Think of a belief you have as one line of “software” code "installed" in your brain, (your "hardware”), at some point in your life by an experience. Consider the following analogy....
Brain = Hardware
Belief = Software
- Beliefs create thoughts
- Thoughts lead to feelings
- Feelings create actions
- Actions create results
So, indirectly but surely, certain beliefs lead to certain results.
Joes ***father 20 years ago "installed" some software into Joes brain by angrily, dismissively, stating ... “You will never amount to much in your life”.
Joe heard this and his belief became. “I will never amount to much in my life”
Joes thought from this belief became "There is no point in really trying because I am not going to succeed".
Joes feelings grew from the thought. "I feel hopeless, unworthy, not capable, exhausted, uncertain".
Joes actions. Drifting, no goals.
Joes results. I can’t see any results ("my father was right")
Can you see how this works? The unwanted belief "software" has been installed. Often, we are barely aware it's there. If we barely know it’s there, we can’t delete it, re interpret it or modify it. This software affected Joes confidence, his social life, his career aspirations, his sporting aspirations, his choice of a partner, his assertiveness, his earnings!
The above example only describes the effect of one line of "software code". We all have dozens of lines of belief "software code", and these together become the operating system, in our brain, for our life. This software can be affirming, kind and energising but it can also be toxic, obsolete, cruel and draining.
Another problem with this belief "software" is that it always comes with another “virus” that corrupts our "operating system." We might call this the “confirmation bias virus”.
Confirmation bias is where we ignore facts that contradict our beliefs and hyper-vigilantly notice all the examples that "prove" the belief to be true.
Due to this negative "software"Joe has become nearly blind to all his success and mastery but has 20/20 vision and total recall of all his mistakes.
The effects of our toxic, obsolete belief "software" cannot be underestimated in that it frames the way we see ourselves and the way we interpret our stories. Our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing is affected by this belief "software"
Many of our beliefs we may be barely conscious of. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Narrative Therapy can provide us with a way to reinterpret our lives and a means to look at the “software” we have operating, We can reflect on who installed it, its' usefulness, its' validity, its' relevance. Once we are conscious of what our limiting beliefs are, we can learn ways to delete the old, obsolete or toxic software and “install” new affirming, realistic, energising software.
**Joe is a fictitious client but his story is a familiar one.