How can we change beliefs?
- By tackling the implications of the belief. If I think I can’t succeed because I’m not intelligent enough, and the implication of that belief is that I don’t start trying, then by starting, taking action and finding that I move forward I’ll begin to change the belief that I am unintelligent.
- By asking ‘meta model’ type questions, we realise the belief doesn’t make sense, which starts the change process of weakening or changing the belief.
- When we’ve weakened the old belief, it’s worth replacing it with something more useful. However, we want to make sure the new belief is both useful and fits with who we are.
As well as a belief being useful or not, the degree that we believe it makes a difference. It’s useful to believe some things with absolute certainty.
Suggested Beliefs Exercises
Beliefs Change – Circle of Excellence
This is an effective belief change exercise where you step into an imaginary circle on the floor, as you step into the circle you imagine having a really useful belief and imagine what changes, however small, when you have that belief.
If you’re not sure what might be a useful belief, use one of the NLP presuppositions above. For example, try Feedback is always useful.
What would change if you really believed it was true?
If is often useful to complete the exercise separately with all the NLP Presuppositions above.
- Which worked the best?
- What other beliefs could you now explore?
What would you do differently in the future is you held one of these more useful beliefs? Imaging yourself doing it at an appropriate time in the future.
Beliefs Change – Submodality Change
This exercise explores how we represent beliefs differently based on how strongly we believe (or disbelieve) them.
First, we need to decide on three beliefs.
- The belief we want (that we don’t believe in yet), For example, ‘People that work hard enough can make it in this industry.’
- A reference belief that we’re absolutely certain about. For example, ‘I can feel my knee with with hand.’
- A belief we neither believe or disbelieve, i.e. something we don’t really care about either way. For example, what it might or mightn’t say on the front of a tabloid newspaper.
We then identify how we represent each belief. What are the pictures, sounds and feelings associated with that belief? What are the qualities (see submodalities) of each belief?
For example, let’s take the belief I love chocolate fudge sundaes. When exploring any images associated with this belief I might ask:
- Am I associated (that is seeing the sundae as myself) or am I dissociated (that is watching myself look at the sundae?)
- Is the picture of the sundae large or small?
- Is the picture still or moving?
- Is the picture clear or unclear?
- Is the picture in colour or black and white?
The next step is to put the belief we want into the representation (and submodalities) of the belief we don’t really care about. We’ll find with this representation we will neither believe or disbelieve it.
We’ll then ‘snap’ it into the representation of the belief we strongly believe in. As we do this, we’ll start believing it more.
NLP Beliefs Exercise
Write down 5 beliefs that you hold with absolute certainty. They can be very simple, for example I love my dog, I really like ice cream, the world is round. This is a useful warm up exercise exercise to remind us how we represent strong beliefs.
Read through the NLP presuppositions, which appear above. Choose two that would be useful to believe strongly. Mentally rehearse what it would be like being certain about them in the future. Play a short movie in your head of what it might be like. What changes for you?
When you’ve read the submodality part, elicit the submodalities of your 5 certain beliefs.
Think of any limiting beliefs you may have. Choose the most limiting. What would it be more useful to believe? Run through the submodality exercise above.
In the next section we look at Perceptual positions.NLP Training Online | Read more Sign Up For Our Occasional Email Updates
Full NLP Techniques List
Key NLP Techniques Section Index
1: NLP Techniques
3: Amplify feelings
4: Bad memories (Dissolving)
5: Bad memories (Exploding)
6: Beliefs and nlp belief change (This page)
7: Perceptual positions
8: Fast phobia cure
9: Hypnosis and meditation
11: Metaprogrammes, Profiles and Preferences
13. Progressive dissociation
14: Self Compassion
15: Senses and Sub-modalities
16. Six step re-framing
20: Time and timeline
21. Visual Squash
22: Values and value rules