Today I want to talk about a concept that, on its own, can change everything. I know when I learned this concept and really started to apply it to my life, I saw so many personal and professional shifts.
I want to tell you about why your beliefs create your reality. Our beliefs create the lens we use to look at the world and our results. And because we form our beliefs subconsciously a lot of the time, there are many areas where your beliefs could be creating your results and you’re not even realizing it.
In this episode, we’re talking all about beliefs and how they relate to your thoughts, feelings, actions, and results. We will discuss why most of us think we are controlled by our circumstances and how this idea holds us back from creating the life and business we want. We will also dig into a bit of the science behind this idea. And finally, I’ll walk you through an exercise you can do to analyze your thoughts, feelings, and actions about any circumstance you may be having.
Welcome to The Life Coach Business Podcast, a show for coaches who are ready to up-level their business and take their impact, leadership, and results to a whole new level. If you’re ready to start taking powerful action and become the leader your business needs in order to grow and thrive, this show is for you. I’m your host, Amanda Karlstad, certified life and business coach, and entrepreneurial leadership expert. Now, let’s get down to business.
Hello, everyone. I’m so glad you’re joining me today. Thank you so much for listening. I am really looking forward to today’s conversation. I think it’s going to be a really important one. And I have to say that I’ve been getting some amazing feedback on this show and I want to thank you all so much for tuning in, for subscribing and reviewing and sharing it because really, that’s how we make a difference and that’s what I’m all about.
So, I want to thank you and let you know how much I appreciate you for listening, and I appreciate your support. And my goal is to really get this show out to as many coaches, consultants, entrepreneurs, and leaders as possible, and part of how that happens is through you subscribing and downloading and reviewing and sharing. So, thank you all so very, very much.
Okay, so let’s dive in. Today we are talking about beliefs and there’s a lot that I want to share on this topic. And I have some plans to do some future episodes to take this conversation even deeper. But for today, I want to do just more of an intro, more of a high-level overview and discussion on beliefs.
And I want to have it surrounding one of the main principles that I have learned throughout my own personal and professional development journey. And it’s something that I practice deeply in my own life, and I also teach to my clients, and I’ve found that this alone can literally change everything.
And so I want to preface this conversation that even though most of my clients are entrepreneurs, I also know that I have a fair amount of listeners who are in a corporate or in a leadership or in a professional role that are also listening, and I want you to know that this concept that I’m about to talk about, this conversation surrounding beliefs, that it’s 100% universal. And so, what we’re going to talk about is something that you can apply no matter where you are in your life. No matter what your life circumstances might be right now, you can apply what we’re going to talk about. And I believe that it’s truly one of the most important things that as humans we can come to understand as creators of our lives, and that is how our beliefs dictate our destiny.
And I want to warn you that I’m going to get a little scientific and deep in this episode. But I know that if you all are anything like me, you appreciate this type of conversation. And I know that you can also appreciate when something challenges your current level of thinking. I know I do.
And I can remember clearly when I learned about what I’m going to be talking about with you today. It was probably about 10 years ago, and I can remember what a huge impact this had on me at the time and really since that time. And so hopefully this episode can help do the same for you.
So, what I want to talk to you about today is a concept. It’s a distinction that I’ve come to know throughout my years of studying and practicing personal growth. And it’s something that I first learned about, as I mentioned, many years ago that I’ve used over and over again in my life. And I’ve used it professionally. You know, when I was coaching high-performing teens, leaders, individuals, and I use it now in my private coaching practice with my high-achieving, my driven, my A-player entrepreneurial clients.
And so, to really sum this all up, what this really comes down to is a universal truth. A principal, a distinction that in life, our beliefs create our results. So, our results, they are a product of our beliefs. Every result that we have in every case, in every circumstance, every single time; there is no exception.
And so, these results that we have in our personal life, the results that we have in our business, they are all a product of our belief system. I want you to really think about that. Every result that you have in your life is a byproduct of your belief system. But here’s what I want to point out is the problem; when we really step back, we are, as a society, conditioned to believe that we are instead a product of our circumstances. And because of this conditioning, we many times believe that, again, instead that we’re a product of our circumstances and so therefore that creates this assumption that we have no control over our current reality.
And so today I want to go deeper with this and really explain this on a foundational level and hopefully challenge some level of thinking around this. And so, for those of you that are in the personal or professional development world, if you’re a coach or consultant or just someone who is continually working to evolve themselves, this might be something you’ve ran across before, maybe in a different form.
And I will say there’s a lot of people that write and speak and teach about this concept, and I know that for myself, I’ve learned a lot about this from one of my mentors and also my own learnings over the course of the years from various teachers, ranging from the spirituals to more of the mainstream professional and personal development world.
And I want to tell you that it’s something that once you really understand it on a deep level and you’re able to embody it in your life, this is when your life can completely open up, because when you truly come to know this, this is when you can change your life massively, when you can change your business results massively, when you can experience major transformation in any area of your life.
And so, this is all part of a much larger conversation, and it’s part of a conversation that I’ve been studying and practicing and teaching for years, and so it’s got a lot of layers to it. There’s a lot of layers and a lot of different angles that we can take with this, but I really want to distill this down today for you and make this as digestible as possible.
And so, as I was thinking about how I wanted to have this conversation, I decided that it’s probably most helpful to explain it on a scientific and psychological level first, because I know for me, I appreciate knowing and understanding the science behind the Woo. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the Woo. And in fact, I use the Woo every single day in my own practice and when I work with my clients. But I also love knowing that the Woo that I do use and that I teach my clients, it’s also backed up by science.
So, you know, there’s real scientific proof that these concepts, these approaches, have been scientifically proven to impact change in humans, and I think that’s super important. So I want to frame this all up for you today by talking about some of that science behind this so you can really see the power that’s at play here and to help you see exactly how this is playing out in your business results and how it’s playing out in your life. So, let’s get into it.
So, when we’re talking about beliefs, the way that I define beliefs is that our beliefs are a series of thoughts or thoughts that we think about circumstances in our lives, and in a lot of cases we tend to keep on thinking those thoughts. And so, these beliefs are, in many cases, they’re habituated into our lives as a result of experiences we’ve had in the past and how our subconscious mind has recorded and processed those experiences. So, I want you to consider that when I’m talking about belief systems, in many cases those systems that we hold, those beliefs, a lot of times they’re on a subconscious level, and I want to give you an example of this.
So, maybe as a child you witnessed your parents arguing over money. So, as a small child and witnessing this exchange, you then attached a meaning to money. And that meaning took the form that money equals struggle. And so, because of that, you developed this belief system at this very early age surrounding money.
And as you fast forward now to your adult years, when you can consciously – and you’re also subconsciously thinking about money – you think about it through the filter from the belief system that money equals struggle. Therefore, the way that you approach money in your reality today is coming from that core belief.
And how that plays out in your life probably happens in a number of ways, and it could be playing out that when you think or when you talk about making money or even making more money, that there’s this thought that it’s going to be hard, that it’s going to be a struggle. And maybe you even have a hard time making money or holding onto money because subconsciously you’re equating it to struggle.
So, I don’t know exactly what this is for you, but whatever beliefs you have about money, they are playing out in your life in some way. And so just know that a belief like this, it can take many forms, right, and it’s going to be slightly different for every person.
And so, let’s talk a little bit about where these beliefs come from. The reality is that our belief systems tend to form at a very young age. And in fact, scientists have proven that by the age of five, most of our belief systems about the world, they’re already formed. And the reason for this is because, as children, we’re born with – it’s something like 100 billion neurons in our brain. And so, these neurons, they create electricity. They’re electrically excitable cells. And so, also when we’re born, we have these 25 billion synaptic connections, so these connections among these neurons.
So, if you can picture an image of this, picture these 100 billion neurons that are there but they’re not fully connected yet because we only have 25 billion synaptic connections, okay? And so those 25 billion synaptic connections, the ones that are connected, those are the ones that are related to our basic bodily functions as a baby. You know, things like eating, sleeping, crying, et cetera.
And what happens is as we grow, as we develop from the age of zero to about five, our brain, it builds out this synaptic network, right? So, this network between these neurons, it connects these neurons through these synaptic networks. And these synaptic networks are based on our experiences during that time.
And so, this synaptic network, this is what is at the foundation of our belief systems. And they are a collection of beliefs that we have about the world and we’ve developed at this very young age.
And one example that I think depicts this perfectly is one of my daughters and one of her first encounters with a dog. And so, my daughter, at about the age of two and a half or three, we had this encounter with a dog. And I want to say that this dog was a great dog. It was a very nice dog. This wasn’t any sort of attack or violent encounter, so I don’t want anyone to go there.
But what I do want to share is this example, because it speaks exactly to what I just described. And so, what happened was my daughter and I, we were sitting on this chair that was on this deck, and we were directly facing the stairs on this deck. And so, I was sitting there with my daughter. It was this beautiful, sunny day. And, you know, I remember sitting there with her.
And all of a sudden, this dog, this very big — I mean, very big — dog ran up the stairs of this deck and it saw my daughter, and so it ran straight towards her. And I want you to keep in mind that, again, this was a very friendly dog, and it just wanted to say hi. And I can remember, in fact, he was happy. He was wagging his tail. And what happened was is he proceeded to run towards her and he put his front paws up, his front legs, up onto the chair we were sitting on, and it was almost to the point where he was definitely almost on top of her and on top of me, because he was so big.
And because he was this friendly, good natured dog, he proceeded to lick my daughter’s face again and again, all over. Again, this was all in a friendly manner. But after a few seconds, it quickly got to the point where because of his size and because she was so small and, you know, he was just so strong that it just got to be too overwhelming for my daughter and for me to, quite frankly. And so, we ended up having to pull this dog away and basically, you know, take the dog away from the chair, away from my daughter.
And again, I want to be clear. No one was hurt. There was nothing dangerous about this. But what’s been so interesting to witness about this is that this experience for my daughter, even though she wasn’t hurt, even though there wasn’t any type of pain, right, associated with this, it became a very ingrained memory within her. And it’s one that she still carries with her until today.
And what happened was is that her brain, it registered this experience as a frightening experience, and because of that, her brain registered the experience in this way, so that now whenever she encounters any type of dog, because of that synaptic connection that was created, my daughter has this very strong, this very conditioned and frightened response to any type of dog. And what happened was is her brain, as the experience was happening, was collecting data through her five senses. And through those five senses, it was recording the experience as frankly a very frightening experience to her.
And so, it was through these neurons, that synaptic network in her brain, that then ended up attaching a meaning to this experience that it then recorded as frightening. And so, the structure of synaptic connections, that meaning that her brain attached to this experience, that then became her memory. And again, what was so interesting to witness after the fact and really for months after this happened was that my daughter would talk about this experience all the time. And mind you, this was at a very young age, even before – I think she was not even three years old. And her vocabulary wasn’t even fully developed yet.
But she still talked about that experience in a way that I could see even at that age, it was so intense for her, and it had really been deeply implanted in her and was such a strong memory for her. And so, because it was such a strong memory for her and it was such an intense experience for her, fast forward to today, whenever she encounters any type of dog, it doesn’t matter if it’s a big dog or a small dog, her brain automatically scans its synaptic network and it says, well, here’s another dog. Therefore, it triggers that old memory and those old emotions tied to that memory to that initial experience, which has now become this condition, this frightened response that she has toward any type of dog she encounters.
And so, if you’ve experienced this, or if you know of anybody else that’s experienced any type of dog attack or anything like that, this is why people have such a hard time getting over it. And so, I will say this is something that we’ve been working on. And what’s been interesting is that over these past years, we’ve been working on this to really help her rewire and recondition her responses, she’s been making some great progress, and so we’ll keep working on it and I’ll probably keep you all posted.
But I think this really does demonstrate the process of learning and how the brain operates. So really taking experiences from the past and applying it to a new experience. I want you to see that our brains are always bringing our past experiences to the present. This is really important to understand, so hopefully that was a helpful example that really helped to demonstrate the power of really what’s happening here in our brains.
Okay, so let’s go back to belief systems. Now that we understand that we all have our own belief systems, what I want you to understand next is that these belief systems, they’re always running in the background, right? So again, think of your brain as this computer running off of this software, that software being these belief systems that are always running in the background, right?
And so, as you’re moving through your day to day, as you’re moving through life, your brain – that software system – and your set of beliefs is what is actually guiding you through your life. So, when we’re presented with a circumstance in our life, our brain responds to it through the filter of that software system through our belief system, which in most cases is subconscious, we’re not even consciously thinking of it, right?
So, for example, in the case of my daughter, even though when she encounters a dog that clearly it’s not a dangerous dog, her brain – because it’s primed for survival and all of our brains are primed for survival – it still brings that old experience from a subconscious level of when she was just a little toddler, and it brings that to the present, and it impacts her experience with dogs today.
So, this is why maybe when you’ve read or seen a quote that says your thoughts create your destiny, this is exactly why. And it’s because at the very core level, our beliefs really do predict and produce our reality. And I’m going to be talking a lot about this as we move forward, but I want to take this a step further because I believe that there’s something that’s equally, if not more important to understand with all of this. And that is the psychology of how these belief systems then truly play out in our lives day to day.
And that happens through this function of our human operating system, which contains really five primary drivers that I’m going to walk you through. And so, the five primary drivers function like this. It starts out with your beliefs.
So, I want you to imagine that you’ve got a piece of paper in front of you. And actually, I would encourage you, if you are taking notes or you have some paper nearby, that you actually do this exercise. And I want you to imagine and draw a circle on your paper or in your journal, draw the circle that’s connected by five dots or five bubbles, okay?
So, as you’re drawing or imagining drawing the circle, you’re going to connect it through these five dots or five bubbles. And so, these five dots, these five bubbles, they represent the five primary drivers that I want to explain. And so, this first bubble, the first point where the circle starts — and I want it to be at the top of the circle — is with your beliefs. So, feel free if you’re writing, write ‘Beliefs’ at the top of the circle in that top bubble, okay?
Then I want you to draw a line clockwise, or imagine drawing a line clockwise to that next point, which is your thoughts, okay? And the reason for this is because, as you’re thinking about that circumstance you identified a minute ago, I want you to see that you’re having thoughts about that circumstance.
And so maybe you’re thinking about your business or your job, and you’re having a thought like, “I wish I was farther ahead.” And what I want you to understand from this is that whatever thoughts you’re having in the present moment in your present experience about the circumstances in your life are thoughts coming from your belief system.
Because your belief system, that filter, that software in your brain, it’s going to create thoughts that are then in total alignment with your belief system. So, what that means is you’re going to perceive or you’re going to react always in perfect alignment in your present experience in a way that perfectly correlates to the underlying beliefs that you have.
So, now I want you to draw another line to the next bubble. Draw that line clockwise. And I want you to label this as your feelings, because what happens is every thought that we have, they then create the feeling that we experience in our body, okay? Because what happens is, we literally experience our thoughts in our bodies through our feelings, through our emotions.
And we can actually see – there are scientific tests that have shown us that every time we have a thought that the brain releases a very specific electrical pattern and that specific electrical pattern it produces then specific chemicals in our body, and thus we experience that thought as a feeling.
So, I want you to draw another line to the next bubble clockwise, and this next bubble is your actions. And the reason I want you to label this as your actions is because action always follows emotion. And sometimes this could be a positive action if we’re experiencing positive emotions. And other times it might even be inaction if we’re experiencing more negative emotions. But in either scenario, your feelings will always dictate the quality of actions that you take in your life. And so, your action is what then creates the results that you have in your life.
So that last bubble, that last dot in the circle, that is your results. Your results are the effect of the actions that you take. And so, what’s so interesting about this system is that when you really apply this to your life and when you can really step back and look at this and you can perceive your results, you can see that your results, they always reinforce your beliefs. Every time; there’s no exception to it.
So, it’s because of this why it’s so important for you to understand that your belief systems and the thoughts that you’re having, they’re always tied together. And it’s why so much of the work that I do with my clients is focused around getting into those subconscious and conscious belief systems to really unearth and see the software that’s running in the background, right, that software that’s truly running the show and how it’s producing the level of results in the present. Because in every scenario we can always look back and we can always see how those belief systems that are creating the level of results we have in our business or in our life, how that’s all connected. It’s super fascinating.
And I know I’ve given you a lot in this episode, but hopefully that helped you understand really the cycle, right, that we go through in terms of our belief systems and how those really do create our reality. And I wanted to explain this to you today because I want to give you a foundation for a lot of the work and a lot of the concepts that I’m going to be bringing to you in future episodes. So, with that, I hope you have an amazing week. I’ll talk to you all again very soon. Take care.
Hey, before you go, I’ve got something amazing I want to share with you. I’m going to be giving away three free VIP Strategy Sessions where I’ll dive deep into your business and help you put a strategy in place for the next 90 days so you have a game plan on how to create real results in your business and start gaining momentum. I’m going to be giving away one free VIP Strategy Session, the same VIP Strategy Session I offered to all of my highest-level clients to three lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts. Visit amandakarlstadcoaching.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode. Thanks so much.
Thank you for listening to this episode of The Life Coach Business Podcast. If you want to learn more about how to build, grow and scale your business and accelerate your results, visit amandakarlstadcoaching.com.