Reply To: "it" vs. "i"
Hi Naruto and Shabier,
I agree that identifying beliefs is more of an art form than an exact science, but it can be helpful to think of beliefs as a a broad generalisation about self, people and/or life. This takes some of the guesswork out if it. Certain principles can make identifying beliefs more easily.
Asking “how has this belief affected my experience of life?” can be useful to see whether it is worth eliminating from your mind model. You can also use your own words to get more resonance.
“Women cannot be trusted” is a belief/abstraction; “I cannot trust women” is a consequence of having beliefs about women and experiencing certain emotions around them. I appreciate the belief you mentioned was just an example, so I am using that for illustrative purposes.
I find that asking “what would I have to believe about myself/that situation to … (insert pattern of behaviour, thought etc.)?” can help people discover some beliefs.
There can be an experimental element to personal change, but I would “hypothesise” that getting rid of the broader beliefs would have the most profound impact. Then you could move to the more specific and personalised beliefs (e.g. “THAT woman cannot be trusted”). In other words, once a belief like “Women cannot be trusted” is eliminated, I would expect the pattern of “not trusting women” would start to disappear.
Paul McCabe – PSTEC Master Practitioner
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