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5-Steps to Reprogram Your Mind to Think Like the Ultra-Successful and Eliminating Any Limiting Beliefs That May be Holding You Back.
Superman has his Kryptonite, mankind has Limiting Beliefs.
Beliefs are opinions that we hold true that form our lives without ever taking the time to Stop and Think if it holds any truth…
Let me explain.
Over 60 years ago, it was thought to be scientifically and medically impossible to run 1 mile in under 4 minutes. Or so they believed.
On May 6th, 1954, Sir Roger Bannister publicly declared he would break the 4-minute mile run record. Throughout history, no one had ever run a mile in less than 4 minutes.
(See Bannister Beating the Four Minute Mile with his play-by-play)
As a matter of fact, doctors warned people that the human body and heart were not built for such an endeavor. Anyone pushing the heart’s limits to run faster than a 4-minute mile would actually cause the heart to explode.
Can you imagine running and your heart just stops?
Well, that’s what all runners thought and believed as well!
Hence believing it was physically impossible.
Not for Roger. He stubbornly ignored the doctors and every single day, every hour on the hour, he would visualize in his mind over and over a 3-minute 59-second mile.
He would visualize the entire run, feel his muscles moving, feel the ground under his feet, hear the crowd going nuts and see himself pass all his opponents. He’d see himself sprinting faster than he had ever thought possible, leaning forward for the win and most importantly…
He Visualized Looking Up At The Clock Board and Seeing 3 Minutes 59 Seconds
He believed he had to stop letting others limit his beliefs and created a new reality in his mind to make it possible.
He knew he had to believe deep down in his subconscious mind that it was possible before it actually happened. It didn’t matter that doctors said it was dangerous. It didn’t matter that science showed it was impossible. It didn’t matter that it had never been done before.
The only thing that mattered was his wholehearted belief that it was possible and that he would do it.
On May 6, 1954, history was made. He ran a 3 minute 59-second mile run.
And guess what? All of a sudden, once everyone saw it was possible (without the heart exploding) everyone started running faster than a 4-minute mile. Today, even some high school students are now running a 3:59…
Our minds come with no pre-programming at birth and (unfortunately) believe whatever we’re told, especially when coming from an authority figure such as a parent, family member, teacher, politician, doctor, police officer, etc. We accept this as reality without ever fact-checking.
Related: Weirdly enough, most people do not value human worth the same. Most forget we are all the same. While creating our path to become Ultra-Successful, it’s important to understand this and use it to our advantage. I have an awesome video on the hierarchy of Authority and how to use it to your advantage.
What Is Repeated Over And Over, Whether True Or False You Will Believe!
…Unless You Stop & Think For Yourself.
Every human being has a complete belief system whether they are consciously aware of it or not. And our belief system controls our whole being. Our belief system creates who we are, what we do, what we have, and more importantly, any limiting beliefs inhibit us from becoming who we want to be, what we want to do, and what we want to have.
If you believe running a mile in under 4 minutes is impossible and outright dangerous, and that your heart could explode, you won’t even try.
If you believe you’re not good at remembering names, you are not going to remember people’s names; don’t even bother trying.
If you believe rich people work long hours and do not get a chance to enjoy their life, and you enjoy your 9-5, you’ll never be rich and always conform.
If you believe you’re not smart enough to think 9 steps ahead… guess what…
If you believe you’re a bad swimmer, you can’t write, you’re a bad reader, nervous in crowds, you’re not very smart, you can’t lose weight, you have bad people skills, you do not test well, etc…
You got it.
You will not be good at any of those things and won’t even try, the thought of it will worry you, and fear, stress, and anxiety will appear if they get too close to your reality.
Your belief system controls every aspect of your being. Unfortunately…
Beliefs, Both Limiting And Empowering, Are Opinions A Person Has That Cannot Be Proven True or False.
Yet, when repeated over and over again, our minds believe them as true and live life accordingly.
Our Belief System is formed of 3 Types of Beliefs.
- Beliefs you repeat over and over on a Conscious Level.
- Beliefs you feel and value on a Subconscious Level.
- Beliefs unconsciously hardcoded that are only accessible if you Stop & Think about them.
To have a better understanding of how our belief system works, you first have to understand how your mind is broken down, where your beliefs are stored, and how they dictate your every thought and action.
Just like our belief system, our minds can be compartmentalized into 3 main parts, each with a specific function in your being.*
- The Unconscious Mind
- The Subconscious Mind
- The Conscious Mind
Before I break them down in detail, we must discuss the 6 receptors that are responsible for intercepting everything that’s going on around you at any given time.
What you smell, what you hear, what you see, what you touch, what you taste and what you feel (your ‘gut instinct’/energy etc.) are what makes you the sentient being that you are. Without these receptors, the mind wouldn’t be able to understand anything that is going on or remember any information.
Your receptors scan everything that’s around you. They connect the outside world to our minds.
This data is then filtered through the Unconscious Mind, the Subconscious Mind and then the Conscious Mind to enable a coherent interpretation which then triggers an action, strategy, reaction, thought, automation, judgment, or inaction.
Stop & Think about this. As I’m typing these words right now, my eyes and mind are concentrated on the words that are being typed, which sends a signal to my fingers to write what my mind wants. In that process alone, there are thousands of neurons being stimulated. I write about 55 words a minute.
While I’m typing, I’m not paying attention at all to the hundreds of objects my peripheral vision is catching. The hundreds of objects around me with thousands of different colors are completely being ignored by my conscious mind. My receptors are catching everything. Now that I have stopped to think about it, I can hear the music and the thousands of sounds, my kids footsteps running around outside my office as it’s still before 7 am and it’s my writing time, I feel the keys being pressed under my fingers, the desk my palms are resting on, the smell of stainless steel, mahogany wood… you get the point.
Everything is always being intercepted by my receptors, and yet never gets to the conscious mind so I can stay focused. Scientists have demonstrated that our receptors intercept between 20 thousand and 39 thousand TRILLION pieces of data per second.
As long as nothing is out of the ordinary, I keep focusing on my work and all else is ignored. The moment something out of the ordinary is detected by my Unconscious and Subconscious, a red flag gets sent to my Conscious mind to think.
Now let’s break down the mind’s 3 main compartments, and how they help or inhibit us to become successful and achieve what we want.
There are 3 Main Compartments of the mind:
- The Unconscious Mind. Hardcoded and seemingly inaccessible, and yet it controls our every action or inactions as it’s the first filter of our mind. This is where we store everything we believe, whether beneficial or harmful, true or false, factual or fictitious. It’s where our beliefs are stored. Limiting or empowering. It acts as the first filter and dictates how the information gets passed down to the Subconscious Mind.
- The Feeling, sensing and emotional Subconscious Mind stores all your experiences and memories of the past. After retrieving information from the Unconscious Mind, it determines how you feel based on past experiences and the beliefs stored in the Unconscious Mind. The Subconscious Mind is an extremely powerful tool that can propel you to success, or destroy you.
- The last filter before an action or inaction is triggered is the logical, educated and critical thinking Conscious Mind. This is the part of the mind that allows us to STOP AND THINK when well trained, depending on our level of awareness. This is the voice in our head, the words that come out of our mouths, and the decision maker. Don’t forget, the Conscious Mind can only follow the orders held by the Subconscious and Unconscious mind.
Each and every compartment plays an integral role in every action, strategy, reaction, thought, automation, judgment, or inaction you have.
Let’s compare your mind to your smartphone. That tiny little thing that acts as a phone in your pocket, a pager, calculator, camera, video camera, voice recorder, web browser, portable tv, iPod and millions of other specific tools, can be broken down into 3 compartments just like your mind.
All these smartphone tools and functions are like our receptors. Their job is to intercept any kind of task required based on its code. The smartphone receptors intercept phone calls, receive text messages, emails, tweets… while our minds intercept smells, noise, sight…
The operating system acts just like our unconscious mind. If you have an Android phone you simply cannot install an iPhone app. Just like you cannot become rich if you’re hard-coded not to like rich people.
Within every app or program on your phone, there are millions of lines of code hidden in the background, programmed to deliver the result that the user expects. This is like the subconscious mind storing all your memories and past experiences in the background to deliver the emotion that you should feel based on what was filtered through the Unconscious Mind.
And lastly, there’s what you see, which is the user interface on the surface which has cute designs and ease of use to make us forget what’s coded deep down (and all the millions of processes that happen when we press the button). This is the same as your Conscious Mind when you have a thought that is generated.
When you take your phone out of your pocket and you press the ‘on’ button, you put in your password and a bunch of cool “apps” appears on the screen for you to select and click. All you see is a little square with the logo and all you have to do is click on it. Just like magic, your program opens up and has all its functions in front of you.
What we tend to forget are the millions of possibilities you have as a user in the tens of millions of lines of code that is required to process your every request.
You simply need to click a button, but deep in the background, millions of tiny processes are happening without you seeing them.
Well, that’s exactly how your mind functions.
First, your receptors intercept a piece of data through your sensory inputs (sight, smell, sound, feeling or taste).
Second, without you having any thoughts yet, this data is then filtered through your Unconscious Mind. Hundreds of millions of neurons per millisecond are fired up, taking that data and filtering through all your beliefs, and:
- Triggering an instinct if it determines it’s an emergency
- Ignoring it if it’s irrelevant (my dog in the background is ignored unless something is wrong as I’m focused on writing)
- Passing the information through the Subconscious if an action, strategy, reaction, thought, automation or judgment is required
NOTE: Remember, your Unconscious Mind is your beliefs and instincts that are hard-coded deep within you, and only accessible if you make a conscious choice to access that information.
Third, having been filtered through everything you believe, the data is then sent to the Subconscious Mind to pull any memories or experience to stimulate how you ‘FEEL’ about the data (which is now attached to your beliefs).
Lastly, the data, armed with emotions and feelings created by your beliefs engage your conscious mind to trigger an action, strategy, reaction, thought, automation, or judgment.
And this is where people go wrong! 97% of people will bypass the Conscious Mind, not Stop & Think and simply drift on autopilot.
The Ultra-Successful Control Their Thoughts While the Conformers Drift Through Life Letting Their Beliefs Control Them Without Ever Questioning the Integrity of Those Beliefs
Let me give you a few examples here.
Example #1: Flying Planes
Let’s say you are walking to your car and a plane flies overhead. 9 times out of 10, you won’t even notice it. Your receptors identified it with your peripheral vision and ears, the data was sent to your Unconscious Mind, and you completely ignored it as your beliefs about planes flying overhead is just business as usual, safe and taken care of, worry-free.
But on 9/11 2001, after 10 am EST, your beliefs about planes were completely altered. When your peripheral vision or ears intercepted a plane in the sky, for the months following, that data went through your Unconscious Mind with whole new beliefs about planes. Planes are not all that safe and can actually be used as a flying weapon by terrorists.
After passing through your Unconscious Mind, that belief is then sent to your Subconscious Mind to access your memories and experiences to retrieve the right feelings and emotions which are then sent to your Conscious Mind.
A conformer would react emotionally, most likely with fear of and potentially anger toward planes and flying. While the Ultra-Successful will Stop & Think, feel remorse, but know this was an isolated incident and that the FAA took every precaution necessary to prevent such catastrophe.
Example #2: Fancy Cars
Another everyday example is when you’re driving on the highway, cars are cars and your receptors see them all, the cars’ color, size, shape, model, and brand, up to the smallest detail such as the color of the door handle, whether directly looking at it or not. Even though you see all of these things, your Unconscious Mind ignores them all based on your beliefs. If you are a car enthusiast or salesman who’s trained to know everything about cars, you will start to react to these common things differently from someone who believes a car is just a car, and a truck is just a truck.
For the average person, our Conscious Mind never gets flagged. Unless, something out of the ordinary passes by, such as a lime green 4 ft high tiny Lamborghini. Then, our Unconscious Mind sends its belief to the Subconscious Mind, which stirs up an emotion, and then triggers the Conscious Mind to think and react.
Once again, are you thinking:
- He’s definitely in huge debt
- Must be a spoiled brat, mom and dad bought that
- He must be compensating for something
- I bet you he’ll be in prison in the next 5 years
- I wonder what the insurance for that is
- Good for him, green’s ugly, but it sure looks fun
- I can see myself in a year taking one for a joy ride
- Not crazy about Lamborghini, but I’m getting that Porsche
- I should figure out who he is and see how he got it
- I wonder what he does for a living
As you can see, beliefs control your entire being. They control if you drive a car and how, to how much money you have in your bank account. They even control the type of relationship you have and how your children are raised.
Now that you understand the 3 main components of the mind, (The Hardcoded Unconscious, The Emotional Subconscious and the Critical Thinking Conscious Mind, we can now break down how your beliefs are controlled, and how to change them over time.
As previously mentioned, there are 3 types of beliefs.
- Beliefs you repeat over and over on a Conscious Level.
- Beliefs you feel and value on a Subconscious Level.
- Beliefs unconsciously hardcoded that are only accessible if you Stop & Think about them.
Conscious beliefs are the beliefs you have consciously made yourself aware of and consciously repeat to yourself over and over again, in order to reprogram your Subconscious mind and Unconscious mind.
For Example, if I was planning on losing weight, and tend to over-eat a lot, or worse, emotionally eat out of habit, I could consciously repeat to myself specific affirmations; “Food is just Fuel for Energy, Fuel is just fuel for energy…” over and over again to consciously remind myself.
Subconscious beliefs are beliefs that are created from a memory of a past experience that you repeat vocally or through your actions over and over without ever really noticing it unless you Stop and Think, and attempt to be aware of them, or someone else points them out.
For example, someone that continuously repeats “it doesn’t matter what I eat, I never lose weight and will always be fat”, or someone that repeats “I don’t know how to do that”, “I don’t have the money for that”, I’m not good at remembering names”, “I’m a nervous driver”, “I need 8 hours of sleep or I’m miserable the next day”, “I need my coffee or I’ll be grumpy”…
…Will never ever achieve their desired results. Subconsciously, the pain of the fear of trying and failing is stronger than the pleasure of change.
Only when the pleasure and desire to change outweighs the pain that causes the limiting belief, will you be able to reprogram your Subconscious and Unconscious Mind.
Unconscious Beliefs are the beliefs that are hardcoded in your unconscious mind that you are unaware exist unless you really Stop & Think of the source of your every thought.
For example, someone grew up where everyone in that family was overweight and had diabetes. Unconsciously this person has the belief that it is normal for people to be overweight, and that working out and eating healthy are just not priorities in life, maybe because they have no time, not enough money, etc; all excuses because their core belief is that being healthy is not important. This person can tell him/herself that he/she wants to lose weight, but even if they feel so strongly that they want to change, this person will always seem to fail at this goal because he/she does not have the core belief that his/her change can be permanent and that being healthy is a priority over all else. If this person truly desires to be healthy, he/she needs to re-code the core belief and create a new ‘normal’ for him/herself.
Whatever goes through your mind instinctively and you allow yourself to believe, will determine the life you will achieve.
The Unconscious Mind is your instinctual mind. It doesn’t have the ability to ‘THINK’ like the Conscious Mind or ‘FEEL’ like the Subconscious Mind. It immediately reacts instinctively to everything based on its hard-coded program without hesitation or questioning unless you learn to STOP AND THINK to change the programming.
Using the smartphone analogy, it’s the operating system of your iPhone. It is an iOS, Android, Blackberry, or Google phone.
The Unconscious mind is where all of your hardcoded beliefs about everything and anything are stored, along with your limiting beliefs that influence your belief system.
Now let’s evaluate how these unconscious beliefs are created.
Your entire being and belief system is hardcoded all around you both in your environment as a child, and the environment you currently live in.
- The country you grew up in and live in now, and the government that controls it.
- Your religious beliefs
- Your culture
- What your parents taught you based on their level of awareness and their income class
- What you’ve been taught at school
- What you’ve watched on TV, heard on the news, and read in books or papers
- The traumas and experiences you have been exposed to in the past.
Most of your Unconscious mind and beliefs are created before the age of 8, as we at this point have yet to create a critical thinking Conscious Mind that allows us to STOP AND THINK. There is no reason to question or ‘fact find’ what people around us that we love and trust (hopefully) are telling us.
If you’re raised being told ‘risk is bad’ and to “just be happy with what you have”, you will believe risk is bad, and you will settle and conform with what you have, and never attempt to achieve more fearing losing what you do have.
If you’re taught you must blend in, to be ‘normal’, not to draw attention to yourself and simply ‘fit in’ or others will mock, ridicule, laugh at you and think you are crazy… you will believe it’s important to fit in and do like everyone else.
If you’re taught to “do as you’re told and never ask why”, you will believe “authority figures are always superior, and you should always be an obedient servant”, therefore never using your creative mind to think.
If you’re taught to believe Palestinians are evil because you’re born Israeli raised in Israel “You will learn to hate Palestinians” and vice versa. You will believe the other culture is evil, point out all their faults, and ignore their point of view in order to come to a resolution.
Terrorists everywhere believe that doing horrific things around the world to other people are doing the right thing because they have a hard-coded belief that another culture is bad.
Your beliefs are ingrained and hardcoded in your Unconscious mind and are very difficult to change the older you get and the stronger the belief. It is harder, but not impossible.
When Do We Form Our Own Beliefs?
Rebecca Saxe, a cognitive neuroscientist at MIT did a great TED Talkin 2009 explaining how children form their own thoughts and beliefs. I will ‘sum’ up what she explains below. But you can find the full Ted Talk in the video below:
The idea of the research was to identify when children develop the ability to STOP AND THINK (my words) to notice that other people can have different belief systems than ours.
Every child was sat down, alone with a researcher and told the same story where a pirate named Yvan would put his sandwich on a picnic table. Yvan left the picnic area, having forgotten something in his boat. While he was gone, a large gust of wind blew the sandwich onto the grass off the picnic table.
Another Pirate named Joshua came to the same picnic table and set his sandwich on same picnic table without noticing the one on the ground, then left the area to grab something in his boat.
The children were then asked, which sandwich is actually Yvan’s, and 100% of respondents would point to the one on the grass.
Yvan, the original pirate, came back and the children were asked, “Which sandwich do you think Yvan will pick. The one on the table, or the one on the ground?”.
Every child under the age of 4 years old immediately said Yvan would take the one on the ground because that’s his sandwich, and the one on the table was Joshua’s.
This demonstrated that although children under the age of 4 have the ability to listen, absorb and memorize what is going on in a situation, they see the world through black and white eyes, and do not think outside of their ‘box’. Their Unconscious mind has not developed enough yet to be able to think ahead to the various possibilities that may happen in this situation. What is fascinating is not only do they not think of any other possibilities, but they are determined that Yvan would only ever eat his own until they are given another possibility to think about (in fact, some children will argue and defend why this is the only option). If an adult gives them a new scenario to think about, they often will think about it, and then still defend their stance with a definite “but it isn’t his sandwich!”.
Under the Age of 4, everything we are taught is believed to be true regardless of the integrity of the information.
A child that would be taught that smoking is ok at 3 years old has absolutely no reason to doubt this false belief and will smoke if told to. Only once they create the ability to STOP AND THINK for themselves and compare this belief against everyone else’s beliefs do they realize it may not be true.
Whatever is told to us repetitively or observed constantly, we will grow up to believe is normal and right, which forms our belief system whether actually true or not, or whether harmful or helpful.
Going back to our research, when children above the age of 4 were asked which sandwich they thought Yvan would pick, they all said he would obviously take the one on the table because he’s unaware that it is Joshua’s sandwich, and the wind blew his sandwich off the table.
This demonstrates that children over the age of 4 are aware that other people can think ahead and consider other possibilities rather than just the obvious because they have developed the capability to STOP AND THINK with their conscious mind.
Furthermore, the researchers asked the children, “What should be Yvan’s consequence for taking Joshua’s sandwich.” All the children under the age of 7 determine that there should be some kind of consequence as he’s stealing someone else’s sandwich and stealing is bad.
This demonstrated that while having the ability to STOP AND THINK, they have yet to build the logical portion of their Conscious mind enabling them to analyze and search moral standards in their subconscious. They have little memories or experience at this age, hence not having that ability yet.
“A child may be told smoking is bad for them, but if they observe their parents smoking every couple of hours, they don’t have the moral standard to understand why they shouldn’t smoke, hence increasing the child’s chance of smoking by 300% for a boy, and 400% for a girl”.
The children over the age of 7 responded that there should be no consequence, because it is an honest mistake, as there was no way for Yvan to know it was not his sandwich. There was no malicious intent.
At this stage, the children are molded, have the ability to STOP AND THINK critically, and the ability to STOP AND THINK logically. The only things that control them now are their belief system, and what they continuously see in their environment as they grow up.
“A 12-year-old child can know how bad cigarettes are for them, and logically knows it’s an expensive horrible habit. Yet, if Mom, Dad, big sis, big bro, uncle Bob, aunt Sally and neighbors and friends smoke, they will still likely smoke. “I don’t want to be left alone while everybody is socializing. I want to fit in. It’s the way of life to ‘handle stress’ hence starting to smoke”.
This last point revolves more around the environment you surround yourself with, which I will address later on.
Why are 97% of People Content to Conform and Live Mediocre Lives rather than live to their full potential?
There are many theories, but what it comes down to is that it’s our belief system instilled by the society we live in.
What if everyone had the desire to succeed and took control of their own future? What if we used our minds to their full capability to Stop and Think, reprogramming our subconscious and unconscious minds, and enabling us to see the world through the eyes of the ultra-successful?
Everyone would be able to control fear, create empowering habits to take action, and would never again work 9-5, waiting to finally enjoy life when they qualify for retirement in their 70s.
Who would work for the government? Who would work for the cities, or teach our children in a regular school system?
Our western society is not built to encourage people to become ultra-successful. It encourages people to be obedient servants and follow without asking questions, to constantly fear risk, while seeking a false sense of security.
In the early 1900s, Albert Einstein said, “The intuitive [thinking] mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
The only way to become ultra-successful is to identify the limiting beliefs holding you back and replace them with empowering beliefs.
There are only 2 ways to reprogram a hardcoded unconscious belief:
1. Life Changing Trauma
Unfortunately, most realize new truths after a traumatic and life-threatening event of their own, or of a really close loved one. This forces them to really Stop & Think about their life choices and how they will live during their second chance.
Example: Most lifelong smokers ignore the consequences of smoking until a doctor tells them they have cancer, have suffered a heart attack, or any other severe life-threatening illness surfaces due to the poison.
2. Desire and Conscious Repetition
When you develop the desire to truly want to change something, through persistent repetition, you can change your beliefs (over time).
Changing a hard-coded belief is a 5 step process.
- You must first develop a deep burning desire and a strong need to change from a life of conformity to a new lifestyle of proactivity and purpose.
- You must be accountable for where you are right now. You are the maker of your own life, and everything that is you was created/caused by you and your choices. There are absolutely NO EXCUSES. You need to know and realize that every aspect of your life is completely within your control and that no circumstance is because of anything/anyone around you.
- You must become self-aware of what your conscious, subconscious and unconscious beliefs are in order to reprogram them.
- You then have to create, as Napoleon Hill called them, ‘Auto-Suggestions’ (from his book Think & Grow Rich) in order to consciously repeat to yourself over and over again, in order to persuade and influence your subconscious mind of the new reality.
- You must feel it to believe it. The mind is a two-way street. If we react to something starting with our Unconscious belief, it will go through our Subconscious mind to the surface Conscious mind. If we start to feel a Conscious belief with our Subconscious mind, it will eventually start to burrow deep into our Unconscious mind to hardcode itself for permanency. The Subconscious mind is all about our feelings. It is our emotional power center that helps strengthen our beliefs and push our thoughts both in and out of all levels of our mind.
Then, and only then, will a new belief become instinct – our new ‘normal’- and register in the Unconscious mind.
At first, it takes a tremendous amount of willpower to change a belief. You’ve heard the expression “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, as they are set in their old ways”. Society seems to be full of 99% ‘old dogs’.
If you cannot have the strength to change your old beliefs, and what you deem ‘normal’ in your current world, then you will never be able to become the person you dream of becoming. It will push you to your very limits – more than you ever knew you were capable of. It is a simple task, but definitely not an easy one. If it were easy, everyone would be part of the Ultra-Successful, when in reality, only those that deserve it, receive it.