How To DESTROY Limiting Beliefs And Reprogram Your Brain

“There Is No Truth, There Is Only Perception” – Gustave Flaubert

 

I’ve recently learned an amazing trick that has allowed me to improve myself in all areas of my life and has gradually improved my life to an extent that is simply unimaginable. (And no, it wasn’t my morning ritual)

Reprogramming my brain

This stuff isn’t black magic and can pretty much be performed by anyone who’s willing to try it out. (although it is a pseudo-science, it has worked for me)

If you’re able to commit to the steps I described in this post you’ll be able to change how you see yourself and how you perceive the world. These two factors can make or break your possibilities and opportunities in life.

Why not try it eh..?

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What Are Beliefs?

Beliefs are basically your thinking patterns that have build up over the years to form a mental image of what you think is “the truth”. They define who we think we are, how we perceive the world and eventually everything we think we’re capable off.

reprogram your brain

False Beliefs Hold Us Back In Life

The problem with beliefs is that we don’t always (read: never) believe in the actual truth but simply our perception of the truth, based on the knowledge we’ve gathered in our lifetime.

This can become dangerous if we choose to believe in the wrong stuff!

Like.. really dangerous..

Why Should I Change My Beliefs?

Often in life we’re stuck with conditioned beliefs (auto-suggestion) by society that have dictated to us who we are and what we’re capable of. By allowing other people to do so, we’re basically limiting our possibilities and chances for success. (among many other)

  • If people tell you that you’re not smart, guess what you’re going to believe about yourself? –> That you’re dumb
  • If you failed at public speaking for the first time in your life, guess what you’re going to believe about yourself? –> That you suck at public speaking
  • If you had an awkward night out with weird interactions with women, guess what you’re going to believe? –> That you’re creepy and unattractive

The list is endless

Anyway, do you see the trend?

We base the perception of ourselves and our surroundings on the knowledge we’ve gathered over the years oblivious to the fact that these beliefs might simply be lies we tell our-self.

We form false conclusions based on the gathered knowledge

Why is this a problem?

Our perception of who we are and of our world is literally what shapes our life. Our beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies.

So here’s the major problem I’ve seen in myself and pretty much every other human being on this entire planet;

We choose to believe bullshit

(and you probably do this too!)

  • We CHOOSE for truths that actively destroy our possibilities in life
  • We CHOOSE for realities that limit our opportunities
  • We CHOOSE to live in a world in which we are the victim

Fuck that noise… seriously

Like I said in my post titled The STFU-Manifesto:

Disempowering beliefs get you no-where in life

So why indulge in them?

How Do I Change My Beliefs?

reprogram your brain brain

Enter Brain 2.0…

The first step to changing your beliefs is to clearly realize that these beliefs will take everything away from you that you want out of life.

  • Love
  • Opportunity
  • Passion
  • Health
  • Happiness

To make this more real for you, you can start by writing down your limiting beliefs and describe in detail how they have destroyed your life in the past and how they will continue to ruin it in the future.

So…

“Yeah Yeah, all fun and games but how do we change these things Simon?”

GREAT question! Let me get to that;

Beliefs are determined and changed by three key pillars;

  • Our Perception (What we see as “truth”)
  • Our References (The so-called “proof” we use to back our “truth” up)
  • Time (Transition time between two beliefs)

Step 1: Changing Your Perception

For reprogramming your mind, you reprogram your brain perceptionshould  start with your perception. This is basically what you believe to be true; the perception of yourself and the world around you.

Often these perceptions have been given to us by our surroundings when we were younger like I said before. Actually, most of the things we believe up until this day are provided by our surroundings.

  • Your mom that says you’re naturally gifted at singing
  • Your teachers at school that say the world is difficult and cruel

This process is called auto-suggestion (or at least, that’s what I call it ;)). These beliefs are “automatically” provided by the media, friends, society and whatnot. It’s the”default” mode in our brain.

But the problem is that most people stay stuck with these false truths for the rest of their life, not knowingly they can change them.

“Booooring, gimme something practical man…”

The way we change our beliefs is by overriding what we currently believe trough self-suggestion (meaning you create the perception you want to have about yourself and about your life)

This is the most important step you’ll need to take if you want to reprogram your brain.

Step 2: Building Up Referencesreprogram your brain test

The problem is that you’ll now have two, conflicting beliefs about yourself and the belief with the most references (aka the one that feels the most “true”) is the one that will take over.

Our brain will resist our new, empowering belief until we’ve actually build up enough references to back it up in the first place. This resistance is called “Cognitive dissonance“.

Our mind will enter a state of mental in-equilibrium (mental stress) in which it tries to reduce the contrast between the conflicting beliefs.

“Dissonance is felt when people are confronted with information that is inconsistent with their beliefs. If the dissonance is not reduced by changing one’s belief, the dissonance can result in restoring consonance through perception, rejection or refutation of the information, seeking support from others who share the beliefs, and attempting to persuade others”

Basically our mind will try to disprove our new belief continuously.

Assuming an empowering identity/reality will be hard to “believe” in the beginning until you’ve build up enough references to actually back your identity/world up. But you just need to persist in living according to what you want to believe in order to create the references to actually back that belief up.

Makes sense?

For Example:

  • You won’t believe you’re good with women until you’ve successfully approached one (or several ones). But you won’t successfully approach them if you don’t believe you can.
  • You won’t believe you’re good at studying math until you’ve actual done a great test in math. But you won’t do a great test unless you’re actually convinced you’re good at studying math which will result in you putting more effort in the learning

See the contradiction?

A: Yes, this is a mind-fuck in the beginning.

A great way to build up references with your new beliefs is by vividly visualizing them in action. I’ve recently read a great book titled “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz which states that;

“The human nervous system cannot tell the difference between an actual experience and one imagined vividly and in detail.”

So by practicing the beliefs we want in our mind, we’re able to build up experiences (read: references) BEFORE we actually go out and apply them. This is HUGE.

(that’s what she said)

If you want to believe you are more confident, smart, attractive, whatever. Simply vividly imagine yourself acting and being EXACTLY how you would want to be in each situation.

In psychology, this type of treatment is called implosive theraphy.

Keep persisting until your new, empowering belief becomes your standard thought-pattern.

Step 3: Time

reprogram your brain time

Anywhere from 18 to 254 days – 66 on average

Basically, fake it until you build up enough references to start believing in it.

Time, therefore is the last factor for changing beliefs. It is the gradual change agent between two conflicting beliefs.

So persisting is key here.

Over time, our new empowering belief will take the place of our old, disempowering belief. This is the same way as you build new habits. When we continuously use willpower to reach a desired action, it will become habitual over time.

In the same way, we can build up a habitual personality. Our new, empowering beliefs will therefore become “auto-suggested” and we wont have to deal anymore with the cognitive dissonance.

Congratulations! You’ve just re-programmed your mind.

Essence

Alright so, I hope I’ve been able to clearly show you guys how our thought patterns shape our life and therefore the necessity of creating empowering beliefs.

If you don’t believe all this new-age, pseudo-scientific stuff,  just say to yourself:

Why not try it? What do I have to lose?

I agree it is a bit far “out-there”/hippie-ish. I was skeptical at first too. But it is what it is and I contribute the massive changes I’ve recently made in my life to exactly this process. So by sharing this I’ll hope it’ll work for you too.

I’ve mainly used this technique to change how I see myself. This by writing down EVERYTHING I want to believe about myself and re-conditioning it by reading and visualizing how I want to be.

I even got audio tapes now which I play every morning and evening which tell me how great I am.

Quick Re-cap:

  1. Perception.
    1. Become aware of your self-talk and recognize the auto-suggested belief is a limiting perception
    2. Recognize the pain it causes in your life.
    3. Self-suggest a new perception whilst discounting/logically disproving your old perceptions (maybe even write these down!). I keep a list of negative beliefs I have and their counter-arguments.
  2. Build Up References
    1. Visualize vividly and in detail how this new belief will take effect. Use it to practice getting better at skills, situations and traits.
    2. Experience new situations that confirm your new perception. Expose yourself and ask yourself feedback questions!
  3. Time
    1. Let references build up, so your new perception becomes habitual (anywhere from 18 to 254 days – 66 on average)
    2. Logically de-interpret/forget negative experiences.

That’s it.

Simple, yet not easy.

But definitely rewarding if you’re able to stick with it!

So before I leave you, I want to ask you guys;

What’s the #1 Limiting Belief that is holding you back in life?

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If you feel like this post can help anyone out that you know, feel free to share it with your friends or send it in a mail to your mom! It helps me out a lot! If you’re having any thoughts or questions on this topic, feel free to share those with me in the comment section below.

Take care,

Love,

Simon

Inspiration and partial credit for this post goes to Steven Aitchison

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43 Comments

  1. Simon, this is far the best and meaningful article that I have ever read in my life. Thank you!

  2. Hola Simon!
    Wow, this is by far the most helpful and clear educational post I have found on the subject. I practice meditation and affirmations however i felt something was missing and this post had helped me to figure out.

    Thanks!

  3. Awesome, This post really helped me, Negative thoughts spoils the mind. I think some kind of bad chemicals release when we thought some negative

  4. Nice video mate. You have the right idea. Although, I have some ideas that might help: It would be beneficial to start by saying that dissonance only occurs with controversial issues — it does not occur when learning non-controversial information.

    That being said, you should introduce the idea that words are nothing more than a gateway to memories. & since each person has different memories, no two people will experience a word in the same way.

    Some people develop irrational fears of words which link to traumatic memories.
    IE – Seeing a cat or talking about cats, might cause an emotional (see irrational) reaction in a woman who was attacked by cats as a girl. Or a child whose parents died the night he went to a movie, will likely tear up when he thinks about that movie. (Or even more important, a person who has been told story after story, and watched “re-enactments” (see movies) of how evil the Nazis were, will experience an irrational and emotional reaction to swastikas, or Hitler, or the word Nazi).

    You should remind people that we all use this system of thinking. Then ask them to strive to pinpoint the memories which are associated with these controversial words (see trigger words).

    Let them know our brains are so fast, that we experience these memories for only a split second before they disappear — & if we can remember these memories, then we have an amazing shot at dissecting our emotional responses, in a logical manner. This should, neutralize the emotional reaction.

    Remember, the emotional reaction, is one which cuts off the logical thought process, and forces an immediate response – much like the fight or flight system.
    If you warn people that this emotional response is coming, and tell people to remember and dissect these traumatic memories, you can engage the logical thought process – thereby ending the cognitive dissonance.

    I hope this helps.
    -/pol/

    • Hey Vedic – Thanks for the extra information! So logically disproving your emotional reactions to certain triggers and making people more aware of these emotional reactions is the key right?

      Here’s currently how I’m tackling it;

      – Becoming more aware of own emotional reactions/negative beliefs.
      – Discounting/logically disproving them by writing them down
      – Suggesting new/more accurate and empowering beliefs through logical thought and regular reminding of this
      – Visualizing an array of great past experiences. Use it to practice getting better at skills, rehearsing situations and traits
      – Experiencing affirmative situations and de-interpretating/forgetting negative ones

  5. Hi Simon loved the article . I have the girl issue at the moment lol if i was to use vishualization would it be in 3rd person or 1st person . Also what do you think of subliminal programmes to help me with this
    Thanks

    • first person definitely.

      What also helps is practicing scenarios out-loud and just imagine you’re in them. I used to do this a lot when I approached girls in the train station where I lived.

      I don’t know if it works or not but I’m listening to tapes I’ve recorded myself when I wake up and before I go to bed which tell me how great I am. Ex;

      > I’m the greatest
      > I’m focused on solutions
      > … blabla

      Glad you liked the article!

  6. super smart blog and to the point. thank you

  7. Thank you Simon!
    Exited to read the book Phycho-Cibernetics ( has just ordered on Amazon:

  8. Hi Simon,

    I think this is a really helpful post and I am sure it works to some extent, however, if a person has people in their life that consistently tell them they are sensitive, bad, stupid, etc. then how do you overcome your core beliefs?
    I keep trying but I start believing peoples comments again.
    And before you say… Leave these people.. Just know that they are all I have.
    Thanks!

    • Hey Annemarie,

      You become the average of the people you surround yourself the most with.

      Words cannot describe how important it is for your own happiness to get away from people who make you unhappy. Who are we talking about exactly?

      IF you really cannot get away from these people, I suggest finding NEW AND SUPPORTIVE people who make you feel GREAT. (and spend more time with those than the negative/critical ones)

  9. Great post…this morning I stumbled upon it blog while preparing fr a motivational workshop.i m gonna borrow the amazing learnings on breaking limiting thoughts…simple ..practical and do-able..well done champion..Bob

  10. Great article! I’m sure it will improve my beliefs I am going to start implementing your advice ASAP. Just out of curiosity why do you say this process is pseudo scientific?

    Thanks!

    • Good question.

      I guess I said it because I presumed it’s hard to scientifically prove the ability to change your beliefs and the evidence I’ve found is weak at best. Especially considering the following;

      – Beliefs are intangible. It’s hard (impossible?) to truly measure the direct effect of this practice on your life quality.
      – It takes a long amount of time to change deeply-rooted beliefs/convictions and therefore more complex to track.

      But with current standing in technology we might actually be able to isolate certain parts of the brain and observe changes in it whilst doing this practice under a quarantined environment with minimal variables.

  11. What a powerful article! Thank you. The information is comprehensive, flows well and captures the essence of limiting beliefs powerfully. I believe that change has to be done consciously at the level of limiting beliefs and visualisation is a powerful tool to focus forward. I also continue to work on my limiting beliefs and wish you all the best with the growth of this phenomenal resource!

  12. Very Nice Article. I think Now I can Reprogram my brain

  13. Pingback: How To Get Out Of Your Own Way – Mindset Monday | fitlife.tv

  14. Pingback: How To Get Out Of Your Own Way – Mindset Monday | FitLife Membership

  15. That I’m not enough.

  16. Beautiful video and beautiful person. Thank you for trying to help others. May you be blessed.

  17. Yes, it is scientifically proven to change our thoughts in about 63 days. Please listen to this scientist who studies the brain and explains how to change our thought life in 63 days. Her studies have helped me a lot!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjAWYg3yFlw

  18. The # 1 limiting belief that is holding me back is that I don’t believe in myself. My self-esteem and worth is very little.
    Maybe you can get back to me with some help.
    Thanks

  19. Great article! Have you tried Paul McKenna’s biocomputer reprogramming? Very effective indeed https://youtu.be/_2DtfErdVXg

  20. Jose Antonio Sanchez

    Your article is one of the best and usefull I’ve read , Thanks for taking care of people.

  21. Just stumbled upon your blog from your review of 67 steps…and after much browsing you are now my #1 favorite personal development blog! You’re in the ranks of zenhabits, tinybuddha, and others for me. Keep up the great work. time i do some life upgrading.

  22. After several years of spiraling down, I knew I wasn’t stupid and what I was experiencing was all in my mind. After all my research it comes down to limiting beliefs. Neuroplasticity is a similar reference to the one you have here. It has changed my life for the better. As I continued on it became readily apparent that religion was a huge factor in my life and most of the rest of the world. I have completely dumped religion all together. What a huge load. I now feel sorry for those who were subjected to those thought patterns as children. What I now believe in is an ancient lifestyle that is very simple, yet extremely powerful. It is not corrupted by the Jewish Bible and that useless data. What you can achieve with a free mind and spirit is virtually limitless once the walls that were built are torn down. Why people all over the world are being programmed with religion is now beyond me, just think what could be accomplished by the human race with no limits.Be careful with people though as you deny their religion.

    • Hey Mark,

      Glad you found some help in my article! I also think it isn’t a good idea to blindly copy a complete ideology (as is mostly the case with religion)

      One needs to be critical for each set of beliefs he allow in his/her life.

      I don’t think it’s completely bad if you’re critical about what you’re reading (which most people aren’t though)

      Take care,

  23. Only kind heart people accepting their errors. you are so kind and i added your article in my bookmark list

  24. Pingback: Reprogramming the mind is as easy as a carrot a day.

  25. Hey Simon,

    What a great post. You really have come a long way since believing you were no good with dating woman. I am very impressed with your writing style and the research you done. I am going to link this post to my post, to back up my statements.

    Thanks

    Rachel.

  26. just picked up self hypnosis… sounded and read well when i opened it… have you heard of it… its by William Hewitt, guess it helps record your own voice to help build up your strengths and weaknesses

    • Hey Robert,

      I haven’t heard of that book – I can’t say I’m a fond believer in self-hypnosis either.

      I’m quite prejudiced in that area. Can you point toward a study/research that can confirm the validity of those methods? Than I might consider giving it a try!

      Take care,

  27. I’ve always been fascinated with how beliefs are added into our brains and how they shape our lives so there was a lot of great info here for me to look at. The one point I think is especially important when it comes to beliefs is this one you made.

    “The human nervous system cannot tell the difference between an actual experience and one imagined vividly and in detail.”

    That’s why the power of visualization works so well. If you imagine it enough times, your brain starts to believe it.

    • Totally Steve,

      Visualizing has made a noticeable impact on my life already and I haven’t been practicing it for longer than a month. I’m interested to see the long-term benefits of this process over time.

      Psycho-Cybernetics should be mandatory reading in school (as some other books I’ve read)

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by man. Appreciate it,

      Take care

  28. Impressive article. Please stop using the (read: ) thing from RSD Todd.I personally emailed him to stop doing that because I’m not a dog, I’m also not stupid. Other than that I learned a lot!

    • Glad you liked it Alexander,

      Thanks for the feedback, I can understand where you’re coming from man. No-one likes to be commanded. I do believe I used (update:) instead of (read:). I did provide a direct link (click to read..) in the mail if that’s what you mean.

      Anyway, it’s noted

      Take care man,

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