One of my favorite things to study is clearing our clutter. For me, this is all about rewriting our limiting beliefs, breaking down the barriers holding us back, working through any resistance we feel along the way, and taking action in spite of fear. It’s about simplifying, unlocking our inner peace, and creating a path of least resistance towards the life and body of work that both lights us up & is the footprint we wish to leave in the world.
One of the most important aspects of clearing our clutter is becoming self-aware. It’s claiming ownership for what’s working and what’s not working. It’s taking note of not only our actions, but also our thoughts. It’s diving deep into why we do what we do (and don’t do) and questioning every belief we have. It’s asking ourselves what we value, why we value it, and whether or not our lives are aligned with those values.
If it’s been awhile since you dug deep in this way, then you’re in luck! I’m going to share 3 ways you can identify your core values & beliefs today, so that you can completely change your experience.
We all hold a sense of beliefs about ourselves and about the world. These beliefs make up our identity and without them we’d feel completely lost! (This is why a good transformational journey takes time and can change our beliefs while keeping our identity in tact.)
Because our beliefs give us a sense of identity & stability in an ever-changing world, our beliefs are something we naturally value and hold dear. Have you ever decided to change something about your life – for example, started a diet to lose weight, took up journaling to better process your emotions, or mediated daily to reduce your stress – and found yourself giving up after a few days or weeks? So often, we give up because we haven’t let go of the beliefs that support our old habits or embraced the beliefs that support our new habits.
All of our beliefs (even the ones we want so desperately to change) have a positive intention.
Our beliefs exist to give us an identity and to keep the feelings of love, safety, and belonging intact. Every belief we have gave us one of the feelings at one point in our lives (even if it wasn’t the best way to get that feeling). And so, we must make it safe to let go of a belief by keeping the feelings of love, safety, and belonging intact.
In the book Rising Strong, Brene Brown explains, “In the absence of data, we will always make up stories. It’s how we are wired. In fact, the need to make up a story, especially when we are hurt, is part of our most primitive survival wiring. Meaning making is in our biology, and our default is often to come up with a story that makes sense, feels familiar, and offers us insight into how best to self-protect.”
Brene Brown is talking about how, as humans, we are meaning making machines that hate to be confused. In relation to our beliefs, this means we are constantly searching the world for evidence that will prove what we believe is in fact true (that we’re right). The problem occurs when our beliefs don’t support what we want to be experiencing.
For example, if we think the world is full of liars, then we will constantly look for (& find) liars. If we believe no one will pay for our services, or that it’s impossible to make money doing something we love, we will attract people who will not pay for our services. If we believe we have to work hard to make money, then making money we feel so very hard. We are constantly looking for evidence that our beliefs, and our meaning of the world, are correct.
Your beliefs create your experience. In other words, your experience confirms your beliefs. And so, if you want to know what you believe, you merely need to notice what you are experiencing.
As my friend Luna Love said during our live Blab with Best Kept Self, “If you spot it, you go it.” If you notice something in someone else, then you have a piece of that within yourself.
When I was at a coaching retreat a few weeks ago in Arizona, I was experiencing a ton of resistance. I felt completely out of place as soon as I arrived. I took note of every group of people smiling together, every laugh that I wasn’t a part of, every coaching technique I didn’t do right, and every person that didn’t sit at my table. I watched (what felt like) hundreds of people walk past my table, look at an empty chair, and keep on walking. Ouch, right? Who would want to be experiencing that?
As soon as I became aware of what I was experiencing (a resistance and feeling of alienation), I quickly realized something about my beliefs: I believed I didn’t fit in. I hadn’t fully accepted my new identity as a coach and an entrepreneur. I believed that no one cared what I had to say. I was holding back from jumping in fully.
Our beliefs create our experience and our experience confirms our beliefs.
3 steps to completely change what you’re experiencing:
1. Take note of your thoughts, your beliefs, and what you’re experiencing on a day-to-day basis.
Who are you attracting in your business?
Who do you run into on the street?
What do you notice first about the people you meet? What they say, do, or wear?
What are you experiencing in regards to money?
How about with your clients?
Or even your significant other?
What fights are having over and over again?
What patterns do you find yourself experiencing time and time again?
What are you taking note of in the world?
And what belief is that experience supporting and validating to be true?
As you begin to take note of your thoughts, your beliefs, and what you’re experiencing in the world, write it all down! Make a list of what you currently believe.
2. Ask yourself, “What do I want to be experiencing? What beliefs support that experience? What do I value?”
After you’ve written down what you’re currently experiencing and believing, take out a blank piece of paper. Set a timer for 10 minutes and write (without filtering) about what you want to be experiencing in your life, your work, and in the world. Then, ask yourself what you would need to believe about yourself, your ability, and your place in the world in order to have this experience.
Abundance, acceptance, accomplishment, accountability, activeness, adventure, ambition, appreciation, approval, art, awareness, balance, beauty, bravery, candor, charity, clarity, community, connection, decisiveness, dependability, discipline, drive, education, encouragement, energy, faith, fearlessness, financial independence, flow, focus, freedom, growth, happiness, helpfulness, honesty, imagination, independence, inspiration, intuition, joy, knowledge, loyalty, meaning, mindfulness, nature, open-mindedness, patience, passion, playfulness, reflection, relaxation, responsibility, sacrifice, self-awareness, self-control, sexuality, spirituality, teaching, trust, understanding, virtue, warmth, wealth, wonder.
Once you’ve identified your core values, ask yourself: “Am I experiencing this on a daily basis?” “Am I placing priority on these values?” “Does my daily life align with these values?”
Take the time to get clear on what you value, whether or not you’re experiencing these values, and even how your daily life could better align with what you want.
3. As you let go of the beliefs that no longer serve you, and embrace the beliefs that support what you want to be experiencing, what actions are worth taking?
Maybe you want to do something that scares you, cross off that thing you’re not going to do on your to-do list (finally), move for ten minutes after lunch, practice gratitude for 5 minutes first thing this morning, take 3 deep breaths before every meal, unplug by 6 tonight, compliment someone else first, invite a friend to coffee to hear their story, start a blog, write your first post, reach out to a mentor, practice daily affirmations, or have the conversation you’ve been putting off.
Whatever it might be, the key is to start with an action that not only supports what you want to be experiencing, but also is easy & realistic to add to your daily routine. Keep it simple (& fun!). If you’re not sure what action(s) support what you want to be experiencing, use this guide with the 5 powerful questions to ask yourself daily to gain clarity.