiting belief, you may want to also stop reinforcing the past behaviors associated with the belief. For example, if you feel unwanted and unloved and you believe that you are unlovable, you may begin to stop reinforcing this pattern by spending a few minutes a day smiling at people, approaching friends and others and expressing your love. You may also give yourself daily injunctions (through your self-talk) of the opposing belief.

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