Four Exercises to Internalize New Beliefs that Serve Your Goals

Yesterday’s post was about evaluating whether our beliefs were aligned with our goals. This evaluation consists of five steps.

  1. Find the beliefs that contradict your goals.
  2. Question the beliefs that contradict your goals.
  3. Make a list of alternative beliefs that serve your goals.
  4. Handle your objections against the new beliefs.
  5. Add your existing beliefs that support your goals to the list.

The idea is to write down those beliefs and repeat them to yourself frequently until you internalize them at the gut level.

If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, I recommend you read that post and do that exercise first.

More Tips to Internalize New Beliefs

In today’s post, I’m going to share some tips to internalize your new beliefs.

Before we continue, pick a new belief that you want to internalize. That way, you’ll be able to do the exercises as I introduce them.

I’ll work on the new belief “I can develop new social skills.”

Look for Evidence

Look at the world or your own life for evidence of the new belief. We want to collect as much evidence as possible to convince ourselves that our new belief is true.

To find evidence, I’ll ask two questions.

  • Have I ever developed a new social skill?
  • Are there other people who developed new social skills?

Feel free to ask more questions to find evidence for your new belief.

Have I ever developed a new social skill?

Yes, I have. I learned public speaking in college. I developed this skill further in Toastmasters, a nonprofit that helps its member to improve their public speaking skills.

Are there other people who developed new social skills?

Yes, there are. Some people even started to teach social skills to others. Leil Lowndes explains how she developed her social skills in her book How to Talk to Anyone. She has many books on the topic, including Goodbye to Shy.

Create Evidence

The proof is in the pudding. Take your new belief and create evidence of it, no matter how small.

In our example, I’ll come up with a few questions to ask my colleagues next Monday morning. I’ll ask them how their weekend was and how their families are doing. I’ll listen carefully and ask a few follow-up questions.

That’s a small example, but it’s a case that shows that I can learn new social skills and apply them in my life.

Visualization

Take the time to visualize yourself in a situation that validates your new belief.

Don’t imagine yourself in a position that is entirely outside of your comfort zone. Visualize an event that is slightly outside of your comfort zone. A situation that creates slight discomfort, but no panic.

If you have social anxiety, visualizing yourself talking to thousands of people won’t help you. Visualizing yourself making a presentation to your colleagues at work will help.

Some objections might come up during your visualization. Write them down and apply the objection handling exercise of yesterday.

  • Is this objection accurate?
  • Can I come up with another belief that would serve my goal more?
  • If yes, what is it?

In my case, I’m afraid that I’ll be nervous during my presentation to my colleagues.

  • Accurate? Yes.
  • Another belief possible? Yes.
  • Alternative? Nervousness is a natural part of giving presentations. Everybody experiences it. Otherwise, the speaker would put the audience to sleep.

Act It Out

Go after new opportunities to create more evidence of your new belief.

  • Write down your ideal self or situation.
  • Write down your current self or situation.
  • Write down a situation that is one step further than your current situation toward the ideal.

Don’t underestimate these 1% improvements. If you make a 1% improvement every day, you’ll make a 3800% improvement in a given year.

  • Make a list of 1% improvements in your situation.
  • Every day, pick one of them and do it.

This might feel awkward in the beginning, but after a few weeks, you’ll build momentum. It’ll be a part of your daily routine. It’ll come naturally to you. You’ll miss it if you don’t do it.

Conclusion

To succeed at a goal, we need to align our beliefs with that goal. We need to audit our beliefs and detect the ones that don’t serve our goals.

The second step is to question those contradicting beliefs and replace them with beliefs that do serve our goals.

Beliefs are deep-seated thoughts that we believed to be true for a long time. Therefore, objections might rise from the depths of our psyche. We can apply the same questioning technique to those objections.

There are some actions that we can take to internalize our new beliefs.

  • Repeat our new beliefs often to ourselves.
  • Find evidence of our new beliefs.
  • Create evidence of our new beliefs no matter how small.
  • Visualize ourselves in situations that validate our new beliefs.
  • Act our new beliefs out in the world.

When doing these go out of your comfort zone one step at a time. We can accomplish amazing feats just by taking one step at a time every day.

Burak Bilgin
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly roundup of my latest posts.

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