When I want to improve a specific area of my life, I like to be as effective as possible.
I’m looking for high leverage.
I usually ask myself: what are the top 1% things I can do that will produce 80%+ of the results?
In personal growth, focusing on our core beliefs is a game-changing leverage point, as they impact major areas of our lives.
That’s how I ended up studying beliefs and working on mine to improve certain areas of my life.
What are core beliefs and where do they come from?
Core beliefs are deep-rooted assumptions that shape how we act, how we see ourselves, and how we understand what's happening around us.
They affect our feelings, how we relate to people, and play a big role in how happy and successful we are in our lives, relationships and businesses.
The major sources of core beliefs
Most of our core beliefs are shaped during childhood but new ones are formed throughout our lives.
- Family: When growing up, we mirror what our parents believe. As kids, we look up to them, absorbing their views like sponges.
- Early experiences: The things that happen to us as children leave deep impressions. These experiences shape how we see the world and ourselves.
- Culture: As children, we're like blank canvases, painting our beliefs with the colors of our culture and society.
- School: Our early education, both in and out of the classroom, plays a big part in forming our beliefs about the world.
- Environment: Where we live, where we work and the people we spend time with. Our environment shapes our beliefs.
How our beliefs shape our lives
Our beliefs influence our physical health
The Placebo effect perfectly demonstrates the impact of beliefs on our physical health.
In medical studies, patients who take a placebo, often a sugar pill, have shown improvement in their condition. Simply because they believe they are receiving real treatment.
This effect is so strong that it's a standard control in clinical trials. The belief in the treatment's efficacy can trigger real physiological responses in the body.
Our minds and bodies are closely linked.
When we have positive beliefs about our health, our bodies tend to follow.
Think of athletes who visualize success before a game. Their belief in victory doesn't just boost their morale – it improves physical performance.
Conversely, negative beliefs can be harmful.
The nocebo effect is the evil twin of the placebo effect.
If we believe a minor problem is serious, our body can start showing symptoms that reflect this belief.
The beliefs we hold are instructions to our body.
They can either be a source of strength or a trigger for stress and anxiety.
Our beliefs about money influence our financial success
Our beliefs about money are the most crucial factor in our financial success.
I repeat, the most important factor. The number one.
And this for several reasons.
1. Negative beliefs about money are the main cause of lacking money
I know many people who have a negative vision of money.
Especially in France where talking about money is still taboo. It's cultural. That’s getting better with younger generations but we still have a long way to go.
Here are common sentences that reflect negative beliefs about money:
- Money is the root of all evil.
- Rich people are greedy and selfish.
- You have to be dishonest to get rich.
- Making money requires heavy sacrifices.
- Making money is too hard; it's not worth the effort.
- Money can't buy happiness, so why bother?
- The more money you have, the more problems you get.
- I come from a poor family, I can’t earn money.
People holding these beliefs prevent themselves from earning important amounts of money.
And that makes sense. When you believe something is bad for you, you’ll prevent yourself from touching it, consciously or subconsciously.
If you have problems with money, money will have problems with you. - Unknown
Now let’s take someone free of negative beliefs with money. Even better, she has positive beliefs about money.
She strongly believes money is good.
To her, it’s a tool, a vessel to accomplish meaningful things in life. The more money she has, the more she can help others, travel around the world, meet interesting people etc.
This person is 100x more compatible with earning money. And her earning potential is 100x higher.
She will not, consciously or subconsciously sabotage her money-making.
2. We earn the amount of money we believe we can earn.
Our beliefs act as a self-fulfilling prophecy in the world of money.
If we believe we’re worth a six-figure income, we're more likely to take actions that lead us there.
This could be seeking self-education, honing our skills, or even negotiating our salary with confidence.
It's about setting expectations.
When you set the bar high and truly believe in your worth, you're less likely to settle for less.
This mindset drives us to pursue opportunities that align with our financial goals.
Beliefs directly influence our relationships
A woman raised by a violent father is likely to hold the belief that men are violent. This belief can color her interactions with men and may lead to fearful relationships.
A man raised by an intrusive mother is likely to hold the belief that women are naturally intrusive. That may impact how he relates to women.
The dynamics of our parents' relationship often shape our own beliefs about love and partnerships.
Growing up seeing parental love and harmony often leads to healthier relationships.
Growing up witnessing conflict may lead to more challenging ones.
Our self-image shapes relationships. If we see ourselves as misfits, we'll likely attract relationships that support this belief.
In contrast, if we believe we’re valuable and deserve respect, our relationships will reflect this positive self-image.
Beliefs guide our reactions. Why do we react the way we do in relationships? It's a direct response to our underlying beliefs.
If a person expects betrayal or hurt, they may react defensively or with suspicion, even in harmless situations.
Beliefs influence our careers
What we believe about ourselves shapes our careers.
If we believe we can climb the career ladder, we'll likely go for it—applying for promotions, speaking up in meetings, or learning new skills.
It's all about self-belief.
If we doubt our abilities, we might miss out. We won't raise our hands for opportunities or push ourselves to grow.
Our careers reflect what we believe we can reach.
Beliefs drive our business results
As entrepreneurs, the beliefs we hold about money and success are total game-changers.
They drive the company’s figures.
If we believe our business will succeed and earn well, we'll make bold moves. We'll invest in it, market it confidently, and attract customers.
Our beliefs in our business's potential to make money drives every decision.
But, if we doubt, it shows. We might undervalue our services or hesitate to invest. It’s like putting brakes on our business’s growth.
When we believe we can build a multi-million dollar company, we’re 10x more likely to reach these figures.
Our company's income mirrors the executives’ beliefs about money.
If the company's bosses think they can make $100K a year, they'll probably do things to hit that number.
But if they believe they can make $10M instead, they'll aim higher and work in a way that gets them closer to that bigger goal.
Our beliefs influence every area of our lives
I won’t list all the areas of life where beliefs have a big impact. They impact everything.
But here are some major areas:
- Self-growth: Our beliefs about our own potential and abilities can either fuel our growth or prevent our progress.
- Education: Beliefs about intelligence and capability affect our approach to learning and education.
- Fitness and lifestyle: Beliefs about body image, health, and fitness influence our daily habits, exercise routines, and dietary choices.
- Mental health: Our beliefs about ourselves and the world can impact our mental health, affecting our resilience and overall happiness.
- Parenting and family: Beliefs about family and parenting styles affect how we raise our children and interact with family members.
- Creativity: Our beliefs about creativity and art influence how we express ourselves and appreciate various forms of artistic expression.
The list continues, it never stops.
Examples of beliefs
Limiting beliefs examples
- Life is hard
- I’m a failure
- I’m not smart
- I’m a lazy person
- I don’t have willpower
- I’m not a disciplined person
- I can’t do anything right
- I’m unlucky
- I’m boring
- I’m an anxious person
- I’m too sensitive
- People don’t like me
- People don’t respect me
- I don’t deserve love
- Relationships never last
- Relationships are great in the beginning and boring over time
- I’m not creative
- I’m not as good as them
- I don’t have the right genetics
- In my family, nobody has money
- I’m poor, getting rich is not for me
- Money is bad
- It’s hard to find a job (often followed by "especially at my age", "in this context", "because of AI", etc)
Empowering beliefs examples
- I have iron health
- I can learn anything
- I can change careers easily
- It’s easy to find a job
- Life is great
- I can be happy in a love relationship
- I’m a lovable person
- I can easily adapt
- I’m a resilient person
- People like me
- I can change myself
- I can have a fit body
- Opportunities are all around me
- I can earn big amounts of money without sacrifices
- I can build a profitable business
- I can have extraordinary results
- I make friends easily
How to upgrade our beliefs and unlock 10x better outcomes from life
To improve our lives, one of the shortest path is to upgrade our beliefs.
It works like dominos.
Swap a limiting belief for an empowering one, and watch everything improve.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but it's definitely worth it.
Let’s see exactly what can be done to upgrade our so important beliefs.
First step: Identifying core beliefs through introspection
To change our beliefs, we first need to take time with ourselves to reflect.
For each major area of your life and list your main beliefs.
Here’s a list of questions we can ask ourselves to better identify our core beliefs. It’s not an exhaustive list.
- What do I think of romantic relationships?
- Do I believe I am a lovable person?
- Do I believe I can have a lasting relationship?
- Do I feel capable of finding the right person?
- What do I think about men/women?
- Do I believe I can be in perfect health?
- What do I think about being healthy and fit?
- Do I believe that I have control over my health? Why or why not?
- What are my beliefs about aging and health?
- Do I believe I can have an athletic and/or muscular body?
- What do I think of money?
- Do I believe I can earn much more money?
- Do I think money is hard to get?
- Do I believe money has a negative influence on people?
- What do I think of rich people?
- Do I feel capable or reaching my dream job? Why or why not?
- Do I feel legitimate to reach a higher position? Why or why not?
- Why does success in career mean to me?
- How do I view failure in a professional context?
- What do I think of entrepreneurship?
- Do I feel legitimate to start a business?
- What sales figure do I think I can achieve?
- Do I believe I can build a multi-million dollar company? Why or why not?
Highly effective ways to upgrade our beliefs
Proving wrong our negative beliefs
Once we know we’re holding negative beliefs, we can change them by proving them wrong.
We can confront them with a different reality. After all, beliefs are just thoughts we think are true.
For instance, if you believe that “life is hard”, then find people who live a smooth and easier life than yours.
If you believe that “love never lasts”, then find couples who’re living an everlasting love.
If you think it’s impossible to build a million dollar business from scratch without capital, then find people who made it.
Find people who prove wrong your limiting beliefs and follow them.
If you don’t have them around you, follow them online, on YouTube, social media, etc.
Thanks to the wonderful internet, you can surround yourself with the most extraordinary people on earth.
Find counter-examples to your negative beliefs and study them.
Reading non fiction books can definitely help us change our beliefs for better ones.
For a long time, I had negative beliefs about money.
Throughout my self-growth journey, I found out that if I wanted to multiply my income, I’d need to let go of my limiting beliefs with money and replace them with ones that’d serve me better.
At that time, what I did was to read the best non fiction books on money. I’ve read 5 or 6 books on money at that time.
It totally changed my beliefs with money. And it helped me multiply my income. That definitely worked for me.
And now, if I know I have negative beliefs on love relationships for instance. I would read the best non fiction books on love. And I ended up with the book 8 rules of love by Jay Shetty.
On top of books, podcasts, audiobooks can definitely help as well.
The key is to study and learn from people who hold the most serving beliefs in the area of your choice.
That way, by absorbing their teaching, this can lead to new awareness and upgrade your beliefs.
Even if that sounds “self-help cliché” for some people, repeating positive affirmations work.
Our brains have something called 'neuroplasticity', which means they can change and adapt based on our experiences, including our thoughts.
When we repeat an affirmation, we’re reinforcing a specific neural pathway. That’s like how exercise reinforces muscles.
The more we repeat a positive affirmation, the more we reinforce a positive belief in our brain.
That’s definitely not the first time I talk about all the benefits of therapy on this blog.
Going to therapy is a super powerful tool to improve our lives.
That helps us face our limiting core beliefs, question them and help us replace them.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) seems to be very effective to help people change their core beliefs.
Like the great T. Harv Eker says, our outer world is a reflection of our inner world.
By acting on our inner world, we make positive changes on our outer world.
Identifying our beliefs and working on upgrading them is one of the best things we can do to improve our lives for the better.
It’s a long journey of mental hygiene that never stops.
After all, we keep taking showers to remove dirt from ourselves. Working on cleaning our negative beliefs is crucial for our mental wellness.
I wish you the best.