Week 9: Working with Limiting Beliefs
Welcome to the third and final month of the course!
This month we will be using what we have already learned to dive deeper into some powerful techniques that help us gain awareness of who we are and work towards mental ease and freedom.
This week we look at how to use our attention to identify and let go of limiting beliefs – i.e. structures of learned associations that are causing a suboptimal experience in some way.
This can be a very profound practice, because beliefs are the bedrock of how our brains work. Everything from simple perception up to complex views and the experience of ‘being us’ are forms of belief the brain has learned.
The aim of the game is to:
1) Notice what we are believing (not easy!). We can do this pay becoming aware of regular thought patterns or investigating sources of discomfort. What am I believing? What assumptions am I making?
2) Inject some doubt towards the belief. Making it possible to update. Is this really true? Get curious. Question.
3) Then pay attention to how that belief impacts our immediate experience. Feel in the body what it’s like to live with this. And finally experiment with what it might feel like to no longer hold that belief. Who am I without this belief?
Doing this gives the brain the opportunity to figure out whether this particular learned belief is worth holding onto, or whether it’s causing issues and best let go of. Paying attention with curiosity does the work, we don’t need to psychoanalyse, convince ourselves or find answers.