It is incredible the things we can do with our minds if we just believe. Just by believing, you are already half way to achieving. Just like Vishen always says, “When you are in flow and you set an intention, the universe bends in your favor.”
So what is it that makes our minds tick that way? And how can we benefit from this? It’s all here in this 2-part article by William Horton. Have you ever had an incident where your mind gave you the power to achieve incredible feats? Of course you have! Leave a comment and share your story with us.
The Incredible Power Of Beliefs (Part 1)
by William Horton, Psy. D.
It is no secret that some individuals are much more successful than others. Why is this? Are they smarter, better businessmen, or do they have something that others lack? If you draw your conclusion from history, you will see that it is not necessarily any of the above, but something the internal operating system of the brain offers. This operating system is where individuals determine what they expect from themselves, therefore living up to it. If you are expecting to fail, guess what? If you aspire and expect to be the CEO of a company, you will!
Most people think that truly amazing or successful people were handed all the right cards in life. A powerful family, wealth and a great home life, which is not always the case. Look at Mahatma Gandhi, Ho Chi Minh or The Wright Brothers. None of these individuals were extremely powerful or came from great wealth. They were all common individuals, lawyers and bicycle repairmen. These individuals accomplished great things, because they were telling themselves great things and expecting nothing less of themselves. The human belief system is a very powerful thing and what many do not realize is that they set themselves up for failure without ever saying a word. The internal feelings and beliefs about yourself can either make you or break you, it is truly that powerful.
This is not to say that there will not be bumps along the way even with a powerful and positive belief system. That would be fantasy to only assume that success would fall in your lap. What you need to know is that there will be trials along the way, but these can be turned into a positive process by learning from mistakes. Taking less successful ideas and turning them into feed back, correcting and tweaking the system is the formula for success.
Beliefs: Personal Potential
The goal or system of a success vision is not an overnight venture. In some cases, it takes months or years to achieve. Tapping into creative resources within your person is sometimes a trial by error system. As you grow in your success, you also learn about yourself, limitations and strengths. This takes patience and time, which those that are unsuccessful have neither of. As simple as it may sound, a lesson can be drawn from reading this article. You can assume that a system of success sounds great, but will likely not work. Alternatively, you could drive into your operating system that this is a great pep talk that is guidance in fulfilling your dreams. It is all in how you look at the opportunity and code it inside that brain of yours. Believing in yourself is the absolute most important step in any venture that you will ever take on. Taking on new challenges and telling yourself that you will succeed can prove yourself right.
The Pygmalion Effect
This theory is not a new one, but one that can make your dreams come true. In 1957 a professor by the name of Robert Merton, researched how people’s perceptions of those around them influenced their own. As a research project, a young teacher was told that she would be teaching a group of gifted students. These students were not gifted at all, in fact they fell in the average with behavior problems. In a short period of time, the teacher discovered that the students were not engaged, interested or able to behave with the current teaching style. She worked very hard to come up with a new teaching style and sparked the curiosity of these students. After a very fruitful year, the students were engaged, learning and in fact proved it with a 20-30 point IQ jump. How did this work? Did she turn these students into gifted student? The answer is yes. She changed her style based on the belief that these students were gifted and that she must improve. Had she expected less of them the results would have never been the same. Can you imagine if you were operating at this level?
This theory developed into what is called the Social Theory and Social Structure, which is very true. People base their behavior and expectations around those individuals that they are associated with or around. If the expectation is low, then so will the performance and vice versa.
Beliefs and Bio Chemistry
Your beliefs not only affect your thinking, but also your health and wellbeing. The placebo affect proves this. In a study, patients were randomly selected to receive either a “sugar pill” or an analgesic for a headache, without them knowing which. Too much surprise, the sugar pill recipients, believing that they received an analgesic, had close to the same results as those students receiving the medication for pain! Now what does that tell us? That tells us that what people perceive and believe is what happens. The individuals receiving the sugar pill believed that the medication would work for the headache therefore relieving their pain. Do you see how important the belief system is now?
The Placebo effect is so strong that even the FDA acknowledges the fact that individuals can benefit from a “fake” pill because they believe in it. Another study took two groups of which one group would be given a stimulant and the other a depressant. The group that was given the stimulant was told that it was a depressant and vice versa. The results are amazing because the students actually controlled their bio chemical makeup because they reported results consistent with the expected outcome, not the actual medication. Those students receiving the stimulant reported feeling drowsy and groggy. Those that were given the depressant felt full of energy! It was just opposite of the actual effects of the medication. But, they told themselves that was how they were suppose to feel, therefore they did!
Real VS. Imagined Experience
Medical science has proven that our brain does not differentiate what is vividly imagined or actually experienced. The same neurological impulses are triggered throughout the nervous system for both situations. This signifies that when we close our eyes and imagine ourselves in that dream-like state, we are more likely to achieve. In fact, one could say that we were preparing ourselves for that success. Imagine this to test out this theory:
Take a large yellow lemon – the mere name signifies sour. Now close your eyes and imagine biting into that lemon. The sour juice drenches your tongue making your nose twitch and mouth pucker. The smell and cold feeling of the lemon on your hands and close to your nose, lets you know how sour it really tastes. Are you salivating, I bet the answer is YES! That is because your nervous system has been activated just as if you had that lemon in your mouth – see it does work!
This imagination can work to the benefit or the demise of many people. Many begin to fear at the mere sound of a situation, which can actually cause them health problems. When the fear and stress response is activated, the immune system can be suppressed making the individual more prone to illness. How well can an individual do under great stress, fear and illness?
Mental Rehearsal – The Secret Weapon
For years, the Russians have dominated the Olympic games in gymnastics. So many have pondered the fact and never truly understood, how and why their performance was so excellent. Do you realize that they employ the help of a sports psychologist? This psychologist offers many psychological techniques that enhance physical technique. Not only do the Russians prepare their body, but also their mind. Think about it, when you rehearse failure in your mind, what are you likely to do? On the other hand, if you follow the Russians and their secret mental preparedness, you can succeed as well. Rehearse in your mind the positives and the pictures of success, soon you will be seeing them in person.
More on the incredible power of beliefs tomorrow!