Reply To: How many times?
If you are unable to subjectively rate whether you hold a belief, I would suggest saying the belief out loud.
If there is any sort of negative charge/feeling, chances are you still hold the belief (even if the “charge” may be less than it was previously).
Remember that beliefs tend to be broad generalisations about life and the people we encounter etc. – e.g. “Life is difficult”, “People can't be trusted”, “Money is the root of all evil.”
The examples I cited, along with their associated emotions, would invariably impact someone's model of the world. Equally, we can hold beliefs that empower us and enable us to safely navigate our days.
Some beliefs may have more of an emotional impact than others, but essentially you either have a belief or you do not have it. That is crucial to note.
Also, make sure you are working on an actual belief. There is a certain structure to a belief that makes them distinct from random thoughts.
You can challenge beliefs, weaken them and also intellectualise about why you “wouldn't” hold a belief. Ultimately, though, you either hold a belief or you don't.
A quick way to test this. Say a belief out loud that you “know 100%” not to be true. An example might be “I'm a Martian!”. It might feel very silly, but ultimately you should notice no charge. It will not feel part of you – no resonance, no effect, no shred of “truth.”
Now contrast this feeling by saying the belief you are working on out loud. Let's pretend this is “I'll never get what I want.” If you say this, there will be some grain of truth, discomfort or charge. Even if you intellectually disagree with it, while the charge is there, it suggests the belief is still held.
So, just continue to use PN (using effective, logical alternative interpretations and counterexamples) until the charge behind that belief is as neutral as the one you experienced with something akin to “I'm a Martian.”
I hope this helps,
Paul McCabe – PSTEC Master Practitioner
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